New Bookmarks
1999 Quarter 2:  April 1-June 30, 1999 Additions to Bob Jensen's Bookmarks
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

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For the April 1-September 30, 1999 Additions and Summaries scroll down this document 
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For the full set of Bob Jensen's Bookmarks go to
    (The full set is never up to date with the latest additions to my New Bookmarks.)
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Choose a Date of 1999 Additions to the Bookmarks File

June 25, 1999               June 18, 1999           June 11, 1999         June 04, 1999

May 28, 1999              May 11, 1999            May 7, 1999

April 30, 1999             April 23, 1999           April 18, 1999         April 9, 1999             April 02, 1999

For the other editions go to

June 25, 1999

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) has a reasonably good free online Education section at

Interestingly, the Options ToolBox subsection of the above CBOE education system requires the Authorware Reader. I seldom encounter Authorware on the web. For the free Authorware Reader and other Macromedia downloads, click on the Download button at .  I had previously downloaded the Authorware Reader (installs as a plug-in to your browser).  This week I found that the CBOE Educational Options Toobox runs rather efficiently on the Internet.  I especially like the tutorials on Index Options and Long-term Equity Anticipation Securities (LEAPS).  However, I wish that there were sections on derivatives accounting to round out the strategy tutorials.  The Authorware displays are a bit like indexed file card flipping.  You can add your own bookmarks.  In terms of LEAPS popularity, you can read the following at :

Since their introduction by the CBOE in 1990, open interest in equity LEAPS at the CBOE has increased to a record 4.6 million contracts by the end of February 1999 (representing over 460 million shares of stock).

At first blush, I would not have advised the CBOE to author the Toolbox materials in Macromedia Authorware.  That seemed to be  analogous to using a Caterpillar Earthmover to level out a sand trap after one of my infamous wedge shots.  Most effects (mainly the hiding and showing of layers) could have been achieved with Macromedia Dreamweaver with less cost and authoring complexity.  Users would not have to download a plug-in reader into their browsers.  Also the files could be found with web search engines (this is not possible for Authorware files on the web).  I suspect that the CBOE may have authored these files for other purposes such as training courses where Authorware's complete course management system would be helpful.

Later on, when I got into the section on LEAPS Strategies for Stock Investors, I discovered why Authorware made more sense.  The coordination of the graphics with alternative LEAPS strategies would be messy to author in Dreamweaver.  This is a piece of cake, however, in Authorware or ToolBook.  There are just some things that high-end authoring software can do better with less effort provided you endure the initial learning curve.  For more on high-end authoring see the ending half of .

Here's the bottom line.  For those of us teaching SFAS 133 on how to account for complex derivative financial instruments contracts, it appears that there are possible student projects using this CBOE education web site.  Student teams could be assigned to study alternative contracts and alternative investment strategies (including hedges of hypothetical lending or investing transactions).  Students could be required to explain how the strategies work and how the contracts would be accounted for under SFAS 133 under various hedging scenarios.  I returned a few former student project web sites to the server to demonstrate this idea, although at the time my students did not have these CBOE tutorials.  See .  Perhaps I will assign similar projects using the CBOE tutorials the next time I teach the ACCT 5341 course.

Wake Forest University is pushing campus-wide Macromedia Dreamweaver authoring. You can read about it in an article entitled "Students Weave Web Authoring Dreams at Wake Forest," T.H.E. Journal, June 1999, pg. 8.  This news update also appears at . I use Dreamweaver for certain things, but I still find MS Frontpage to be easier to use for workhorse HTML when I don't need DHTML dynamics.  MS Frontpage 2000 is discussed at . I have not yet installed Frontpage 2000, but when I do it will allow me to do DHTML authoring without having to shift into Dreamweaver.  Most campuses should take a good look at FrontPage 2000 before following Wake Forest's lead.

I just received a snail mail copy of a CD-ROM called CODIS.  This is a searchable CD containing abstracts and sample copies of management case studies from the largest single source of case materials in the world.  The address and other information is as follows:

ECCH at Babson Ltd (for communications from North and South America only)
Babson College, Babson Park, MA 02457
Voice (781) 239-5884  Fax (781) 239-5885
I cannot find a web site for this brach of the ECCH

From other parts of the world you may obtain ECCH products from

Does anybody know if there is a better headquarters web site for ECCH?  If a lot of the CODIS material was put up at a web site, it would be easier to keep it up to date with latest materials.

I have created a new document called "XML and RDF Watch" at
Please send me interesting updates that you hear about to help me keep this "Watch" up to date.  My email address is .

The above "watch" would become so much better if others joined me in an effort to modify and update the above document at their own web sites.   For example, some accountants might take it in the direction of accounting applications, some librarians might take it in the direction of library applications, some computer scientists might take it in directions the rest of us cannot read, some scientists might take us in the direction of science applications, etc.  I would love to provide links to selected extensions in the names of the persons who would like to carry on this effort that I began at (only in the startup phase at the moment).  We need all the help we can get "watching" important happenings in XML and RDF.

The above ideas are not entirely original, although I do not know of any such collaborative efforts in academic "watch" writing.  There  is an "Interesting Stories Forum" at .  (I have not had time to check out the quality of the stories). 

Search Service for the Best Book Purchase Deal
Probably the best known online bookstores are Amazon at and Barnes and Noble at .  The Powells book seller claims to be the largest new and used bookstore in the world at .  But there are other online bookstores. 

A free comparison guide that will find you the best deal among various bookstores is provided by Glenn Fleishman.    You can search even faster by typing the ISBN number following the "nu/" in the URL address. However, I do not recommend that you do this since it will take you directly to only one book seller (Amazon).  Instead I recommend that you do the following:

Alternately, you can also select a particular book seller in the drop box below the ISBN entry field.  This does not give you a table of comparison prices like you get with the "Compare" button.

Out-of-Print books can be searched for by title from .  After sending an inquiry about whether this search service used XML markups, Joe Williams reported that XML was not used in the OutOfPrint comparison guides.

Before starting this section, let me relate a short news item.  According to a San Antonio TV report a few years ago, an employee in a local Best Buy department store discovered a reporter walking down the isles recording Best Buy prices and product model numbers.  The reporter was promptly escorted out of the store due to an alleged Best Buy policy of not allowing store prices to be recorded for comparison shopping guides.  The bottom line is that most vendors do not like to make it easy to compare prices.

The first XML book price comparison service was the Junglee Shopping Guide according to The XML Handbook by Charles F. Goldfarb and Paul Prescod (ISBN 0130811521, Prentice-Hall Computer Books, 1998, Chapter 9).   However,  doing so was not easy since XML markups are not provided by book sellers.  Junglee used "extractors" to automatically extract prices from unstructured (non-XML) text.  (For definitions of terms like "extractor" and "wrapper," see my Technology Glossary.)  

In any case, Junglee Shopping Guide is now part of Amazon.  You can shop for a variety of products in this added service from Amazon, but I could not find how to shop for the best deal on books. I wonder why Amazon dropped price comparison guides for books after acquiring the Junglee Shopping Guide!

If book sellers put current prices and handling/shipping charges into XML markups for each ISBN number, it would be possible to easily compare prices for hundreds of book sellers.  If such metadata were available in vendor XML markups, the wonderful book comparison shopping guide provided by Glenn Fleishman at could more easily extract comparitive prices for hundreds of book sellers instead of the 17 book sellers that he now scans as a public service without having the benefit of XML tags. 

The following message (from Glenn Fleishman) not only highlights a special problem that XML enthusiasts will have in providing shopping comparison guides, it possibly touches upon a business ethics issue as well.  We seem to be approaching a classic dilemma of where the only way to make it easier to comparison shop will be for the government to require firms to make it easier to obtain the necessary data.

Hi Dr. Jensen,
No XML here, unfortunately. It’s not necessarily in the interests of an online bookstore to provide XML tags on their data, as an easier comparison of their prices does not necessarily help stores sell their books

I am very excited about XML, but I believe it will wind up being used primarily in business-to-business partnership applications and in applications that replace proprietary EDI systems.

It will also be an amazing tool for transferring information from hetergenous data sources that will far, far surpass the awful tab-delimited text file format.

Glenn Fleishman []

As pointed out in the previous section, Fleishman's excellent ISBN book shopping comparison guide is at . Although I like this guide as a book consumer, I worry that such guides tend to reduce standardized products to commodity-priced items.  This, in turn, may stifle innovations that add to vendor overheads and may reduce longer-term capital spending for improved services.   I suspect that somewhat higher book prices helped Amazon invest heavily into innovative web research and development.  If Amazon is forced to meet the lowest prices on the web, Amazon will most likely do less and less in the way of leading the world in web site innovations.

Note that it is possible to generate XML markups (e.g., for consumer guides) even though the vendor web sites do not have XML tags.  See the definition of wrapper and extractor at .

In the faculty club, a recent discussion turned to how a web site can sell a standardized product (like a popular textbook) and still achieve a premium price when web comparison guides might otherwise lead consumers to the lowest pricing vendor. One way that I pointed out is to provide an added service that the lower-priced competition does not provide.  For example, I mentioned that the vendor of textbooks might provide online testing and grading.  For example, Cybertext administers weekly quizzes to my AIS students who are made to purchase access to the textbook at .  Another company called Cyberclass provides similar services and web space for customized quizzes and chat rooms at .  With some types of service, the vendors may be able to give the book away and charge for the accompanying service.

CPA audits run the risk of becomming priced as commodities unless auditors can demonstrate premium services.  The CPA Auction web site reflects the trend for commodity pricing of CPA services in general.  My comments on the CPA Auction are relegated to the bottom of this June 25 update (I'm hoping that you will grow weary of reading this before you reach the bad stuff at the end.)

This is a great web site.
Web tools, including tools for Browsers;  HTML, XML, & CSS;  Graphics & Design; Multimedia;  DHTML & JavaScript;  Java; Servers & E-Commerce;  Scripting;  Demo.

A good web site to follow for XML software updates is the Web Tools site at .

From MIT - The Journal of Markup Languages ($50 per year)

Although vendors may not willingly provide any XML markups that make it easier to conduct competitive comparisons on most anything (prices, quality, ingredients, consumer complaints, reliability tests, etc.), there are areas where industry or government regulations already require public disclosures.  Those disclosures are subject to XML markups for ease of comparison.  Great examples are the required accounting disclosures required by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the EDGAR database.  These disclosures fit into an EDGAR Document Type Definition (DTD) published at the SEC web site.  Each submission document to the SEC from registrants required to file financial data with the SEC is supposed to conform to the SEC DTD.   The EDGAR Filer Manual can be downloaded from .  The Appendices are quite interesting.  They are as follows:


A  Form Types Accepted for Electronic Filing This appendix lists the form types that EDGAR accepts and the EDGAR Submission Header type names given to each SEC form. It also provides a page reference to Appendix B, where we provide the tags appropriate for each submission header type.

B  EDGAR Tags by Submission Header Type In this appendix we provide the EDGAR tags appropriate for each submission header. Please note that we have added new tags within the General Tags section which apply to all form types.

C  Acceptable Values for Paper Forms for Electronic Filing The EDGAR system recognizes a limited set of values for certain tags. This appendix lists the values you must provide in a specified format.

D  Messages Reported by EDGAR This appendix includes information to assist you in understanding the acceptance and suspension messages that EDGAR generates.

E   Tagging for Financial Data Schedules This appendix provides information on EDGAR requirements for Financial Data Schedules processed by our Divisions of Corporation Finance and Investment Management. Financial Data Schedules require specific EDGAR tags; this appendix includes the correct format for input of tags and data by Article type.

F  Paper Forms for Electronic Filing Form ID Uniform Application for Access Codes to File on EDGAR Form SE Form for Submission of Paper Format Exhibits by Electronic Filers Form ET Transmittal Form for Electronic Format Documents Under the EDGAR System Form TH Notification of Reliance on Temporary Hardship Exemption

G  Glossary of Commonly Used Terms, Acronyms, and Abbreviations

H  Form 13-F Special Electronic Filing Instructions

I  EDGARLink[R] Script Language

J  Instructions for Attaching HTML Documents to Electronic Filings This new appendix provides information to assist you in creating SEC-acceptable HTML documents. This appendix provides the allowed HTML tags and disallowed HTML attributes for specific HTML tags. This appendix also includes all new HTML/PDF error messages.

K  Instructions for Attaching Unofficial PDF Documents to Electronic Filings This new appendix provides information to help you create and attach SEC-acceptable PDF documents.

In addition to the SEC DTD, extensive rules and regulations of the SEC dictate what financial data are to filed with the SEC (e.g., a complete 10-K annual set of audited financial statements).  The required submission data and the DTD facilitate using XML for filing and retrieving EDGAR data.  In 1998, an entire chapter is devoted to XML submissions to the SEC in The XML Handbook by Charles F. Goldfarb and Paul Prescod (ISBN 0130811521, Prentice-Hall Computer Books, 1998, Chapter 11).  These ideas are elaborated upon in a 1999 paper entitled "The Electronic Dissemination of Accounting Information - Resource Discovery, Processing, and Analysis" by Roger Debreceny, Glen Gray, and Tony Barry.  I recommend that all of you contact one of these authors for a copy. In particular you may request a copy from Glen at  or Roger at .

I have been playing a little more with Version 4 of Adobe Acrobat.   The most common way to generate an Acrobat PDF file is to create a document in a word processor (say a DOC file) or a spreadsheet (say a XLS file).  With Adobe Exchange installed, you can simply save a second copy of the document as a PDF file.   In the past, I pretended there was a glass barrier in which the original images were behind the glass (and could not be modified with Adobe Exchange) versus Acrobat Exchage things that you could do in front of the glass (such as add annotations, hyperlinks, bookmarks, audio, video, etc.).  Prior to Version 4, any changes in content of the file behind the glass could not be made using Adobe Exchange.  Version 4, however, allows certain types of changes such as "touching up" words, insertion of pages, and renumbering of pages.  However, most serious modifying and editing of text or data are still best accomplished by returning to the word processor or spreadsheet program.  For example, if I added text in a sentence I could not get the longer sentence to easily wrap around and adjust the lines for the added text.  Have any of you found a way to make such text wrappings automatic in PDF text editing?

Version 4 of Adobe Acrobat (particularly the Adobe Exchange module) certainly makes it easier to publish web documents in PDF form rather than HTML or some other DTD.  Version 4 is a significant upgrade.  The main advantage is that the original document produced on a word processor or spreadsheet program does not have to be edited and touched up in the same manner that an HTML conversion often requires fixing up.  For exampl, MS Word tables and Excel tables do not have to be fixed up in a PDF file, but these tables almost always have to be fixed up following a conversion to a HTM file.  Images do not have to be stored in separate files like they do for HTML documents.  Another advantage arises in that the hard copy printout of the PDF file is nearly perfect in terms of looking just like the original DOC or XLS printout. 

But there is one huge disadvantage of a PDF document on the web that is often overlooked. That disadvantage is that a PDF document cannot be scanned by web search engines such as Altavista, HotBot, and Lycos.  If authors want to have their work picked up by search engines, one possibilty is to publish a summary of the PDF document in a separate HTML document.  Include lots of key words and text in the HTML document that will motivate users to click on the hyperlink to the PDF file.

Adding (limited) text editing capabilities will not be viewed happily by all authors.  For example, PDF files are often the files of choice by corporations issuing annual reports.  A main reason is that they print so nicely from PDF files.   Another reason in the past, however, was that users could not modify the text in a PDF file.  With Version 4 of Acrobat Exchange, however, readers can change text, insert pages, import other PDF files, repaginate, etc.  PDF authoring no longer comforts authors that posted documents remain "Pretty Decidedly Fixed" after they are downloaded by users.  Even though editing in Adobe Exchange is still far more limited than HTML editors, it is now possible to edit PDF documents.

Heavy duty acrobat authors may want to purchase an add-on product called Compose from Software Partners, Inc at .

Thank you Andrew Priest and Andy Lymer
Accounting Journals Index

Thank you Dennis Schmidt
Tax and Accounting Sites Directory

Howard Schilit wrote a (1993) book called "Financial Shenanigans: How To Detect Accounting Gimmicks & Fraud in Financial Reports".  He has since opened a web site at .  You can compare prices on his book at by entering the ISBN number 0070561311 at .

From Infobits:  Survey of Distance Education Programs
According to a recent study published by Primary Research Group, Inc., an estimated 93 percent of distance learning (DL) programs in North American colleges and universities use email as their DL medium. The study, "The Survey of Distance Learning Programs in Higher Education," is based on a random sample of sixty-one college and university distance learning programs throughout the United States and Canada. The report provides a comparison of data reported in 1997 and 1998. Findings show that 36.68 percent of DL instructors in 1998 were adjunct faculty, compared with 1997 in which 27.34 percent of the instructors were adjunct faculty. Instructor/tutor salaries account for the highest percentage of the DL programs' total costs and expenditures -- 31.72 percent. In 1997, instructor/tutor salaries accounted for 37.21 percent of the total costs and expenditures. Other findings of the study include: · 86.96 percent of the programs operate at a profit, while 13.04 percent operate at a profit of greater than 50 percent. · Thirteen percent of the programs in public colleges and twenty-seven percent of the programs in private colleges have created new courses for DL, rather than reusing and retooling traditional courses for the DL programs.

The table of contents for "The Survey of Distance Learning Programs in Higher Education, 1999 Edition" is available online at   .   The full report costs $87.50, or $139.75 for both 1998 and 1999 Editions. Contact Gary Boas at 212-764-1579 to place an order.
The Primary Research Group home page is at .

From the Scout Report

This new current awareness resource from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School offers "the latest business insights, information and research" on a bi-weekly basis including "interviews with industry leaders and Wharton faculty, articles based on the most recent business research, book reviews, conference and seminar reports," among other sources. The Knowledge@Wharton site is divided into subject sections ranging from finance and investment to business ethics; each topical page includes searchable layers of information in summary, short article, or academic paper formats. Note: registration is required for access.

From InformationWeek Online (the shrinking of "accounting" in accounting firms)
Qwest Communications International Inc. And KPMG LLP are forming Qwest Cyber.Solutions LLC, a joint venture to provide Internet-based end-to-end application-service-provider, application-hosting, and application-management services, including enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, and back-office offerings.

The partners will start out with $400 million in current contracts, providing a base to compete in the global market for applications management, which analysts estimate will grow to $25 billion by 2001. The venture is a facilities-based applications service provider with assets of more than $120 million and 450 certified applications specialists.

On Page 11 of the June 28, 1999 issue of Newsweek, a search engine focused on 4 million federal government web pages is described.  See .

PC Week information technology news webcasts

The live keynote is at .

Web versus TV Wars --- Marc Andreessen's keynote address at the PC Expo

Just for you John McCusker

100 Events That Shaped a Century

The Basics of Business History

Also see the Museum of American Financial History

For you John Howland
sourceXchange - marketplace for open source development.

From John Howland - Robert Metcalf's regular updates on the future of networking and computing   (Note the
XML extension at the end of the URL.)

The main InfoWorld web site is at .  There is a subject index link on the main page.  I requested both the free hardcopy and electronic editions.

I love my Quick View Plus as a way of opening Word and Excel files that people send me without running the risk of starting a Windows macro virus (even when you copy or print from the file).  You can download a free trial version and give it a test run.

Lycos has 8,000 databases that are only a few clicks away

Guides to using a financial calculator without having to be confused by the manual

Guides from the SEC about calculating the cost of a mutual fund

I ordered an automatic TV sound controller at

If you know any accounting educators with helpful materials on the web, please ask them to link their materials  in the American Accounting Association's Accounting Coursepage Exchange (ACE) web site at
Please send these professors email messages today and urge them to share as much as they can with the academy by easily registering their course pages with ACE. 

This week's featured ACE professor is my friend J. Efrim Boritz
Institution: University of Waterloo
Course Title: Information System Control and Audit
Textbook: Computer Control and Audit Guide
Author(s): J. E. Boritz
Efrim provides us with book readings and project assignments.  Note that this is an online course.  Thank you for sharing Efrim.

Digital Camera Guide.

Guides to helping the environment

Patterns in Mathematics - an interactive lab where children can explore logic patterns, number patterns, and word patterns.

VAGUEPolitix Satire from PBS

News from or about Microsoft Corporation

The hidden failures to expect from Windows 2000 (Bad News for All of Us!)

Exploring the Tri-Pane View in Microsoft PowerPoint 2000

New Initiative Helps Kids Stay Safe Online

Microsoft’s TV Platform Makes Broadband Services a Reality

Penn State University's World Campus 101

Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics

If you know a product name and want to find what company makes that product or vice versa, you might triy .   Web site URLs are also provided.  I typed in "Authorware" and was taken directly to the Authorware product section at the Macromedia web site. 

Note that the above search site is quite handy for finding home pages of colleges and universities.

How to design pages that are better for sight impaired users

For career women

Here is some recent information on assessment of learning. This article does not deal with accounting. Rather it focuses more IT training. However, it is very current and seems to be somewhat better than the bulk of the short articles on assessment that I stumble upon. The title is "Training Developers More Efficiently," Information Week, June 14, 1999, 1A-10A. The online version is at .

The bottom line conclusion is that "the manner in which information is presented is as important as the information itself, so using the latest technology and best practices is key."

The article points out that trainers and educators often do not evaluate vendors and courseware adequately. I think this is especially true for educators who adopt a particular textbook and then simply "take" whatever technology products come with the book (e.g., PowerPoint slides or a simulation game).

Another point raised in the article is as follows: "Though students may say that exercises are boring, drills are important to long-term learning." I think in our efforts to stay "mod" with team projects, group learning, discovery learning, etc., we sometimes forget the importance of drill.

There is a nice section in the article on self-study versus classroom learning.

There are other sections, including a section on costs. That section is very situational and cannot be generalized very far.

In his Personal Technology column for the Wall Street Journal, Walter Mossberg has never written a more glowing account of any product than he wrote for the new Packard Bell Z1 on June 17, 1999.  Among other things, the Z1 does two things that I have preached about for years to no avail about improving a PC.  Firstly, PCs should have an Ethernet port as standard network connecting equipment.  Second, PCs should have one of more  PCMCIA slots for better communication with laptop computers, digital camera disks, etc.  You can read the following at .

The most innovative aspect of the Z1 is its expandability. There are no internal slots for adding new circuitry, which most users shun anyway. Instead, there are four of the new, simpler USB connectors -- twice the industry norm. It also includes a PC card socket, typically found only on laptops, that makes it easy to pop in the memory cards found on digital cameras.

There's also a built-in Ethernet networking port, for hooking up cable modems. Memory can be expanded by just opening a little door on the back. And there are the standard serial and printer ports, as well as a port for connecting a second monitor.

And you can use the keyboard from across the room since there are no cords to connect for a keyboard or a mouse.  Owners of a Z1 will have far less need for hardware technicians.  An additional hard drive beyond the standard 8.4 Gb hard drive can be popped into a slot in a matter of seconds.  The flat-screen monitor can be removed without tools and swapped for alternative sizes.  And there are many other new features that make the Z1 a "head turner."  Gateway also introduced a flat-screen model, but the Packard Bell Z1 is a far more heavy duty and innovative computer, including a radically different size and shape.  Where is the innovation in the Top Guns like Dell and Compaq?  I suspect they've been slower on the holster draw than Packard Bell --- or to mix a metaphor, they've been hit in the head by David's sling shot.  The Packard Bell home page is at .

From PC Week
Java 2 Micro Edition: It could lead to the creation of technology that makes the world smarter.

PLUS—ZDNet’s Software Library has the Java downloads you need, for free! Check out the selection at

Take bytes out of your cookies with this tip from ZD Tips
Using Windows Explorer, navigate to your SendTo menu. Add the MS-DOS Editor to your SendTo menu. SentTo is an option on the drop-down menu that opens when you right click on any file, folder, etc.

Once the MS-DOS Editor has been added to your SendTo options, click on Start, Find, Files or Folders. In the dialog box "Named," type "cookies.txt" (without the parentheses). Be sure the "Look in" box has your hard drive, e.g., (C:), and not any subdirectories in it.

This will locate the file, "cookies.txt" in the Netscape Directory Folder. You could also navigate to the file but this is faster. Right click on "cookies.txt" and select Send To MS-DOS Editor. The file will open. You will see a line telling you not to edit this file. As long as you know how to use Edit you can safely delete any cookie lines you want to be rid of. Save the file and exit back to Windows.

From Neil Hannon
Welcome to the latest edition of the Internet Essentials ‘99 Newsletter for the financial professional.

Here are this week’s hot topics:

1., where start-ups go to start up
2. Finally, Room on you Desktop
3. Shipping Headquarters @
4. Free the Accountants!
5. Y2K help for Auditors
6. RosettaNet: Establishing standards for eBusiness
7. Case Silicone, Net Detective
8. Quick Hitters; including 21 Strategies for Accountants

To read about the above items, you gotta go to the newsletter:

I put this last because last is where it belongs.  Thanks but no thanks Barry.  Like you, I am less than impressed.

We've always known that you can buy some professionals (lawyers, expert witnesses,  jockeys, senators, athletes, the Olympics Board, evangelists, accounting professors, etc.), but how low can you get when you can buy your CPA auditor online at an auction. See .

And that's the way it was on June 25, 1999. 

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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Bob Jensen's Index Page Bob Jensen's Bookmarks New Bookmark Archives

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June 18, 1999

Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on June 18, 1999
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

You can change the viewing size of fonts by clicking on the View menu item in your browser.

Do you suppose this will set a new research trend on the web?  It is possible for you to win a Nobel Prize in Science.  You can download and analyze radio telescope analysis software and data. Scientists are giving everyone an opportunity to be the first to discover intelligent life far from Mother Earth.  See

I have updated Working Paper 260 with the following text about XML software (the wave of the tidal future for e-commerce and the web in general).  Note that my bottom-line actions are to start to play with a free download of Microsoft Corporation's XML Notepad, and to anxiously await for my shipment of Soft Quad's Version 1.0 of XMetaL.

For a time, not much was out there in the way of authoring software for XML and the standards have not yet been fully established to be embedded in web browser software.   However, some business firms are already experimenting with XML.  One piece of software that already has an XML backbone is the Dynabase from INSO (800-733-5799) at can be built on top of such relational database systems as Oracle, Sybase, Informix, SQL Server, and DB2.  (It should be pointed out, however, that XML will eventually be an object-oriented database system).  Dynabase uses a proprietary programming language that is very close to Visual Basic and will, therefore, integrate well with Microsoft's Office 2000 products.  It is a bit early for poor professors to start experimenting with Dynabase since it carries a price tag of $50,000.  But Dynabase is already on the move in the corporate world.

