New Bookmarks
1999 Quarter 4:  October 1-December 31, 1999 Additions to Bob Jensen's Bookmarks
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

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For the October 1-December 31, 1999 Additions and Summaries scroll down this document 
For the other editions go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
For the full set of Bob Jensen's Bookmarks go to http://WWW.Trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob.htm
    (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

December 22, 1999   December 16, 1999     December 8, 1999         December 1, 1999      

November 23, 1999   November 16, 1999     November 9, 1999         November 2, 1999

October 26, 1999       October 19, 1999         October 12, 1999           October 5, 1999

For the other editions go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm


December 22, 1999


Speeding Up Evolution:  Implanting microprocessors in the biological brain
"Brave New World: the Evolution of Mind in the Twenty-first Century," by Ray Kurzweil http://www.kurzweiltech.com/WIRED/#THE GROWTH OF COMPUTING 

What does it mean to evolve? Evolution moves towards greater complexity, greater elegance, greater intelligence, greater beauty, greater creativity, greater love. And God has been called all these things, only without any limitation: infinite intelligence, infinite beauty, infinite creativity, and infinite love. Evolution does not achieve an infinite level, but as it explodes exponentially, it certainly moves in that direction. So evolution moves inexorably towards our conception of God. Thus the freeing of our thinking from the severe limitations of its biological form is an essential spiritual quest.

By the second half of this next century, there will be no clear distinction between human and machine intelligence. On the one hand, we will have biological brains vastly expanded through distributed nanobot-based implants. On the other, we will have fully nonbiological brains that are copies of human brains, albeit also vastly extended. And we will have a myriad of other varieties of intimate connection between human thinking and the technology it has fostered.

Ultimately, nonbiological intelligence will dominate because it is growing at a double exponential rate, whereas for all practical purposes biological intelligence is at a standstill. By the end of the twenty-first century, nonbiological thinking will be trillions of trillions of times more powerful than that of its biological progenitors, although still of human origin. It will continue to be the human-machine civilization taking the next step in evolution.

Before the next century is over, the Earth’s technology-creating species will merge with its computational technology. After all, what is the difference between a human brain enhanced a trillion fold by nanobot-based implants, and a computer whose design is based on high resolution scans of the human brain, and then extended a trillion-fold?

Most forecasts of the future seem to ignore the revolutionary impact of the inevitable emergence of computers that match and ultimately vastly exceed the capabilities of the human brain, a development that will be no less important than the evolution of human intelligence itself some thousands of centuries ago.

Ray Kurzweil is the author of: the following books and tapes:


What ingredients comprise the "Dough" in the "Renaissance" of the next millennium?    Why will the 20th Century be viewed as a global dark age in spite of the seeds of invention that sprouted just before or during our lives?

During a panel discussion in a conference in NYC on December 14, a financial analyst named Mark Brennan reminded me of a quote from Orson Welles in the 1949 movie called The Third Man.  I recalled the quotation, but it has been years since I thought about those lines.  With the impending end to this millennium, the lines seem to have renewed meaning.  My recollection may not be literal, but the approximate quotation is as follows:

Don't be so gloomy!  After all it's not so awful.  In Italy under the Borgia regime they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed.  But they also produced Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, and the Renaissance. 

In Switzerland they had brotherly love!  They had 500 years of democracy and peace.  What did they produce?  --- the cuckoo clock.

One wonders if Italy had more "dough" than Switzerland during the first half of the present millennium --- where I am using the word "dough" in the context of Bob Blystone's message below.


A fable to ponder --- transmitted by  Bob Blystone

The following was found folded in a book (The Satire of Gulliver's Travels) left in a first floor restroom in the library.

Early one day there was a man who thought it would be nice to have some fresh cinnamon rolls at the end of the day. He decided to bake these rolls himself. Although he was a technology oriented sort, he had never baked cinnamon rolls before and like any modern person he would begin his task with a visit to the WEB for information and help. There he found the following recipe.

3 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour, divided 1 envelope Fleischmann's Quick Rise Instant Yeast 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 tsp salt 3/4 cup milk 1/4 cup water 1/4 cup margarine 1 egg 1 cup firmly brown sugar 1 tbsp cinnamon 1/2 cup margarine, softened 1/2 cup raisins, optional

SET aside 1 cup all purpose flour from total amount. MIX remaining flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in large bowl. HEAT milk, water, and 1/4 cup margarine until hot to touch, 125F-130F. STIR hot liquid into dry ingredients. MIX in egg. MIX in enough reserve flour to make a soft dough, that does not stick to the bowl TURN out onto floured board and knead 5 minutes. COVER dough and let stand for 10mins MIX brown sugar, cinnamon, & margarine together. ROLL dough into 12x9inch rectangle. SPREAD with cinnamon mixture. Sprinkle with raisins. ROLL up from long side, jelly-roll style; pinch to seal the seam. CUT into12 equal slices with a sharp knife. PLACE cut side up in large greased muffin cups; place on baking sheet over a shallow pan half-filled with boiling water. COVER dough and let rise 20 minutes. BAKE at 375F for 20mins or until browned. Remove from muffin cups to cool. Serve warm makes 12 buns.

He printed out the recipe and put it into his pocket. He knew that he really only wanted to eat two cinnamon rolls and the recipe would make twelve. So he thought he should share the future fresh rolls with his friends whom he would ask over to join him at the end of the day.

As the morning progressed he met his first possible guest. He asked if she could come over to have some fresh cinnamon rolls at the end of the day. Then he showed her the recipe. She said, "I'm a vegetarian and if you took out the egg, I could eat your cinnamon rolls." He crossed off the egg and said, "I will see you at eight."

A little later he passed an old friend and asked, "I'm having some friends over this evening at eight to have some fresh cinnamon rolls, could you come?" His friend said: "Thank you, but because of my heart condition I am on a restricted diet and can not have any margarine." The future baker said: "Not a problem, see you at eight." And he crossed off margarine from the recipe.

Soon he spotted another potential guest and offered the friend a place at the roll fest. The friend said: "I'm diabetic and can not have any sugar." "Not a problem" was the response and the sugar and brown sugar were crossed off the list.

At noon he had lunch with another friend and offered the eight o'clock repast. The friend said: "If you have raisins in the rolls, I can't come for I am allergic to raisins." "Not a problem" and another item was Xed out.

At afternoon break he saw two more friends and gave them the invitation. The first said: "I'm on a salt restricted diet" and the other said: "I'm a strict vegetarian." "No problem" said the willing host as he crossed milk and salt from the recipe.

As the day drew to a close, he found another friend and offered the invitation. She said: "I'm can't eat gluten." The response was predictably: "Not a problem." The future guest then said: "Can I bring a friend?" Without hesitation the compliant baker said," Sure, why not." The guest added: "But, he doesn't like cinnamon." "Not a problem" echoed as the pencil struck flour and cinnamon from the recipe.

As work ended, the man went by the store to pick up the supplies for baking and discovered that there was no yeast in supply. "Not a problem" he thought to himself as he went home. He prepared and set the table for the feast and his guests; who, all promptly arrived at eight.

His eight guests with anticipation noticed that there was no aroma of fresh baked bread in the house. All there was on the table was a quarter cup of water. The man thought that his skeptical guests would want to know where the cinnamon rolls were. And the first question came: "Is this European mineral water? I can only drink European mineral water." Quickly others chimed in about the quality and type of water.

The man pulled the recipe from his pocket and began to rewrite it again. His complaining guests soon realized that the host was writing something and they quieted and then asked: "What is it that you write?"

SET aside offending ingredients. MIX eight friends in a large room. Catch HEAT from guests for not pleasing. STIR water for impending doom.

MIX friends. MIX ingredients. TURN and possibly run. COVER all bets and please no one.

MIX protesting friends. ROLL to cover all ends. SPREAD one's self too thin. ROLL and try to blend.

CUT out all offending ingredients. PLACE compliance ahead of contents. COVER all bets and please no one. BAKEd water is no fun.

The man closed the door behind him as his guests begin to point fingers. He walked to a nearby Starbuck's Coffee and had two cinnamon rolls.

Fables should have morals as some mushrooms do. What would Aesop say as we are now through? Nothing, if you don't want to offend As we come to this end. But if you want to have a fresh baked cinnamon roll You have to make some dough.


I certainly do not advocate bringing back anything like the Borgia regime to stimulate creativity.  Nor am I providing recipes for cinnamon rolls.  However, my point is that, in the grand scheme of things, strife and hardships are more important to creativity and progress due to complacency that often accompanies prosperity.  

In the profession of accountancy, we are entering the next century embroiled in strife over such immense problems as:  

In all this strife and complexity, however, we take comfort in the above "Recipe for Cinnamon Rolls" that indirectly suggests there is more "dough" for creative global solutions and better lives everywhere on earth than ever before in the history of human life on this strange and seemingly unique planet.  If there is to be Y2K terror, fraud, and information warfare, there may also be a Y2K Renaissance that lifts the next generations into ever higher plateaus.  Us old timers in the U.S. may prefer to set the clock back to the 1950s at midnight on December 31, but we won't have the "dough" for my Glimpse of Heaven described at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/max01.htm.  



A surprising number of retail firms have resisted selling products online or are pulling the plug on their existing online ordering systems.  Examples cited below are from The Wall Street Journal Online at
 http://interactive.wsj.com/articles/SB945647211680668431.htm 

Levi Strauss & Co. recently said it will pull the plug on its year-old e-commerce venture, despite being ahead of plan with sales of jeans, khakis and shirts online. "Selling on the Internet is a complex proposition," says Jeff Beckman, a spokesman for the San Francisco jeans maker. "We decided it wasn't the best use of our funds."