A leading company for heavy duty SGML and XML development is ArborText at .  ArborText produces a new software product called EPIC described as follows:

Because Epic connects directly to Microsoft Word, you can easily import existing product information contained in Word files and convert them to valid XML. Epic can also use Word’s filters to import product information contained in other formats including Microsoft Excel tables, WordPerfect files, and more.  After the import is finished, Epic helps you fix up anything that does not convert to valid XML.   In addition to a traditional editing view, Epic also displays the document in an editable, hierarchical view through its Document Map.  In addition, Epic contains several tools that simplify the structured XML authoring process. One example is the Insert Element panel on the right. This allows authors to find the appropriate element by first selecting a category; in this example, the author has selected the "List" category and can then choose from all the types of lists that Epic supports.

In addition, ArborText has the The ADEPT Series described at

ADEPT Series -- Supports XML and SGML authoring and page publishing on Windows-based PCs and UNIX-based workstations. ADEPT·Editor -- Allows authors to write text, place graphics and create books, manuals, catalogs, encyclopedias, and similar types of information. Also, ADEPT’s Willow technology enables tight integration between ADEPT and document management systems. ADEPT·Publisher -- Includes all the capabilities of ADEPT·Editor plus page composition. ADEPT·Publisher automatically lays out pages by balancing the need for page fullness with the need to keep related elements together to provide a powerful tool for increasing author productivity. Document·Architect – Provides an application development tool to build DTDs (Document Type Definitions), design stylesheets, and and customize the behavior of ADEPT.

Pricing at ArborText appears to be negotiated, and it does not appear possible to find ballpark pricing at the company's web site.  It appears that ArborText software is not priced for poor professors.

Microsoft has a free download of XML Notepad in beta form that will perform some simple XML basics.  It is described at .  Frequently asked questions about XML Notepad are answered at .  I downloaded a free copy from
Microsoft Corporation's dedication to great new things in XML is described at
Both Internet Explorer and Netscape have XML viewing capabilities.  See .  On the heavy duty side of XML, see SQL Server 7.0 and XML Power Microsoft’s Product Catalog

Possibly the best buy in  XML authoring software packages is called XMetaL from the company (Soft Quad) that originated the HTML and web server software called HOT METAL PRO. The price is only $495 for the world and $347 for poor professors (very reasonable for XML authoring). You can read the following in documents at

XMetaL is a highly customizable XML authoring tool that delivers unprecedented ease of use to authors while shielding them from the complexities of XML, lowering costs of both customization and deployment.

You can read the initial press release about XMetaL at .

Bob Jensen just ordered the XMetaL package --- now you know what I will be doing the rest of the summer.

Hi Bob,

We have also got a deal in principle with The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia to be a capstone part of their professional year from mid 2000. This will mean 2500 students from there alone plus the opportunity to go further with corporates.

Thanks for all your help. Many other exciting things happening also which I will be happy to share with you.

Pete Mazany
University of Auckland

Note:  I highly recommend that persons attending the AAA annual meetings in San Diego hear Pete Mazany's exciting presentations.  Pete is so innovative that it is scary. Pete Mazany will be presenting on August 14 CETA CEP Session 1 and the August 15 CEP Session 37 described at   .  Other leading-edge innovators will also make multimedia presentations in those sessions. Most of the speakers and topics differ in Session 1 versus Session 37 such that duplication is minimized for persons choosing to attend both workshops. I plan to minimize my presentations in these workshops in order to give more time to the four other speakers in Session 1 and three other speakers in Session 37.

Publisher EdiStone has an interesting web site that makes a different chapter of a full book available for free each month. The book in question is entitled the Basics of Electronic Data Interchange from EdiStone Readers who can pace themselves one chapter per month can go to Readers in a hurry to learn more about EDI will have to buy the book.

Each month, a different chapter is made available to users of the World Wide Web. The List of Topics, List of Figures, background information in the Preface, the Appendices and the Glossary of Terms are always available.   For the Glossary, go to .  You can find this and other technology glossaries liked at .

If you are looking for some outstanding EDI links and helpers go to the following course web site of Jagdish S. Gangolly: (scroll down to Week 5).  Then look at the great helpers for other topics and other weeks (including Week 6 on XML).

Jagdish's Week 6 links led me to an easy-to-read summary document entitled XML for Managers at

Topical Interest Group:  Assessment in Higher Education

Congratulations to Tony Catanach and Anita Hollander.  They were the two accounting professors selected among 28 interdisciplinary new Pew Scholars.  This is a great honor and responsibility.   Some of Anita's innovative work will be distributed in the forthcoming Toolkit Project video to be distributed by the American Accounting Association.  You can read about some of Tony's accomplishments in the BAM project described at .

You can read more about the Pew Scholars Program at . The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has a web site at .  This is a web site that provides information about over 10,000 books, 125 journals, reference collections, and an online database called DIALOG from Lexis*Nexis.

Beverly Harrelson, Communications Coordinator/Webmaster of the American Accounting Association informs be that the Pew Scholar announcement is posted at the following web site: .  You can read some more about the projects of Anita and Tony at this web site.

The outcomes of the Pew Scholar projects will be available in about one year. We especially are looking forward to the projects of Anita and Tony. Among other things, Pew Scholars must be outstanding educators and assume a leadership role in education within their disciplines. Each year certain disciplines are designated for Pew Foundation awards. This was the year for accounting, management, music, religion, sociology, mathematics, chemistry, and certain other disciplines.

I am impressed with the Digital Duo technology show each week on PBS television.  See .

Digital Duo is the independent, irreverent video review of all things digital. Every week on Public Television, hosts
Stephen Manes of Forbes Magazine and PC World and Susan Gregory Thomas of U.S. News & World Report
and New Woman cut through the hype and show you how the latest innovations of the electronic age really
work—and how they don't. They bring you the world of digital technology, warts and all—the good, the bad, and
the ugly. They tell you which products to save and which ones to delete, but they're not afraid to disagree. On
every show, contributing editor Walter S. Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal adds his own incisive
commentary about industry trends and issues.

The Digital Duo is the next best thing to Computer Chronicles described at .

From Phil Livingston, President of the Financial Executives Institute (since this is linked from the Download Archives that anybody can access, I assume that this Excel Workbook is available to the general public)

Acquisition Model - Bruce Valentine, CFO of McStain Homebuilders, and a member of the Rocky Mountain Chapter, contributed a great Excel workbook for pro forma acquisition modeling. It takes the historical and projected results of the seller and buyer and combines them with consideration of the accounting and tax treatments. Thanks so much to Bruce for this great contribution to all FEI members. I’ve known and worked with Bruce and he is a bona fide rocket scientist. 

I believe FEI’s future will contain much more model- and presentation- sharing. Please think about the tools you use or tools you need and send me e-mail if you want to contribute something or are looking for a particular tool. Web-enabled tools for information sharing and analysis should be a priority.

Go to (Then click on MS Excel Acquisition Model. Bruce Valentine)

Teaching Tipster
The Accounting Educator< The Newsletter of the Teaching and Curriculum Section,American Accounting Association
Vol. VIII No. 2 - Spring 1999,

Students For Students --- How to Arrive and Survive in College, get FREE tips from upper-class students about how to thrive in college (the FREE parts seem to be thin in this effort to sell a book)

News from or about Microsoft Corporation

What’s New in Office 2000? Visit TechNet’s Office 2000 Technology Center

Order the Guided Tour for Networking and receive Windows NT Server 4.0 trial software, CD-ROM-based training and case study interviews to help you decide if it’s the right multipurpose operating system for your environment.  ($19.95)

News from or about Macromedia

Jon DeKeles writes about Dreamweaver 2 in "Make Your HTML Editing Headaches Go Away;"—then scroll to "Dreamweaver".

Dreamweaver 2 pages in order to include robust database connectivity, file input and output, calculations, control actions, dynamic e-mail capabilities, business functions, and many other dynamic features.  Download Tango Objects for Dreamweaver 2, a $49 value, for FREE! --through September 30. Visit:

Dreamweaver Support Center

ANNOUNCING Director 7.02:

Also see the Gallery at

If you know any accounting educators with helpful materials on the web, please ask them to link their materials  in the American Accounting Association's Accounting Coursepage Exchange (ACE) web site at
Please send these professors email messages today and urge them to share as much as they can with the academy by easily registering their course pages with ACE. 

This week's featured ACE professor is Clinton (Skip) White
Institution: University of Delaware
Course Name: Auditing in an IT Environment Textbook: Handbook of IT Auditing
Author(s): Warren, Edelsson, & Parker
Skip shares some very helpful course notes, presentation slides, and a glossary.  You may be especially interested in his risk-based auditing in an IT environment.  Thank you for sharing Skip.

Top 10 most requested services from the U.S. Social Security Administration (note that you can apply for

You can get a statement of your past earnings and estimated future benefits from

The SSA Handbook link is (note that there is a wonderful index)

Innovative Accounting Educators of the Week: 

Joseph H. Callaghan, Thomas W. Lauer, and Eileen Peacock
Oakland University's School of Business Administration

An AIS Curriculum Using a Model-Oriented, Tool-Enhanced (MOTE) Framework

The innovation consists of a curriculum, instructional strategy, teaching approach, and a set of related teaching materials.  Evidence of this implemented innovation is composed of the following:

At its core, the MOTE approach aims to teach conceptual understanding and skills in data and process modeling in an accounting context. Learning these skills on a conceptual level is reinforced through the use of programmer development software. These are software tools that support systems development from the model level during systems analysis, through systems design, and to the completion of the development life cycle and the construction of the system. The first two courses of our AIS curriculum roughly follow these three phases, while the third course reiterates these phases in a complex accounting context. For further information, see the Executive Summary for the innovation at

Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship (full-text)

After the serious Worm.ExploreZip infection left organizations scrambling for lost information, experts are predicting more damaging viruses yet to come

eFUSE provides tips on how to build a better web site

PHOTOTALK Message. Board

Outdoor Explorer

Expedia Travel (a travel site with occasional great deals) (behind the news)

This is a really flashy hyperactive way to market a product (in this case VW cars) on the web (Marketing and Advertising)

UReviewIt book review and discussion group (if your last paper was rejected, you can publish something here)

One of my favorite writers in days of old --- Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio

Tiananmen Square, 1989: The Declassified History (for serious researchers)

The Hunger Site

Wireless Tips

The June 21 issue of Newsweek on Page 16 features Motorola's new i1000plus wireless telephone that comes with Nextel wireless services for email, stock quotes, and other selected web services. 
Just for kicks follow what I did by typing in "What is the i1000plus?" at .

You should also learn about the PDQ Smartphone at

The pdQ smartphone combines state of the art CDMA technology with the most popular, fastest-selling handheld computer platform - the Palm Computing® platform

Simplify your life and lighten your briefcase with the pdQ smartphone from QUALCOMM. It's the perfect wireless way to stay connected. For starters, the pdQ smartphone is a CDMA wireless phone. Plus, it puts important Personal Information Management applications like an address book and a date book right at your fingertips, anytime you need them. With the pdQ smartphone, downloading applications or enhanced features from the web or a CD Rom is a breeze.

And there is also at

We are a leading provider of software that enables the delivery of Internet-based services to mass-market wireless telephones. Using their software, wireless subscribers have access to Internet-based and corporate intranet-based services, including email, news, stocks, weather, travel and sports. In addition, subscribers have access to telephony services, which may include over-the-air activation, call management, billing history information, pricing plan subscription and voice message management.

A keyboard is at last available for the Palm VII wireless PDA:

You can read more about the Palm VII at

Other wireless products at

Because no matter how advanced technology gets, it'll never replace smart people who care. Sure, the Net's a great resource. But it's just not that easy to find what you want, no matter how many years you've been online. Search engines and directories help, but they're not always good enough -- even if you do manage to wade through all those search results to find the information that's really relevant to you, how do you know you can trust what you've found?

That's why Guides are here. Their mission is to create the ideal environment to immerse yourself in your interests. They do all the digging so you don't have to -- and they put what they find in context, providing the human judgment and personal integrity that you just can't get from a search engine or directory. So you can find what you want, and trust what you find.

It's the kind of expert guidance and leadership that only human beings can provide. That's why we've gathered hundreds of these talented people together in one place and given them the tools they need so they can focus on sharing what they've found with you. We bring humanity to the Internet.

Great destinations - Great starting points The Guides make sure that each one of our GuideSites works as both a useful starting point AND a great destination for its topic. Guides are responsible for updating their sites with new links and features at least once a week, but many update their sites daily -- so come back often and see what's new. Read a feature article or a site review, discover fresh links, post a comment, join a chat, sign up for a newsletter, send email to your Guide. It's a great new way to stay abreast of what matters most to you.

Who are Guides? Guides live and work in over 20 countries. Guides are specially selected to lead based on a demonstrated expertise about a particular topic, and each must have the desire and ability to help others who share their interests. All Guides have successfully completed's rigorous certification program, and each must continually meet strict standards of excellence in user service and community leadership. Only about 25% of those that apply to be Guides get accepted into our training program and graduate to running a GuideSite.

From the Scout Report:  The Theory Into Practice Database

The Theory Into Practice (TIP) database contains summarized descriptions of 50 educational theories related to human learning and instruction. It was compiled by Dr. Greg Kearsley, and independent consultant specializing in online education who has a PhD in educational psychology. For each instructional theory, Kearsley provides a brief overview, explains its scope and application, outlines its principles, offers a theoretical example, and lists references. In addition, some of the overviews include Quicktime video clips of Dr. Kearsley or others lecturing on specific theories. The TIP database is accessible via three indices: an alphabetic index, a learning domain index, and a learning concepts index.

A Journalist’s Guide to the Internet

A Journalist’s Guide to the Internet is a comprehensive guide to electronic mailing lists, newsgroups, and Websites relevant to deadline news reporting. The guide contains briefly annotated links connecting journalists to information resources in numerous categories. Included are pointers to public documents, federal and state government information, legal and political resources, online newspapers, expert sources, and much more. The guide is the creation of Christopher Callahan, associate dean of the University of Maryland’s College of Journalism and senior editor of the _American Journalism Review.

Selected Articles from On the Horizon, July 2, 1999,

"Transforming the Role of Students and Teachers in the Information Age" by James L. Morrison
Morrison praises Spady’s vision of educational reform and provides an example of it in practice. In his graduate-level course, "The Social Context of Educational Leadership," Morrison focuses on the challenges that students are likely to face in their careers in the Information Age and on the skills they need to face these challenges successfully. He insists that, in a world where the professional knowledge base is changing rapidly, these prospective administrators must be able to use information technology tools competently. He therefore requires all class members to design a Web site, to research both individual and team papers through Internet search engines, to create presentations with PowerPoint software, and to post their work to their Web pages and thus make it accessible to other professional educators. How do students respond? Find out in "From the Editor."

"Corporate Universities: Just-in-Time Learning" by Michael D. Kull
Kull examines the goals and operations of corporate universities, one permutation of the general trend toward an expanded and diversified education market. "Instead of relying on the country’s education system to furnish packaged solutions in the form of new graduates," he writes, many "organizations want education to be delivered to the right people at the right time in the right way: just-in-time." For some corporations, the "right" solution is an independent, company-run university. For others, it is an educational alliance with an existing university; consequently, educators should pay more attention to the business market and to how traditional brick-and-mortar institutions can better serve it. After all, Kull reminds readers, "partnering represents the next step in the evolution of a knowledge economy."

Update on ERP from Information Week Online:

IBM Global Services and KPMG Consulting this week will partner with Peregrine Systems Inc. to provide infrastructure resource planning (IRP) services to their customers. Peregrine's suite of IRP applications manages the life cycles of nearly all business assets, including IT.

Industry observers say IRP is poised to be the next enterprise resource planning-with Peregrine as the next SAP. The IRP market, estimated to hit $2 billion this year, is at the same stage the ERP market was at three years ago and will experience a compounded annual growth rate of 40% over the next three years, says Neil Cooper, an analyst at securities firm the Seidler Cos. About two dozen other integrators, including Deloitte Consulting and EDS, are working with Peregrine, says Steve Gardner, president and CEO.

Peregrine has a staff of about 200 professionals to help clients implement the software. KPMG has about 35 practitioners dedicated to Peregrine's technology, with plans to grow to 150 within a year, says James Mowrer, senior manager at KPMG. IBM will allocate resources as needed to Peregrine's technology, says Linda Hanson, offerings manager for product support services. Some IBM employees have already received training from Peregrine, and IBM has completed consulting engagements on Peregrine projects in the United States and Germany.

Sterling Software Products at

Cool - A suite of software products that provides high-powered modeling and generation tools in an integrated work management environment.   (For an AIS course that uses this product see ACC 419/619 ).

Sams - Software that manages, monitors, and automates data storage in both distributed and centralized environments.

Solve - Software for end-to-end desired state management of mission critical networked business applications from a service perspective.

Vision - Software to enable customers to extend the life and usefulness of legacy applications and to facilitate enterprise-wide information access .

VM - Systems management and Web software for IBM's VM operating system .

Internet Essentials ‘99 Newsletter for the financial professional.
Here are this week’s hot topics:

1. ExploreZip.worm: How to ProtectYour Computer

2. Update your Virus Protection

3. E-Trade Ranks #1 for Online Trading

4. GTE develops E-commerce for Small Business

5. OneBox- FREE Universal Messaging (including voice mail)

6. New Technology Makes Work HARDER!

7. Get Paid to Surf the Net

8. Check Your E-mail Remotely

9. Financial XML Standard Proposed

10. Quick Hitters including

11. Free lock file tool, Web Site Garage,

To read more about these topics, go to

And that's the way it was on June 18, 1999. 

Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-736-7347 Fax: 210-736-8134  Email:

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Bob Jensen's Index Page Bob Jensen's Bookmarks New Bookmark Archives

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June 11, 1999

Bob Jensen's tips for the day.

Probably the best place to start in motivating faculty to move into newer education technologies in their courses is to motivate them in some way (e.g., funding, performance evaluation, or whatever) to take or audit a distance education course.  It is crucial that the chosen course is a great course.  For example, it would be great if Sharon Lightner allowed selected faculty to audit her online international accounting course that is taught simultaneously across four countries using an instructional team of international faculty, standard setters, and noted practitioners.  You can read about this AICPA Innovation Award course at can hear Sharon live on August 14 at the CETA workshop described at .

Bob Jensen's current server shell recommendation is Blackboard at .   Blackboard has just announced an important partnering with CREN as reported at .  However, for educators whose institutions prefer to not manage their own servers, Cyberclass is still a noteworthy alternative.  See .

You can read about the innovative way Blackboard is used at Cornell University in an article entitled "Introducing and Supporting a Web Course Management Tool," by Diane Kubarek in Syllabus, June 1999, 52-55 (the online version is not yet online, but it will soon be posted to ).  

You can hear about Cyberclass live in the HyperGraphics Corporation presentation scheduled in the Syllabus99 conference in Santa Clara, California.  The program is described at .

Accounting education innovators highlighted this week:

S. Michael Groomer, Ph.D., CPA, CISA Associate Professor of Accounting and Information Systems Indiana University and Uday S. Murthy, Ph.D., ACA Associate Professor of Accounting & Ljungdahl Fellow Texas A & M University

Accounting Information Systems: A Database Approach by Uday S. Murthy and S. Michael Groomer is the first electronic textbook in business. This state of the art accounting information systems textbook presents systems concepts, technology, and the design and development of enterprise wide systems using entity-relationship modeling and relational databases. The book is published exclusively on the World Wide Web by CyberText Publishing, Inc., a company founded by Groomer and Murthy. This company is a high tech start-up firm that uses the World Wide Web as the sole channel to deliver products to customers and receive payment for them. Given the nature of the subject matter, which is technologically rich, this book is revised prior to the beginning of each semester. In addition, the Murthy & Groomer online AIS book offers an on-line quizzing system and a number of web-based instructor tools for class management. In its second year of existence, this book has been adopted at over thirty colleges and universities worldwide (including universities in Canada, Hong Kong, and Japan). In recognition of their work in behalf of this endeavor, Groomer and Murthy received the 1998 Innovative User of Technology Award from the Indiana CPA Society.

Note:  You can see Murthy and Groomer describe (in action live) how they make their materials interactive on the Internet.  Go to  Workshop 37 described at
San Diego, August 15, 1:00-4:30 p.m.
"That Fearsome Advanced Step in Making Networked Materials Truly Interactive: Technology Veterans Demonstrate How and Why to Improve Learning "

Note from Bob Jensen:  In my AIS course, I have assigned Murthy and Groomer's online Accounting Information Systems book for two years.  My students take the weekly online quizzes.  The Murthy and Groomer materials and quizzes are about the only thing in the course that my students do not complain about.   See .

In response to your material on "Ask Jeeves" . .
(See the
June 4, 1999 edition of New Bookmarks.)

I’ve seen a couple of natural language question answerers that I’m fairly impressed with. One is at the MIT AI lab: This may be a partial answer to your question about whether there are academic applications for this technology.

I was also pretty impressed with the "Shallow Red" chatterbot at Neuromedia:

There’s a good New York Times article with lots of additional links at

Curtis Brown
Philosophy Department
Trinity University

Bob Jensen's response to the above message from Curtis:
I went to MIT AI lab web site and typed in the following questions (accompanied by the the InfoLab's answers)

Bob Jensen's First Question:  What is accounting?
MIT's InfoLab Answer: I'm afraid I can't help you with that!
Shallow Red Answer: The bot-master has not provided me with a definition of "accounting". Thank you for asking.

Bob Jensen's Second Question:   What is philosophy?
MIT's InfoLab Answer: (There were six answers --- InfoLab knows its philosophy --- perhaps to a fault.)
Shallow Red Answer: The bot-master has not provided me with a definition of "philosophy". Thank you for asking.

Should I comment further on this --- I dare not!  It would appear, however, that the knowledge bases are lacking in the most important matters (i.e., accounting).  Perhaps I should have asked about "artificial intelligence."   Actually Shallow Red is fun even if he is "shallow."  I still find Jeeves to be the least shallow of artificial intelligence knowledge bases at .

In any case, I thank you for sharing these leads on AI knowledge bases with us Curtis!  I did find the NY Times article very informative at .

Dr. Jensen,

In response to your question about AskERIC, no, it does not use any sort of artificial intelligence. Actually, AskERIC questions are forwarded to the User Services Specialist (usually a librarian by training) at the various clearinghouses throughout the ERIC system. Those people then do ERIC searches and other research to answer the questions submitted. I hope that helps you in your research. Please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions.

Maria L. Kozi
Web Site Manager ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education
800-773-3742, ext. 30

Accounting News and Helpful Information for Educators

For the most comprehensive web site containing news about accounting, investing, and accounting education, I recommend that all accountants and accounting educators make weekly visits to   (also note the comprehensive set of links).

The range of relevant websites now available to our community is huge - we don't need just another one, what we now need is a way of helping us process the data that is out there - this is where this site fits in - it's the information filter for academic accountants.

Your concern is to maximize the benefit of the Internet to your teaching and research - our aim is to scan the Internet and other sources to provide you with this service, and provide it free. There is no catch - the site is funded by advertising and sponsorship which you will note throughout the site.

This site was launched at the end of March 1999 and is currently undergoing rapid growth, but is already a valuable resource for its community. Key features of the site include:

A free weekly news feed to keep you right up to date with international developments and those more local to you - wherever you may be. Register now - only your name and email address are required. News - see the latest news items directly as they are added to our website. Reviews - independent opinions on key new publications. Jobs Database - A major global collection of jobs online for our community. Events Database - A comprehensive listing of all conferences, workshops and seminars etc in our field. Journals - This area will become the first (free) online database of contents and standing data on the main accounting journals and publications. A tremendous resource for teaching and research. Links - A searchable list of key relevant links. Library - A collection of useful resources to include papers, datasets, case materials, teaching guides, lecture notes, course information etc.

A top web site for international accounting news and resources is the ANet web site at

Don't neglect the Prentice-Hall Phlip web site maintained superbly by David Fordham at James Madison University. 
(David does a good job with this.)

AccountingNet also carries updated news in a Newsletter at .

Dryden Press has useful accounting educator  news at links at

And don't forget the Accounting Students Newsletter at .   This web site is particularly helpful in providing career helpers to students.

Yahoo! Bookmarks
This is a potentially helpful starter bookmark web site.  You can add your own folder for your own favorite bookmarks.  One advantage in doing so is that your customized Internet bookmarks file can serve two or more computers with one file that you can access from the Internet.
Warning:  This seems to be a slow server.  Hopefully, Yahoo will increase the speed of this bookmark service.

Energizing Your Teaching

The May 1999 issue of Issues in Accounting Education has an excellent section (pp. 305-368) on energizing your teaching.  David Stout from Villanova University is to be commended for organizing a special session on this topic for the Teaching and Curriculum Section at the 1998 American Accounting Association Annual Meetings.  The May 1999 abstracts are not yet available on at the AAA's web site, but eventually they will be posted to .

Billie Cunningham has some very clever suggestions in "Energizing Your Teaching:   A View from Deep in the Trenches."  Her focus is on active learning, and she is constantly energizing and refreshing her courses. I especially recommend that you look at her ideas in Table 1, pp. 313-315.  She provides some excellent suggestions for group projects.

Dennis Hanno focuses on organizing a learning community in "Energizing Your Teaching:  Developing a Community of Learning,"  In Exhibit 3 on Page 329 he provides some ideas for group projects.  He also proposes formation of a student committee (four students) to aid in feedback and communications (see Exhibit 2 on Page 326).  His particular focus is on diversity in learning communities.

G. Peter Wilson always brings excitement to any meeting and any course.  His presentation was entitled "Teaching and Learning Can Be Energizing."  He stresses setting of learning goals and strategies for achieving success.  If you are going to the 1999 AAA meetings in San Diego, you can attend a live session from Pete on either August 14 or August 15.  He is one of the presenters on August 14 in the CETA workshop described at is also conducting Workshop 24 on August 15.

The IASC announced that international accounting IASC standards will now be available on CD-ROM at .

The CD-ROM is priced at £120 per user (each single user on a stand alone PC or each concurrent user on a network). Discounts for more than FOUR single or concurrent users are available on application to IASC. Customers in the European Union (except UK) need to quote their VAT/TVA/BTW/MOMS/MWST/IVA/FPA number on the order form OR add VAT of £21 per user. Subscriptions commence with the latest CD release available and include two further update CDs. Overseas orders can be sent direct to IASC, Publications Department, 166 Fleet Street, London EC4A 2DY, United Kingdom, Telephone: +44 (171) 427-5927, Fax: +44 (171) 353-0562, E-mail:  Internet: .

The IASC international standards are also available along with accounting and auditing standards in various nations are also available on the PriceWaterhouse Coopers Researcher CD-ROM at

PricewaterhouseCooper's Researcher is a comprehensive accounting and auditing library on a single CD-ROM disc. It features a vast database covering the United States and many other parts of the world as well as commentary by PricewaterhouseCooper's professionals. The United States section includes FASB, AICPA and EITF publications. Similar authoritative literature for other countries is included where the owner of the copyright permits us to include the information.

Features include browsing, searching, cross-referencing, personal annotations, printing, and exporting text to word processing programs. PricewaterhouseCooper's Researcher can be customized to meet your company's text and image retrieval needs such as policies and procedures manuals, or other internal reports and correspondence.

I have been using the Researcher CD for a number of years.  It is a great resource, although searches are tricky.  The software has steadily improved.  This is one area where the Ask Jeeves software would really be helpful, although the Ask Jeeves software carries they hefty pricing that I discussed in the June 4, 1999 edition of New Bookmarks.

It is a good idea to track what is happening at Western Governors University at

WGU is education's online "one-stop" shop. WGU is comprised of 31 education providers from around the United States who currently offer nearly 400 courses and two dozen complete degree programs through the WGU Catalog. There's even a doctoral degree available! Plus, WGU is offering 10 of its own unique competency-based degrees and certificates. Look here to see all the academic programs currently available through WGU's Catalog.

WGU's strategy at the higher education level resembles Mike Milken's Knowledge Universe strategy at the elementary and secondary education levels. i.e. a strategy of gobbling up the competition.  Whereas Mike Milken tends to buy up top competitors, WGU forms partnerships.  The latest WGU partnering is with University Access as reported in on Page 16 of the June 1999 edition of Syllabus (the online version is not yet online, but it will soon be posted to ).  Although WGU primarily targets online courses to 21 states west of the Mississippi River, WGU formed a partnership with the North American division of the giant Open University in the United Kingdom to deliver courses east of the Mississippi River.  Some of WGU's other partners also deliver courses and programs all over the U.S.  Pricing is rather interesting.   For example, a masters degree from WGU costs a flat $3,000 tuition and is mostly comprised of courses from top universities.  Many of WGU's courses are certificate-level courses rather than academic credit courses.  However, certificate-level courses are probably the wave of the future in life-long learning (see below).

Enrollments in WGU were initially disappointing, although that is not surprising in a startup situation of something as different at WGU in higher education.  Does anybody have any information about enrollment trends and course quality?  If so please contact me at .

I mentioned above that WGU is heavy into certificate programs that are competency based.  This is one of the various "21st Century Teaching and learning Patterns" predicted in the cover article by Judith Boettcher in Syllabus, June 1999, 18-24 (the online version is not yet online, but it will soon be posted to ).  Judith Boettcher is affiliated with CREN.  She predicts the following scenarios (which appear to be heavily in line with the emerging WGU programs mentioned above):

  1. A "career university" sector will be in place (with important partnerships of major corporations with prestige universities).
  2. Most higher education institutions, perhaps 60 percent, will have teaching and learning management software systems linked to their back office administration systems.
  3. New career universities will focus on certifications, modular degrees, and skill sets.
  4. The link between courses and content for courses will be broken.
  5. Faculty work and roles will make a dramatic shift toward specialization  (with less stress upon one person being responsible for the learning material in an entire course).
  6. Students will be savvy consumers of educational services (which is consistent with the Chronicle of Higher Education article at ).
  7. The tools for teaching and learning will become as portable and ubiquitous as paper and books are today.

Judith Boettcher claims that most of her predictions are extractions of current trends.

On Page 46, the June 1999 issue of Syllabus lists a Buyer's Guide for a number of distance education programs.  These include the following:

For hundreds of other programs, you can contact the following:

Yahoo's Distance Education Guide

Petersen's Distance Learning Page

Information About Distance Learning

Note Appendix 1 at

Distance Learning, the Internet, and the World Wide Web. ERIC Digest by   Kerka, Sandra

U.S. Department of Education's Nationally Recognized Accrediting Agencies and Associations

According to David Welton of CSU-Chico, distance education will get a boost in the arm from WebTV delivery in cheap set-top boxes on television sets.  WebTV greatly improves upon television reading of text and has many of the advantages taking a course on the computer.  One drawback that remains is that WebTV is unable to display multiple windows like computers display multiple windows.  Also Java Applet support is still not available on WebTV.  However, many persons who watch TV but shy away from the complexities of a computer may be drawn to interactive education on their TV sets.   The full article by David Welton is entitled "A Web-Based Distance Learning Experience:  WebTV," in Syllabus, June 1999, 56-57 (the online version is not yet online, but it will soon be posted to ).

Also see the WebTV Network at .

Many universities do not have adequate support facilities for training faculty in new technologies and technical support teams for course adaptations to new technologies.   George Culp from the University of Texas at Austin provides some helpful guides for "Establishing a Center for Instructional Technologies" as reported in pp. 34-36 in the June 1999 edition of Syllabus (the online version is not yet online, but it will soon be posted to ).  The article also discusses innovative ways of funding such a center.

A free email journal called "Need-To-Know" provides helpful information for technolgoy center investments and operations.  Send a subscription request via email to

Many educators would like to put more materials on the web, but they are concerned about protecting access to all or parts of documents.  For example, a professor may want to share a case with the world but limit the accompanying case solution to selected users.  Or a professor may want to make certain lecture notes available but limit the access of certain copyrighted portions to students in a particular course.   If protecting parts of your documents is of great interest, you may want to consider NetCloak from Maxum at .  You can download a free trial version.

NetCloak Professional Edition combines the power of Maxum's classic combo, NetCloak and NetForms, into a single CGI application or WebSTAR API plug-in. With NetCloak Pro, you can use HTML forms on your web site to create or update your web pages on the fly. Or you can store form data in text files for importing into spreadsheets or databases off-line. Using NetCloak Pro, you can easily create online discussion forums, classified ads, chat systems, self-maintaining home pages, frequently-asked-question lists, or online order forms!

NetCloak Pro also gives your web site access to e-mail. Users can send e-mail messages via HTML forms, and NetCloak Pro can create or update web pages whenever an e-mail message is received by any e-mail address. Imagine providing HTML archives of your favorite mailing lists in minutes!

NetCloak Pro allows users to "cloak" pages individually or "cloak" individual paragraphs or text strings.  The level of security seems to be much higher than scripted passwords such as scripted passwords in JavaScript or VBScript.

Eric Press led me to   (Thank you Eric, and thanks for the "two lunches")

Richard Campbell responded as follows:

Alternatives to using Netcloak: 1. Symantec  has a free utility called Secret which will password-protect any type of file.

2. Winzip  has a another shareware utility called Winzip - Self-Extractor, which has a password protect capability. The advantage to this approach is that you can bundle different file types (.doc, xls) , zip them and you can have them automatically install to a folder that you have named. If you have a shareware install utility that creates a setup.exe routine, you also can have it install automatically on the student's machine. The price of this product is about $30.

HotMetal Pro claims to be superior to Microsoft FrontPage for web sites and web documents

If you are after easy-to-use course management software or campus management software (for managing multiple departments or programs), you may want to consider WebCourse in a Box or the Course Builder Toolbox products from MadDuck Technologies at

Become a part of the G8 Summit annual meetings of the heads of state of the eight leading industrialized nations --- macroeconomic management, international trade, and relations with developing countries.  This web site is very professional and sets a standard for how to share meetings with the world.  From the University of Toronto and eCollege (formerly Real Education)

Ubiquitous specialty computers and Internet devices:  Are they the nemesis of Microsoft Corporation?

"Clever New Gadget Makes E-Mail Very Easy," By Walter S. Mossberg, WSJ Personal Technology Column,   .  Excerpts from Walter's article are shown below:

MY MOTHER has been sending me e-mail lately. To some of you, that's no big deal. But my Mom is 75 years old and has never touched a computer. She's a smart woman, a formidable woman, just not a woman who cares to spend her golden years wrestling with a personal computer. So, Rhoda Mossberg wasn't on e-mail. But that was before the MailStation people arrived in my office.

The MailStation is a new $99 e-mail machine, small and friendly and intended for computer-averse people like my mother, and millions of others even younger. It's from Cidco of Morgan Hill, Calif., a big maker of telephone gear such as caller-ID boxes. The machine nominally goes for $149 and comes with built-in e-mail service that costs $10 a month. But if you pay for a year of service up front, you get the machine for $99 and the service for another $99 for the year, or $8.25 a month for an unlimited number of e-mail messages.

The MailStation is the latest in a new class of devices I've been advocating for years, called information appliances. Unlike a general-purpose PC, which tries to do everything and winds up being way too complex, these appliances are customized for performing only a handful of digital tasks very easily and well. Examples of info appliances around today are the Palm handheld computers, WebTV set-top boxes and Sony PlayStation game machines. All are computers, but they're not general-purpose computers.

Things that make Cidco's MailStation unique among specialty devices are a fully functional keyboard, a screen that will let you read up to 12 lines of an email message at a time, a spell checker, and other features in a device small enough to fit in a purse.

The MailStation is just one of many forthcoming Internet devices and specialty products that takes a subset of things we can do on a full computer and makes then easier to use on a smaller device that does not require a complex operating system such as the Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. 

The Psion Series 5 gives you the computing power that you need without the excess weight. It has a touch type
keyboard and full page width touch-sensitive screen, yet weighs less than 13 ounces (or less than 360g), has around 35 hours of battery life and fits into your pocket. The Series 5 handheld computer is compatible with all leading Windows 95/NT4 word processors, spreadsheets and databases, and synchronizes with schedule and contacts software on your desktop PC, including Microsoft, Lotus, Corel, WordPerfect and other applications. PsiWin 2 - included as standard - docks your Series 5 to your PC.  See

The market share leader in the latest PDA devices is Palm VII.  The Internet connections to the world are wireless and use only AAA batteries.   I wish it had a keyboard when it is not connected to a PC.  But there are some great features in spite of not having a keyboard.  For a Palm VII product review, see .
The Palm home page is at

Stan Gibson has some doubts about these Internet devices and specialty computers in an article entitled "Non-PC devices are fine, but they're not, well, PCs .",4351,404732,00.html

News from or about Microsoft Corporation

PC Labs review of some great Office 2000 tools,4153,406031,00.html

Office 2000 Developer Preview

SQL Server 7.0 and XML Power Microsoft’s Product Catalog

Microsoft Helps Consumers Make Their Home Computers Y2K-Proof

WebTV: Simplicity, Convenience, and Customer Satisfaction

Free download of Microsoft Vizact 2000 Preview (for creation of interactive documents)

Two Microsoft acronyms everybody should memorize are ADO and RDS.  See .  Alternately, you can look up "database" at .


If you like collecting lots of Favorites, but you’re not good at organizing them, then you have a problem. Trying to find a specific Favorite by scanning through a large Favorites menu can be like trying to find the proverbial needle in a haystack. But you can locate those hard to find Favorites using the Windows Start Menu Find function. To track down a Favorite, first go to the Windows Start menu and select Find/Files or Folders.... Windows will display a Find: All Files dialog box. In the Look in: dropdown box, type C:\WINDOWS\Favorites, or browse to this directory. Finally, type the Favorite name you want to search in the Named: dropdown box and click the Find Now button. Windows will display all the Favorites that match your query and list information about each Favorite’s name, directory location, size, type, and date modified. If there are multiple results, you can click on the column information title and sort the results by name, date, and so on.

For other Microsoft product tips, go to the Microsoft Product Insider Web site and click on any Product Start Page.

Andrew Priest, 30 May 1999

A recent Chronicle of Higher Education article, "Students Say They Check Courses' Web Pages Before Deciding to Enroll" suggests that at least some students believe that "the best professors are the ones who bother to make Web pages for their courses." The article goes on to suggest, that web pages are used as basis of unit (or course) selection!   See .

Virtually all universities will soon become fiercely competitive as a result of this trend among student recruits. 

Andrew Priest , 30 May 1999

The above paper by Catherine Hardy has been released in abbreviated on the Australian CPA website. The paper is, from this source, only available to ASCPA members. The author does however, invite interested persons to email her direct for a fuller copy of the paper. Catherine can be contacted at .

If you know any accounting educators with helpful materials on the web, please ask them to link their materials  in the American Accounting Association's Accounting Coursepage Exchange (ACE) web site at

Please send these professors email messages today and urge them to share as much as they can with the academy by easily registering their course pages with ACE. 

This week's featured ACE professor is Heidemarie Lundblad
Institution: California State University, Northridge
Course Title: Accounting 301 -Intermediate Accounting II
Textbook: Intermediate Accounting
Authors: Chasteen, Flaherty, O'Connor
Professor Lundblad shares some problem solutions and examples (bonds, SFAS 76, pensions, leases, etc.) that can be downloaded into your computer.  Thank you for sharing Heidemarie.

Bob Jensen's favorite TV show --- Computer Chronicles on PBS

Computer security:  The latest on hack attacks,4153,1014940,00.html

Why the Feds are so easily hack attacked,4351,406084,00.html

Hi Bob,

Wait until you read this newsletter. I just had to forward this item to you. Mitchell Levy has 1,600 subscribers and I can see why. His analysis is squarely focused on business to business over the Internet. Great insight and great Web references throughout the newsletter. Enjoy.
Neal Hannon

From Bob Jensen:  I did not paste in the rather lengthy message forwarded by Neal.   After skimming a few articles, it appears that Mitchell Levy really has a street-smart handle on what is happening on the streets of e-commerce (EC), e-marketing, and new technologies.  I signed up.  The main link to the newsletter is at

Levy identifies the following top 10 trends in e-commerce:

1999 and 2000 will be the years of "show me the money", essentially companies will continue to demonstrate success with EC while small to medium enterprises (SME's) flock to the net

#09 - Will see a non US-based player dominating some EC space

#08 - SHOPPING: a) Wallets and "impulse buying" will take root, b) Price-driven buying: looking for the best deals will be a big play and c) Special EC function keys will appear on key boards

#07 - Continued price transparency with auctions and other real-time pricing vehicles...will see prices for scarce items increase and prices for commodities decrease

#06 - Continue growth of affinity groups (e.g. Chemdex, Metalsite, Rosettanet, etc.)

#05 - Dramatic increase in access speeds and appliances (mobile devices, ATMs, home/office appliances, etc.) connecting to the Web and integrated into EC applications

#04 - More top-level executives will focus on and be responsible for EC

#03 - Movement of EC to a service industry rather than purely product or technology driven...Outsourcing EC functions becomes very popular

#02 - Companies will begin to recognize that the value-added stuff begins after the customer hits "submit order"...Customer service will become the point of differentiation

#01 - While consumer-based security concerns continue to decrease, privacy concerns will increase leading companies for focus on the non-monetary forms of currency (time, attention & trust)

Some excerpts in a message from Phil Livingston

Cash Forecasting - Richard Wallman, CFO of Allied Signal, did a great presentation on cash flow forecasting and the revenue chain process. I highly recommend it to you. Here is a link to the Powerpoint presentation: If you have a presentation like this, on any topic, send it to me and we will share it with other FEIers.

Case-Study Companies Needed for New FERF Research Project - Last week the FERF Trustees (led by Don Macleod, CFO of National Semiconductor, Arthur Neis, CFO of Life Care Services, and Larry Prendergast, CEO of AT&T Investment Management) approved three new research projects. One of those is a study of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems implementations in small to medium-sized companies, ($100 million to $500 million in revenue). If you have implemented an ERP system, consider being a FERF case-study company. You’ll help your peers heading down the same path. Call Gracie Hemphill, FERF project manager, at 973.898.4664 or e-mail at

International Accounting Standards - Ed Jenkins, chairman of the FASB, gave an important talk in Vancouver about the future of international accounting standards. We have the text of his talk on our website at Ed nicely summarizes the goals of proposed changes to international accounting standards. This is a hot and important topic and that comes through upon reading this paper.

Phil Livingston
President and CEO
Financial Executives Institute

Thank you Chris Faye
Some Tools for the Timing of Investments - free services from the The Wall Street Journal.

Financial information and message board service
Raging Bull

Tell your kids - Fastest Growing Occupations

The top winners (not many surprises) are ranked as follows:

Database administrators, computer support specialists, and all other computer scientists -  Bachelor’s degree
Computer engineers -  Bachelor’s degree
Systems analysts --Bachelor’s degree
Personal and home care aides - Short-term on-the-job training
Physical and corrective therapy assistants and aides - Moderate-term on-the-job training
Home health aides - Short-term on-the-job training
Medical assistants - Moderate-term on-the-job training

Books we should all be reading this summer if we only had the time Books

Book reviews for those of us without much spare time.  A free, searchable library of more than 50,000 New York Times book reviews

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers help to small businesses
Small Business Gateway—EPA

Free trials of over 650 magazines

- Identifies who to send your complaint to.
- Writes a professional complaint letter
- Sends the letters to you with envelopes addressed to the Chief Executive and the Customer Care Executive of the company.

Then you:
- Review the letters, add your signature, and include any supporting documentation.

BBC World Service - Audio archives of the 20th Century

Americans for the Arts

National Bird-Feeding Society (really)

The ADAM Heath Web Site

A Message on XML from InformationWeek Daily

Financial XML Standard Proposed

A proposed standard for wholesale financial-services transactions on the Internet was released yesterday by J.P. Morgan & Co. and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Based on the Extensible Markup Language-the rapidly growing Internet standard for data sharing between applications-the Financial Products Markup Language is designed to handle integration of Internet services such as electronic trading and confirmations, risk analysis, and the exchange of market data. J.P. Morgan is working on a suite of client services that employ the standard. J.P. Morgan and PricewaterhouseCoopers are working for the language to gain industry acceptance, and will begin a series of workshops and seminars next month for the financial-services industry, software vendors, and others. · Bruce Caldwell

For more on XML, see "Join The Standards Debate"

A message from Neal Hannon

Welcome to the latest edition of the Internet Essentials ‘99 Newsletter for the financial professional.
Here are this week’s hot topics:

1.’s Electronic Commerce Web sites

2. Extranets for Financial Services

3. Bob Jensen’s Accounting and Finance Updates

4. Improve your Business Research with Tutorial

5. Message from President

6. VORTALS: The vertical industry e-business answer

7. Unscramble attachments using WinZip

8. Good e-books are coming.

9. Quick hitters including MR. WAKE-UP, free phone wake-up calls, news for nerds, and more.

And that's the way it was on June 11, 1999.  Factoid:   A duck’s quack doesn’t echo, and no one knows why this is so.  (But that was before ducks started using email.)

Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-736-7347 Fax: 210-736-8134  Email:

Hline.jpg (568 bytes)

Bob Jensen's Index Page Bob Jensen's Bookmarks New Bookmark Archives

Hline.jpg (568 bytes)

June 4, 1999

There are some great continuing education program modules this year.   Accounting educators and others attending the annual American Accounting Association meetings in San Diego in August should note that the Continuing Education Program (CEP) sessions are now listed at

Information about the entire meeting details can be found at

A historical listing of AccountingNet's chosen Web Sites of the Week (Scroll down to "See Past Winners Search")

Find out what's new in U.S. Universities (added to monthly) /

Thank you Richard Meyer
Reveal is an automated alerting service that delivers the tables of contents of your favorite periodicals directly to your e-mail box. The UnCover Reveal service also allows you to create search strategies for your favorite topics. These search strategies are then run against the entire UnCover database of 17,000 periodicals, and weekly alerts on the latest articles published on the specified topics are also delivered to the your e-mail address.

The Coates Library has established a Reveal subscription for Trinity U. faculty only. Faculty can set up their own accounts by following the instructions below. Please ask for help from your liaison librarian if you encounter any problems setting up an account.  Trinity faculty should go to .
Everyone else can go to (A single-user fee is $25 per year)

Tom Hicks has some really helpful tutorials for authoring and networking   (Go to tutorials)

I am finding the following tutorial especially helpful:  "Introduction To Programming ODBC On Windows 95/NT/NT Server for Database Distribution & Access via the Web"

Thanks for sharing Tom!

Please share your answer to the following question:
Are there any applications of "Ask Jeeves" or related artificial intelligence natural language searching software in academe (universities, libraries, or academic associations)?

When I visited the Ask Jeeves web site, I did not find any serious applications in academe. What a pity!  See . For example, I can ask Jeeves about the weather at the University of California, but I cannot ask about any technical expertise of accounting professors at UC.  Of course the $400,000 to $1,000,000 price for Ask Jeeves software is a high hurdle to cross in the world of academe.  Unlike most other web sites, the Ask Jeeves web site uses artificial intelligence for natural language questions?  It also gives listings of hits in other search engine databases besides its own huge database.

When reading the following article, it struck me like a thunderbolt that this is what is needed for higher education is an Ask Jeeves type of knowledge database in virtually every discipline.  What a marvelous thing it would be to put academic expert transcriptions on a server along with other reference materials and then use the natural language capabilities of "Ask Jeeves" software or similar types of software. For a review of "Ask Jeeves" software see

This is another sad example of where academe badly lags private industry in utilizing emerging technologies. We have billions of dollars of resources, but our infrastructures and traditions just do not allow us to shift priorities in budgeting. This is one area where the R1 universities have a tremendous opportunity and comparative advantage to become leaders in knowledge base innovations.  Dell Corporation, Toshiba, and many other hardware and software vendors have adopted Ask Jeeves software for answering technical support questions. 

Yahoo is still my choice if you have a particular web search category.  However, my first choice in general is now Ask Jeeves because of the neat way I can type a natural language query for Jeeves.  I suggest that you ask Jeeves a question just for kicks and then see how fast you get hooked on Jeeves.  See .

From Infobits
The ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education (ERIC-HE) is offering two new services. "ERIC Higher Education News" is ERIC-HE's new quarterly electronic newsletter featuring items of interest to the higher education community. The first issue is available on the Web at ERIC/HE  has introduced a search tutorial for ERIC database users. The tutorial covers everything from Boolean operators to relevance ranking, and even includes nine search exercises. The tutorial is on the Web at ERIC-HE is one of sixteen clearinghouses in the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC), a federally-funded national information system provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

For more information about ERIC-HE, contact ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education, The George Washington University, Graduate School of Education and Human Development, One Dupont Circle, Suite 630, Washington, DC 20036-1183 USA; tel: 202-296-2597; fax: 202-452-1844; email:; Web:   The ERIC database is a service of AskERIC, a "personalized Internet-based service providing education information to teachers, librarians, counselors, administrators, parents, and others throughout the United States and the world." AskERIC and the ERIC database are accessible on the Web at

Investing in E-Commerce and other technologies poses huge problems for business decision makers, because the popular investment criteria such as Return on Investment (ROI) are so difficult to compute and there are so many uncertainties about both investments and returns.  These topics make interesting case studies in both managerial accounting and accounting information systems courses.  Two articles of interest are as follows:

"E-Commerce: New Sense of Urgency Companies Rush For Online Market Share Flurry of multimillion-dollar deals signals new effort to be competitive in E-commerce," by Clinton Wilder in Information Week, May 24, 1999, 48-56.

"Rethinking ROI Some projects have become so important that companies are looking for new ways to measure their return on investment--or are dispensing wtih ROI studies completely," by Tom Stein in Information Week, May 24, 1999, 59-68.

Both articles deal with problems of ROI as a criterion for investment decisions and performance evaluation.  The online versions of these articles can be found at

One of our accounting educator experts on such matters is Amy Ray at the University of Tennessee.  Since joining UT, she has received a grant to participate as part of an external review team for Allen Bradley (1992) and is currently a member of a UT team awarded an NSF grant to conduct a joint study with Eastman Chemical.   See

The May/June 1999 issue of Educom Review is available in hard copy and in electronic form at . This issue has two articles about coaches versus teachers in education.   On Page 28, Don Norman states the following:

So the real trick in education is to provide just the right level of difficulty to allow learning to occur and not to allow frustration to occur.  If students are too frustrated, they will just give up.   I would like to see a much more interactive style of lecturing where professors become coaches as opposed to the source of all knowledge.

On Page 22, Peter Denning states writes as follows:

Nevertheless, many faculty feel disoriented as teachers in the world of multimedia, web-based modules, TV links, live-boards, chat rooms and other affects of information technology.  They have not been trained as coaches and managers and their institutions offer no significant development programs to help them learn; and yet at some point they will be evaluated more on the results produced by their students than on opinions of their faculty peers.  They are professionals but do not see that this is the primary reason that students come to them.  Herein lies the major opportunity for professional success of teachers.

To this I might add the problem of overcoming biases of students --- they expect teachers to teach rather than be "coaches and managers."  Even if their learning is superior and longer-lasting after being coached and managed, they may give low ratings to educators for not teaching.  Being taught, in viewpoint of many students, means not having to learn as much on their own and having to read less and sweat less.    Students seek out teachers who funnel feed great knowledge with masterful wisdom.  It is the hard-hearted and battle-scarred coach who can overcome the urge to be popular knowing that without pain there is not gain.   My more detailed comments about this are located at

Distance Education and Accreditation Guides

Yahoo's Distance Education Guide

Petersen's Distance Learning Page

Information About Distance Learning

Note Appendix 1 at

Distance Learning, the Internet, and the World Wide Web. ERIC Digest by   Kerka, Sandra

U.S. Department of Education's Nationally Recognized Accrediting Agencies and Associations

Some additional web sites for education statistics

Condition of Education (Annual Report to the U.S. Congress)

Education Statistics Slide Show (Thank you Grace York for this great free reference service from the University of Michigan)

Digest of Education Statistics

U.S. Department of Education


UNESCO Statistical Yearbook


This is a really interesting web site for comparing nations.  You can compare any two nations on subsets of statistics that you choose yourself (the choices in education comparisons are severely limited).

This is a really useful education technology and education assessment search engine

You will also find an Evaluation and Learning Assessment section at

If you know any accounting educators with helpful materials on the web, please ask them to link their materials  in the American Accounting Association's Accounting Coursepage Exchange (ACE) web site at
Please send these professors email messages today and urge them to share as much as they can with the academy by easily registering their course pages with ACE. 