Most of the firms that might be termed either "holdouts" or "retreaters" have web sites that use a variety of ploys to encourage customers to visit their stores, use 800 numbers, or shop from their catalogs.  Another class of firms might be called "reluctants," because they reluctantly offer merchandise online but strongly encourage customers to not order online.  One example is cited below:

Last month,  Tiffany & Co. began offering engagement rings, pens and other items on its Web site. But the site came complete with a discouraging warning to Web shoppers: "Because selecting an engagement ring is such an important event, Tiffany encourages our customers to visit a Tiffany store in person."

But there are reasons to be nervous in light of the competition that is building up online:

Of course, many of the biggest traditional retailers -- including Macy's and Bloomingdale's -- have jumped on the e-commerce bandwagon. Online shopping is expected to account for as much as 3% of holiday shopping this year, up from the 1% blip of last year. Any holdouts at this point, some analysts say, are making a costly decision since they are ceding market share to competitors.

"There are an awful lot of innings left to play when it comes to e-commerce, but it's no longer the first inning," says Jonathan Cohen, director of research at Wit Capital Corp. in New York.

Colleges and universities face some of the main dilemmas.  

I will repeat the point that I have made repeatedly in previous documents.  Bad communication exists between employees (especially faculty) and online education program planners.  Many administrators and faculty think that the only justifications for any newer education technologies and networked courses is to either improve learning or save money.  Hence, we see repeated debates about whether this or that really improves learning and motivation to learn.  And we grow weary of debates over whether this or that will ever save money in the long run while maintaining the same or improved effectiveness of the service.  

Certainly the above  "micro" tests of efficiency and effectiveness are very important, but I think they tend to detract from the larger "macro" considerations that are closer to the discipline of marketing than they are to accounting.  Universities like Columbia and Duke are seeking new markets and exploiting their brand names.  Many other universities are simply trying to protect their existing markets in an effort to avoid getting left in the dust by emerging alternatives for students in their geographic regions.

One myth that should be dispelled is that everyone who ventures into new markets will be successful.  The failure of Western Governors University to achieve even 10% of its targeted enrollments demonstrates how a massive state-supported venture faces enormous hazards in developing new "markets."  Another myth is that online ventures are more economical if investments are made to upgrade existing campus technologies.  The upfront investments and ongoing funding for online degree programs are enormous.  Perhaps this is why many colleges and universities are outsourcing to corporations like eCollege, UNext, Pensare, CyberClass, and other alternatives mentioned at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/245soft1.htm

My prediction is that technology outsourcing will be the growth industry of the next decade.  There are immense economies of scale leading to outsourcing of both e-Commerce and e-Education.  Retail firms like Levi Strauss & Co. expect short payback periods for investment returns, and most retailers in eCommerce are not hitting breakeven targets.  Hence, I predict that many online firms will retreat until outsourcing becomes a more viable alternative with lower investment risk.  This same prediction applies to distributed higher education.  Distributed education, however, has one advantage over online retailing.  Outsourcing firms like eCollege, UNext, Pensare, and others have an advantage in that they can justify their tremendous investments in technologies with exploding revenues from training contracts (e.g., from corporations, banks, government agencies, military agencies, etc.).  These training revenues enable those outsourcing firms to enter into distributed education contracts that would probably not be profitable as stand-alone markets.  But outsourcing is now fiercely competitive and will become even more competitive in the next decade.  Thus we will probably see the typical pattern of an enormous number of startup operations followed by an intense shakeout of all but a few giant firms with typical oligopoly powers that branch out to all parts of the world.  

The 21st Century's paradigm shift means that shopping and education alternatives are going global.  As with anything new in life, there will be controversies over whether these are good things to spread around the world.  For example, shopping in stores is a social and entertainment process as well as an economic activity.  Going to class is a social and maturing process as well as an educational process.  Economists focus on that which is "economic" but keep a wary eye on what they call the "externalities" or "non-convexities" of economic behavior.  Computer networking and wireless communications are entirely new paradigm shifts with newer forms of economic behavior and looming externalities.  

Another part of the 21st Century's paradigm shift is that "learning" and "education" are not synonyms any more than a "library" means the same thing as a "school" in the 20th Century.  One of the externalities of a networked world is the multimedia archiving of knowledge that can be accessed at low cost.  For example, art museums typically have much larger collections that can be displayed on web servers than can be physically displayed (along with detailed commentaries) in their buildings.  There is a penchant to share on the Internet in ways that defy economic assumptions of economic utility and wealth maximization behavior.  This penchant for sharing combined with efficiencies of access and search make it much more difficult for oligopolies to control learning.  Anyone can become an expert on most anything without having to go to school.

Still another part of the above 21st Century's paradigm shift is that computers are going to be drastically different that computers of the 20th Century.  Computers today are calculating machines.  Computers of tomorrow will be thinking machines.  I especially recommend that you print and read the document at 
http://www.kurzweiltech.com/WIRED/#THE GROWTH OF COMPUTING  

The above ingredients (outsourcing, online shopping and education, multimedia knowledge bases, and thinking machines) combined with the externalities of imploding of communication, entertainment, learning, and socialization are what I think comprise the "Dough" for a monumental "Renaissance" in the next millennium.  The 20th Century will be viewed as a global dark age in spite of the seeds of invention that sprouted just before or during our lives.


 

From Doug Engelbart,

Please join me in a Colloquium hosted by Stanford University as we discuss the challenges of coping with the increasing urgency and complexity which face modern organizations.

Thirty years ago, when I led the team that developed NLS, the first hypertext system, and pioneered collaborative computing, I had a vision of computing that was to augment human intellect by following a comprehensive strategy. While many of the aspects of the information revolution are now improving the way we learn, live, and work, the unprecedented rate and scale of global change is also leading to major problems that will not be solved through technological solutions alone.

I would like to use this Stanford Colloquium -- *An In-Depth Look At The Unfinished Revolution*-- as an opportunity to share with you a comprehensive strategy that will enable individuals and organizations to begin to cope with the increasingly more rapid pace and constant state of change in modern society. More specifically, the Colloquium will give us a forum to engage in lively dialogue on how we can improve our abilities to leverage our collective IQ. In my view, the concept of collective IQ and its improvement needs to become a core focus and challenge for society. Although much attention is now given to the challenges and opportunities of e-business, the organizations, regions and countries that adopt the most effective, large-scale strategy for becoming collectively smarter, will enable broad improvements throughout society and commerce, including e-business. The concept of high collective IQ will, therefore, vitally affect every aspect of governance, security, economy, education, health, business and other societal services.

The colloquium is designed to generate awareness of large-scope issues and opportunities, to present a framework that can evolve a coherent improvement infrastructure, and to examine scaling such an infrastructure for sectoral, regional, national, and global applications. Such concepts have been the objective and focus of my work in collaborative technology and strategy since 1951.

The Colloquium begins on January 6th and will convene for 10 consecutive Thursday evenings from 4 to 7 P.M. PST. The colloquium will be webcast live at < http://scpd.stanford.edu/pd/engelbart/engelbart.html  >. Archival replays will be available shortly after the live sessions. A very limited number of seats are also available on site at Stanford to registered participants on a first-come-first-served basis.

For additional information please feel free to visit the colloquium websites < http://www.bootstrap.org/colloquium  > at the Bootstrap Institute, the organization I founded to strategically map a course for the future. The colloquium is open to the public and is free of charge. Registration is advised, as that will enable full access to all the interactions that will be featured.

I hope you can join us as we start an organized dialogue on the problems and opportunities that face us collectively.

Sincerely,
Douglas Engelbart, Ph.D.
P.S. If there is someone who might be interested, I would appreciate your passing this message on.


 

The following message from a friend in Nigeria indicates how global the world is becoming (I would never have had this friend or a visit from him at my home had it not been for my postings to the Internet.  If any of you would like to help him further his cause, it would be a good thing to do for some students badly in need of all the help they can get.

Dear Bob,

We had a very interesting three days seminar this year: "Marketing in the Internet" It had some theory and some practical. There were several presenters of the theory. The main one was a Nigerian Professor (Ifeanyi Nzegwu) at the University of Wisconsin. Marquette Campus. In the practical aspect they worked on Web Sites design using FrontPage 98. We will repeat the seminar in March next year.

The School outsourced the design of their web that has just been launched in early December. We are at http://www.lbs.edu.ng .  It is still very primitive but it is the beginning. I am working on the school Intranet where all the members of staff could place their contributions for internal consumption before putting them in our site. It will be a kind of a training for them.

We are about to start the development of the new Lagos Business School site. It may eventually develop into a University. We are planning very carefully the communications infrastructure. We are changing the cabling in the present site to improve connectivity.

Merry Christmas for you, your family and everybody at Trinity. I wish I could go back one day...

All the best
Eduard F. Schmitter
Kuramo House [kuramo@linkserve.com.ng ]

 



What university has the most online courses in engineering and computer science --- would you believe Stanford University's listing in excess of 250 courses reaching over 6,000 professionals?  You can read about it in "Stanford Learning:  Worldwide Availablility On-Demand at Stanford Online," T.H.E Journal, December 1999, pp. 16-18.  The online version is at http://www.thejournal.com/magazine/vault/A2519.cfm 

Until now, the growth of online education has been hampered in part because video (and other types of content) consumes so much bandwidth. This problem has kept many educational institutions from expanding beyond the more traditional distance learning delivery methods such as videotapes and satellite broadcasts. However, Stanford Online has made live and on-demand distance learning a practical reality by using video compression technology running on Compaq hardware and Microsoft’s Media Server (formerly Microsoft NetShow) to stream video, audio, text and graphics over the Internet to a variety of computer platforms.

Stanford Online courses are streamed directly to the student’s computer at home, at work or while traveling and are viewed via an Internet browser. Lectures and seminars are broadcast live on the Internet, or are made available within one or two hours of each class. When students log on to the Internet to view courses, they see a video window on their computer screen, inside of a standard Internet browser. Adjacent to the video window, the Web page houses a larger window displaying complementary graphics and text. This includes course outlines, notes, slides, simulations and other presentation materials used in each lecture. When a student chooses a specific topic in the table of contents, the appropriate video segment and supporting graphics are presented. In addition to delivering courseware live or on-demand, Stanford Online offers a variety of services that allow, for example, students to receive tutoring by live interaction over the Internet with professors or teaching assistants.