This week's featured ACE professor is Susan Crosson at Santa Fe Community College, FL
Course Name:  ACG2001 Principles of Accounting I
Textbook:  Principles of Accounting
Author(s):  Needles, Powers, Mills, Anderson
Course Web Site:
Among other things, Amy shares her PowerPoint presentations (with or without audio) and homework templates.  Thank you for sharing Amy.

News from or about Microsoft

What useful changes should we expect in Microsoft's Access 2000?,5594,2214470,00.html

Half-baked features of Microsoft's Access 2000 (features ADO issues in networked databases),5594,2214506,00.html

Access 2000 conclusion (some great enhancements along with programming nightmares),5594,2214533,00.html

What useful changes should we expect in Microsoft's Outlook 2000?,5594,2214300,00.html

What's missing in Microsoft's Outlook 2000?,5594,2214448,00.html

What is the conclusion on Microsoft's Outlook 2000 in general?
(While I was writing this sentence, Outlook 1997 idling in background crashed my system.  I hope Outlook 2000 is more stable.),5594,2214455,00.html

What’s new in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 5?

Microsoft Antitrust Trial Resumes

A historical listing of the ZDNet Hotfile of the Day

Trends in voice/data hardware and software,4153,405330,00.html

Computer jargon (I have added some new things)

Child and Family News (from Tufts University)

Accounting jargon (I have added some new things)

This week's featured accounting education innovation comes from A. Faye Borthick at Georgia State University.  The project is entitled "Collaborative Discovery Learning Online in an Information Systems Assurance Course" at

This enhancement is the use of collaborative discovery learning online in a masters course Information Systems Assurance at Georgia State University (syllabus at ).Collaborative discovery learning online was implemented with synchronous class sessions conducted over the Internet with a chat room for discussions and a presentation frame for access to web sites containing course resources and student work. The basis for the enhancement is the idea that immersing learners in a community of practice in which they solve problems together (collaborative discovery learning) is more likely to be effective in preparing students for work environments in which new problems are the norm and professionals work collaboratively to solve them than learning events characterized by teachers standing in front of classes dispensing knowledge. That is, it is more important to help students learn how to find or create knowledge as they need it and to negotiate its meaning within the community of practice than to teach them only what the teacher believes they need to know now. In addition to class sessions, examinations were administered over the Internet. The enhancement has the benefits of making learning more effective due to its use of collaborative discovery learning online, more accessible because participants may be anywhere they have Internet access, and more affordable because the course could be available to students in universities where it has been economically infeasible to offer it locally.

Apple Corporation's operating system for its Mac OS X servers is called "Darwin."  Apple announced that it will make the Darwin source code available to developers.  It is a variant of UNIX.

The campus PC versus Mac war is reheating with Stanford University finding the scale tipped in favor of the Mac

A more complete discussion of IT on trends for campus computing can be found at,4351,403642,00.html

If you go the PC route, you can find some pointers at

Journal of Digital Informations

M/C/T (Journal of Media, Culture and Technology)
The first issue (published in English) is available at

How to avoid Windows system crashes using the Resource Meter

Some insights on how Lycos uses a database system for its huge search engines,4153,403643,00.html

From InfoBits
The Ohio University Telecommunications Center’s Website, "Wired for Books," contains not only published works of local and canonical authors, but also the voices of authors and actors reading selections. By downloading Real Network’s free software, RealPlayer, you can hear the works while reading along with the texts on the Website. (A link to the RealPlayer software is included on the Website.) Authors currently included are poets Emily Dickenson, Terry Anderson, Bonnie Proudfoot, and Rabindranath Tagore. One of the site’s most frequently-visited features is an animated slide show of Beatrix Potter’s "The Tale of Peter Rabbit." The site also includes audio segments of Ohio University scholars discussing the works of Raymond Carver, Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, and Leo Tolstoy.
Access "Wired for Books" at

Some tips for novices when purchasing a PC (in case you didn't see this link above)

Some tips on purchasing the Palm VII (this is a hot PDA item)

Some consumer tips on products in general,1516,1-0-0,FF.html

Consumer suggestion web site

Comments on defective products

Teaching resources for science educators

The Unbound Bible

The complete works of William Shakespeare in digitized form

Search for wild life photographs

Foto8 (Photographs from around the world)

The Long Walk of Nelson Mandela (PBS)

Culture Machine

PBS claims the transistor was probably the most important invention in the 20th Century

America Quilts

Eventually we will all be able to put our own virtual body on the web and then go shopping for apparel.  Full-figured women can do this now (for clothing from some of the major department stores)

Focus on Math in the T.H.E. Journal, May 1999, p. 32

The KnowZone
Addison Wesley Longman
Reading, MA
(877) 262-8774
Online Reader Service #401

Geometry World
Cognitive Technologies Corporation
Rockville, MD
(800) 335-0781
Online Reader Service #402

Math FactMaster
Curriculum Associates, Inc.
North Billerica, MA
(800) 225-0248
Online Reader Service #403

Awesome Animated Monster Maker Math
Houghton Mifflin Interactive
Somerville, MA
(800) 829-7962
Online Reader Service #404

JumpStart for Kindergartners
Knowledge Adventure
Torrance, CA
(800) 545-7677
Online Reader Service #405
Link-Systems International
Tampa, FL
(813) 615-0377
Online Reader Service #406

Math Shop Deluxe
Scholastic New Media
Jefferson City, MO
(800) Scholastic
Online Reader Service #407

San Antonio, TX
(877) SOF-MATH
Online Reader Service #408

Algebra Assistant
Pre-Calculus Assistant
Calculus Assistant
Santa Clara, CA
(800) 361-1001
Online Reade


Language translation services:

Berlitz Translation Services
Geonexus at
Organic Online

And don't forget the free Alta Vista service at

Updates on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems
Information Week on May 10, 1999, Page 26 elaborates its notices that SpeechWorks International has speech recognition
modules for ERP systems. For example, these modules can now be deployed in SAP.  See

Some new features of PeopleSoft for academic advisement, admissions and recruitment, campus community, financial aid, student records, etc. are discussed in T.H.E. Journal, May 1999, p. 10. 

Some of the disappointments of companies that deployed SAP are reviewed in Information Week, May 24, 1999, pp.
59-68. The online version is available at .

For a comments of educators who have installed SAP or other ERP education modules in curricula, see

Hi Bob,

I just ran across a fascinating article on paper-like electronic displays.

From the below referenced article:

"E Ink will use a dark liquid dye containing white particles that rise up and become visible in response to an electric field. The white particles create a reflective background, while the dark dye forms images. Initially, this principle will be applied in big panels that look like posters while functioning as giant video screens, suitable for point-of-sale advertising in retail stores. "We should have our first commercial products by the end of this year," Wilcox predicts. Joe Jacobson believes the system can be refined as a stack of "video pages" bound into a book powered by batteries in the spine. Plug the book into a telephone jack, and downloaded text will appear magically on the pages. Wilcox cautions, however, that this concept is at least five years away from realization."

My guess is that in 5 years we will have the above devices available and they will quickly become as popular as hand-held computers.

Neal Hannon Bus 401-232-6227 Fax 815-346-1735
FREE Newsletter=

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
~ George Bernard Shaw ~ (1856-1950, Irish-born British Dramatist)

This week from Neal Hannon

Here are this week’s hot topics:

1. Send AND Receive Faxes for Free.

2. Add a free stock ticker to your Web site.

3. What’s up with Cell Phones and Cancer?

4. Rate Your ISP. Time to find a new one?

5. Built a Y2K Crisis Center Yet?

6. NewsScan: Worth Thinking About

7. After-hours Trading is Here.

8. Planning a Wedding? A Must See Planning Site.

To read about the above items, go to the newsletter:

From Phil Livingston (and Arthur Levitt):
Audit Committee Effectiveness - After receiving many input letters from members and then debating the issues again, our Committee on Corporate Reporting and the FEI Executive Committee issued FEI’s final position on the Blue Ribbon Panel’s Recommendations on Audit Committee Effectiveness. Here is a link to the final letter to SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt: The NY Times did an article on our position. The article itself was balanced, but as I’ve seen happen so many times the headline writers got us. Here is a link to the Times article as well. Type in "Financial Executives Institute" in parentheses in the keyword search (you’ll need to register if you haven’t already):

Phil Livingston, President and CEO
Financial Executives Institute

Hi Robert,
George Bodnar asked me to contribute a review of his Omnis Mus project, and said that you would collect and post those reviews.

I have used Omnis Mus for several semesters in our introductory financial accounting course. In my opinion, Omnis Mus is an excellent program for a course at that level. There are three reasons I prefer Omnis Mus to other programs I have used: a much better cost/benefit ratio that many programs with similar goals, the flexibility to change between debits/credits and increases/decreases to account balances, and a more realistic experience when compared to commercial accounting programs.

The primary reason I prefer Omnis Mus is that it offers a really good cost/benefit ratio. I adopted this program after trying others which were cost more and took much more time for students to complete. The program costs only $10, and my students reported an average completion time of about six hours. In comparison, previous programs had cost around $40 to $50 and had taken over twenty hours to complete. This relatively short time requirement allows me to include other important outside of class activities like group projects and an optional manual practice set without overburdening busy students.

A second reason I prefer Omnis Mus is that it allows students to prepare entries based either on debits and credits or on increases and decreases in account balances. This flexibility allows me to reduce the coverage of debits and credits in the course to a minimum, a great service to the non accounting major. Meanwhile, I recommend that accounting majors use the debit/credit mode to increase their comfort with making formal journal entries before more advanced classes.

The third reason I prefer Omnis Mus is that it interfaces with students in a professional manner that closely resembles commercial software. Students felt that some other programs, in their attempts to be interactive, became "cutesy." They appreciate being treated as adults while learning.

Barbara McElroy
Berry College

Following my request that she also discuss some of the disadvantages, Barbara replied as follows:

I understand your concern. I explain below what I saw as the primary disadvantages of Omnis Mus and why I did not include them in my original review. You have my permission to use this information as well, so long as you make it clear that these concerns may have been addressed.

The major disadvantages (when I used the program in the 1997/1998 school year) were two. On the students’ side, the program lacked documentation. Students with less computer experience thus found it difficult to install and use, though those with more experience had no such complaints. From my perspective, the need to deal with making copies, collecting payment, and remitting payment to George was a nightmare. I spoke to George about making it available through the bookstore and providing documentation but he was unwilling. The second semester of use, I had a computer science student develop documentation as a class project and had the computer lab make copies and collect payment, so all I had to do was mail one check to George . Complaints from students fell dramatically as well. I did not use Omins Mus this year, because my teaching assignment changed, but I understand that the program is now available on the Web, and has on-line support, so I did not include these disadvantages because they may be outdated.

Barbara McElroy

A listing of schools that have used Omnis Mus is provided at

And that's the way it was on June 4, 1999.

Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-736-7347 Fax: 210-736-8134  Email:

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Bob Jensen's Index Page Bob Jensen's Bookmarks New Bookmark Archives

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May 28, 1999

For those poor souls who really want to keep me on file, please note my new phone numbers at the bottom of this message.   All phone numbers at Trinity University have replaced the 736 prefix with 999.  Like most people these days, I prefer email messages to phone calls, but there still is a telephone somewhere in my office --- "buried somewhere" I should have said.

Bob Jensen's Bookmarks (with a more efficient new look) are located at

Accounting educators and others attending the annual American Accounting Association meetings in San Diego in August should note that the Continuing Education Program (CEP) sessions are now listed at

Blatant bragging
Dear Bob,

My name is Laura Bergstrom and I am the assistant editor at AccountingNet’s Web site, AccountingNet is an online publisher of accounting news and research materials, visited by more than 100,000 viewers each month.

We recently added a feature to our site called, "AccountingNet’s Site of the Week." Each week, AccountingNet highlights one Web site that benefits the accounting industry and effectively utilizes technology. I am contacting you because we have selected your homepage as our next Site of the Week award winner!

Beginning May 24, we will highlight your Web site as our Site of the Week.

Please take a look at the write up by visiting this URL: We have also created a Site of the Week graphic, which we welcome you to use on your Web site to highlight your award.

Again, congratulations and thank you for providing such a valuable online service. Instructions for using the graphic are attached below.

Best Regards,
Laura Bergstrom
Assistant Editor/Assistant Product Manager
600 Stewart Street Suite #1101
Seattle, WA 98101
206.441.8285 ext. 237

Responses to questions about building Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) modules into business education curricula.  This includes responses of adopters of SAP, JD Edwards, and other ERP software.

An article on the latest moves and strategies of ERP vendors can be found at

Business research on the web or business people, academics, and investors offered by the online information provider, Inc (includes book reviews)

City of University of Hong Kong Accounting and Corporate Law Centre

We hear a lot about paperless offices, paperless audits, paperless libraries, etc.  There is a fragile side of digital storage that is reviewed by Peter Coffee at,4351,402267,00.html

The Future of Computing (Thank you to Neal Hannon for this link._
The Network World Fusion Newsletter if free.

I registered on May 11 and was led to some interesting articles, including "Networks of the Future," By Neal Weinberg. 

1. Decline of the desktop.

Bob Metcalfe, Ethernet inventor and industry pundit, argues that 10 years from now, PCs will be the exception rather than the rule, "with Wintel machines only a bit more important than punched cards today." He sees PCs being knocked off their perch by network computers, Internet appliances (which would include anything from telephone-like devices to televisions), and nondesktop computers, such as enterprise servers and wearable computers.

2. The Internet will rule.

Ten years from now, at least half of all business transactions will take place online, predicts Ray Kurzweil, a pioneer in print-to-speech reading machines and speech recognition technology.

Issues such as security, authentication and quality of service (QoS) will all have been solved, says Internet guru Esther Dyson, chairman of EDventure Holdings in New York. The Internet will be "the basis of everything," she says.

100 (Commercial) Innovators of Internet Technology,4153,402016,00.html

Thank you Phil Livingston
FEI information on SFAS 133
Phil says his comments here don’t do justice to the full letters and these complex subjects, so here is the link to the documents: and

FAS 133 - Acct. for Derivatives - The FASB voted Wednesday to delay FAS 133 by one year. The new effective date is for fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2000. An exposure draft will be available on Thursday or Friday on the FASB website ( and will have a 30-day comment period. The amendment is expected to be issued by June 30. Companies that have already implemented FAS 133 will not be permitted to revert to the previous accounting. As I discussed in earlier FEI Express messages, we weighed in heavily on this subject, and I think we influenced the process in a positive way.

While this delay will provide for a better implementation of FAS 133, it is our duty to make the best use of the time. One of the reasons for the delay is to get all the implementation issues on the table and ruled on. As a group we need to very quickly identify all unanswered issues and have them clarified by the FASB’s "Derivatives Implementation Group" - known affectionately (sort of) by true accounting aficionados as the "DIG." FEI member Susan Schmidt Bies, executive vice president, First Tennessee National Corporation, is leading our committee on this matter. Your key problems and questions regarding FAS 133 should be sent to and we will get them to Susan.
Phil Livingston

Shared courseware on Business Strategies

Worth Online’s Top 50 CEOs

Philosophy Research Base

Thank you Kibraim
IE 5.0 can be a pretty big nightmare, so CNet picked five horrific tales of terror and turned each one into a sweet dream:

We really need more acronyms.  The latest is the marriage of XML with HTML that will conceive a baby named XHTML.  You can read about it in an article entitled "HTML is headed for marriage with HTML" at,4153,2258806,00.html

"Microsoft Bets Big on XML," as claimed by Jeffrey Schwartz at

"XML will revolutionize the usage of the Web to make it the business driver that it can be in terms of application integration and more advanced forms of e-commerce," said Paul Maritz, group vice president for Microsoft's developer group, who gave the keynote address at Microsoft's TechEd conference here today.

Bob Jensen's brief review of XML and RDF can be found at

Upon returning home to nearly 500 email messages, I found a bunch of Mac users cursing Microsoft products.  Shame on you!  Microsoft is above reproach.  You can read more about lab tests of operating systems "The last word:  Shoot is out for the best operating system" by Eric Lindquist at,4351,402419,00.html - it’s not going away even though Microsoft would prefer that Linux fades into the sunset.

Also see /

I just want to congratulate two of my former students (Sheridan Chambers, President/CEO & Tyson Weihs, Vice President/Operations) and who, along with another Trinity University graduate (Dan Cornell, Vice President/Software Engineering), formed an Internet solutions company (especially database installations) that is booming.  Another one of my students, Brian Clarke,  graduated in May and has now become the Chief Financial Officer.  This company is so successful that it now leases some of the most expensive office space in the tallest building in San Antonio.   Good work in this venture guys and congratulations on some new contracts from major companies like IBM!  I found your server to be a bit slow, but the web site has helpful information.

This is a rather huge gamble for an association that wants to sell its major journal. Will the libraries catch on?
The full text version of forthcoming papers in the Journal of Finance can now be located easily and downloaded free from

News from or about Microsoft Corporation

The Los Angeles Times summary of innovations to be anticipated with Microsoft's Office 2000

Check Out Office 2000’s Simplified Installation and File Repair

Microsoft Press Launches Office 2000 Learning Resources

A message to CEOs from Bill Gates,4153,1014718,00.html

Find out what’s new in Microsoft FrontPage 2000.

Running Microsoft Access 2000

Microsoft Product Insider: What’s New from Microsoft

Baseball 2000 Trial Version

Where do IT administrators and professionals shop online.  See,4153,403285,00.html

The top pick was CDW at

The Big 8 are as follows:

Rank Web site Asset tracking
Original content information Extranet customization Detailed comparison shopping Automatic custom pricing updates
See profile

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The time for a PDA has finally arrived.  I'm going shopping for a Palm VII.   See,4351,403829,00.html

Marketing Research Helpers

If you really want secret email, there is are options described at

There was a time in my life when I was really into the mathematics of AHP (analytic Hierarchy Processing).  My outdated stuff is listed at .  You can also download an unpublished paper of mine that questions the claimed superiority of eigenvector scaling.  See .

Now Expert Choice offers a great deal in the way of software for AHP (although I think the pricing is rather absurd). 

TeamEC and ECPro Service Pack 4 Upgrades are available now!

If you are a current licensed user of Expert Choice version 9.5 software, you can download the latest maintenance release Service Pack 4 from our web site at

Radio without a radio

Culture Finder

Telepolis --- a serious English/German journal on Internet culture and politics

National Adoption Information Clearinghouse

Genealogy Databases and Information

Start your own listserv (Thank you for the tip on this one Eric Cohen)

Vocabulary Builders

Although I still think Adobe Acrobat is a bad alternative for documents that have hot links to the web and internal bookmarks (because those links have to be rewired every time the document is revised), I use Version 4 of Acrobat for documents that have few or no links.  You can read about some of the really innovative enhancements (especially the web document capture feature) in Acrobat 4.0 that merited an Analyst’s Choice award from PC Week Labs.  See

Official International Statistics on the Web

OFFSTATS lists web sites offering free and easily accessible social, economic and general data from official or similar "quotable" sources, especially those that provide both current data and time series. In the country lists, these are mainly web pages provided by statistical offices, central banks and government departments and agencies, whereas the topics list is comprised of links to the statistics pages of international organizations and associations and a few commercial sites. Annotations have been kept to a minimum as it is normally obvious from the name of the data collection or its source what kind of data can be expected. Many data are downloadable (html tables can normally be copied straight into worksheets), but pdf files can only converted using the full Adobe Acrobat package. The free Acrobat Reader which is required to view and print pdf files can be downloaded from most sites or from here. OFFSTATS aims to remain the most comprehensive and up-to-date list of its kind.

Home Mortgages and Refinancing (Real Estate)

An enterprising high school senior claims that his Black Vault is the largest source of government documents outside the U.S. Government itself.  You be the judge at

Welcome to The Black Vault, your premier source for government documents pertaining to a vast array of
subjects. You are entering a database that is one of a kind on the world of the Internet, and a database in
which you can not find anywhere else. The Black Vault is not much of a web site, but an online research
center for curious minds, students, and everyone alike. What is it? The Black Vault is a site created by myself,
John Greenewald, Jr. (a 17 year old Senior at Alemany High School), to better inform the public of what is
going on within the secret walls of the United States Government.

Let the Library tell you what books you should read in a lifetime /

Gone for Good:  Tales of University Life after the Golden Age
by Stuart Rojstacze


Bygone Women of the West Museum

Information, and services geared for midlife women

And for younger women there is ePregnancy

And for Moxie Women there is

Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition (history)

Tips from

Trivia Bytes

Museums and galleries of the United Kingdom

Virtual Ireland (lots of green)

Photographs from the Golden Age of Jazz - 1938 to 1948.

Battlefield: Vietnam (from PBS)

Hans Namuth's portraits of rebel painters and poets

Icelandic horses, Langhus farm.  (More than horses)

Aquarium Fish

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

Lost Classics Book Company

For a better understanding of the culture of India and the Hindu religion

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

And a hitchhiker's guide to happy meals (is Bob Jensen two french fries short of a happy meal?)
McDonald’s Trip Planner --- whereas the AAA will plan your trips for a annual fee, you can get a trip planner complete with maps for free from

The Foundation for Accounting Education is the education arm of the NYSSCPA. Our mandate is to provide quality education to CPAs in a cost effective manner. We are currently doing this in 3 divisions:

I am actively trying to develop self study programs delivered on-line or at least have the testing on-line. If you have any creative ideas for topic and/or deliver methods for self study I’d love to hear from you.

NYSSCPA is also the publisher of The CPA Journal. CPAJ is refereed and our editor, James Craig, is always looking for hot and interesting articles. He can be reached at 212-719-8350,

We have a variety of programs for students and CPA candidates. You can find out about these by calling Lorrie Lamazor, Director of Member Relations at 212-719-8390 or Joanne Barry, Director of Public Relations at 212-719-8354,

I personally have an interest in curriculum development and have volunteered to assist several NY schools with the development of new curriculum.

My personal background: I’m a CPA with approx. 20 years small public practice experience. I have an MA and am currently a doctoral candidate at NYU in Business Education.

If I can be of any further assistance just give a holler, or an e-mail.

Frimette Kass fkass@EXCHANGE.LUCA.COM
Director Foundation for Accounting Education
530 Fifth Avenue
NYC 10036
V: 212-719-8370 F: 212-719-8499

Hello Bob - You’ve been in touch with us in the past about resampling methods, so this announcement concerning a new book, a new course and a new discussion list may be of interest. For removal from this monthly update list just reply with "remove" (without the quotes) in the subject.


Phillip Good (author of "Permutation Tests") covers permutation, bootstrap and other methods in his new book. Topics include one- and two-sample and variance comparisons; Pitman, smoothed, bias-corrected and iterated bootstrap; power analysis regression; Fisher’s Exact and odds ratio tests; exact significance levels, unordered r x c contingency and ordered statistical tables; survival analysis; and parametric vs. nonparametric resampling.

Cost - US$63.00. Add $5.00 for shipping to Canada, $15 outside North America. You may order this book "on approval" - return within 30 days if not suitable. In USA/Canada we will bill you; other orders must be prepaid by credit card or check.

To order, send email to

From InformationWeek Online May 6, 1999
SpeechWorks International Inc. yesterday introduced the first speech-recognition applications that will let employees and customers access SAP applications by speaking over the phone. SpeechWorks unveiled software building blocks that let developers add speech-recognition capability to SAP’s Sales & Distribution, HR Employee Self-Service, and Customer Interaction Center modules.

Demand for speech-enabling SAP applications is strongest among customers already implementing other speech-recognition applications, according to SpeechWorks. The sales module lets sales representatives and customers determine the status of customer accounts, product availability and pricing, and sales-order placement. People can also speak to the applications to place and confirm orders. The HR module lets employees speak to access information about benefits, salaries, paychecks, travel expenses, time reporting, and personal information.

SpeechWorks for SAP will be available from SpeechWorks early in the third quarter. SpeechWorks will deliver similar software for PeopleSoft Inc. and other enterprise resource planning vendors around year’s end.

For SAP definitions, go the the "S" section of my Technology Glossary at .

"Corporate Universities: Just-in-Time Learning" by Michael D. Kull
Horizon, 7-2

Kull examines the goals and operations of corporate universities, one permutation of the general trend toward an expanded and diversified education market. "Instead of relying on the country’s education system to furnish packaged solutions in the form of new graduates," he writes, many "organizations want education to be delivered to the right people at the right time in the right way: just-in-time." For some corporations, the "right" solution is an independent, company-run university. For others, it is an educational alliance with an existing university; consequently, educators should pay more attention to the business market and to how traditional brick-and-mortar institutions can better serve it. After all, Kull reminds readers, "partnering represents the next step in the evolution of a knowledge economy."

The next step is already here in accounting given the partnerships mentioned at
Note the discussion of some of the partnering controversies in the above document.

And that's the way it was on May 28, 1999.

Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-736-7347 Fax: 210-736-8134  Email:

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Bob Jensen's Index Page Bob Jensen's Bookmarks New Bookmark Archives

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May 11, 1999

This is a short special edition of New Bookmarks devoted to my comments on articles appearing in the May 1999 issue of Syllabus.  The May issue is not yet available online, but I suspect that it will be online in a matter of days at .   This is one of the best issues ever published by Syllabus.  Among other things, it contains articles that thread back into some of the recent editions of my New Bookmarks.  Remember that I am leaving for Iowa at noon and will not be near a computer until May 26.  Subscribers to the aecm will have to carry on their debates without me for a while.  That's good!  Perhaps this is a good time for newcomers to speak out.

Bob Jensen's Bookmarks (with a more efficient new look) are located at

In the April 30 Edition ( of New Bookmarks, I asserted that the top business schools have exhibited very little leadership in experimenting with education technologies and accounting faculty in those top schools have virtually been invisible in this paradigm shift in education.  In a "Special Feature" entitled "Distance Learning in Research 1 Institutions:  Recommendations and Strategies," Syllabus, May 1999, 28-30, the Dean for the Extended University at the University of Arizona, Don Olcott, challenges all Research 1 (R1) schools to strive for a better balance between tradition and technological innovations.  On Page 28, he writes the following:

R1s, more than any other of our higher education institutions, should be our strongest advocates that technology should enhance teaching and improve learning.  R1s have an abundance of trained researchers who can tie teaching, research, and technology to quality and excellence.

Later, on Page 30, he writes:

But before we condemn the faculty for this disconcerting posture towards change that emanates from R1 institutions and universities in general, let us remember that these institutions have served our society effectively and nobly for decades.  The traditions, policies, rewards, and infrastructures . . ."