A Data-Intensive Process

While Stanford Online uses powerful compression technology to allow for the deployment of video over the Internet and corporate intranets, dealing with video remains an extremely data-intensive task. With an ever-expanding 85 gigabytes of digitized video and other data such as course outlines and slides, Stanford Online requires a robust solution for storing and managing huge volumes of information. To back up its video servers, back-end systems and growing library of video and multimedia content, the Stanford Online program uses a high-performance Quantum DLT 7000 half-inch cartridge tape drive. In addition to conducting incremental backups nightly and full backups weekly, Stanford Online uses the tape drive to archive courseware. Course lectures remain online for the duration of the quarter and many for the entire academic year, giving students more control over their own viewing patterns. Courseware slated for re-use at a later date is archived longer-term to the Quantum drive.

Convenience is critical to the success of Stanford Online. Students around the world need access to the system at all times of the day and night. As a result, the school must perform rapid backups to avoid long delays in delivering courseware to students. Stanford Online considered using a DAT drive for backup, but the Quantum tape drive offers a faster solution with higher capacity. With hundreds of large video files being integrated into the network each day, DAT’s two gigabyte per cartridge data limitations didn’t have the capacity to meet Stanford Online’s expanding storage needs.

Extending Education to the World

By using state-of-the-art server technology, software for streaming video and DLT backup and archiving, Stanford Online can deliver education on-demand in a reliable, timely fashion. This new delivery technology is particularly exciting, because it literally enables us to extend Stanford to the world. It opens up new educational markets and enables us to reach beyond our historical distance learning base, much of which is in Silicon Valley. Now, Stanford Online can offer courses to talented students who are also professionals in industry wherever they are located, while adhering to the same rigorous coursework and admission standards that apply to students on campus. And with the convenience of Internet delivery, Stanford Online can also attract students who normally might be too busy to take a class.



ETIQUETTE IN SOCIETY, IN BUSINESS, IN POLITICS AND AT HOME By EMILY POST http://www.bartleby.com/95/   (I don't find new categories for newer technologies such as network etiquette, although many of the recommendations (e.g., "think before you speak") can be translated to the modern age (e.g,  "think before you hit the SEND button" --- Bob Jensen needs more training along such lines.)


To the extent that I can thank you for really bad news Norman --- Thank you for letting me know about this!

SECTION: Business; Part C; Page 1; Financial Desk, New York Times

HEADLINE: ERNST & YOUNG TO PAY $335 MILLION IN AUDIT LAWSUIT; ACCOUNTING: FIRM AGREES TO SETTLE WITH CENDANT SHAREHOLDERS TO RESOLVE DISPUTE OVER ALLEGED ERRORS IN FINANCIAL STATEMENTS OF PREDECESSOR COMPANY.

BYLINE: VIVIEN LOU CHEN, BLOOMBERG NEWS

BODY: Ernst & Young will pay $335 million to Cendant Corp. shareholders to settle charges that the accounting firm's audits of a predecessor company were inaccurate, the California Public Employees' Retirement System said Friday.

Analysts said the payout is the largest an accounting firm has had to make outside of the settlements with the government in the early 1990s over alleged malfeasance in audits of failed savings and loan institutions.

CalPERS, the nation's largest pension fund, owned 3.1 million shares of Cendant as of September.

"In the realm of settlements by auditors, this may be No. 1 with a bullet," said Joseph Grundfest, a Stanford University law professor and former commissioner with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Ernst & Young's settlement comes after Cendant on Dec. 7 said it would pay $ 2.83 billion to shareholders to settle claims that it inflated earnings at CUC International Inc., which combined with HFS Inc. in 1997 to form Cendant. The combined company is the franchiser of such businesses as Century 21 and Coldwell Banker real estate agents and the Days Inn motel chain.

CalPERS said it and the New York state and city pension funds lost about $ 89 million after Cendant's stock plunged following revelations in 1998 that it overstated earnings.

CalPERS said Friday's settlement, together with Cendant's $ 2.8-billion payment, resolves all its claims against Cendant. It said Cendant had agreed to pay shareholders half of any funds it may recover from Ernst & Young.

The Ernst & Young accord "sends a strong message that corporate responsibility goes beyond the corporation and extends to accounting firms upon whom pension funds and other investors rely in making investment decisions," said Charles Valdes, chairman of the CalPERS Investment Committee.

Ernst & Young spokesman Larry Parnell said the settlement was "well within the firm's capacity, given our substantial insurance coverage and overall financial strength." He said the firm will continue to "aggressively prosecute" its claims against Cendant "for defrauding us."

Accounting firms generally settle lawsuits regarding audit work to avoid the expense of prolonged trials and the possibility of large jury awards.

Analysts say it is difficult for accounting firms to win lawsuits because they have to argue complicated auditing issues before juries that typically aren't familiar with auditing rules.

The case that led to Friday's settlement stems from irregularities in financial statements at CUC International and the CMS division of Cendant, which were audited by Ernst & Young. The accounting firm was the outside auditor for CUC from 1995 to 1997 and for CMS in 1997, CalPERS said.

"Ernst & Young provided 'clean' audit and review letters in connection with three annual reports, seven quarterly reports and as many as 20 registration statements," CalPERS said. "Each of these documents have subsequently been found to include or incorporate grossly overstated financial statements."

CalPERS said, for example, that Cendant admitted that CUC's operating income was overstated by approximately $ 500 million--more than one-third of its reported operating income--from 1995 to 1997. Cendant also admitted that CUC's quarterly operating income was inflated by $ 31 million in 1995, by $ 87 million in 1996 and by $ 176 million in 1997, CalPERS said.

Cendant shares tumbled 46% on April 16, 1998, erasing $ 14 billion in market value, when the company said it would restate earnings because of accounting irregularities.

On Friday, Cendant shares rose $ 1.50 to close at $ 24.50 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Cendant shares rose nearly 40% on Thursday after the company said it would get a $ 400-million investment from Liberty Media Corp. as part of a venture to develop television and Internet programming linked to Cendant's businesses.

LANGUAGE: English
LOAD-DATE: December 18, 1999


I would like to call the attention of accounting researchers to the article entitled "A Dearth of FASB Comment Letters and Applicable Research from Academe," by Dwoght Owsen in the Fall 1999 issue of the Public Interest Section of the American Accounting Association.  Once again I am reminded of Pogo's comment:  "I have found the enemy, he is us."  See
 http://www.rutgers.edu/Accounting/raw/aaa/pi/newsletr/fall99/item04.htm 

I encourage our readers, if they have not already done so, to read and subscribe to the biweekly Accounting Today published by Faulkner & Gray, Inc., phone: (800) 535-8403. It is the best accounting policy journal at a reasonable price (some of the industry newsletters are interesting but expensive). While reporting current developments in the accounting profession, it publishes editorial articles and letters, often from the public interest perspective. This might be because Accounting Today’s 30,000 readers are often small independent practitioners and its advertisers include the many software companies that cater to these practices. Thus, it can afford to be more independent than the association practitioner journals. Independent and controversial pieces by Abe Briloff, Ed Ketz, Paul Miller, Eli Mason, and Wanda Wallace are found in its pages.

In addition, Accounting Today has a prolific and critical editor, Rick Telberg, who writes an outstanding weekly editorial section. Telberg, our colleagues at the FASB, and many articles in the last five years in Accounting Horizons have suggested that accounting educators contribute more effectively to the FASB process. They have further suggested that educators write comment letters or conduct research that more directly and timely addresses FASB standard setting. An example is the recent contentious debate over SFAS 123. Here the FASB was forced to retrench and compromise when the preparer community threatened the existence of the FASB with an appeal to Congress. While one of the FASB’s staunchest allies in accounting regulation has been the accounting academic community, many of these articles and editorials seem to be requests for more active and effective support from the academic community.


The Accounting Today 1999 Top 100 Software Products --- http://www.mbsol.com/at981214.htm 
Also see http://www.electronicaccountant.com/ 


The new Falkner and Gray Accountant's Guide to Internet Sites --- http://www.electronicaccountant.com/html/gap/index.htm 


Women Partners Gaining Ground at Top Firms --- http://www.electronicaccountant.com/news/080598_1.htm 
The results are not where they should be, but there are important gains.

Also see http://www.women.com/ 


From "Partnerships Provide New Online Courses," T.H.E. Journal, December 1999, pg. 25.

Hungry Minds.com has announced partnerships with Business2.0, The History Channel, PBS and Women.com. These companies will develop stimulating and fun online courses for the post-college market that focus on a wide variety of topics. For example, Business2.0 will co-develop a class on conducting business in the Internet economy. PBS’s "Excellence in Non-Profit Leadership and Management," developed by the Learning Institute for Nonprofit Organizations, is a certificate program consisting of eight live satellite broadcasts delivered by PBS’s Adult Learning Service.

A one-stop learning marketplace, Hungry Minds.com provides students an array of online courses and resources through discussion groups, online communities and knowledge databases. Through its partnerships with over 30 companies and universities, it can offer students a diverse and extensive listing of online learning products. Hungry Minds.com, San Francisco, CA, www.hungryminds.com .


From Bob Colson

You are receiving this e-mail because as an academic member of FEI you may have a special interest in a research project that the Financial Executives Research Foundation is interested in pursuing on an urgent time line. You can access a description of the project, which deals with measuring the quality of financial reporting, at http://www.ferf.org/reportingresearchqual.doc . If you're not personnally interested in this topic, but know of someone who might be, please forward them the link.

Thanks!
Bob Colson  rcolson@fei.org 
Financial Executives Research Foundation


New free long-distance telephone service and free Internet Access.
From Tech Briefs on the Wall Street Journal Interactive on December 16, 1999:

IDT Corp. is expected Thursday to announce it will offer a free Internet-access service for consumers. The Hackensack, N.J., telecommunications company plans to profit from the service, called ZeroDinero, through advertisements. The service is the latest entry into an increasingly crowded category that includes NetZero Inc., Westlake Village, Calif, and 1stUp.com, a unit of Andover, Mass., Internet conglomerate CMGI Inc. Howard Jonas, IDT's chief executive, said ZeroDinero hopes to distinguish itself by showing fewer ads than its competitors. He also said the service will include free domestic telephone calls and faxing on the Web. IDT plans to make ZeroDinero available in 11 U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, beginning in January.  The Innovative Data Technologies Corporation home rate is at
http://www.idtc.com/.

Recall Norman's review of other free long distance service providers at 
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99q4.htm#FreePhone 

 

Deep discounts can be had for international calls at http://www.sayhello.cc/ ,  However, two users who like free U.S. long distance options report that they are not satisfied with options for making long distance calls from their computer.

 


 

Fraud flows in both directions on the web.

"Cutting out e-fraud As holiday shopping escalates, so does online fraud; small e-com companies are most vulnerable," 
By Maria Seminerio, PC Week Online, December 13, 1999 --- 
 http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/stories/news/0,4153,2405184,00.html 

Seeing only the monetary sparkle of the holiday buying season, many companies have accelerated their e-commerce efforts without preparing for the threat posed by increasing levels of online fraud.

The most vulnerable enterprises are small and medium-size businesses, particularly if they sell big-ticket items or items such as software than can be delivered over the Internet. Such companies often can't afford expensive fraud detection products and services any more than they can big losses due to fraud. Therefore, like Reeves, they should develop an anti-fraud strategy before they launch, experts say. Fortunately, there are techniques that can help cut losses.

Meanwhile, vendors of anti-fraud services are beginning to market lower-priced products specifically for smaller e-commerce companies.


 

Update on speech technologies --- http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/stories/news/0,4153,2409293,00.html 

 

Dragon Systems Inc. has begun previewing its new AudioMining speech technology, which will enable users to search and retrieve audio and streaming media content on the Web.

The AudioMining technology converts audio data into text, which can then be accessed by keyword searches, company officials said. That saves time and helps users be more productive because they don't need to listen to entire recordings to find information, they added.

Dragon demonstrated the technology for the first time at the Giga Showcase for Innovative IT Solutions earlier this month (December 1999)  in Palm Desert, Calif., and conference participants voted it Best Overall Winner, Most Innovative Product, Best Business Application Potential and Highest-Quality Demonstration.

For a review of speech recognition technologies see http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen/245glosf.htm#Speech1 


 

The FASB's new exposure draft on fair value accounting for financial instruments ---
http://www.rutgers.edu/Accounting/raw/fasb/news/nr121499.html 

The Financial Accounting Standards Board today published its preliminary views on measuring financial instruments at fair value. The document is the next step in a wide-ranging Board project related to financial instrument issues. Comments on the preliminary views are requested by May 31, 2000.

The preliminary views cover three core issues:

What would be reported at fair value? What is fair value? How would changes in fair value be reported? According to the Board’s preliminary views, financial instruments, as defined in the document, would be measured and recorded at fair value. Financial instruments are defined as:

Cash Ownership interest in an entity 
Contractual obligations to deliver financial instruments to another entity and that entity’s contractual rights to receive them 
Contractual obligations for one entity to exchange financial instruments with another and the second entity’s contractual rights to require the exchange 
Fair value of a financial instrument would be its estimated market exit price. 

The issue of where to report changes in fair value may become moot if the Board decides that enhanced disclosure alone is sufficient. However, if the Board decides to require reporting changes in fair value, those changes would be reported in net income.

According to Ron Lott, an FASB project manager, the Board is "committed to working toward resolving the conceptual and practical issues related to determining the fair value of financial instruments, an effort discussed in FASB Statement 133 on derivatives. Although Board members see conceptual reasons to measure financial instruments at fair value, they have not decided when, if ever, it will be feasible to require them to be reported at fair value in the basic financial statements.

"Although it has made preliminary decisions about the definitions of financial instruments and fair value and general guidance for determining fair value," Mr. Lott said, "the Board needs more information about the potential problems and solutions for reporting financial instruments at fair value. Publishing the Board’s preliminary views at this time is intended to solicit that information."

Copies of the preliminary views are available at this website under Exposure Drafts or from the FASB Order Department at 800-748-0659.


America Online's Netscape division acknowledged that a security flaw can allow a hacker to break the password code in the e-mail component of the Communicator Web browser --- http://www.pcweek.com/a/pcwt9912164/2410285/ 


 

There was quite a debate on the AECM regarding the appropriate use of PowerPoint in class.  There were too many messages to repeat here.  One that I especially liked was from Uday.

I too have been following the Powerpoint "for" and "against" discussion with some interest. The key question, for me, is "what is the most appropriate use of class time?" Is it (a) to convey information or (b) to demonstrate *application* of concepts (read "problem solving"). Powerpoint probably works well for (a) but that too seems debatable. However, I contend that class time should be aimed largely at (b). For the most part, whether you use a blackboard, overhead slides, or Powerpoint, (a) is quite uninteresting (boring?). On the other hand, (b) engages students and makes them want to attend class.

Concept application / problem solving can take several forms and means different things for different courses (e.g., cases, discussion of current topics, "war stories" etc . I hate to generalize, but I find it hard to believe that there are courses where (a) works better than (b).

Just my .02

Uday Murthy Associate Professor of Accounting Coeditor, Journal of Information Systems Texas A&M University College Station TX 77843-4353 409-845-5017 http://acct.tamu.edu/murthy 


 

History and Photography
This is a neat photographic and animation page from Kodak  --- http://www.kodak.com/US/en/corp/features/endurance/ 

 

The Endurance sailed from England in 1914 to take 28 men to Antarctica. The Endurance did not return. But Frank Hurley did, along with his hard-earned photos. His unprecedented chronicle of an expedition focused on both Antarctica’s harsh beauty and the courage of the Endurance’s men. His story unfolds in Frank Hurley: Hero of Expedition Photography.


Science and History
When I was on the faculty at the University of Maine, there was a sign over the door of the Physics Department that read "Physics is Good for You."  My Grandmother Dourte always said the same thing about Caster Oil.
A Century of Physics http://timeline.aps.org/APS/home_HighRes.html 


 

PricewaterhouseCoopers goes its own way by initiating its own web seal security service
 http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1007-200-1488698.html?tag=st 

 


 

Geology, Geography, Free Maps, and Travel --- TopoZone --- http://www.topozone.com/ 

 


Dell rolls out wireless networking kit ---  http://www.pcweek.com/a/pcwt9912174/2410785/ 


I don't always agree or even like some of the web sites that Yahoo chooses to honor, but in many cases I would never have discovered some great sites if it were not for Yahoo.  Between now and the end of the year, Yahoo's Picks of the Year will be listed in weekly installments.  You can find the Week 1 listings at http://www.yahoo.com/picks/ 

I especially like IBM's Gallery of Obscure Patents at http://www.patents.ibm.com/gallery 


The Many Dimensions of Humor
I think humor is an important means of communication and is becoming a bigger thing on the web.  As many editors know, humor is also a means of attracting subscribers --- some people subscribe to The New Yorker just for the wonderful cartoons.  Humor depends a great deal upon context.  However, in searching for humor I did find some truly offensive web sites that are malicious in any context (vulgar, racist, etc.) other than research on what is wrong with society.  I also found some web sites that in the right context are  less offensive (at least to me).   I do not believe in banning most any category of humor in a free speech society.  I do find that sick humor is a lot like pornography --- very difficult to define and censor, but you generally know it instantly when you are confronted with it.  I hope the following illustrations will not offend any reader.

An enormous database of jokes, stories, poems, quotes, etc. --- http://www.jokes2go.com/dbmenu.html 

Making fun of the Swedes:  A Norwegian Tradition (an example of context versus content) --- http://www.geocities.com/WallStreet/Floor/4220/Swede.html 

The international travels of a Norwegian --- http://www.pvv.org/~bct/backpack/index.html 

Jewish humor (another example of context versus content) ---  http://members.tripod.com/~jewishjokes/ 

Jokes for sermons --- http://www.help4sunday.com/ 

Lawyer jokes (the list is endless) --- http://www.counselquest.com/jokes.htm 

Bumper Stickers --- http://people.csnet.net/spartan5/bumper.htm 

Accountant jokes (I thought these would be more of a rare find --- wrong!) 

http://www.cpadvantage.com/misc/jokes.asp
http://www.counselquest.com/jokes.htm
 
http://www.net.big-river.sk.ca/lkm-cga/jokes.htm 
http://www.hangoutplace.com/dilbert/humor43.html
http://hamilton99.execmba.com/humour.htm
http://cust2.iamerica.net/lenzyh/jokes/accountant.html

Humor for assorted professions --- http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/4661/projoke.htm 

Femine humor at HerSalon: The Cyber Themepark for Women --- http://hersalon.com/ (This site is controversial.  They seem use the word "babe" whenever they like.  This is another example of context versus content.)

The Shrine --- http://hersalon.com/shrine/shrine.htm 
These women make us laugh, cry, lust, hope and dream... and many of them helped shape our childhoods - showing us the core strength and spirit of women, giving us choices and alternatives and ideas we were not presented with in our immediate worlds...

We thank them for their contributions to our lives. In their honor, we have built these altars, and stocked them chock full with the finest in pics, sounds, movie clips, screensavers, and commentary...