Dr. Olcott makes various recommendations for change in the R1 institutions.  I hope that leaders in those institutions will follow some of his advice.  He does not mention that one of the most difficult hurdles for the very top research universities to surmount is their own success.  With their resources and esteemed reputations, they can attract top faculty and top students without enormous innovations and changed infrastructures and reward systems.

Last week on the PBS show Computer Chronicles was devoted to excerpts from speeches of the top executives of Microsoft and Sun Microsystems.  Bill Gates reminded the audience that the biggest collapses of top technology firms (Wang, Deck, Apple, etc.) began at the height of the successes of those firms.  This is in fact his nightmare as founder and CEO of Microsoft.  I am not contending that our top business schools are going to "collapse" in the technology paradigm shifts.   What I am recommending, however, is that they do not let their current successes make them complacent to the paradigm shift.  Dr. Olcott, among others, is urging the R1 institutions in general to change with the times.  Near the end of his special feature article, he urges R1 institutions to change with "greater expediency."   In a matter of days you should be able to find his article at .

I might add that some R1 universities have undertaken some significant technological innovations in accounting education.  Off the top of my head, I can recall some of the early and on-going efforts at Arizona State University, Notre Dame, Delaware, and others that I could think of if it wasn't so early in the morning.  However, among the top business schools ranked by U.S. News, I am not aware of technology in education leadership by accounting faculty.  For example, US News rates Stanford at Rank 1 and Harvard at Rank 2 among leading  business schools ranked  at .  In my somewhat dated survey, both Stanford and Harvard accounting faculty reported no technological innovations in accounting education.  See    In fairness, there may be some more recent happenings among accounting faculty at top business schools that I have not yet gotten wind of out here in the boon docks.  Certainly the R1 schools have been innovative in using computer technologies in accounting research.

Hypertext is a term going as far back as1947.  It is a rather misleading term depicting digitized text that can be navigated nonlinearly with hot words and navigation buttons.  When other media (graphics, animations, audio, and video) are added to the text, the term becomes hypermedia.  One of the early pioneers was Neil Larson who eventually produced hypertext software under the product name "MaxThink."   However, the major players in this arena evolved from firms that negotiated enormous contracts for training in the U.S. Military and large corporations.  Before the days of the Internet, these firms wrote heavy blocks of code for hypertext authoring and complete course management systems (testing, grading, etc.).  Some of the firms eventually boxed up their software and attempted to sell these "courseware authoring packages."  In 1994, Petrea Sandlin and I wrote a book on the paradigm shift in education technology.  In Chapter 3 of Jensen and Sandlin (1994), we summarized over 60 vendors of "courseware authoring packages."  You can download Chapter 3 and the other chapters in PDF format from

Us old timers in this game recall such course authoring packages as Authorware, ToolBook, Quest,  TourGuide, LessonBuilder, TenCore, CourseBuilder, TIE, Peak, Icon Author, HyperCard, SuperCard, HyperPad, HyperTies, StoryBoard Live, Linkway, Guide, HyperWriter, Instant Replay, ScriptX, MaxThink, Grasp, Digital Chisel, PC Interact, Act II, Authority, StrataVision, HSC InterActive, Mac Presents, ImageQ, Producer Pro, EyeQ, Gain Momentum, mPower, InterText, Viper Write, and many others.  I spent several years of my life writing course modules in a course management system called HyperGraphics.  Most of the course authoring packages are dead and buried after having very short lives in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Before getting to my main point, I would like to ask a few trivia questions.

And now for my main point.  In May 1999, Syllabus on pp. 33-34 lists seven leaders in multimedia authoring tools.  After dropping off Macromedia Director and several others for being mainly multimedia authoring tools but not courseware authoring software, I identify three noteworthy survivors for courseware authoring.   These are as follows:

These products are not especially profitable to their companies and within the firms they are the most expensive to develop and upgrade.  The firms do, however, make a significant amount of money developing training courses using their own products.   Therein lies the problem --- these packages require expert consultants.  These products were originally too complicated for most college faculty to get excited about and very few colleges purchased site licenses to develop courses using the above packages.   Some that did buy site licenses abandoned the efforts after faculty got bogged down in learning how to use the packages. 

The revised packages listed above, however, are much more user friendly.  ToolBook II Instructor is not user friendly, so Asymetrix developed ToolBook II Assistant with user friendliness in mind.  Quest uses "an approachable, reusable, and extensible object-oriented architecture" featuring FastTrack libraries of "pre-built screen layouts, buttons, and interactions" in a WYSIWYG layout.  (Syllabus, May 1999, p. 34).  Macromedia claims:  "No experience is required to create highly interactive, media-rich courseware with full features such as hyperlinks, hypertext, text search, and retrieval ..." (Syllabus, May 1999, p. 33).  

Time will tell as to whether the above remnants of the many courseware authoring packages will flourish or fall on the ash heap of the many goners listed in our Chapter 3 at .

The future of courseware authoring packages listed above is clouded by the emergence of server shells written for course authoring and management.  Many of these shells were home grown by technicians at various universities (e.g., WebCT began at the University of British Columbia, Blackboard began at Cornell University, and Mallard began at the University of Illinois.)  These and other shells are described at

In my travels I am hearing more and more good things about Blackboard.  On Page 16 of Syllabus, May 1999 you will find mention of five beta sites for the Blackboard Campus, "a turnkey, enterprise level online course-management system for higher education."  The beta sites are as follows:

I guess my question now is whether the server shells will drive the coffin nails into former courseware authoring systems such as Authorware, Quest, and ToolBook.  It is too early to tell, but the shells seem to be winning on college and university campusesKeep in mind, however, that shells to date are not as good for multimedia authoring as the older courseware authoring packages.  For example, one of the really neat things I like about ToolBook is the way I can store an audio or video file on a CD-ROM and then take as many clips as I want from any part of the file.  I doubt whether you can do this with any shell software to date.

In private correspondence some time ago, Dan Gode raised the question of the value of multimedia in learning, especially learning of accounting.  I think the jury is still out on the multimedia issue.  One problem in doing research on such matters is that the technology of multimedia keeps changing.  The May 1999 issue of Syllabus has four review articles of the changing times in multimedia and visualization in learning.

One of the most intriguing articles in the May 1999 issue of Syllabus is entitled "Visual Language:  Conveying Information in Instruction and on the Web."  The heart of this article is an interview with Bob Horn, the author of a new book entitled Global Communication for the 21st Century described at .  The basic topic is visual mapping of information into a revolutionary way thinking about communication and learning.  You can read the following at :

Horn argues that this new language growing up around us is a prelude to far-reaching changes in the very manner in which we will communicate in the next century. He notes that the creation of visual language emerges from people around the world inventing components out of necessity to communicate about the ever-increasing complexity of our lives. Visual language is being synthesized from previously separate vocabularies as diverse as computer flow charts, business process diagrams, and cartoons and animation. It has grown and spread organically and globally in ways that artificially created international languages-like Esperanto, which was invented by a single person-have never done. In a significant sense, it is already an international language of technology, science, and business.

. . . this book is not only a pathfinding and provocative treatise, it is the first to use visual language itself to describe and analyze that language. By his use of visual language on every page, Horn demonstrates that it is an immensely flexible and effective communication tool and one that invites and delights us.  Readers will not only learn about visual language, but will have the full experience of total immersion. They will experience what Horn calls a new multi-modal process of reading, simultaneously demanding and rewarding. (emphasis added)

What is really interesting about Horn's work above is the question of how visualization of information will play into the rapidly growing revolution in database networking that is arriving via XML and RDF.  I downloaded the paper entitled "The Electronic Dissemination of Accounting Information - Resource Discovery, Processing, and Analysis" by Roger Debreceny, Glen Gray, and Tony Barry.  I must say that I was impressed.  I recommend that all of you contact one of these authors for a copy.   In particular you may request a copy from Glen at or Roger at .

In his prompt email reply to my request for a copy of the paper, Glen requested that I comment about how to improve the paper.  The paper is excellent, but one thing I would like to see added is a discussion of how visual mapping will play into this entire paradigm shift in web communication.  Recall that you can read about visual mapping at

There is so much to learn and so little time to do it in, that I guess I will sign off and go fishing in Minnesota.  Bye for now.

And that's the way it was on May 11, 1999.

Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-736-7347 Fax: 210-736-8134  Email:

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Bob Jensen's Index Page Bob Jensen's Bookmarks New Bookmark Archives

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May 7, 1999

Accounting educators and others attending the annual American Accounting Association meetings in San Diego in August should note that the Continuing Education Program (CEP) sessions are now listed at

In my viewpoint, the CEP sessions have become more important than the sessions in the main program.  Last year I even registered my video camera for a CEP session that I could not attend because of a conflict with another session.   Thank you Erika for running the camera for me.  The main advantage of a CEP program is that there are 4-8 hours to develop a topic in depth rather than 45 minutes or less allotted to speakers on varied topics in the main sessions. 

I would like to especially thank Pete Mazany for agreeing to participate in two CEP sessions.  Pete is flying in from New Zealand at his own expense to share his enormous expertise in network simulation and team dynamics developments in education (business strategy, finance, accounting, economics, marketing, etc.)  Pete has a Ph.D. in simulation and game theory from Yale University and has consulted with leading international consulting firms before returning to the University of Auckland.  In addition, Pete is the founder and CEO of the company (Active Learning Online) that developed the highly innovative netMike and soloMike learning simulations and team dynamics at .  You can read more about Pete at .  Among other things, Pete helped form and coordinate the teams that won the America's Cup for New Zealand in 1995.

Pete Mazany will be presenting on August 14 CETA CEP Session 1 and the August 15 CEP Session 37 described at .  Other leading-edge innovators will also make multimedia presentations in those sessions.   Most of the speakers and topics differ in Session 1 versus Session 37 such that duplication is minimized for persons choosing to attend both workshops.  I plan to minimize my presentations in these workshops in order to give more time to the four other speakers in Session 1 and three other speakers in Session 37.  By clicking on the workshop titles, you can read about the speakers, content, and other details of these and other workshops at

Hotel and AAA Annual Meeting information can be found at

Bob Jensen's Technology Glossary (along with links to assorted accounting, finance, business, and technology glossaries) have a new look with only minor revisions.    The web link is

Bob Jensen's Full Set of Bookmarks has a new look with some rather major revisions.   The Full Set file became enormous and very slow to download.  I broke it into four files.  You will now find a frame document with those four files plus two files for the 1998 and 1999 editions of New Bookmarks.  This results in a choice of six files in the Full Set that can be loaded into the top frame.  The good news is that loading a subset of bookmarks will be much faster.  The bad news is that, when searching for a key word, you may have to load several files in succession.  Other good news includes my addition of some more of my New Bookmarks to the full set.   Other bad news is that loading all the New Bookmarks into the full set of indexed bookmarks will take some more of my time.  In any case, you can check out the Full Set at .

One of our local television stations in San Antonio recommended the Private Citizen web site for reducing the amount of junk phone calls and junk mail that you would like to halt.  The Wall Street Journal has also recommended this web site.

Yugoslavia & Kosovo (from

Note that I have now made the Web Trust case solutions available

Recall that I previously provided you with some Web Trust cases without case solutions at .  You can now link to the solutions from the cases themselves.   Also see Jensen, Howland, and Sidlinger solutions at .

Neal Hannon clued me in to the following discussion of the American AICPA and Canadian CICA joint efforts to market their WebTrust seals.  The tile of the article is:  "Security seals aim to battle lack of confidence in E-commerce. But will there be too many?"

One of the most fascinating things that I learned during my visit to Temple University was the progress the WHYY Philadelphia television station is making toward two-way interactive wireless distance education using high definition television (HDTV).   I now refer to WHYY as the digital entertainment and education dome over the Delaware Valley.

HDTV in many ways overcomes the bandwidth problem and students will eventually be able to see each other in full screen, full motion video across the WHYY wireless HDTV system.  But lest you get too excited about this tremendous advance in wireless technology, my computer science friends (thank you Aaron, Gerald and John) remind me about the "lost bit" problem with HDTV.  You may not notice the lost bits when viewing each other from afar, listening to students throughout the Delaware Valley discuss cases as if they were in the same classroom, and watching your instructor's visual aids wirelessly from miles away.  But you will curse the lost bits when you try to transmit a database or receive data whizzing across a HDTV wireless.    HDTV cannot fully replace hard wired fiber optic cable, because HDTV has a lost bits parity problem.  I guess there is still hope for all those heavy duty digging machine operators eager to tear up our streets and lawns to bring the Internets 1 and 2 to our schools, businesses, and homes.

XML Update (Revenge from the Nerds)  from InformationWeek
IBM released two Extensible Markup Language development tools on its Alphaworks Web site yesterday and launched a search site for finding XML resources on the Web. The moves are part of the company’s strategy to promote XML as a standard for exchanging data among Web applications.

IBM’s XML for C++ parser is a C++ version of its XML for Java parser, which more than 60,000 users have downloaded since its release last year. The C++ version lets developers give C and C++ applications the ability to read and write XML data without a lot of programming. It brings XML abilities to a large installed base of apps written before the release of Java. "It will enable XML to be used in a broader set of environments," says Marie Wieck, director of technology in IBM’s network computing software division.

IBM’s XML Security Suite lets developers build applications that stamp XML documents with digital signatures, which assure a sender and receiver that a document wasn’t altered during transmission. The suite is based on an IBM-developed specification called DOM-Hash, which the company is circulating among users and standards bodies for feedback. IBM plans to extend its security suite to encrypt individual data elements in XML documents, letting developers provide access only to portions of documents.

Commercial use licenses for XML for C++ parser are available through IBM’s Alphaworks Web site. The XML Security Suite is available for evaluation only.

***For more on XML, see "XML: Revenge of the Nerds"

The Journal of Accountancy becomes more hi tech each year.  A feature article on XML appears in the May edition.  See "The XML Files:  In the 21st Century Economy, XML is the Way You Will Move Information," by C. Hoffman, C. Kurt, and R. Koreto, Journal of Accountancy, May 1999, 71-77.  This is a nice review article of XML progress to date and predictions of its importance to the practice of accountancy.  The latest editions of the Journal of Accountancy are not available for several months.  Eventually, however, they are archived at

Message from Eric Cohen
XML - the eXtensible Markup Language - is being hailed as the Next Big Thing in data transfer. Every major software developer has stated that XML is due to be the core of their future business information systems. I am working with a task force for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) that is in the process of developing the definitions, or schemas, that will define the structure of financial accounting data so it can be transferred between disparate systems or presented to meet the needs of the financial reporting community. These XML files can be transformed between chart of accounts structures, into trial balances or financial statements, used for ratio analyses, and have many other uses.

We are seeking input from the worldwide CPA/CA, academic, and developer communities, and anyone else who would be impacted by the standards that facilitate universal financial data transfer, on what the elements of this structure should be, and identifying those who wish to take part in this process.

Eric E. Cohen, CPA

Don't forget Bob Jensen's overview at

Hi Thomas,

I hope you are doing well. In response to your financial ratio question, I am afraid that I do not know of a free site that maintains company profiles and industry profiles for a complete set of ratios. Most services charge for this service, although some services provide a few free ratios and other indicators.  Beware of ratio definitions.  As you well know, there are various ways to compute almost any financial ratio.  Naive analysts may be comparing apples and oranges when looking at values of any ratio.


Thanks to Chris Nolan I found a pretty good free web site for company and company-to-industry comparison ratios at  . Click on the research tab in at that web site and enter a symbol like IBM.

Chris also recommended .  Enter a symbol or company name such as IBM.  Get the Quote for that company.  Then click on the Company Profile button to see some ratios. 

Another free web site that I recommend is
After searching on a particular company's symbol (try IBM), you will find a Market Guide link.
Alternately, you can begin with Market Guide at or  .
Users should carefully examine the Market Guide Glossary at .  A possible exercise for students is to have them verify (for selected companies and selected ratios) the Market Guide calculations.

My next recommendation is to go to . By entering a company's stock symbol, you can get all sorts of links, including that company's profile and fundamentals links. The "Company Data" path at this web site leads to

ABC News has some quick and very limited company information for free at

If you want to look up a company's annual report online, a very good annual report directory is located at .  Of course there are some good SEC links at

EDGAR Database
EDGARSCAN from PriceWaterhouseCoopers at
(quicker response time)
Free EDGAR  at

For a fee, you can get more complete company and industry profiles at . This is a very good service but some good things in life are not free.

If you are interested in online financial analysis, I highly recommend some of Larry Tomassini's great links.

Tomassini's CorpOnline at

Tomassini's Financial Analysis Online

Jim Borden mentioned the Deloitte & Touche web site at
I found the above server to be painfully slow.  However, Jim's recommendations should always be taken seriously.

MACRO ECONOMICS LINKS (including data classified by industry)

Last year I shared a platform with David Boldt at an education technology conference at Bentley College. David has a great web site for economists, particularly in the area of macroeconomics. His materials are listed at

If you are looking for industry and economic statistics. one place to begin searching is at

The above web site leads to a heap of macro data, but you were more interested in industry ratios. A bit of searching from the above site led me to a University of Michigan site at

There are various industry categories at the above web site. The Business and Industry button led me to the FedStats web site at

Another good set of Federal Government links can be found at

An interesting personal finance web site (among the thousands available) is at
Not much in the way of ratio data at that web site, but you will find a variety of interesting documents and links.

Reply from Thomas,
Thanks to everyone who responded to my request for information about industry financial ratios on the Web. After reviewing several sites, I decided to settle with the following:

Yahoo Market Guide: .

If you enter a company’s Name or Ticker Symbol in the "Search For" field and then click GO and then Comparison, you will not only obtain financial ratios for the company you have searched for, but you will also find ratios for (1) the company’s industry, (2) the economic sector in which the company operates, and (3) the S&P 500. Other items that you may view about a selected company include:

A Snapshot of the company
Stock Market Quotes
Recent News about the company
Custom Price Charts (this is very interesting)
Analysts’ Earnings Estimates and buy/sell recommendations
Market Performance data and summary of institutional ownership
Financial ratio Comparisons—Industry, Sector, S&P 500
Insider Trading
Instit. Ownership

I plan to use this site for a class project in which students are required to analyze/evaluate a small number of companies. Although it "works", I am concerned about the underlying source and reliability of the numbers and other information that appear at this and other similar sites. Are there any unpublished or published studies on this issue?

Thomas G. Calderon, Professor
G. W. Daverio School of Accountancy
College of Business Administration
The University of Akron
Akron, OH 44325-4802
Tel: (330) 972-6099
Fax: (330) 972-8597

The Education Alliance Network provides, free of cost, the materials for colleges and universities to expose college-level students to financial management software, helping them gain hands-on experience to real-world technologies.

Thank you ANet for this lead
Falkner and Gray's ElectronicAccountant

New York (April 28, 1999) -- If you liked WebTrust, you’ll love SysTrust. That may not be a new marketing phrase of the American Institute of CPAs, but the AICPA is putting the finishing touches on a new assurance service.  President Barry Melancon says that the AICPA will roll out the SysTrust program soon, according to the April issue of Accounting Technology magazine.   Melancon has not provided details about the new program, except to describe it as a program in which CPAs will validate the reliability of computer systems.   "We’ve got to bring out new services to win the marketplace game," says Melancon, arguing that such programs are necessary to get the public to look to CPAs as providers of technology services.  WebTrust is a program through which specially trained CPAs certify that a Web site adheres to customer-service standards and delivers products or services in accordance with the company’s own representations.

You will find some WebTrust cases at .  You can now link to the solutions from the cases themselves.   Also see Jensen, Howland, and Sidlinger solutions at .

Also thank you ANet for this message about the International Federation of Accountants:

IFAC has spearheaded the organization of a Forum on the Development of the Accountancy Profession, bringing together various development banks and agencies to determine how best to provide assistance in emerging nations and coordinate resources. The Forum’s goal is to promote understanding by national governments of developing countries about the value of transparent financial reporting by a strong accountancy profession. The Forum will also assist in defining expectations as to how the accounting profession should carry out its responsibilities to support the public interest in these countries.

TO SUBSCRIBE to the ANet:  (I highly recommend this for accountants and accounting educators)

1. send an email message to: Substitute for "listname" the name of the particular list to which you wish to subscribe. Don’t forget the word "request". For example, to subscribe to ANEWS address your message to

2. In the SUBJECT line type: subscribe
Make sure this is in the subject line and not in the body of the message!! Note that complete archives of the lists are held at

Links to this week's headline news (Accounting, Business, Personal Investing, Internet, Software)

A while back I provided some links to higher education data in response to a query by Dan Gode.  I would like to add the following reference site to educational data.(The International Archive of Education Data)

INFOBITS recommends the following educational data sources:
Education Statistics Quarterly
Each issue includes short publications, summaries, and descriptions that cover all NCES publications and data products released during a three-month period. [HTML format] or [PDF format, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader]

Learning About Education Through Statistics
A brochure that provides general information about NCES surveys and how to access data from NCES. [PDF format, requires Adobe Acrobat Reader]

Directory of NAEP Publications
The most comprehensive listing of government-funded NAEP publications dating as far back as the project’s inception in 1969.

What’s the difference between distance learning and traditional classroom-based instruction? This question has become increasingly prominent as technology has made distance learning much more common. This report reviews a broad array of research and articles published in the last decade to determine the overall quality of the analysis, the gaps in the research, and the implications of the research for the future. The report finds that the overall quality of the research is questionable and thereby renders many of the findings inconclusive. Numerous gaps in the research require more investigation and information. These gaps include the fact that the research: emphasizes student outcomes for individual courses rather than for a total academic program; does not adequately explain why the dropout rates of distance learners are higher; does not address the quality of digital “libraries”; and does not take into account differences among students in how they learn. Implications of the research findings on college access and the “human factor” in learning also are included.   See the full report at

The advent of the World Wide Web and the advancement of sophisticated computer software and hardware have created a surging online learning industry. The vision of students collecting certificates or degrees without ever setting foot in a classroom has captured the imagination of education entrepreneurs and Wall Street investors. This report reviews recent developments in information technology and distance learning, and how they combine with economic forces to fuel a global market for higher education. The report focuses especially on the question of access: Will the “virtual university” expand opportunities for those who have traditionally been underrepresented in higher education? The report concludes that emerging technologies may, in fact, deepen the divide between educational haves and have-nots, and that the marketplace will not fix the problem. Public policy must intervene to narrow the digital divide between whites and minorities, the wealthy and the less advantaged.  Download the full copy of this report from

Dear Professor Jensen,
If possible, would you please update the contact information for Dr. Gleim and Gleim Publications, Inc. on your web site?
Our new area code in Gainesville is (352) instead of (904) and our web site is at
Thank you very much on behalf of Dr. Gleim and the company for providing information about us on your site.  Also, we are in the midst of preparing some online study materials if you are interested.
Travis Moore

A ZD Net course on business strategy for the Internet

Sad but true from PC Week --- Bill Gates wins another one.
Sun’s long-standing plans to submit its Java language for standardization via ISO are dead and Microsoft is at fault, says Alan Baratz, president of Sun’s Java Software division.

News from  and/or about Microsoft

Packaging Your Content with the Windows Media Rights Manager (you can encrypt your files and control users' rights)

Download New Deployment Tools from the Office 2000 Resource Kit

Microsoft to Participate in Developing Future Internet and Your Privacy

Preview new FrontPage 2000 with a 45-day trial for only $6.95 (US)*. To learn more details, including how to place your order, go to:

The Journal of Accountancy becomes more hi tech each year.  A feature article on technology appears in the May edition.   See "Accounting --- the Digital Way," by Scott Boggs, Journal of Accountancy, May 1999, 99-198.  This is a nice review article of happenings at Microsoft Corporation.  The latest editions of the Journal of Accountancy are not available for several months.  Eventually, however, they are archived at

Thank you Curtis
The Internet: Which Future for Organised Knowledge, Frankenstein or Pygmalion?

The Journal for MultiMedia History (From SUNY Albany)

InformationWeek adds some further doubts to my previous concerns about ERPs such as SAP and BaanHowever Baan did "rebound slightly."

Struggling enterprise software vendor Baan Co. rebounded slightly today as it reported better-than-expected first-quarter results. Revenue for the quarter ended March 31 was $176 million, compared with $179 million in last year’s first quarter. The net loss for the quarter was $19 million, or 9 cents per diluted share, compared with $2 million, or 1 cent per diluted share, in the same period last year. Analysts were expecting a loss of about 11 cents per share.

On May 5, 1999 InformationWeek Online casts further doubt upon the future of ERPs:

J.D. Edwards has hit hard times as the demand for ERP software remains stagnant. The company said yesterday it
expects an operating loss of more than $25 million for its second quarter, ended April 30. Company officials blame the 
anticipated shortfall on lower-than-expected license fee revenue, the impact of headcount additions made in the first fiscal 
quarter, investments in product development, and a $2.1 million write-off as a result of the acquisition of the Premisys Corp.
According to preliminary results, J.D. Edwards expects to report total second-quarter revenue in the range of $215 million
 to $235 million, which represents approximately a 3% to 12% increase over revenue of $209 million in the same period last year. License fee revenue is projected to be in the range of $60 million to $65 million. The company says revenue was adversely impacted by a general slowdown in demand for enterprise software as companies focus on year 2000 readiness. Final results for the quarter will be released on May 26.
Brent Thill, a financial analyst with Credit Suisse First Boston Corp., says the shortfall in license revenue is attributable to 
a slippage of new customer orders in the United States. He adds that J.D. Edwards' win rate against market leaders SAP 
and Oracle fell to 30% from 50% six months 
You can read more about ERP alternatives by looking up SAP in my Technology Glossary at 

Hi Bob, is a great site about PowerBuilder, Java, SQL, RDBMS, and OOP. It might come in handy one day.
Christina B. Kulick
V/T Systems Analyst
USAA Newco Document Services
(210) 913-6050 cell  (210) 753-6050 pager

Notes from Bob Jensen
You can also read about such things at

Also see "Sneaking Up On CORBA: The Race for the Ideal Distributed Object Model," at

The most elegant component model in the world is useless without products to support it. By the same token, the most well-designed architecture is hamstrung without powerful yet flexible and usable tools with which to implement real-world solutions. These conundrums are influencing the future of the three prevailing models for using and managing distributed objects in a network: CORBA, DCOM and Enterprise JavaBeans.

Did you know that there are over 1,600 radio and TV stations broadcasting live in RealAudio and RealVideo? The hard part is finding all of them. With vTuner Plus, you have instant access to more than 1,600 radio and TV stations from around the world. Try it from RealNetworks for about $15.