Feminine humor at Just Smile and Act Nice --- http://www.smileandactnice.com/

Computer related humor --- http://www.geocities.com/WallStreet/Floor/4220/indexhumor.html 

Redneck humor :

http://www.fortogden.com/foredneck.html (These break me up!)
http://www.pvv.org/~bct/backpack/index.html 

Blonde jokes (no comment) --- http://www.vip.fi/~flax/joke/blond/index.html 


The AccountingWEB Friday Wrap-Up Newswire - Issue 21 December 17, 1999 http://www.accountingweb.com 

1. Consulting and Venture Capitalist Role Blurred at Andersen 
2. Keep Poaching Out Of The Firm 
3. PWC Starts Its Own Web Seal Program 
4. CPA Patricia Gilbreath Elected Mayor of Redlands, California 
5. Do Your Clients Need an Angel? 
6. Tips for Timely Collections 
7. FASB Outlines Fair Value Derivative Accounting 
8. Website Acid Test: Can Visitors Find Your Phone Number? 
9. IRS Prepares Taxpayers For Paperless Tax Filing 
10. New Search Engine To Try: www.alltheweb.com


AccountingNet Update http://www.accountingnet.com  For the Week of December 20, 1999

1. This Week's Accounting-Specific News Headlines 
2. Win a Palm Pilot V 
3. Online Wiley GAAP 2000 Now Available 
4. In the Forum: What's the best company gift you've received? 
5. Pull a CPE All-Nighter! 
6. Our Tip of the Week: Reporting Tips for Internet Companies


The December 19th Internet Essentials '99 Newsletter http://www.tiac.net/users/nhannon/news.html 

1. Free Phone Calls Around the World 
2. The Free $20 Account Update ... Success! 
3. Radio Windham Hill on the PC Airwaves 
4. Computers Will Soon Exceed Human Intelligence 
5. E-Mail Help Page From ZDnet 
6. AccountingClassifieds.com, For Your Career 
7. Cisco CIO: Layering Glitz Atop Old Infrastructure Won't Cut It 
8. Need One More Christmas Gift? Don't Do It At Work. 9. FASB: Preliminary Views on Fair Value


Out of all the places we lived, our son Marshall and daughter Lisl both chose to return to Maine to live.  This is for them and any others who want to better understand Yankees.  (Slightly modified from the anonymous author's original)

Maine Temperature Conversion Chart (in Fahrenheit) --- to appreciate this you have to work all the way to the bottom

60 above
New Yorkers try to turn on the heat.
Lisl's husband, Chuck, plants a garden.

50 above
Californians shiver uncontrollably.
People in Maine sunbathe.

40 above
Italian cars won't start.
People in Maine drive with the windows down.

32 above
Distilled water freezes.
Moosehead Lake's water at long last becomes invigorating.

20 above
Floridians wear coats, gloves and woolly hats.
Marshall looks for his long-lost tank top.

15 above
New York landlords finally turn up the heat.
Lisl and Chuck have the last cook-out before it gets cold.

*0 -
People in Miami cease to exist.
Mainers lick their flagpoles.

20 below
Californians fly away to Mexico.
Marshall digs through boxes trying to find his sweat suit.

40 below
Hollywood disintegrates.
My Granddaughter, Hilary,  begins selling Girl Scout cookies door to door.

60 below
Polar bears begin to evacuate Antarctica.
Marshall postpones "Winter Survival" classes until it gets cold enough.

80 below
Mt. St. Helen's freezes.
People in Maine rent some videos.

100 below
Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
Maine-iacs get frustrated when they can't thaw the keg.

297 below
Microbial life survives on dairy products.
Cows in Maine complain of farmers with cold hands.

460 below
ALL atomic motion stops.
People in Maine start saying...."Cold 'nuff for ya?"

500 below
Hell freezes over.
The New England Patriots win the Super Bowl

Reverse logic:  The New England Patriots will never win the Super Bowl until Hell freezes over.



And that's the way it was on December 22, 1999 with a little help from my friends. If you are an accounting practitioner or educator, please do not forget to scan http://www.accountingeducation.com/.

 

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

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

 

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December 16, 1999


At last Richard has answered a question that has puzzled me as well as Amy.  It is a "dirty little secret" about Microsoft software.

-----Original Message----- From: Amy Dunbar 

I created a file in Word and saved it as an HTML file. I put the file on the web. I decide to edit the file and ftp it back to my machine. When I open Frontpage and try to open the html file, the file opens in Word. Why can't I open the file in Frontpage?

-----Response from Richard Campbell

Amy: 
One of the dirty little secrets of Microsoft is that there are these little incompatibilities between various Office programs. MS Word has some unique ways of handling HTML tags - so unique that the new version of Dreamweaver (3.0) has a utility to strip these tags away. Another unrelated issue is that you can't do formatting pages in Publisher and convert into Word format.

Richard J. Campbell RJ Interactive www.rj-int.com mailto:campbell@rj-int.com

But Larry Gindler replied as follows:

From: Gindler, Lawrence
Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 1999 11:31 AM
To: Jensen, Robert
Subject: RE: New Bookmarks for December 16, 1999

In Front page, under Options, configure editors, you will find the following dialogue box. Note the check box that says "open web pages in the office application that created them." This feature can be turned on or off.

Also, if you click on a file in front page with the right mouse button, you have the option to "Open with...". This brings up a dialogue box that allows you open the file with any of the applications listed in this dialogue box.

--larry


Tax: Explore the New Rules for Tax Exempt Organizations http://www.accountingnet.com/research/solutions/public/taxation 


More on the Ernst and Young Center for Business Innovation  http://www.businessinnovation.ey.com/main.html 

Dear Prof Jensen

Thank you for your e-mail on the work done by the Ernst and Young Center for Business Innovation. You may be interested in the research that I am currently involved in as this appears to compliment the nature of your research.

I have in the past four years done research into the role of flexibility in the business organisation in a rapidly business environment. The emphasis of my research has been what flexibility is ( the different types of flexibility) and how flexibility can be measured so that organisations can measure their levels of flexibility, identify potential sources of flexibility, set goals for improved flexibility and monitor the levels of flexibility of competitors.

You are most welcome to contact me if this research may be of interest to you.

Kind regards
Prof Carolina Koornhof Department of Accounting University of Pretoria Pretoria South Africa Faks 27 12 362 5142


Free financial calculator --- http://homepage.swissonline.ch/FinCalc/ 

This site provides you with the tools to build advanced financial functions under Excel. FinCalc covers bonds, money market instruments, futures, options, interest rate swaps, caps & floors and swaptions.

Key points are:

calendar with business holidays for the major financial centers. analytics: valuation functions and sensitivity measures; construction of a discount curve based on money market rates, short term futures and swap rates; interest rates derivatives. user friendliness: meaningful function and parameter names, user's manual, numerous examples and applications. Visual Basic code to build your own Excel add-in, compiled add-in and example to download.


From Norman Meonske [nmeonske@kent.edu
Free Phone Calls Around the World --- (make sure you go to  www.hottelephone.com  (with two t's) and not www.hotelephone.com )

Free phone calls from the Internet just went international. Starting Friday, HotTelephone raises the bar in the bustling world of Internet telephony by offering a free global PC-to-telephone calling plan. The service is not unique, but Hot Telephone is the first to offer free calling anywhere on the planet. All you need is a Net-enabled PC, speakers, and a microphone, and tolerance for less-than-perfect sound quality. Here's the catch: You must choose from three advertising-supported tiers of service. HotTelephone competes with pay voice-over-Internet protocol firms like Net2Phone, WebPhone.com, and deltathree.com, which each charge about three cents per minute. HotTelephone also competes with free services, including dialpad.com, Innofone's Hot Caller service, Callrewards.com, and CallMeFree.com. All support their services with advertisements.  http://flashcommerce.com/articles/99/12/09/185421680.shtml?e=1 

I added this on December 16.
New free long-distance telephone service and free Internet Access.
From Tech Briefs on the Wall Street Journal Interactive on December 16, 1999:

IDT Corp. is expected Thursday to announce it will offer a free Internet-access service for consumers. The Hackensack, N.J., telecommunications company plans to profit from the service, called ZeroDinero, through advertisements. The service is the latest entry into an increasingly crowded category that includes NetZero Inc., Westlake Village, Calif, and 1stUp.com, a unit of Andover, Mass., Internet conglomerate CMGI Inc. Howard Jonas, IDT's chief executive, said ZeroDinero hopes to distinguish itself by showing fewer ads than its competitors. He also said the service will include free domestic telephone calls and faxing on the Web. IDT plans to make ZeroDinero available in 11 U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, beginning in January.  The Innovative Data Technologies Corporation home pate is at
http://www.idtc.com/.


Before the end of this year, the Derivatives Instruments Implementation Group (DIG) will probably be issuing some of its most important pronouncements on accounting for derivative financial instruments under SFAS 133.  Accountants should carefully watch http://www.rutgers.edu/Accounting/raw/fasb/derivatives/digmain.html .  New pronouncements will deal with some of the more controversial issues in SFAS 133.  The November 23 meeting of the FASB is also interesting in this regard.  See http://www.rutgers.edu/Accounting/raw/fasb/derivatives/bdmtg112399.html 

I try to keep current DIG pronouncements woven into my glossary (in red boxes) at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/acct5341/speakers/133glosf.htm 


New dimensions on the independence of auditors controversy.

From a former student

Dr. Jensen:

Here's more grist for the mill....

Multi-billion dollar consulting firm Andersen Consulting today announced that it has formed a venture unit. Andersen Consulting Ventures will fund Internet companies in its drive to become a major internet player. http://2.digital.cnet.com/cgi-bin2/flo?x=doEguhhogwEghuuo 

Jake

JACOB T. GRAY GRAY MATTER Business & Capital Management 4040 Broadway, Suite 420 San Antonio, TX 78209 (SE HABLA ESPANOL) (210) 828-3722 (office) (210) 828-0805 (fax) (210) 862-1092 (mobile) jgray@eGRAYMATTER.com  (email)

Also see "Consulting Solutions:  Sales is Not a Four-Letter Word at http://www.accountingnet.com/research/solutions/public/consulting/socn991206.asp 
Jensen is not so sure on this one.