UPS opened up a nearby substation just for our house.  When we are having guests, finding our house is easy --- follow the brown trucks.
Don't let my wife know about this one:  Free catalogs at

Yeah, and keep this one secret as well
Crate and Barrel - for your home ---

My featured accounting educator this week is Linda M. English, Department of Accounting HO4, University of Sydney NSW 2006, Australia at

The innovation nominated for the AAA Innovation in Accounting Education Award is primarily concerned with the enhancement of literacy skills in a large 1st year accounting course via the tutorial component of the course. Each week there are two lectures to introduce new material delivered to over 250 students at a time; one workshop containing about 70 students and a self-taught computer component to reinforce technical competence. To help students grasp content, interactive lecture notes are prepared to reduce the amount of student note-taking and increase the time spent by the lecturer explaining the material and answering questions. The purpose of the weekly tutorial is to enable consideration and discussion of underlying principles and the application of theory to practice. It is the site in which the development of literacy skills, takes place. Tutorials contain a maximum of 20 students. It is in the tutorial program that the curriculum redesign includes the subject of the nomination, takes place. First year accounting is a two semester course.

If you know any accounting educators with helpful materials on the web, please ask them to link their materials  in the American Accounting Association's Accounting Coursepage Exchange (ACE) web site at
Please send these professors email messages today and urge them to share as much as they can with the academy by easily registering their course pages with ACE. 

This week, I feature
Instructor:  Donald Raun
Institution:  California State University, Northridge
Course Name:  Introduction to Management Accounting
Textbook: Introduction to Management Accounting
Author(s):  Raun
Web Site:

Among other things you can download the complete textbook and a simulation.  Thanks for sharing Don.

Links to what are called "Smart Stops on the Web" in the May 1999 issue of the Journal of Accountancy, p. 19.  Some of these are repeats found in earlier editions of New Bookmarks.

A Guide to E-Commerce at

An Electronic Encyclopedia  at
            A longer listing of this and similar glossaries can be found at

U.S. Policy on E-Commerce at

Some links from Stephen H. Glad (links to accounting, auditing, finance, and government sites) at

A Salary Comparison Guide at

National Employee Benefits Web at

The Argus Clearinghouse at

Ratings of web sites in the following categories:  Arts & Humanities, Business & Employment, Communication, Computers & Information Technology, Education, Engineering, Environment, Government & Law, Health & Medicine, Places & Peoples, Recreation, Science & Mathematics, Social Sciences & Social Issues

Includes a five-year archive on Jakob Nielsen's bi-weekly column on Web usability (including summaries of common design flaws in personal and corporate web sites) at

On the leading edge with (the billionaire former partner of Bill Gates) Paul Allen at  (a man of many talents and interests who invests in so many things that it boggles the mind of a poor bookkeeping professor)

Can you believe the Fork in the Head metaphor?  I have to call this web site a little funky at

InvestorWords glossary of over 5,000 terms and 15,000 links, including terms on derivative financial instruments at
                  A longer listing of this and similar glossaries can be found at

Vitual Relocation helpers from James Angelini, CPA.  Among other things you can find cost of living comparisons at

Evolutionary Psychology (contains links to selected papers on a wide variety of topics)

The Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition

Exploring 100 years of art and culture (The American Century)

Origins of American Animation 1900-1921

The Math Lady for Texas Instruments Educational Calculators

The New York Observer

Imagination Integration (Helpers for school teachers and children)

The Mozart Project (for those of you who loved the wonderful concert a few weeks ago at Trinity University)

From four women with chronic pain and illness


PBS looks at America’s race wars today.

Photographic history (over 40,000 pictures)

An interactive intergenerational storytelling project.

The Aging Education Speakers Bureau (AESB) is a collaborative group of senior providers who educate and provide resources to the community and professional groups about the issues of growing older.

With the graying of America, many employees are becoming caregivers to aging relatives or spouses as well as becoming seniors themselves. Gaining practical information about senior issues can assist your employees to make smarter life decisions and can make the decisions easier. It is inevitable that everyone will have to make some life planning decisions about themselves, a spouse, a parent or another family member.

AESB can provide speakers at no cost to your organization. The format suggested is a "Brown Bag" session lasting for 45 - 60 minutes. See the topics currently available.

Education Alternatives tips for troubled teens

The Risk Analysis Center is being developed as a major information resource on the subject of risks affecting humans. Its principal aim is to contribute to better public understanding of, and ability to evaluate, risk in everyday life.  The heart of the site is a large and ever growing on-line database that contains abstracts of risk-related information.  The abstracts are of articles containing information about risk that appear in the press (leading newspapers are scanned daily) and in scientific, medical and technical journals. Risk material is also included from sources such as books, papers and technical reports from academic, research and other institutions.

The Pulse: A Consumer’s Guide to Public Opinion Data on the Web—EPI

From InformationWeek
SAP this week will unveil an update to its Business Information Warehouse system, offering stronger business content and improved analytical capabilities. Business Information Warehouse 1.2, available now, will include more multidimensional data models or "infocubes," additional business performance indicators, and a greater variety of preconfigured queries and "workbooks"—the Excel reports that are the product’s primary output. It will also offer expanded capabilities for monitoring data store and flow.

But analysts say the product isn’t ready to compete with other data warehouses. "There are still a lot of weak points," says Giga Information Group analyst Teresa Wingfield, pointing to the system’s R/3-centric architecture and cost—nearly $600 per user.

Below is a description of the May issue of The Technology Source, a free refereed Web periodical at Please forward this announcement to colleagues who are interested in using information technology tools more effectively in educational organizations. As always, we seek illuminating articles that will assist educators as they face the challenge of integrating information technology tools in teaching and in managing educational organizations. Please review our call for manuscripts at 
Jim -- James L. Morrison
Professor of Educational Leadership, CB 3500 Peabody Hall
Editor, On the Horizon UNC-Chapel Hill  
Chapel Hill,NC 27599-3500
Editor, The Technology Source Phone: 919 962-2517 Fax: 919 962-1693

From the Scout Report
The inaugural issue of IN[]VISIBLE CULTURE: An Electronic Journal for Visual Studies is now available. This new journal, published by the Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester (New York), aims "to provide a forum for critical approaches to the production and analysis of cultural objects." The premier issue carries the theme The Worlding of Visual Studies? and includes articles such as Cultural Studies and the Sociology of Culture, by Janet Wolff, Art History after the Death of the "Death of the Subject," by Keith Moxey, and Getting the Warhol We Deserve: Cultural Studies and Queer Culture, by Douglas Crimp. The journal also features art projects and hosts an electronic discussion group.

Hello. I came across your links page today and would really appreciate a link to our new site. Being relatively new, our site is not experiencing the number of hits we predicted. Getting a link on others pages can bring us more traffic.

We offer a service which many people need, but few are aware of. We are a Macintosh based Digital Video production company specializing in converting customers tapes into files for viewing over the web. We convert to RealVideo, QuickTime, MPEG-1, and NetShow.
Thanks for your time,
Guy Cochran, Managing Partner
Pixel Motion, 206.755.5555

From ZD Tips
Lycos has announced a new practice to provide a more comprehensive index of the World Wide Web, by offering a homespun "open directory" compiled by volunteer experts, editors and assorted computer hobbyists. This new feature seems to be a way to cash in on the hype surrounding "Open-Sourced software." The directory now has 8,500 volunteer editors hosting Web pages. Lycos also owns For more information, check out:

A FrontPage tip from ZD Tips
Since HTML doesn’t support tabs and columns, tables are the best way to present columnar data. If your data is already in a Word table or an Excel spreadsheet, FrontPage will do a good job of maintaining the formatting when you paste the data in or insert it from a file.

But you can also work with data that’s saved in a delimited text file, such as the results from a FrontPage form. To do so, paste the data in, and then choose Convert Text To Table from the Table menu. In the dialog box that appears, specify what delimiting character was used to separate the data (probably a comma, tab, or paragraph mark) and click OK. FrontPage will format the data as an HTML table.

Interestingly enough, FrontPage "remembers" where the tabs appeared in tab-delimited data-even though HTML doesn’t recognize tabs. However, you should convert your text immediately. If you close and reopen the document, FrontPage will "forget" where the tabs were and consider them spaces instead.

For definitions of ERP, SAP, etc. along with links see go to the S section at

News about SAP from InformationWeek
SAP yesterday unveiled its long-awaited Internet strategy at its European user group conference in Nice, France. Called, the strategy consists of an Internet portal that will allow users to connect their back-end enterprise resource planning systems with new front-end applications for buying and selling goods and services over the Web. The portal is designed to be a meeting place and business center for the thousands of companies that use SAP software. The site will include such things as yellow pages and supplier catalogs for specific vertical markets. SAP officials say the portal will also help companies identify potential trading partners and facilitate negotiations for the purchase and sale of goods and services. The site will provide access to industry information, including business partner directories and job listings. SAP says users will be able to access the site beginning in the third quarter of this year. As part of the initiative, SAP is rolling out a personalized, Web-based user interface called MySAP-Employee Workplace. The new interface should allow employees to access service applications and content that exist on the portal, such as travel-reservation systems and online procurement engines, as well as general news items and information about retirement savings and benefits programs. SAP officials say the portal will also let the company's customers engage in more collaborative relationships with their supply-chain partners. SAP says it has created a number of new Internet applications, called SAP.Business Scenarios, to foster these relationships. These include SAP Business-to-Business Procurement, for the electronic purchasing of office supplies and product materials; SAP Business-to-Consumer Selling, which includes an Internet storefront and online catalogs; and SAP Business-to-Business Selling, which should enable business partners to share production data over the Internet and place orders based on real-time availability.
For PeopleSoft's Internet strategy, see "ERP Open For E- Business"

IYDKYDG - if you don’t know, you don’t go.

And that's the way it was on May 7, 1999.

Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-736-7347 Fax: 210-736-8134  Email:

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Bob Jensen's Index Page Bob Jensen's Bookmarks New Bookmark Archives

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April 30, 1999

It's my birthday today just in case you want to send a really big expensive present. 

Those of you interested in information technology (IT) in the Top 20 accounting research institutions may be interested in the email message reproduced at the bottom of this week's "New Bookmarks."  Since this message from "a friend" is a bit long, I reproduced it at the end of this Edition.  I would like to hear from other faculty in those institutions. 

What is sad is that accounting is about "information" and "information technology."   My bottom line conclusion is that the 'Top 20" business schools are way behind the IT curve in general and way behind the other divisions in their institutions (e.g., humanities, science, and medicine) in particular.  My opinion is that accounting faculty in the Top 20 business schools are even behind the IT snail's in other departments in their own business schools (e.g., snails in management, marketing, and finance.)  Look for example at the service now provided the the Journal of Finance that is mentioned below. 

What top accounting researcher in the Top 20 business schools is taking any leadership in emerging technologies for learning?

By the way, the best-known listing of the Top 20 business schools can be found at

Go to the bottom of this (my birthday issue) edition of New Bookmarks to see read about the thoughts of one top researcher from a leading business school.

Updates on XML

RDF and XML --- The Next Big Things on the WWW!

Just about every recent technology magazine and journal carries at least one article about the looming XML and RDF.  My top recommendation, apart from my own overview mentioned above, is entitled "XML: The Last Silver Bullet" by Jack Vaughan in Application Development Trends, April 1999, 24-30.  He contends that "coming as it does on the heels of the Web's great success (HTML), XML is viewed by some as having a far broader impact."  This is a nice summary article of the history of XML (it only started in 1996) and XML's tremendous future.  Vaughn also discusses RDF.  The online version of this article is at

Not much is out there yet in the way of software for XML and the standards have not yet been fully established to be embedded in web browser software.  However, some business firms are already experimenting with XML.  One piece of software that already has an XML backbone is the Dynabase from INSO (800-733-5799) at can be built on top of such relational database systems as Oracle, Sybase, Informix, SQL Server, and DB2.  (It should be pointed out, however, that XML will eventually be an object-oriented database system).  Dynabase uses a proprietary programming language that is very close to Visual Basic and will, therefore, integrate well with Microsoft's Office 2000 products.  It is a bit early for poor professors to start experimenting with Dynabase since it carries a price tag of $50,000.  But Dynabase is already on the move in the corporate worldA license for Dynabase would make a nice albeit expensive birthday gift for Bob Jensen.

XML Update from InternetWeek on "XML in Your Palm"
Bluestone Software next week will post extensible markup language (XML) applications for the 3Com Palm Computing platform—believed to be among the first publicly available XML apps for 3Com’s popular PDA.  The pair of applications—one for the Palm and one for an XML server—connects the Palm’s contact database to corporate information.  Both applications will be posted on Bluestone’s Web site on April 27. "In essence, this maps the Palm’s database for contacts with XML documents," said John Capobianco, Bluestone’s senior vice president of marketing.

The SEC's Ten Questions to Ask About Any Investment Opportunity.

I guess the United States is part of "the world."  The IASC is gaining global support.
"KPMG UK has announced its support for IAS as the accounting standards for Europe -- and the world" March 29 announcement at .

PricewaterhouseCoopers opens its Florida facility to teach IT skills to employees.  This is a 23 acre campus where up to 750 recruits are sent for training courses.  However, about 40% of the training is done online over an intranet.  For a summary of this operation see Information Week, April 12, 1999, Page 150.  I could not find the online version of this article.  Nor could I find any mention of this "College for Consultants" at the PWC web site at

I have not yet updated my page on Double Entries so the information that you gave to AECM on how to subscribe is incorrect. A Web-based registration form for Double Entries is at The form makes it very easy for any user to sign up for Double Entries (Mark 2).

Congratulations to Gary Holstrum for getting the following bit into the Scout Report.  The Scout Report is selective about what it chooses to feature.

The Internet and Distance Learning in Accounting Education—IFAC

This new discussion paper from the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) Education Committee addresses issues of quality assurance in Internet and distance education with the hope that the publication will act as a "springboard" for further discussion among accounting educators. The paper concludes with clear guidelines for a "formidable" distance education program, and a lengthy appendix includes relevant Websites for further consideration (As quoted from the Scout Report for April 23, 1999).

I worry some about business schools that are jumping on the huge commitment to bring SAP to students.  SAP is one of the various alternatives (such as Baan and PeopleSoft) for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).  First, SAP is an enormous commitment of resources, faculty training, and student time.   Second, there is a legal liability risk that should be carefully cleared through any university's legal department since it is possible for users to find themselves named in lawsuits brought against developers of SAP.  Links to SAP and various other ERP alternatives can be found at

More importantly, I worry about the future of ERPs in general.   In this context I call your attention to an article by Tom Stein entitled "ERP's Fight for Life," in Information Week, April 12, 1999, 59-66.  The online version is at

Various schools of business have invested heavily in SAP.   One example is California State University at Chico.  It would be interesting to hear from some faculty who are teaching SAP to give some advice to faculty who are contemplating recommending SAP to their administrators.  Please address such questions as the following:

SAP Training at

Major ERP vendors

SAP at
Baan at  
JD Edwards at
Microsoft SQL Server at  
Oracle at  
PeopleSoft at

FASB's self-study CD-ROM course on SFAS 133 (Accounting for Derivative Financial Instruments and Hedging) (I could not get the CD-ROM link to work.  Maybe you will have better luck.)

The Journal of Finance maintains a very helpful and extensive web site called the Finance Site List,215   .  Categories include the following:

Other Journals
Institutional Working Paper Sites
Personal Working Paper Sites
The Finance Profession
Research Centers
Link Collections
Asset Pricing & Investments
Corporate Finance and Governance
Financial Institutions
Research Software and Data
Educational Resources
Of Interest to Students

Also do not forget the wonderful Yahoo finance web site at

Thank you Aaron
A Yale University computer scientist is about to release a commercial software program that he says will alleviate "information overload" and change the way people think about computer data. Although the software may not yet live up to its creator's grand vision, it offers some innovative ways to manage large collections of documents.

Now Mr. Gelernter is taking on a new role, becoming a salesman as well as a researcher. His company, MirrorWorlds, hopes to peddle the software to universities, corporations, and, eventually, individual computer users.


Do not forget to check out Aaron's Educational Tips and SnippitsMost of us are going to miss Aaron.

Hey Don --- all management professors should probably bookmark Cornell University's Workplace Issues Today

Examples of online courses can be found at Temple University

These courses use Cornell University's Blackboard shell for online communications, interactions, and course pages that can be generated without having to learn HTML.  During my visit to Temple, David Feeney told me they compared the top server shells and decided Blackboard stood above the crowd.  You can read about Blackboard and other shells at

Heavy duty web publishing systems are reviewed in "Untangling Your Web Site," NewMedia, April 1999, 42-50.  The online version is at

This week's featured accounting educator is Dennis Bline at Bryant College.  His "Communications for Accountants" course tackles the very serious problem of how to improve the communications skills of accounting majors (you know --- those nerds who focus in mostly on shoelaces.)  See

This document outlines a required sophomore level course that has been developed to enable students to understand the difference between communicating to show knowledge and communicating to address a problem. Students are given instruction in areas that emphasize business communication priorities such as audience focus, organization, structure, and conciseness. They are then given assignments that require them to communicate to different audiences. These assignments are designed to enable each student to practice the skills discussed in class. In addition, students are required to provide feedback to peers on both written and oral assignments. As a result, they are introduced to another skill that will be necessary in practice, peer review.

If you know any accounting educators with helpful materials on the web, please ask them to link their materials  in the American Accounting Association's Accounting Coursepage Exchange (ACE) web site at
Please send these professors email messages today and urge them to share as much as they can with the academy by easily registering their course pages with ACE. 

This week, I feature
Instructor:  Peter Kenyon
Institution:  Humboldt State University
Course Name: Introductory Financial, Managerial, and Survey
Textbook: various
Web Site:

Peter was one of my early "Daring Professors" that you can read about at

More links to news and current events than you will ever want

Directory of Online Corporate Annual Reports


The Motley Fool: How to Value Stocks (this is a misleading title to a very good web site)

Thank you Neil Hannon for the "Links to the Top Five Personal Finance Web Sites:

Also see the CFO Magazine Online

Oh No!
United States Tax Court - take your case to a higher authority.

The Tax History Project

New York Times Magazine

Effective Communication (a free online magazine)


What do you expect when you've only got one bullet in your pocket and none in the chamber?   (Mayberry Memories)

A Positive Light (Poetry)

FamilySearch - from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Dart throwing is not allowed! (But you are allowed to pin a tail on the donkey.)
American Presidents: Life Portraits

Dart throwing is allowed!
Reviewboard for consumer products

Bug Network (not computer bugs, the crawling variety that birds love and we hate)

California Shipwrecks

Take a walk on the moon

California Plants and Habitats

Dream Home 2000

I will pass along a message from Matt Stroud about how language placement tests will be administered online at Trinity University using the Computerized Adaptive Placement Exam (CAPE) shell. (well maybe it's not really a server shell).  CAPE is restricted to selected online testing of language skills in Spanish, Russian, German, and French.  It is intended for online testing and grading.  The CAPE home page is at .

In the immortal words of Tevye, "I’ll tell you... I don’t know. But we have it!" What we are using is a package bought from Brigham Young University. They produced language placement tests (called CAPE tests) using Toolbook (your old friend). We then mount them on the network and anyone linked directly can take them (try them yourself: N:\Class\Tests\Mll\ then double click on the flag icon of the language you want to take). Here’s where the mystery comes in. The results are logged to a folder, oddly enough called "Results" in the same \Mll subdirectory. How the results get from the student computer to that subdirectory probably involves exactly the kind of thing you are asking about, a shell. Sorry to say, I don’t know what the programming/interface for the program looks like. You might want to contact Steve Curry. He set it up for us, but having seen the setup program, all it asks is "Where do you want to post the results?" My short answer to your question is no, TUCC did not install a shell for our program. The process to post student results came with the program.


You can read more about the E&Y-funded M.S. in Accounting programs at

A note from Ellen at E&Y concerning the E&Y-funded M.S. in Accounting degrees at Notre Dame and the University of Virginia

I appreciate your summary of the comments and will climb more into depth. I have been involved in all of this and do have many more facts about the E&Y program than the KPMG program. It sounds like Tom Frecka cleared up some of the facts.

Our decision to include a limited amount of accounting majors in this program is designed to address the concern that the 150 hour rule is a barrier to entry for minorities and severely financially disadvantaged students. These students would be admitted to the program but exempt from the readiness program. In terms of the intensive immersion in undergraduate curriculum, I feel very confident that UVA and Notre Dame can do an excellent job. As you may know, USC (Southern Cal) has been doing an intensive immersion program for years for Coopers hires and they report quite good results.

Students are hired to the firm pending acceptance into one of these academic programs. The universities manage the admissions process and guidelines. The firm is aware of the quality of student appropriate for these institutions - it is this excellent candidate we aspire to hire and put up for acceptance by the schools.

Ernst & Young does not want to compete with accounting programs, we hope to increase the source of assurance professionals. The numbers of majors are decreasing in many institutions and our business is growing with great gusto. We are eager to hire smart graduates all over the country. By trying to entice business majors to the profession, we are looking to leverage the investments so many schools have made in their entry level classes- to the benefit of these same students. If we can take that positive experience and add to it, I have confidence that we will have a group of truly outstanding professionals.

Thanks again for your note,
Ellen J. Glazerman Ellen.Glazerman@EY.COM

Search Information from ZD Tips
AltaVista has announced they will begin to sell listings on its results pages, allowing users who submit a query to see two "paid placements" along with the other computer-generated results. This is much like a standard policy at Yahoo! as well as Alta Vista plans to sell paid placements by auctioning off certain keywords and offering the listing to the highest bidder. Bidding will begin at 25 cents per click through. For more info, check out:

Update on Speech Recognition from InformationWeek
Speech-recognition vendors are trying to make the technology more attractive to IT managers. Nuance Communications this week will introduce software to make it easier and cheaper to build speech-enabled enterprise applications, and Dragon Systems Inc. will roll out an enterprise edition of its desktop software. Nuance is releasing Foundation SpeechObjects, blocks of open-software code that developers can use to build speech applications quickly. The objects include the typical items a computer may need to recognize in a speech application, such as dates, times, telephone numbers, yes/no, and digit strings. Nuance says using SpeechObjects can shave 75% off development time. The first version of SpeechObjects will be packaged as JavaBeans; the product will be available later this year as ActiveX Controls. SpeechObjects is available for download for members of a new Nuance developer network. Membership in the network, which includes online discussions and other resources, is priced at $495 a year, compared with the $5,000 Nuance was charging for its independent software developer toolkit. Dragon Systems NaturallySpeaking Enterprise Edition, which is installed on servers, lets mobile workers use speech recognition at any PC attached to a company's network. In the past, users had to set up a profile and train the software at every PC they used.


North Carolina Moonshine (... Hic ... the important side of history)

Special Insert: 
The following message comes from one of the leading accounting researchers at one of the leading accounting research institutions in the United States.  Since his/her thoughts are still tentative on such sensitive matters, I am not disclosing the source of this message. 
You should have seen my reply to this message, but that would probably bruise the egos of some of my best friends too much to make public.

I’m pondering something that I’d like to share with you—given your unique and exemplary position as the champion of all champions of technology in accounting education. Don’t mean to burden you with lots of reading here. But would like your thoughts on the following....

What I find remarkable about the area of technology as it relates to accounting education is the extent of market segmentation—i.e., the dramatic contrast between the top 20 research universities versus all other programs. The accounting departments at the top 20 research universities are entirely indifferent to the technological revolution. Yet all other accounting programs in the country are convinced that their futures depend on the speed with which they adopt technology to their pedagogies and programs.

To date, the neglect by the top 20 research universities does not appear to have hurt them. Grants and outside funds to these departments are strong. Their recruiting (of students and faculty) is solid and their rankings haven’t suffered.

My most recent perception (as of this morning!) is that the 20 top research schools may be exceptionally smart in letting the other schools sort out the technology-in-accounting market a bit before the research schools begin to integrate technology in their programs. The "non-research" schools pay the costs of being at the "bleeding edge" of technology while the research schools focus on increasing their visibility in the research area.

Have you observed these trends? What are your perceptions?

Best wishes,
(Name Deleted)

Closing comments from Bob Jensen:
Even though I will not reproduce my reply to the above message, I will repeat what I said at the top of this April 30 Edition to New Bookmarks.

My bottom line conclusion is that the 'Top 20" business schools are way behind the IT curve in general and way behind the other divisions in their institutions (e.g., humanities, science, and medicine) in particular.  My opinion is that accounting faculty in the Top 20 business schools are even behind the IT snail's in other departments in their own business schools (e.g., snails in management, marketing, and finance.)  Look for example at the service now provided the the Journal of Finance that is mentioned above. 

What top accounting researcher in the Top 20 business schools is taking any leadership in emerging technologies for learning?

By the way, the best-known listing of the Top 20 business schools can be found at

And that's the way it was on April 30, 1999.  The address for those big expensive birthday presents is given below.

Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-736-7347 Fax: 210-736-8134  Email:

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Bob Jensen's Index Page Bob Jensen's Bookmarks New Bookmark Archives

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April 23, 1999

I had nothing to do with the search engine reported below,  but I am honored that "k ibrahim" took the time and trouble to help you search my "full set" of bookmarks.  I might warn readers, however, that many bookmarks are contained in my New Bookmarks file that have not yet been posted to the "full-set."    Bringing the "full set" up to date is on my to-do list as soon as final examinations are ended this semester.

I would encourage Mr. Ibrahim to create a search engine for my New Bookmarks file as well.  The New Bookmarks file is the one with commentaries.  However, that file lacks an index.

The following was a message posted on the CPA listserv:


From:  k ibrahim

new search engine box has been installed in Dr. Jensen bookmarks , u can now search either the site or the web ,,.urs,


Now that my ACCT 5341 International Accounting Theories course is drawing to a close, I will make the "secret" web site to my SFAS 133 (Accounting for Derivative Financial Instruments and Hedging Activities) tutorial files public.   The secret web site is at

You may also want to go to the public web site information at the following URLs:

I have revised my Working Paper 260 on Networking of Databases to include overviews of "RDF and XML - The Next Big Things on the WWW."  See

Also do not forget the great links shown below:

(XML for the Absolute Beginner)

(A good RDF web site)

(Vendors pledge support)

From InformationWeek Daily
XML Vendors Merge, Will Offer Extended Products And Services__ DataChannel Corp., maker of Extensible Markup Language applications, yesterday gained a services business by merging with Isogen. The combined companies will offer a range of products and services for deploying XML applications. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The merger will bolster DataChannel’s XML Framework, a package of products and services that includes DataChannel’s XML applications and systems integrators. Isogen brings experience in designing, integrating, and implementing XML applications for clients such as Chase Manhattan Bank, Lockheed Martin, Lucent Technologies, and Nortel Networks. The combined companies will employ about 40 systems integrators. "This is the largest concentration in the world of people who are intimately familiar with building XML applications," says George Kondrach, general manager at Isogen.