It's time to openly accept the word "sales" in the accounting profession. For too long, too many accountants have associated this word with some type of unprofessional behavior and in some circles, it is even considered unethical.

The word "sales" is not a four-letter word. It is a professional activity and one that accountants should well embrace. Selling is an activity that we must learn if we are to succeed. People who sell services or products make a promise of some future deliverable.

Here is an easy way for you to overcome your fears when you think about selling. Think of this definition. "Selling is problem solving." I doubt anyone would have a problem with that. And that is what good accountants and consultants do all the time.

Every time you help out a client you are solving a problem that they are facing. The secret is not to become this selling machine, but to understand how to solve problems for your clients and prospects and how to generate more new business opportunities.


 

The Online Consumer Shopping Survey from Deloitte and Touche
http://www.usdeloitte.com/us/news/99oct/happe.htm 

 

This holiday season, the mouse that’s likely to be stirring throughout the house will be connected to a computer. An Internet survey conducted by Deloitte & Touche indicates that most online consumers are extremely satisfied with their e-commerce experiences to date and plan to include a combination of bricks and clicks to meet their holiday shopping needs. The findings show that online consumers expect to spend an average of $219 buying holiday gifts via the Internet this year. This represents one-fifth of the $1,067 they expect to spend overall.

Deloitte and Touche also has an eCommerce study devoted to the insurance industry at
 http://www.us.deloitte.com/pub/ecommerce/default.htm 
This study also provides additional facts on related industries.

 

E*Trade, the online securities brokerage firm ranked as the second largest online broker with a 13.3% market share as of April 1999, has deeply penetrated its market in a very short period of time. E*Trade has more than a million customer accounts and recently announced a $1.8 billion acquisition of Telebanc, an Internet bank which manages over $2.6 billion in assets and has nearly 60,000 customer accounts. E*Trade’s success is clearly tied to the shift in individual stock trading; the Internet now accounts for 30% to 35% of all stock trades by individuals.

In response to the loss of market share to the online securities brokerage firms, Merrill Lynch, the largest U.S. brokerage firm, has decided to offer trading online. The magnitude of this change can best be summarized by a quote from the Wall Street Journal: “Indeed, Merrill’s decision—one that every full-service Wall Street brokerage firm will have to respond to—shows just how profoundly the Internet is transforming the competitive landscape in the U.S. economy. Rarely in history has the leader in an industry felt compelled to do an about-face and, virtually overnight, adopt what is essentially a new business model.”

Developments in the PC manufacturing industry tell a similar story. In fours years, PC sales at Dell Computer have sky-rocketed from $3.4 billion to $18.3 billion, its return on equity ranks in the top ten of the Fortune 500, and its market cap stands at $94.6 billion. Compare this with Compaq, the world’s largest computer maker, whose market cap has fallen from $100 billion in January 1999 to $42.4 billion (see Dell vs. Compaq chart). First quarter results show that Dell’s sales rose by 52% against an industry average of 19%, while Compaq lost market share with sales only growing by 16%.

Why compare insurance enterprises to PC manufacturers? It wasn’t that long ago that the computer industry supported its model of retail sales distribution over direct distribution for the same reasons that insurance executives currently believe they are not threatened by direct insurance sales. The cost of Compaq retaining its retail agents shows up in its SG&A expense, which is 15.7% of revenue compared with Dell’s 9.5%. Both Dell and Compaq have gross margins in excess of 20%— Dell’s net income is 8.2% of sales, while Compaq’s is 3.0%.

While these developments may not be a foreshadowing of future events in the insurance industry, they do raise some compelling questions as to how insurers will integrate existing distribution channels with potential E-commerce opportunities.


 

Common denominators for success in eCommerce http://www.pcweek.com/a/pcwt9912071/2403840/ 

 


The top 100 financial services e-business innovators 
Financial services are transforming, funneling more and more innovation capital into e-business
By Jeff Moad and Anne Chen, PC Week Online 
December 13, 1999 9:00 AM ET 
http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/stories/news/0,4153,2405179,00.html 

AltaVista launches financial portal --- Users gain access to 25 news sources, real-time quotes, and live Webcam shots from the AMEX trading floor.  http://www.pcweek.com/a/pcwt9912073/1018307/ 


 

A credit card comparison tool from Quicken (free)
 http://www.quicken.com/small_business/finance/bankrates/?SUBRATES=CC&pindex=0&sindex=0&cindex=0&posted=1&psindex=0&STATE=0&CITY=0&RATES=c1.var 

 

Some helpers for running a small business from Quicken (free)
 http://www.quicken.com/small_business/answers/?topic=2&subtopic=1&question=0 


 

New revenue recognition guidelines from the Securities and Exchange Commission

 

See http://www.sec.gov/news/presindx.htm 
Commission Staff Issues Accounting Bulletin on Revenue Recognition" – December 3, 1999. (File name: 99-162.txt) (Additional materials are available: Fact Sheet on Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 101: sab101f.htm; complete text of Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 101: sab101.htm)

 

Quote from The Wall Street Journal, December 6, 1999, pg C17:

The SEC says "dot-com" companies have increasingly created clever ways to pump up their revenue with questionable items, such as booking as revenue the entire sale price for a product or service, when all they are really entitled to is a commission on the sale.

The new guidelines say if Internet companies merely act as "an agent" for a sale, they must only book the commission fee as revenue. They also stipulate that companies can book revenue if they have satisfied all of these criteria: They have an agreement to deliver products or services; they have actually delivered the products or services; they have fixed a price for the products or services; and they can collect the specified price.

While the guideline also reiterates existing standards, the SEC for the first time has knit together disparate revenue-accounting rules together into one package, making it easier to crack down on abusive companies, said Lynn Turner, SEC chief accountant. Having revenue-accounting rules all over the map allowed companies to take advantage of this disarray.


From InformationWeek Online, December 14, 1999

IBM To Unveil Knowledge Management Tool --- http://www.internetwk.com/story/INW19991214S0008 

New York -- IBM next year plans to unveil a knowledge management portal that will make it easier for business executives to quickly get the information they need from the Web.

The new portal will mark an "evolution of personal productivity applications," said Irving Wladawsky-Berger, general manager of IBM's Internet Division, who spoke about the new portal in a keynote address at the E-Business Expo here.

"Within IBM this is a big part of what Lotus [Development Corp.] is doing, moving up the value chain and bringing in all these tools to help organize information," said Wladawsky-Berger.

The knowledge management portal will first be made available as an application for IBM employees and then later be sold to customers, Wladawsky-Berger said. He would not be more specific on when the portal will be available to businesses.

A financial industry executive, for example, could use the portal to weed through huge amounts of financial information. "What this application can do is search, classify, do a lot of analysis and decide based on the 10 parameters you put in what are the most interesting articles, the most useful," said Wladawsky-Berger.

Unlike a traditional Internet portal such as Yahoo or Altavista, the IBM knowledge management portal is more of an "office productivity application," said Wladawsky-Berger. -- Steven Burke, Computer Reseller News


From the Scout Report

ADAM: the Art, Design, Architecture & Media Information Gateway http://adam.ac.uk/index.html 

This searchable catalog of 2,500 Internet sites has "been carefully selected and catalogued by professional librarians for the benefit of the Higher Education community." The site offers extensive annotations of resources in the Fine Arts, Design, Architecture, Applied Arts, Media, Theory, Museum Studies and conservation, and professional practices in these fields. ADAM features several options for both searching and browsing. Search options include a keyword search with the ability to specify proximity of words. Users can also search specified fields, perform an advanced search using booleans and various truncations, or search "recent additions." Resources are browseable by ADAM subject headings, historical period, resource type, geographical area, and terminology from an Art and Architecture Thesaurus. Users can nominate a site for review by the ADAM consortium -- a group of librarians whose standards for inclusion and cataloging are professional, detailed, and available on-site. The site is supported by the Surrey Institute of Art and Design in the UK. Caveat: We were unable to determine the source of ADAM's funding beyond December of 1998; and the site seems to have begun updating only recently after a substantial hiatus.

The choice of the ADAM acronym is somewhat unfortunate since ADAM over the past decade refers to the famous anatomy multimedia learning modules that are used in virtually all medical schools and many biological science courses in colleges and universities.  This ADAM web site can be viewed at http://www.adam.com/  (This ADAM is one of the most successful technology projects ever launched in the history of educational technologies.)


From the Scout Report

My History is America's History http://www.myhistory.org/ 

This interactive Website presented by the National Endowment for the Humanity's Millennium Project encourages Americans to find their family's place in American history. The site shows users how to research their genealogical past, construct a family tree, place their family in a timeline of American history, write their own family history, and publish it online at this Website. Visitors can read selected family or community stories or search the developing database of family stories maintained in partnership with genealogy.com. (Unfortunately, only a small selection of these stories is browseable.) Special sections are designed for use with children and in the classroom. The site also offers an opportunity to join a history discussion list and provides additional resources for those interested in pursuing issues of American history and genealogy.


Janet Flatley sent me a link to "It's cheaper, faster, and easier to distribute than live classes. But is it effective?" by  Kris Froeswick at http://www.cfonet.com/html/Articles/CFO/1999/99DEtheo.html  (Thank you for the link Janet):

The main attraction of online education, however, is clear: it saves big bucks. Almost three years ago, Al Gordon, program manager at Siemens Virtual University, at Siemens Information and Communication Networks Inc., faced a daunting task: train 600 high-level engineers on data/voice convergence technology, do it as quickly as possible, and keep engineers updated on new developments. If he went the typical route--face-to-face classes, delivered at special training locations--Gordon estimated it would take three years and more than $4 million in travel and lost productivity time to train all 600 people. And that didn't include the cost of the training itself.

Counter-reasoning from Bob Jensen  
Online education controversy: Lowered Costs vs. Expanded Markets for Luxury Education

I disagree with Froeswick on the point that "it saves big bucks."  Among the prestige schools, the purpose is more to tap into new and lucrative markets rather than save money.  Consider the following quotations from "Ivy Online:  Elite universities and professional schools are scrambling to "leverage their brands" and make extra money through online education" by Todd Woody at http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,7122,00.html 

Last year Harvard Business School Publishing created a simple intranet version of its CD-ROM courses. But the cost of developing a full-blown online multimedia course can exceed $1 million, so the school went in search of a partner. The agreement Harvard signed this year with Pensare calls for the company to create up to six Internet courses with Harvard professors. The school will receive royalties on the courses Pensare sells as well as warrants for stock in the company.

Some of the newly targeted markets are described below:

UNext is betting that when a Sony (SNE) or a Siemens (SMAWY) needs its marketing managers in Kuala Lumpur to take a finance course, it'll be more likely to turn to a company that offers an Ivy League curriculum than to a local university. According to the company, students will be able to take multimedia classes at their own pace or collaborate with other students in real time. (UNext will offer its first course next year.) Nobel-winning professors may contribute to the courses and may deliver lectures online, but they won't actually be teaching the courses in the conventional sense. UNext will hire a staff of online mentors to answer students' questions and provide guidance.

For more on distance education partnerings of prestige universities, see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99.htm#prestige 


A subsequent message from Janet on the same topic.

Professor, 
Thought you'd be interested in another series the Seattle Post-Intelligencer is running on the use of technology in higher education. In case the article is no longer at http://www.seattlep-i.com/local/farr09.shtml 
  I've copied it below.

An interesting point from the article: While other state universities and colleges offer courses and programs in rural areas, none has reached out as aggressively as has [Washington State University]. "There is a segment of the population that is asking for assistance in getting an education that does not fit in our traditional system," WSU President Sam Smith said in a recent interview. "The real choice is: do you want to educate this whole new segment of the population?" For the 15 years Smith has led WSU, the answer has been a resounding "yes."

Though the article does not mention faculty reaction to the WSU program, this is certainly a different response to distance education than the previous article by this reporter concerning University of Washington faculty opposition to high-tech intrusion into higher learning.

Hope your holiday preparations are on schedule - I have fond memories of Christmas in the Hill Country, though I would have wished for a somewhat more seasonal climate instead of the shorts & t-shirt weather I remember, at least for the holiday!

Janet Flatley AVP-Controller 1st Fed S&L Assn Pt Angeles, WA (360) 417-3104


From: Carolyn A. Strand, Assistant Professor, Seattle Pacific University, Chair of the Teaching and Curriculum Research in Accounting Education Committee of the American Accounting Association --- http://www.rutgers.edu/Accounting/raw/aaa/tccomm/Fall99/item07.htm  (only portions of Carolyn's reviews are quoted below):

  1. Cooperative Learning Returns to College: What Evidence is There That it Works? by David W. Johnson, Roger T. Johnson, and Karl A. Smith in Change (July/August 1998, p. 26-35). The article includes a review of the theory underlying the use of cooperative learning, research conducted at the college level on cooperative learning, and ways it may be used appropriately in college classes.  The authors also note that James Cooper at California State University-Dominguez Hills publishes a newsletter on the use of cooperative learning at the college level. If you would like to be on the mailing list, you may contact Professor Cooper at the following e-mail address: jcooper@dhvx20.csudh.edu.

  2. "Why Learning Communities? Why Now?" by K. Patricia Cross in About Campus (August 1998, p. 4-11). Cross argues that the current interest in learning communities, or cooperative learning, is not just another educational fad, but a fundamental revolution in epistemology. She then reviews the research arguments for engaging students in interactive group learning, which include: (1) research on learning outcomes, (2) theory-based research on motivation and cognition, and (3) research on intellectual development. 

  3. "Research on Educational Innovations" by Arthur K. Ellis and Jeffrey T. Fouts, 1997, publisher: Eye on Education (Larchmont, NY). The authors focus on major educational innovations that have achieved widespread influence in the general educational literature. Several topics are: (1) learning styles, (2) cooperative learning, (3) outcome-based education, and (4) alternative/authentic assessment. At the end of each chapter, the authors include additional references to assist the reader in expanding one's knowledge base on each innovation.

  4. "Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher" by Stephen D. Brookfield, 1995, publisher: Jossey-Bass, Inc. (San Francisco, CA). Perhaps the primary audience for this book is the college teacher who has a base of experience that can be critically investigated.

  5. "Engaging Ideas: The Professor's Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom" by John C. Bean, 1996, publisher: Jossey-Bass, Inc. (San Francisco, CA). The author includes hundreds of suggestions for integrating writing and other critical thinking activities into any academic discipline. 

  6. "Writing for Scholarly Publication" by Anne S. Huff, 1999, publisher: Sage Publications, Inc.(Thousand Oaks, CA). Perhaps this book would be most valuable to junior faculty who are still refining their writing and research skills. 

 

Electronic books --- from InformationWeek Daily on December 12

Barnes & Noble Inc. said Thursday that IBM will provide technology and management for a new process that prints books on demand for customers at its retail stores and Web site.

IBM will provide Barnes & Noble with printing and workflow technologies, scalable servers, and software for electronic- book management and distribution. It will also provide on- site management at a content-distribution center in Jamesburg, N.J., that will become operational in mid-2000. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

In January, Barnes & Noble will begin working with publishers to build a digital library. Books will be scanned into the print-on-demand system or provided in PDF format. Customers will be able to order books electronically via PCs, wireless handheld devices, and notebooks, Barnes & Noble says.

Barnes & Noble executives expect that print on demand will let them increase their selection by 500,000 titles within five years. The agreement for IBM's print-on-demand services extends to iUniverse.com, a publishing portal of which Barnes & Noble owns 49%.


Skeptic's Annotated Bible http://SkepticsAnnotatedBible.com/ 


Sociology Dictionary http://www.iversonsoftware.com/sociology/index.htm 


I always find messages from Scott informative

I have been reading "Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the WWW" written by Tim Berners-Lee who is responsible for the original design and for guiding its execution. At Amazon.com it is:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0062515861/o/qid=945181937/sr=2-1/002 -2359596-1624222  

This is a good read, especially seeing what is going on with AECM and similar groups. It certainly clarifies for me the inherent threat that an entity like Microsoft poses.

Scott Bonacker, CPA McCullough, Officer & Company, LLC Springfield, Missouri moccpa.com


Forwarded by Aaron Konstam.

Below is an article about a professor that really believes in the kind of academic integrity for the whole university that I support. ========================================================================

[The Chronicle of Higher Education] Thursday, December 9, 1999

Boston U. Professor Voluntarily Resigns His Chairmanship Over an [ Omitted Attribution

By COURTNEY LEATHERMAN

The head of Boston University's mass-communications department stepped down from that post last week after realizing that he had failed three days earlier to attribute a quote he had included in a guest lecture to 400 freshmen.

The announcement by John J. Schulz, a professor of international communication, surprised colleagues who thought he might be going too far by giving up his chairmanship for what they described as a simple mistake -- one that any of them could have made. But Mr. Schulz, who will remain on the faculty, said it was his duty to set an example. "Taking into account that this might even be considered an issue among students -- that there could be a standard for them that somehow professors don't have to live with -- made it seem right and proper that I step away from this leadership role." He said the decision was his alone. The dean of the college of communications, Brent Baker, said he accepted the resignation with regret.

"The lesson here is that when a good leader does something wrong, he immediately admits it, and takes personal responsibility for his actions," Mr. Baker said in a statement that praised Mr. Schulz's integrity as a teacher, scholar, and journalist. Before coming to Boston University, Mr. Schulz had worked for 21 years as a reporter and news executive for Voice of America.

Explaining the situation, Mr. Schulz said that he had been rushing to finish his lecture to the introductory communications class and, in doing so, overlooked the attribution for his concluding quotation. It was a long sentence from an article by Alexander Stille that ran in The Nation magazine. Mr. Schulz said that [Image] during the class, he had been roving around the room talking. But [ ] when he realized that he was almost out of time, he returned to the lectern, scrapping the planned ending to his talk and hurriedly reading the quote -- eager to get to a question-and-answer period. In his rush, he overlooked Mr. Stille's name, he said.

A student in the class recognized the quote and pointed it out in an on-line discussion section set up for the class. That prompted an on-line debate about what constituted plagiarism and whether or not the university had a double standard for students and professors. As it happened, the course was regularly taught by the college's dean, Brent Baker, who contacted Mr. Schulz after reading the students' comments. Yesterday, Mr. Schulz returned to the class where he had made the mistake and apologized to the students. Many applauded after he finished his comments.

Several of Mr. Schulz's colleagues say that he had made a mistake but had not committed plagiarism. "Many of us viewed what he did as a mere slip of the tongue or a minor oversight under time pressure and not as a deliberate attempt to misappropriate someone's idea," said Melvin L. DeFleur, a professor of mass communications and former chairman of the department.

But Mr. Schulz noted, "There's nothing in the definition of plagiarism that talks about intent." He added: "This is a case that involves having to take that desperately painful step of recognizing that, like with a car accident where you run into the rear end of an auto -- while it might have been accidental, you are the perpetrator. It's one of those horrifying moments that can affect a whole lifetime, and I'm very sad."

Aaron Konstam 
Computer Science Trinity University 715 Stadium Dr. San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
telephone: (210)-999-7484 email:akonstam@trinity.edu


Forwarded from Bob Jensen. This relates indirectly to the above message recently forwarded by Aaron.