DataChannel and Isogen will work to flesh out DataChannel’s XML Framework 4.0, due for release next quarter. They will enhance the framework’s XMLBluePrint, XML Design and Architecture, and training components. "We’ll be putting together a packaging of the XML Framework so other integrators, consultants, and developers can license technologies, for example," Kondrach says. "We think XML has its greatest value in becoming ubiquitous."

***For more on XML, see "XML Applications Stand Up To EDI"

Bravo for a good job to Australian Professor Andrew Priest for AcctInfoPlus. That site is developed and maintained for the Academic and Professional Accounting community by Andrew Priest of Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia. The purpose is to provide a comprehensive listing of all upcoming accounting conferences and links to their respective pages
or other contact information.

I was saddened to read the following information at the above web site:

It has been decided with regret, to remove the accounting resource links section of this (AcctInfoPlus) site. The maintenance burden associated with this section has become to high. I have decided to concentrate my efforts in maintaining the Conference Calendar and continuing my work with Double Entries.

Accountants around the world, however, can still follow world accounting news by subscribing to Double Entries.  Check out the following web sites:

Thank you Gary Holstrum
The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) Education Committee has posted a working paper on its web site titled "The Internet and Distance Learning in Accounting Education: A Hyper-Linked Exploration of the Topic." The working paper discusses issues of quality assurance in Internet and Distance Education in Accounting and contains numerous hyperlinks to other relevant web sites. The working paper may be accessed by first going through the IFAC Home Page,, then through the "Education Committee" link to the Education Committee discussion papers. (See ).

You can also go directly to

Following the issuance of IAS 39 (good job Paul Pacter) and the meeting IOSCO's deadline for setting the core international accounting standards, foreign companies are anxiously waiting to see whether the IASC will become a major player in accounting standard setting for potential entrants into U.S. capital markets.  Read about the hoopla and controversies at

You can also read much more about the IASC's past and future at

And you can read about what the FASB is saying about the IASC at

Educators might be able to help the Financial Executives Institute (FEI).  FEI allows many universities to nominate an accounting or finance professor to join at reduced (academic) membership rates.  Does your college or university have a faculty member in the FEI?  Does your college's top financial officer have a regular (non-academic) membership?  If your college is not already represented in the FEI by at least one regular and one academic member, I suspect the local or regional chapter of the FEI would like to know who to contact for membership.  You can examine the FEI web site or contact Phil Livingston for more information.  FEI welcomes its newest academic members --- Mary Barth from Stanford and Wayne Landsman from the University of North Carolina.

I finally had a chance to see and touch a Super Bowl ring.  Last Thursday, Phil Livingston met with past presidents of the South Texas FEI Chapter.  I had the privilege of being President of the ST Chapter in 1996.  The following memo Phil sent to all FEI members around the world is interesting.  Phil is the new President over all FEI chapters.  Phil is really trying to shape the future of FEI and is a great spokesperson for corporations.  I don't agree with him on all issues such as accounting for employee compensation, but who wants to argue with a former offensive tackle for the Oakland Raiders who stays is such good shape that he looks like he could still be a draft pick.  Seriously, however, Phil would like to hear from accounting educators with ideas about how to position the FEI for the future and how to make FEI better known among college students.  This is a challenge because college graduates are a long way from being eligible to join the FEI (most members are CFOs or Controllers of large organizations). 

I am passing along a few excerpts taken from Phil's longer message.


To: FEI Members
From: Phil Livingston, FEI President

Some great things are happening at FEI. Hope you find something useful for your daily work in the following information.

Letter to The New York Times editors - On March 28th, The New York Times ran another column bashing the quality of corporate reporting and accounting. I responded on April 1 and they have informed us that the letter to the editor will run on Sunday, April 18th, unless space prohibits. I hope you find the response representative of your views too.

The popular press finds it too easy and convenient to run articles bashing stock option accounting and management compensation. They fail to fully explore the complexity of the subject, the incredible results of our marketplace-driven system and the strength of the governance process in our capital markets. Here is a link to the text of both the original article and my response:

Professor David LaRue and M&A presentation - In response to my last FEI Express, Dr. LaRue, McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia, sent in the most unbelievable Powerpoint presentation on structuring and tax implications of cash-based acquisitions. The graphics and substance of the analysis are tremendous. You can access it in our download library by clicking here. We gave Dr. LaRue a Palm Pilot for this great contribution to the betterment of our profession. He indicates that more will follow.

Phil Livingston
President and CEO

Kaplan's online, asynchronous learning law school,1898,2983,00.html

Thank you Neil Hannon and Andrew Priest
That really big directory for web site developers

News From Macromedia
See how Tim Barber, Creative Director at CircumStance Designs, depends on Macromedia Dreamweaver 2 as "hub central for project development."   See his design techniques in Macromedia's new Dreamweaver Designer Spotlight at:

The new Fireworks Designer Spotlight launches with not one but four noted Fireworks designers. Check out how Sandee Cohen uses Fireworks 2 with Wacom tablets to create thousands of different effects in the April spotlight. Then visit the "Techniques" section to see more from Donna Casey, Sandee Cohen, Lisa Lopuck, and Lynda Weinman at:

And finally, the experts at Ziff Davis Journals show us how to animate FreeHand graphics in Fireworks at:

Hands on training and conferences

News from Microsoft:
Major Upgrade to Windows Media Technologies

TechNet DVD Beta

Egyptian Art Exhibit Gets Boost from Site Server Commerce

Given the booming popularity of digital cameras and scanners, making digital content easier to manage will be key to driving broader adoption of PCs among consumers.

Learn How to Process Credit Cards for Online Payment

From InformationWeek Newsletter:
Chambers pointed to the company he heads, the leading enterprise data networking vendor and the largest online revenue producer, as an example of how increased emphasis on IT and the use of the Internet can result in staggering revenue growth and a powerful competitive position.

"In 1991, we made a decision to use IS and networked applications as a key competitive advantage," he said. "Without this capability, we’d have no chance of taking on large players," such as Nortel, Alcatel and Siemens. More tangible results: in the past two fiscal years, the company’s use of "seven or eight" major Web applications has resulted in a 20 percent increase in productivity and $500 million in savings.

A fresh wave of wireless wares and services is emerging that may help service providers deliver broadband directly to customers by skipping the "last mile."

Lists and quotes of famous people throughout history commenting on core values

Java Demos for Probability and Statistics

Codes of Ethics Online Project

What is the ISO 9000?  Look it up at

ISO 9000 Translated into Plain English

IT Braces For Next Virus Onslaught

eCost claims to have thousands of shopping products at or below cost (this may be true, but Jensen always recommends that you compare prices and service)

From the Scout Report
Knowledge Broker
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has recently launched Knowledge Broker, a Web portal that provides development experts, government agencies, and private organizations with centralized "access to knowledge, practical solutions, and best practices" for using information technologies to promote sustainable human development. Knowledge Broker interconnects three Websites: INFO21, the Sustainable Development Networking Programme (SDNP), and the HORIZON Communications Solutions Site. INFO21 functions as UNDP’s online resource center for information on the relationship between sustainable human development and communications technologies. The SDNP, also a UNDP site, supports connectivity and information-sharing in developing countries. And the HORIZON site, a collaborative project produced by several development research centers, offers "readily accessible peer-reviewed answers to problems in environment, health, population, and development."

Einstein’s Dreams

Aboriginal stories of the dreaming

Center for Effective Parenting

Becoming the Parent You Want to Be

Find the "truth in youth"

Caring Kids is an award-winning series of contemporary realistic fiction and fantasy for children ages 8-12 by Irma K. Ghosn. The stories are set mainly in the Middle-Eastern context and feature themes of environment, ecology, human rights, tolerance, peace and social responsibility. The stories aim at raising children's awareness about social issues, instilling in them the idea that individuals can make a difference and nurturing emotional intelligence. The characters are mostly average children (or animals in situations that children can easily identify with), who experience problems and conflict, both universal and regional. Some of the stories in the series are fantasy where the characters and events will reflect real life situations in symbolic form. is a very innovative web site for viewing current international news in the media and current news on the Internet (including highlights from News Groups).   What is especially unique is the geography/mapping metaphor.  Documents are grouped topographically by subject.  This is a sophisticated web site.

Open Studio: The Arts Online (prairie grasses, wildflowers, and other related topics)

Erikson Biographical Institute, Inc.

Ancient Egypt Dictionary

At the top of the world (the initial moving photograph of the top of Mt. Everest is worth the price of a mouse click)

You can also read about an Everest trek in Quokka Sports

Fratelli Alinari's web site in Italian or English (this is a classy web site with collections of various items in European history, art, and photography)

Create your own online animations at the 16 Color Cinema

For cartoon and comics enthusiasts

Abstracts of the articles in the latest issue of On the Horizon

The Technology Revolution: The George Washington University Forecast of Emerging Technologies
Michael Kull and William E. Halal

According to Kull and Halal, revolutionary innovation-driven primarily by advances in information technology (IT)-is currently underway in all scientific and technological fields. Recognizing that fact is one thing; being prepared for the impact that IT developments will have on education is quite another. The authors explain how the George Washington University Forecast of Emerging Technologies, a unique program that issued its first report in 1990, uses the expertise of technology specialists to identify emerging technologies that will impact GWU over the next three decades. For any educational administrator feeling overwhelmed by the Technology Revolution, this article provides essential information on how to cope with changes that will do nothing less, Kull and Halal contend, than "transform modern civilization."

The Role of Technology in Education Today and Tomorrow: An Interview with Kenneth Green, Part II
James L. Morrison

Kenneth Casey Green and James L. Morrison continue their conversation about the use of information technology tools in education (for the first installment of this interview, see the September/October 1998 OTH). Green readily admits that "infusing technology into the educational experience-in K-12 and in higher education-is not like a surgical or pharmaceutical intervention. To date there is no . . . definitive technology that consistently and reliably improves academic achievement and learning outcomes." He convincingly argues, however, that it would be "foolish" to reduce investments in IT-based learning, which provides individualized instruction, asynchronous learning, enhanced content, and information-rich resources. Green is the founder/director of the Campus Computing Project, the largest continuing study of the role of information technology in American higher education.

Will Universities Be Relics? What Happens When an Irresistible Force Meets an Immovable Object?
John W. Hibbs

Peter Drucker predicts that, in 30 years, the traditional university will be nothing more than a relic. Should we listen or laugh? Hibbs examines Drucker's prophesy in the light of other unbelievable events, including the rapid transformation of the Soviet Union "from an invincible Evil Empire into just another meek door-knocker at International Monetary Fund headquarters." Given the mobility and cost concerns of today's students, as well as the growing tendency of employers to evaluate job-seekers' competencies rather than their institutional affiliations, Hibbs agrees that the brick-and-mortar university is doomed to extinction.

The Data Warehouse Revolution on the Web
John H. Milam, Jr.

Some call it the "holy grail" for educational planners, and they are not talking about a loyal administrative assistant. Instead, the new technological object of reverence is the data warehouse: an online repository of useful management information that, with the advent of data streaming on the Web, has become both accessible and affordable. Milam evaluates the products that enable data streaming; he also applauds innovative data warehouse projects at the University of Minnesota and George Mason University.

Implications of the Attack on Tenure
Laurence R. Marcus

Marcus examines every side of the debate about tenure in higher education, citing the reasons supporters give for maintaining-and opponents give for abolishing-this once-sacred practice that recently has grown so controversial. He suggests that, in order to find a resolution to this debate, educational administrators may begin to emulate elected public officials who regulate the terms and conditions of their staff's employment. "When Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell negotiated a city workers' contract that previously had restricted the administration's ability to monitor staff performance and improve productivity," Marcus writes, "he was hailed as 'the mayor who knew how to reinvent the American city."' Will university administrators follow suit, renegotiate faculty contracts, and use as leverage the big stick of abolishing tenure? Marcus weighs the odds.

And that's the way it was on April 23, 1999.

Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-736-7347 Fax: 210-736-8134  Email:

Hline.jpg (568 bytes)

Bob Jensen's Index Page Bob Jensen's Bookmarks New Bookmark Archives

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April 18, 1999

Innovation in Accounting Education Award 1999 Submissions to the American Accounting Association
(I will review some of these documents in future editions of New Bookmarks)

AICPA Professor/Practitioner Case Development Program
Please be informed that the winning case materials (student notes only) are now available on the Institute Web site at
(The 1998 winners are linked at )

Copies of the cases are also being distributed to administrators of accounting programs and AICPA on-campus champions. Case materials were provided on a floppy disk in Word format together with a hard copy of the teaching notes. The multimedia case addressing ElderCare Services was provided in CD format. Academic authors will also be receiving the same compendium package being distributed to administrators and champions.

A specially bound volume containing all of the published notes will be sent to both academic and practitioner authors.

Since this is the first time that we are making these case materials available online, we encountered some problems in the process. We apologize for the delay in making these materials available sooner and for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Leticia Romeo
Coordinator, Academic and Career Development, AICPA
Tel. No. (212) 596-6221

I have been plowing my way through The XML Handbook by Charles Goldfarb and Paul Prescod and am trying to learn as much as possible about XML and RDF.  A message from a current graduate student (Dan Price) is repeated below:

Hi Dr. J,
I asked my wife about XML and RDF, and she gave me some good information about how they work in relation to HTML.
XML is a metalanguage based on the same foundation as HTML. RDF works within XML as a foundation for processing metadata. In a way, the two will work together like OO databases do. USAA’s web page uses some XML.

Two good sites on the topic are:

(XML for the Absolute Beginner)

(A good RDF web site)

Dan Price

To Dan's message I might add the following online article entitled "XML Gains Ground:  Vendors pledge support as XML stands poised to become a universal format for data exchange" at

For those of you following server shell alternatives for interactive education such as having students take examinations online and chat rooms, the IT pros that I have been speaking with lately rave about Blackboard.  There are many reports of bugs, complexities, and frustrations with TopClass (cynically known as BottomClass) and LearningSpace.  WebCT is probably still the best buy for a full-featured shell, but Blackboard seems to be users' choice these days at (about) $5,000 per server.   Blackboard had its origins in Cornell University.  In my visit at the Fox School of Business and Management at Temple University last week, I discovered that Temple has adopted Blackboard.

There is now an option to create a free Blackboard course online at

You can read more about server shells at

A heavy user of Blackbird at Temple University is David R. Feeney, distance Education Project Director.  His email address is .

This is a plug for my very good friend Bob Anthony (now retired from the Harvard Business School but still working away).

Software publisher Ivy Software has released Bob Anthony’s Essentials of Accounting in the Multimedia format. This CD ROM has numerous animations and voiceovers to assist the student in learning the essentials of accounting. There are eleven sections in the CD. Topics range from the basic elements of the balance sheet to financial statement analysis. Comparably priced to the print version, the CD offers a high degree of interactivity.

The Anthony CD ROM is priced at $50.00 plus shipping and handling compared to a retail price for the printed version of approximately (dependent on supplier) $36.00 plus shipping and handling. To write, fax or e-mail Ivy Software use the following address - 2246 Ivy Road, Ste. 14, Charlottesville, VA 22903; fax -804-293-9536; email - Or to call Ivy Software, dial 800-342-5489 or 804-293-7105.

Tax Helpers from the University of Illinois at Chicago

Tips from Microsoft on how to avoid tax audits

The featured accounting education innovator this week is a tax professor named Kevin Barrett at Appalachia State University.  Kevin's innovation is titled "Problem-Based Learning in a Multi-media Setting." It is described as follows

The student's responsibility is to search authoritative sources for information leading to the resolution of the issues in the case at hand. That search is conducted using U.S. Master Tax Guide CD-ROM and CCH online tax services. Once the student locates an appropriate source, that documentation is saved electronically with password protection to a specified file on the university LAN. The typical class takes place in a state-of-the-art classroom and centers on tax issues in the case under consideration. Each student has the opportunity to show expertise in the topic under consideration based on the research he/she has done prior to class. Upon providing the class with pertinent information about a tax issue, the electronically available information is copied from the student's computer file and added to the class' master narrative solution of the case. As the class builds the narrative solution using a Microsoft Word file, it also builds a numerical tax formula solution using a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. The group effort reflected in both the narrative and numerical solutions are available on the network for any student who needs to review, catch up, or prepare for the next case. Once the narrative and numerical solutions are done, groups of students work together to input the case into ProSystems, a tax return preparation software.


If you know any accounting educators with helpful materials on the web, please ask them to link their materials  in the American Accounting Association's Accounting Coursepage Exchange (ACE) web site at
Please send these professors email messages today and urge them to share as much as they can with the academy by easily registering their course pages with ACE. 

This week's featured ACE professor is Dan Gode at New York University. 
Instructor: Dan Gode
Institution: Stern School of Business, New York University
Course Name: Financial Accounting (elementary level)
Textbook: Financial Accounting Tutor
Author(s): Dan Gode and Rachana Gode
Note the software tab at

Hoover’s UK (Database of information about companies in the UK, like the US version of EDGAR)

Rick Cooper asked about audio in PowerPoint a few weeks ago. There is a good article entitled "Teaching PowerPoint to Talk" in the April, 1999 issue of Syllabus, 45-48. I don't think the April issue has yet been made available online, but it will soon be posted at

Billy Burke reports that this is a great site for CEOs

On April 5, 1999 on Page 17, Newsweek Magazine discussed a new entrant to the online book market called netLibrary.  Unlike previous electronic books from publishing houses, netLibrary is a rental library for online education and professional book market.  Another difference is that the books themselves can be used on a PC using special downloading software called Knowledge Station that runs in Microsoft Windows. See /

netLibrary is your 24 hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week connection to thousands of scholarly, reference, and professional eBooks. If you’re new to netLibrary, the following links will provide a quick overview of the capabilities of our site:

Searching books
Browsing books
Purchasing books
Reading free books
Checking out books
Downloading books to your computer
Establishing a netLibrary account
Modifying preferences
Creating bookshelves

netLibrary has a free reading room online at

One of the most controversial technologies for publishing are the electronic books that allow you to download entire copyrighted books into special hardware devices called "E-books."  Unlike netLibrary described above, these electronic books cannot be downloaded into desktop or laptop computers.  Nevertheless, electronic books have some advantages of computers such as text selection devices, highlighters, stylus pens for taking notes on margins of pages, hypertext linking, insertion of bookmarks, and keyword search capabilities.  Purportedly, E-books are easier to navigate than books downloaded into personal computers.  They do not allow computer utilities such as cut, copy, paste, and screen duplication.  Most do not yet connect to the Internet, although that type of connection is expected in the next round of upgrades to such devices.  The devices themselves are light, and some offer two screens to resemble adjoining pages of a hard copy book. 

The major publishing companies such as Random House and McGraw-Hill are coding selected manuscripts into electronic books.  Major advantages to publishers include avoiding the cost of printing in multiple colors on hard copy paper and destruction of the used book market.  Books can be updated more frequently, and holders of existing books can download new editions for reduced fees.  Dealers are easily bypassed with direct downloads over telephone lines.

Advantages to readers include lower prices, more frequent upgrades, and the ability to store five books or more into one easy to carry electronic book.  Drawbacks mainly center around screen quality and preferences for readers to view hard copy pages.

For a review see "Electronic Textbooks: From Paper to Pixels," Syllabus, February 1999, pp. 16-19.  The online version can be found at .  In that article Steve Epstein reports the following"

Major university projects, such as The Humanities Text Initiative at the University of Michigan ( and Project Bartleby at Columbia ( ) have already begun to create and disseminate electronic versions of books.

One of the E-book devices is called Rocket eBook at from NuvoMedia.  The following facts are given at the Rocket eBook web site:

About the size of a paperback, the Rocket eBook™ holds some 4,000 pages of words and images. That's about 10 novels. Weighing just 22 ounces, the Rocket eBook nestles easily in the curve of your palm. And it goes wherever you go - so you can take off in any direction and never be far from what you want or need to read.

Another E-book device is called the Softbook Electronic Tablet from Softbook Press at .   Don Steinberg gives it raves at,4161,368946,00.html .  He claims that this device has the best screen resolution.

IPO Express (investing)

The innovative way that general education core courses are taught without lectures at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: (PowerPoint Slides)

You may want to read about the interesting way an Information Technology program is built around designated IT professors in virtually every academic department at Rensselaer:

News from or about Microsoft

How WebTV Changing the Face of Education? (four case studies)

What’s new in Microsoft Excel 2000?

Free, Permanent E-mail Account on Hotmail

Tips on digital management (digital cameras, scanners)

Thank you Barry Rice and the Baltimore Sun
When they tracked the suspect down, investigators exploited a feature (or flaw) in Microsoft Word that exposes everyone who uses the program to potentially embarrassing invasions of privacy --- Microsoft has posted a Web page with links to programs that will purge the [culprit] from your system and show you how to modify Word’s settings to eliminate unnecessary information. You’ll find it at"

The Umbrella Project (helpers for starting up a small business)

Microsoft's helpers for small businesses

American FactFinder

The New York Times College Program for Professors and Students

Center for Evolutionary Psychology

Euro Papers

Small Business Helpers

Armenian History

Universal History Translation Project (languages)

The Frustrated Writers Society (United Kingdom)

Knopf Poetry Center

Encyclopedia of Cajun Culture

The FAQ Center

The Ticked-Off Tourist

Shop Online

New Automobile Information

I received this message on a listserv. Another person responded that it was limited to $20 per month.  Actually there are a bunch of rules that are listed at the AllAdvantage web site.   Bob Jensen is very skeptical of such deals.

This person (Mr. Wilson) claims he recently joined a new Internet service that pays him money! AllAdvantage company said that they pay you while you surf the Web ($.50 an hour). It’s free to join.

A ZD Tip on Searching
While most search engines use simple "keyword" searches or intricate "boolean logic" in order to find the information you’re looking for, takes a more relaxed approach. At AskJeeves, you simply type in the question you’re lookng for.

For example, an inquiry at on the word "airplane" will result in thousands of referring documents, many of which may not apply to the original question you had in mind. Whereas, at AskJeeves, you can type in "how fast is a jet airplane?" and receive a prompt and direct reply to your question.

Give it a try at

A ZD Tip on using Frontpage (changing frame contents in one click)
When you create a Web site that includes frames, you can easily use a hyperlink in one frame to change the contents of a second frame. But you may often want to change two frames with one click. To do so, add the following parameter to the HTML that defines the link:


The complete HTML for the link would then look something like this:

<a href="target1.htm" target="frame1"

onClick="parent.frame2.location.href="target2.htm">Click Here</a>

Of course, you’ll need to substitute the names of your actual frames and actual target documents.

Asymetrix is still trying to hang in there.

ToolBook documents
This section is dedicated to technical papers written by Asymetrix about development
techniques using our authoring software. Several of these documents represent handouts
delivered at the OnLine Learning '98 conference.

Customization Guide - Using ToolBook II Instructor to Modify ToolBook II
Assistant Applications, by Mary Anne Dane
Pump Up ToolBook II with ActiveX, by Erik Reitan
Creating Extended Objects for ToolBook II, by Tim Barham
Advanced Openscript Techniques, by Tim Barham
Beyond CBT, by Jan Utterstrom
Creating Multimedia Effects and Interactive Content, by Gaylene Zweigle
Creating Tools and Plugins for ToolBook II Instructor, by Tim Dutcher
Exploiting ToolBook Extended Objects, by Claude Ostyn
Revealing the Secrets of ToolBook II Java, by Mike Florence

Tools for Finding Indexed Accounting Research

American Accounting Association journals are indexed and abstracted selectively or entirely in the following print resources and electronic databases:

Accounting Horizons ABI/INFORM (December 1987 to date, full-text articles from January 1992), ABI/INFORM-Global Edition, Academic Search, Academic Search Full Text 1000, Accountants Index, Accounting Articles, Accounting & Tax Database, ArticleFirst via FirstSearch (1992 to date), Business Periodicals Index, Business Source, Business Source Plus, Business Source Plus (Full Text Titles Only), ContentsFirst via FirstSearch (1990 to date), Current Citations, Masterfile Fulltext 1000, Masterfile Fulltext 1000 (Full Text Titles Only), UMI ABI/INFORM - Business Periodicals OnDisc, WilsonSelect via FirstSearch (full-text articles from March 1995).

The Accounting Review ABI/INFORM (October 1971 to date), ABI/INFORM-Global Edition, Academic Search, Academic Search Full Text 1000, Accountants Index, Accounting Articles, Accounting & Finance Abstracts (formerly Accounting & Data Processing Abstracts), Accounting & Tax Database, ASEAN Management Abstracts (Association of South East Asian Nations), Anbar Management Services Abstracts, ArticleFirst via FirstSearch (1992 to date), Book Review Index, Business Index, Business Periodicals Index (1958 to date), Business Publications Index and Abstracts (ceased) Business Source, Business Source Plus, Business Source Plus (Full Text Titles Only), Children's Book Review Index, Computer Abstracts, Computer Literature Index (1968-1991), Content Pages in Management, ContentsFirst via FirstSearch (1992 to date), Contents of Recent Economics Journals, Current Citations, Current Contents: Social & Behavioral Sciences, Economic Literature Index, General Businessfile, Higher Education Current Awareness Bulletin (ceased), Index to Periodicals Related to Law, International Management Information Business Digest (ceased), Journal of Economic Literature, Management Contents (1974 to date), Management and Marketing Abstracts, Masterfile Fulltext 1000, Masterfile Fulltext 1000 (Fulltext Titles Only), Middle East Abstracts & Index, Predicasts, Reference Sources, Research Alert (formerly Automatic Subject Citation Alert), Risk Abstracts, SCIMP (Selective Cooperative Index of Management Periodicals), Social Sciences Citation Index, UMI ABI/INFORM - Business Periodicals OnDisc, UnCover, WilsonSelect via FirstSearch (full-text articles from January 1995), World Banking Abstracts.

Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory ABI/INFORM (Spring 1991 to date, full-text articles from January 1992), Academic Search Full Text 1000, Accounting Articles, ArticleFirst via FirstSearch, Business Source Plus, Business Source Plus (Full Text Titles Only), Current Citations, Current Contents: Social & Behavioral Sciences, Masterfile Fulltext 1000, Masterfile Fulltext 1000 (Full Text Titles Only), Research Alert (formerly Automatic Subject Citation Alert), Social Sciences Citation Index.

Behavioral Research In Accounting Academic Search Full Text 1000, Academic Search Full Text 1000 (Full Text Titles Only), Accounting & Tax Database, ArticleFirst via FirstSearch, (1997 to date), Business Source, Business Source Plus, Business Source Plus (Full Text Titles Only), Masterfile Fulltext 1000, Masterfile Fulltext 1000 (Full Text Titles Only).

Issues In Accounting Education Accountants Index (1986 to date), Academic Search Full Text 1000, Academic Search Full Text 1000 (Full Text Titles Only), ArticleFirst via FirstSearch, Business Source, Business Source Plus, ContentsFirst via FirstSearch, Masterfile Fulltext 1000, Masterfile Fulltext 1000 (Full Text Titles Only).

Journal of the American Taxation Association Accountants Index, Accounting Articles, Accounting & Tax Database, ArticleFirst via FirstSearch.

Journal of Information Systems Current Papers in Computers & Control, Current Papers in Electrical & Electronics Engineering , Ergonomics Abstracts, Geographical Abstracts: Physical Geography, INSPEC (The Institution of Electrical Engineers): Computers & Control Abstracts [alternative title: INSPEC, Section C], Physics Abstracts (Fall 1989 to date).

Journal of Management Accounting Research Academic Search Full Text 1000, Academic Search Full Text 1000 (Full Text Titles Only), Accounting & Tax Database, ArticleFirst via FirstSearch, Business Source Plus, Business Source Plus (Full Text Titles Only), Masterfile Fulltext 1000, Masterfile Fulltext 1000 (Full Text Titles Only).

And that's the way it was on April 18, 1999.

Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-736-7347 Fax: 210-736-8134  Email:

Hline.jpg (568 bytes)

Bob Jensen's Index Page Bob Jensen's Bookmarks New Bookmark Archives

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April 9, 1999

Watch for a forthcoming issue on network database technologies for the present and the future.  For the present, Bob Jensen is going to spend 21 days this summer with a book called Teach Yourself Active Web Database Programming in 21 Days by Dina Fleet and some other techies at Microsoft (SamsNet, ISBN 1-57521-139-4).  This book is a little dated, but it will prepare me somewhat for the new Office 2000 ways of putting databases on the web.  (Thank you Fred Zapata for the tip on getting this book).

The most important developments underway for the Internet are probably the new standards being developed for SGML, XML, CDI (Microsoft's Channel Definition Format), and RDF (the really big emerging thing).  I will have more on this as soon as I learn more about it myself.  I am presently wading through a wonderful book by Charles Goldfarb and Paul Prescod called The XML Handbook (Prentice-Hall, ISBN 0-13-081152-1).  Don't rush into coding in XML, but you may want to do some reading about it to prepare for the future when XML editors become as common place as HTML editors like FrontPage, HotMetal Pro, Page Mill, etc.

XML lights up

When accounting for advertising firms, Susan Jeter recommended Adman from Marketing Resources Plus

Susan did not provide me with the above URL, so I conducted a web search for the above web site.  In the process, I discovered a great listing of URLs of companies selling accounting systems software.  See

NIPC (National Infrastructure Protection Center's Wakeup Call on Security)
Especially note the FAQs

The NIPC brings together representatives from the FBI, other U.S. government agencies, state and local governments, and the private sector in a partnership to protect our nation's critical infrastructures.

Established in February 1998, the NIPC's mission is to serve as the U.S. government's focal point for threat assessment, warning, investigation, and response for threats or attacks against our critical infrastructures. These infrastructures, which include telecommunications, energy, banking and finance, water systems, government operations, and emergency services, are the foundation upon which our industrialized society is based.

Our society is increasingly relying on new information technologies and the Internet to conduct business, manage industrial activities, engage in personal communications, and perform scientific research. While these technologies allow for enormous gains in efficiency, productivity, and communications, they also create new vulnerabilities to those who would do us harm. The same interconnectivity that allows us to transmit information around the globe at the click of a mouse or push of a button also creates unprecedented opportunities for criminals, terrorists, and hostile foreign nation-states who might seek to steal money or proprietary data, invade private records, conduct industrial espionage, cause a vital infrastructure to cease operations, or engage in Information Warfare.

Protecting our critical infrastructures in the Information Age raises new challenges for all of us. Above all, it requires a partnership between the government and private industry to reduce our vulnerability to attack and increase our capabilities to respond to new threats. The NIPC provides an important vehicle for carrying that partnership forward.

"Because so many key components of our society are operated by the private sector, we must create a genuine public/private partnership to protect America in the 21st century. Together, we can find and reduce the vulnerabilities to attack in all critical sectors. "

President William J. Clinton

Note from Jensen --- One of my favorite online documents on this topic is entitled "An Introduction to Information Warfare" by Reto Haeni at

Thank you Neil Hannon
Tired of Manipulating Edgar Reports?

Ok, you know how to get free EDGAR ( ) reports, those handy SEC ( ) filings all publicly traded companies must file, but you find the information hard to work into your excel spreadsheet? Help is on the way. A small company called Invisible Worlds ( )is building a XML based duplicate database that will support deep and complex searches, both within and across documents. It will also return search results in multiple formats, such as text documents or spreadsheets. It may even create on-the-fly graphics that depict the relationships between data or documents. For more information, read Spicing up EDGAR reports.  Read about it and find the link along with other links at at .

Note from Jensen --- do not forget about that other wonderful source of EDGAR reports from Price WaterhouseCoopers at

I faithfully watch and record the weekly show called Computer Chronicles on PBS.  On April 7 the focus was on the following taxation and taxation education software:

Why not start with the IRS? (The best government agency web site on the Internet)

IRS Tax Interactive

The IRS youth education web site on taxation (an IRS  joint development project with the American Bar Association)

Tax Analysts:  Tax Information Worldwide online offers many tips on taxes and tax resources
Use Block's new TaxCut 1040EZ Online for FREE.

Intuit --- it is a market share leader with Quickbooks and TurboTax
Also note the Turbo tax contest described at

Microsoft Money Financial Suite is a personal finance web site that offers many tax tips on how to save tax dollars and avoid tax audits

Money Guide to Taxes

There are more extensive and expensive web sites on taxation and tax research.   Some of the heavy duty alternatives discussed by Barbara Karlin at the ATA in San Francisco include the following:.

Tax Helpers from the University of Illinois at Chicago

Tips from Microsoft on how to avoid tax audits

Will Yancey lists a bunch of tax professor web sites at

Since I do not teach taxation, I hesitate to pick out the leading educator web sites in this area.  I will, however, repeat the links to three of my friends who teach taxation.

Amy Dunbar at

Tom Omer at

Mark Wolfson at

The FEI Teleconference Archive of the Financial Executives Institute
You can download the RealAudio files or the transcripts.

From the Accounting Students Newsletter
Audit Glossary
(for a more complete listing of accounting, auditing, and technology glossaries see )

Becker’s CPA Cram Time

CPA Exam Review Vendors


Study Break

From InformationWeek Online at
The hard copy version of the article is available in Information Week, March 29, 1999, Page 30.
Prices start at $150,000.

Database pioneer Michael Stonebraker is introducing new middleware for linking disparate databases across a company. Stonebraker is founder and chief technology officer of Cohera Corp., a startup whose technology provides a unified view of data in real time, regardless of its location or structure.

Other database vendors already sell middleware for linking databases. The drawback to such products is that they're designed for centralized data management, a concept that doesn't work well in many companies, Stonebraker says. Cohera's software gives departmental database administrators control over their systems while providing some level of central management.

Eurotext (learning resources for Europe --- we also wish they could learn to get along with one another)

The Wabash Center Guide to Internet Resources for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion

News about speech recognition on computers

For those of you wanting to learn about the latest options for connecting to the Internet, I highly recommend "Pipe Dreams" by Eric Brown in the April 1999 issue of NewMedia, pp. 34-43.  In particular he has a lot to say about DSL.

When @Home Networks and Excite paired up this January, a term that had been bouncing about the periphery of the Internet business suddenly took center stage: broadband portal. Almost simultaneously, Snap announce its high-bandwidth Cyclone service, and America Online joined Bell Atlantic to announce it would hook up AOL users via digital subscriber line (DSL). Last fall, cable provider Comcast launched a portal aimed at cable modem users called that provides links to sites with high-band content. And by March, Warner Bros. Online was expected to launch its Entertaindom.

The entire article on line is at

The April 9 issue of NewMedia also reports lab testing results on DVD authoring systems (pp. 66-70).  Most of the alternatives get the equivalent of a C rating and none get A ratings in spite of the hefty price tags ranging from $38,000 to $55,000 --- just what every professor can afford on his or her desktop.  Web sites for such software are listed below"
Daikin Scenarist  at
Minerva Impression
sonic Solutions DVDCreator at
Spruce DVDMaestro at

News from or about Microsoft

Windows 2000 coming in October?  (Wanna bet?)

The Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario used Microsoft technology to develop a new Student Information System and enhanced learning methods. The technology solution involves laptop computers, personalized, Web-based information and a wireless local area network (WLAN) throughout the school building.

Bill Gates’ new book offers numerous "do’s" and "don’ts" for success in the digital age—but recent events compel Eric Lundquist to suggest a few extras ---

Software Technologies @ University of California Santa Cruz Extension

The following is only one of seven major course categories.

Database Systems and Concepts:  Introduction to SQL-92, PL/SQL: Developing Program Units for Oracle Databases, Advanced SQL Programming, Relational Database Concepts and Design, Relational Database Management Concepts,  Relational Database Design,  Mapping Object Architectures to Relational Databases,   Overview of Object and Object-Relational Database Management Systems, Overview of Distributed Database Systems, Building a Data Warehouse, Introduction to Open Database Connectivity (ODBC),  Introduction to Java Database Connectivity (JDBC), Introduction to Oracle RDBMS, Microsoft Access Fundamentals,  Microsoft Access Intermediate, Microsoft Access Advanced Topics, Oracle RDBMS Database Administration, Visual Basic Database Programming, Developing RDBMS Applications Using Oracle Forms, Oracle Data Warehouse Administration, Database Access from Web Applications, Windows Enterprise Application Programming

The biggest fork in the road of life.

Positive alternatives to drugs and gangs
Bajito Onda Foundation And Magazine

Spot and Stop Extreme Youth Violence

Apathy and Negativity Busters for Youth

National Substance Abuse Web Index—NCADI

MLK Web: Educator’s Internet Guide to Martin Luther King Jr.

OffRoad Capital  (advertises that it provides investment deals not available anywhere else)

NSSFNS - National Scholarship Service

Tips for taking the Linux plunge

What does 25% growth mean for Linux?,4351,1014279,00.html

Pickle Patch Children’s Bookstore

A bookstore with some discounting options for orders greater than $15

MIT's alleged abuses of women

The Women’s Presses Library Project

Thank you Roger Dimick
It’s a free wakeup call when ever you’d like one!

International Crisis Group (what crisis in what nation?)

Games We Used to Play (those were the days my friend)

Deaf Resources

English to English translations

Performance Practice Encyclopedia (music)

The World of Infectious Disease (some not-so-pleasant exhibitions in medicine and biology)

Online Math Classes

Time Magazine and the Presidency (History)
/ (marketing)

From ZD Tips on FrontPage
If you’ve set up a navigation bar in your top shared border, you can easily replicate that navigation bar in your bottom shared border. Just right-click on the navigation bar and choose Copy from the shortcut menu. Then, right-click in the bottom border and choose Paste.

You might not want to have two identical navigation bars on the same page, of course, but you could set the second bar up to display text buttons instead of icons. To do so, just double-click it and choose Text in the Orientation And Appearance panel.

You can then adjust the font size of these text links, which gives a really nice lower page navigation tool, similar to many professional sites today. This works especially well if you have a long page. And of course both bars stay in sync with any navigation changes you make to the page.

From—Don York,

And another FrontPage tip
Recently we shared some ways to remove the formatting from text you paste into FrontPage. Here’s one more way:

Simply highlight the text you’ve pasted in and choose Remove Formatting from the Format menu. Or, from the keyboard, press [Ctrl][Shift]Z or hold down [Ctrl][spacebar].

From—Dean Rochford [,] and Alexander Peijnenborgh [,]

A ZD Tips MS Access Tip
The Snapshot viewer is a great way to allow coworkers who don’t use Access to view static copies of reports. Unlike RTF format, Snapshot format retains all of a report’s lines and other various graphics. When you use the OutputTo command in a macro, Access provides the Snapshot Format as one of the format options. However, the DoCmd.OutputTo method in VBA doesn’t offer a built-in constant for this format. As a result, you may have wondered how to export this file format using VBA.

To do so, in place of the OutputTo method’s regular OutputFormat constant, enter the name of the file format as it appears in the Save As dialog box’s Save As Type dropdown list. So, in VBA your code would look similar to this:

DoCmd.OutputTo acOutputReport, "MyReport", "Snapshot Format", _


A ZD Tip for converting a table into text in Word 97
If you’ve ever created a table and then later realized you’d prefer to have plain text, there’s no need to cut and paste or drag and drop. To convert your table to text, simply select the entire table and then choose Table/Convert Table To Text. Choose the appropriate option (Paragraph Marks, Tabs, Commas, or Other) from the Separate Text With panel of the resulting dialog box and click OK. Word quickly converts the table to plain text.

You can also use this option to convert text to a table. Just select the text you want to put into a table and select Table/Convert Text To Table

Chris' Internet Chat Pages (CICP for short), is a complete guide to online chat on the internet. They cover many online media such as Web, Java, Telnet, IRC and Chat Programs. Chris has a complete list of over 1100 sites that have chatting available to users, reviews of sites and even our own chat rooms here at CICP. There is also a list of direct chat programs that are easier to use and configure than web chats.

A Microsoft Access tip from Bob Jensen
When you are forming a query between many-to-many relationships, it's easy to forget that the
outer join relationship may not be the default relationship.

Suppose you are joining a table of purchase orders with at table of inventory receipts where both tables contain Purchase Order Numbers. The query will not automatically include purchase orders outstanding for goods not yet received.

Assume you are writing a query to detect those outstanding purchase orders. First add both tables to your query's Design View and join them using Purchase Order Numbers. Then double click on the join line and choose the option to include all records from the purchase order table and only received orders from the inventory receipts table. The next step is to write your query to isolate the outstanding orders.

And that's the way it was on April 9, 1999.

Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-736-7347 Fax: 210-736-8134  Email:

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Bob Jensen's Index Page Bob Jensen's Bookmarks New Bookmark Archives

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April 2, 1999

Tim Berners Lee and his physics buddies in Europe invented HTML scripting and the http protocol.  This creator of the WWW says there’s a new revolution on the horizon for the Internet - and the best way to deal with it is the Resource Description Framework.

Corporate Reporting Action Newsletter from the Financial Executives Institute, the FEI’s accounting newsletter. Here’s a direct link (albeit on a slow server) to your copy:

The American Accounting Association's Faculty Development web site has become much more helpful with a variety of online helpers and information.

Accounting Coursepage Exchange (ACE) (I promote this site every chance I get.  Come on you luddites --- become ACEs!)
A database of accounting coursepages and syllabi

Learning Enhancements For Accountancy
Classroom Activities
Specific tools for use in the classroom for instructional development

Curriculum Innovations
Examples and tools for creating change in the accounting curriculum

Instructional Technology Support
Resources for using technology in teaching and instructional development

Webliography of Educational Resources (This site provides links to some great web sites)
Links of interest to educators

Accounting Education Information Bank
Additional resources about accounting education

AEN Faculty Development Updates -- Teaching
Experiential Learning—Service Learning: Linking Accounting
Content to Practice and Real-World Problems

Principles to Teach By: A Teacher's Dozen (Winter, 1998)

Classroom Assessment Tip (Winter, 1998)

Enhancing the Lecture: Using the Pause Procedure (Late
Fall, 1997)

Click on Faculty Development --- Teaching at

Accounting Education Change Commission (AECC) online monographs and reports

In particular you may want to read the results of the AECC efforts in "The Accounting Education Change Commission Grant Experience: A Summary."

Gary Sundem's forthcoming monograph is not yet available.  The title of that monograph is "The Accounting Education Change
Commission Grant Experience: Its History and Impact."

A CD-ROM of all five monographs is under construction.

The April 1999 issue of the Journal of Accountancy on Page 11 lists the proportion of Information Technology revenues (as a proportion of consulting revenues in general) in six of the top public accounting firms. Those proportions just grow and grow and grow. The future of accounting graduates may lie in the gushing stream of IT revenues.

65% PW
60% AA - Accounting
60% E&Y
58% AA - Andersen Consulting
57% KPMG
50% D&T
40% C&L

Accounting departments and schools in higher education need to gear up accounting AIS programs to meet changing student needs.

Stanford is Number 1 in Business Education (with an utterly amazing average 1998 GMAT of 722)
Harvard ranks Number 2 (with a measly average 1998 GMAT of 689)
US News Online Comparisons of Programs in Higher Education

The Wired Professor companion site provides helpers and examples of top faculty web sites

From the The University of Pennsylvania/ Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text & Images
Lippincott Library Corporate Annual Reports

The AICPA has added a relatively new promotional document for consumers and developers to its website on assurance services for the security seal WebTrustSM

The following web sites are recommended on Page 13 of the April 1999 edition of the Journal of Accountancy:

Hardware and Software Games (for fun)

corp-ethics Group

Thank you Linda Specht
The International Corporate Environmental Reporting Site (Social Accounting) --- A Dutch treat that is not all in Dutch!

A Financial Overview of the Managed Care Industry

If you know any accounting educators with helpful materials on the web, please ask them to link their materials  in the American Accounting Association's Accounting Coursepage Exchange (ACE) web site at
Please send these professors email messages today and urge them to share as much as they can with the academy by easily registering their course pages with ACE. 

This week, I feature three ACE professors in the not-for-profit accounting specialty.   Until ACE came along, I found almost nothing on the web from the nfp accounting educators.  The three ACEs listed below have only supplied a limited amount of assignment materials on the web, but at least its a start in the nfp ACE area.

Instructor: Lela D. Pumphrey
Institution: Idaho State University
Course Name: Government and NonProfit Accounting
Textbook: Government and Not-for-Profit Accounting
Author(s): Granof

Instructor: Dr. Sue Kattelus
Institution: Eastern Michigan University
Course Name: Public and Nonprofit Sector Accounting
Textbook: Accounting for Governmental and Nonprofit Entities
Author(s): Earl Wilson, Leon Hay, and Susan Kattelus

Instructor: Terri L. Herron
Institution: University of Montana
Course Name: Government/Nonprofit Accounting
Textbook: Government & Not-For-Profit Accounting
Author(s): Granof
Terri provides some useful hints for each Chapter of the Granof text for those of you who are using this text as an instructor or student.

Thank you Tracey

Data from over 70 Federal government agencies

Web Based Instruction Resource Links from William Milheim and Douglas Harvey at Penn State University

League for Innovation in the Community College

Multimedia Financial News and Services from MicroCap Financial Services, Inc.

Thank you Gary Tanner (internal auditors aren't supposed to have time to watch television)
For whatever this is worth: Here is something I'll bet you hadn't thought would be an issue for Y2K. Some, if not most, VCR's won't be able to use the programmed advanced recording feature. Do not throw away your VCR in the year 2000. Set the year on 1972 because the calendar days for the weeks and months will be the same as the year 2000.

Please pass this on because you know the manufacturer will not share this information. They will want you to buy a new one that is "Y2K compliant."

Histories of Engineering

News from Microsoft:

Making Computers More Intelligent and Responsive (about artificial intelligence)

Bill Gates’ New Book Debuts (it's not free online, but the profits go to charity)

Sign up for MSN Internet Access for Chance to Win a Corvette

Save 50 Percent Off Your Next Flight on American Airlines from MSN Expedia

Web Accessories for Internet Explorer 5

I have been using the Command Antivirus f-prot software for some time and I have found it to be easy to install and upgrade and also very unobtrusive. (Some of the popular packages, especially Norton Antivirus, can cause Windows shutdown problems and other glitches.) Command Antivirus is very effective at picking up the W97 class of viruses. The company had new definition files on the Web for Melissa and Papa before most of their competitors. You can try it for a month free at

Stephen L. Fogg Ph.D., CPA
Chairman, Department of Accounting
Fox School of Business and Management
Temple University
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Email: <>
URL: <>

"The main barrier to electronic commerce lies in the need for applications to meaningfully share information, not in the reliability or security of the Internet. This is due to the variety of enterprise and e-commerce systems deployed by businesses and the way these systems are variously configured and used. It is the central goal of Ontology.Org to solve this problem. "

I don’t know what the solution is but here are some more links:

Reply from Bob Jensen to Todd Boyle
I use the following quotation in my teaching:

There are so many choices. You Earthlings don't make it any easier with all your competing middleware --- DCOM/ActiveX, RMI, CORBA. Caffine, Sockets, and HTTP/CGI. Why don't you just build applications instead of fighting middleware wars?

Captain Zog the Martian As quoted in the Foreward of Client/Server Programming with Java and CORBA by Robert Orfali and Dan Harkey (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997)

I have a paper on this topic at

The Gale Group - academic, educational, and business information access web site

ZeroXenon26 (Free fonts in English and Japanese)

From Georgia Tech --- The Videoconferencing Cookbook

For Doug and Guthrie
Universe of Bagpipes (a lot of history here along with the audio files)

Commentaries about museums on the web

A web site for and by accounting students

Securities Investor Protection Corporation

MBA Digest (Helpers for taking the GMAT and TOEFL examinations plus help in choosing an MBA program)

The Picture Collection from Time Inc. (photographs)

The Knoxville Museum of Art presents works about the Holocaust

A Photographic History of the Life and Death of One Factory

Language and Culture

U.S. Air Force Online News

Educate Europe (Online resources for educators and students.)

Nielsen//NetRatings (Where's my pork chop?)

The Royal Prune University (Good Golly Miss Molly!)

Guides to gluing most everything together except marriages and ethnic cultures

See the personalized investment tools at

Calculate your own mortgage payments

Browse for a new automobile

If Steve says it is a problem, it is most likely not a hoax.
There has been a virus going around the Internet called Happy99.exe. It is spread by e-mail as an attachment. If you receive an e-mail with an attachment called Happy.exe delete it, don’t run it. For more information on this virus see or
Stephen Perez
Senior Programmer/Analyst
Trinity University, 715 Stadium Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78212

I recently plugged Quick View Plus software for reading email attachments. You can read the March 26 edition at

I made an inquiry about whether Quick View Plus reduces the risk of macro-induced viruses. For the good news read the message below that I received from the tech support group at JASC.

Thus far I love my Quick View Plus.
Bob Jensen

Message from JASC Tech Support
Quick View Plus will not activate any Office macros, either native, or VB (office documents support VBScripts). This means that all files that have these will displayed without the macro, and that will mean that you will not infect your system by viewing these files through Quick View Plus.

Thank you for contacting Jasc.

If you have any further questions, problems, or general inquires please feel free to call or write.

Darnell J. Otterson
Jasc Technical Support

Thank you Curtis Brown
Chances are many of you know about this already, but I thought I’d mention that the search engine I now go to first for most purposes is Google ( This search engine rates a site higher the more links there are to it from other highly rated sites. Don’t know exactly how they manage that, but in my experience the results are remarkable—if I’m looking for one particular site, it’s usually the number one-ranked result.

I suppose it wouldn’t be so effective for very new or very esoteric sites that no one (yet) knows about. But for sites that have been around long enough for word to get out, it’s very effective. It may not find things that Alta Vista or HotBot or whatever wouldn’t find, but it does a much better job of putting what I’m looking for at the top of the list. The web site describes it as a "Beta" version, but it looks ready for prime time to me.

(example: type "thomas" into Google and the number one result is the library of congress site with information about the US Congress. This site isn’t in the top 50 results for HotBot, Alta Vista, or Lycos (though it is #1 on HotBot’s top ten most visited sites for that search string). Similarly, a search for "Phil Gramm" on Google turned up his Senate homepage as the number one link. This wasn’t in the top 20 on HotBot or Alta Vista; a subpage of his Senate site was around number 10 on Lycos.)

Another nice feature of Google is that they cache the pages: if your search results include a broken link, you can still bring up Google’s cached copy of the page to see what used to be there. The cached pages are text only, but they use the URL for the original page as the base for relative links so that if images are still there they will load properly.

Thank you Neil Hannon

For people who search the Web frequently and want to use it more efficiently, Infoseek Express is a next-generation desktop search product which brings multiple search and information sources together in one place. With Express you can find, explore, and do anything on the Internet faster and easier than before.

Express is different from other search engines because it runs within your Web browser, searches multiple search engines simultaneously, and provides an easier to use, faster interface. In addition, Express has an open architecture that allows for mass distribution, easy updates, and extensive personal customization.

Jensen still goes toYahoo first at

From: Richard Campbell <> Subject: Free Internet textbooks?

I am interested in getting feedback on the economic feasibility on providing free (advertising-supported) college textbooks. The mode of operation here would be a textbook in a self-extracting executable file. The "book" would have interactive capabilities such as MS Encarta provides, but would also allow the student to print to hard copy some textual material.

Typically a college professor may cover only 75% to 90% of the typical printed textbook. The rest of the paper is wasted (but paid for). My expertise is writing accounting books, so presumably chapters could be sponsored by CPA firms, who would want to recruit the more capable students. The textbook could also provide "product placement" opportunities (like Coca-Cola in movies) to products that college students prefer.

A traditional gripe of college students is the high cost of college textbooks. In accounting, students could pay up to $250 for a textbook and all its supplements. This new economic model would eliminate that complaint. Let me know what you think.

Richard J. Campbell

RJ Interactive 

And that's the way it was on April 2, 1999.

Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-736-7347 Fax: 210-736-8134  Email:

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Bob Jensen's Index Page Bob Jensen's Bookmarks New Bookmark Archives

For the April 1-September 30, 1999 Additions and Summaries scroll up this document 
For the other editions go to
For the full set of Bob Jensen's Bookmarks go to
    (The full set is never up to date with the latest additions to my New Bookmarks.)
Click here to go to Bob Jensen's home page