-----Original Message----- From: Janet Flatley [mailto:jflatley@ffpa.com] Sent: Thursday, December 09, 1999 10:40 AM To: 'rjensen@trinity.edu' Subject: 79% of young Americans believe that there are no absolute standar ds in ethics

Professor, I found this article especially relevant to discussion of CPA independence and the tension between attest function & MAS. As Ms. Calle states below, "As more traditional accounting firms become involved in consulting, which to some slightly grays the line of impartiality, it is more important than ever that the accounting profession operate according to the highest ethical standards." In a climate where "... there are no absolute standards in ethics," the lack of independence may be the least of our problems.

The last paragraph is aimed at college business students, but it's worth reading by all their role models, in academia & business.

Enjoyed your recent bookmarks ... it's the one of the few external emails I take the time to review when received.

Janet Flatley AVP-Controller 1st Fed S&L Assn Pt Angeles WA (360) 417-3104

PS Full disclosure - I am a KPMG alumni, having worked in MAS in RI & WA.

Ethics in Business By Jeri Calle Partner in Charge of University Relations, KPMG LLP

The national media have recently begun to lament the loss of ethics in today's business world. According to a recent survey cited in The Wall Street Journal --- Honesty in business dealings doesn't seem to be at the forefront of people's minds.

For those of us in the accounting profession, however, ethics is at the cornerstone of what we do. Clients look to us to provide impartial information about their company and industry. The business community depends on accountants to perform their jobs with the highest degree of accuracy and ethical standards. The stability of a free-market system depends, in large part, on unimpeachably exact audits and statements.

As more traditional accounting firms become involved in consulting, which to some slightly grays the line of impartiality, it is more important than ever that the accounting profession operate according to the highest ethical standards.

Most ethical lapses are so small as to seem insignificant. However, they add up over time, and can snowball into a serious situation. Poor ethical standards are most damaging in the long-term.

The biggest victim of ethical lapse is trust. A small breach of ethics is often known only between a few people. But this knowledge can destroy trust between fellow employees, and from there make its way up the ladder, destroying trust between employee and supervisor, and between divisions of companies. When ethical lapses become rampant, employee productivity declines, loyalty follows, soon major breaches such as employee theft begin to appear. Eventually, and worst of all, the most important advantage a firm has, the trust between a firm and its clients, erodes.

Why has such an important topic as business ethics gone unnoticed, even actively ignored? The biggest reason is that ethics is largely misunderstood. Ethical behavior-behavior conducted with honesty and integrity, has recently become muddled up with moral or political questions.

In the past generation, the business community for the first time was asked to consider political and moral consequences when making business decisions-whether to do business with South Africa during apartheid, for instance. The public's new interest has changed the way many companies do business.

However, as political and moral concerns have taken center stage, ethical concerns have been forgotten. Ethics has very little to do with political beliefs, or public opinion. Ethical behavior is a very personal matter, which requires that a person be honest and truthful in all business dealings.

Because ethical behavior is so personal, it is unlikely to be given any recognition. While there are many awards for corporate social responsibility, awards that recognize ethical behavior are rare. Ethics is viewed as something that is expected from employees-only when ethics codes are breached if the topic even discussed. However, this Monday Morning Quarterbacking approach to ethics gives employees who are being ethical day in and day out, without encouragement from above, the impression that ethics are not important.

A movement has begun to combat this impression. Business leaders know the importance of ethics--an international survey found that 78% of boards of directors are setting ethical codes of conduct, up from only 41% in 1991.

Ethical behavior starts at the top. Before a company can expect to be viewed as ethical in the business community, ethical behavior within its own walls-to and by employees-is a must, and top management dictates the mood. Ethical behavior by the leaders of an organization will inevitably set the tone for the rest of the company-values will remain consistent. Further, a well-communicated commitment to ethics sends a powerful message that ethical behavior is considered to be a business imperative.

Companies, led by top management, are increasingly adopting ethical codes of conduct. Modern ethics codes aren't just some simple platitudes set in a break-room plaque. Companies now commit considerable time and money to illustrate their reliance on ethical behavior. Companies now bring in consulting firms (including KPMG's own Business Ethics Services Practice), to craft a document with concrete rules and real meaning.

A modern ethics code will consider the main ethical dilemmas of a company's employees, and determine the most vulnerable ethical areas for the company. The execution of a company's ethics program depends on identifying these vulnerabilities. All future messages, from the code, to materials, to training, will focus on these major ethical dilemmas.

Companies are also interested in determining whether ethical behavior can be measured, just as efficiency and productivity are. KPMG's Business Ethics Institute is taking the lead on research in this area. Often companies must innovate ways to measure ethical behavior, which in turn motivates ethical behavior.

Once training, measurement and a new ethical code have been developed, companies are also hiring full-time ethical compliance officers, and starting ethics hotlines to report possible policy violations. Hiring a full-time ethics officer is another signal to employees that ethical violations will be taken very seriously. However, this person isn't just a watchdog-they will take a proactive approach to identifying possible violations before they develop. An ethics violation hotline is another essential step to ensure ethical compliance. Employees can call the hotline 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, to report violations or even to discuss potentially dangerous ethical situations.

As ethical behavior comes to the forefront, more and more companies will be taking these steps to ensure that the ethics of their company and its employees are unassailable.

For those of you about to enter the workforce, ethical questions are fairly faint on your radar screen. However, because companies, and especially accounting firms, are so concerned with maintaining proper ethical standards, it is important to reiterate the major principles of professional ethics: * Avoiding even the appearance of conflict of interest-This is most important in the accounting field. Especially when confidential financial material is involved, as in an audit, there can be no interest conflict. For instance, it is improper to hold stock in a company that you are auditing. * Keeping sensitive information confidential-Most, if not all, information you get from a client is confidential. As an accountant or consultant, you are usually dealing with some of the most sensitive material a client has. Therefore, that material, even its existence, should not be discussed with anyone outside the firm. * Full disclosure-Any information with any impact whatsoever on your duties or professional life should be shared openly and honestly with supervisors. At KPMG we encourage such honesty with a "time-bank" leave policy. There is no such thing as sick leave or personal days, it is all lumped together-employees can use the time for whatever they choose, making for a much more open workplace. * Devotion to responsibility-As a paid employee, you are expected to perform your duties to the best of your possible abilities, and to retain loyalty and respect to your firm.

You may have taken a business ethics class, where you learned theories of ethics and analyzed case studies of famous ethical dilemmas. This is important preparation-but in the business world, there won't be time to fulminate and analyze. Split-second ethical decisions are made every day-and if you follow the main professional ethics principles, making the correct decision shouldn't be difficult.

For more information on ethics in business, check out KPMG's business ethics Web site at www.us.kpmg.com/ethics/today.html < http://www.us.kpmg.com/ethics/today.html  > . Related articles <archive.asp>

Reply from our Steve Curry:

Doesn't absolute standards imply an absolute authority? Doesn't that authority have to be beyond the influence and alteration of human opinion? Aren't we talking about religion? Is it really any surprise that, as we have removed religion from public discourse, young Americans no longer believe in absolutes?

- Steve Curry scurry@trinity.edu 


Thank you Roger.

One of the unfortunate but inevitable side-effects of having so much material available on the Net is online plagiarism. Check out a recent article on Wired that covers the problem and an interesting set of counter-plagiarism tools and sites.
http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,33021,00.html 

Roger Debreceny, PhD, FCPA, CMA Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University, Room S3-B1-B61 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798 rogerd@netbox.com  adebreceny@ntu.edu.sg  http://www.ntu.edu.sg/home/adebreceny ICQ 22958324  Ph: +65 790 6049 Fax: +65 791 3697


I am inserting this message, because Will has one of the finest helper web sites in existence for tax information, tax research, tax return  preparation, and links to great tax web sites.

I hope you have Happy Holidays and a Happy New Millennium.

Please note my new address below.

Will

Dr. Will Yancey, CPA 6848 Midcrest Drive Dallas, TX 75240-7944 Phone (972) 934-2810 Fax (972) 934-2813 Email will@willyancey.com Web http://www.willyancey.com 


Bill Trochim's Center for Social Research Methods http://trochim.human.cornell.edu/index.html 


For us old duffers. (assurance services, elder care. gone but not out)

These Web sites are useful for ElderCare practitioners who wish to research services for the elderly. The sites all provide numerous links to other sites related to aging and the aged. These links were given in Exhibit 4 in the December 1999 issue of the Journal of Accountancy, pg. 48. 

Government Sites   

Access America for Seniors -- www.seniors.gov . Information about programs for seniors and links to other senior sites. Administration on Aging -- www.aoa.gov  Every conceivable issue affecting the elderly and their families. A great starting point for research. Includes numerous links as well as a comprehensive resource directory for older people. HealthCare Financing Administration -- www.hcfa.gov  Medicare and Medicaid information for consumers and providers. Medicare Handbook and Consumer Information -- www.medicare.gov  The official Medicare site. National Institute on Aging -- www.nih.gov/nia  Health and medical information for the aged. Social Security Administration -- www.ssa.gov  The official Social Security site. U.S. Census Bureau -- www.census.gov  Demographic information on the aging population. Amazing research capabilities.

Organizations   

American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) -- www.aarp.org  Resources on consumer issues affecting those over 50 as well as links and details on AARP initiatives and member benefits. American Association of Home and Services for the Aging -- www.aahsa.org  Information on continuing care retirement communities and on the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission. American Geriatrics Society -- www.americangeriatrics.org  Issues affecting the aging. Health Insurance Association of America -- www.hiaa.org Medigap   policies and LTC insurance. Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations -- www.jcaho.org  A listing of accredited health care facilities in all 50 states. Checklists for use in choosing a health care facility or provider. Explanation of the accreditation program. National Academy of ElderLaw Attorneys -- www.naela.org  Information for and about NAELA members. National Association of Area Agencies on Aging -- www.n4a.org. Information about local area agencies on aging, including numerous local and national links. National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers -- www.caremanager.org  How to find a geriatric care manager. National Association of Social Workers -- www.socialworkers.org  Information about social workers and links to other organizations. National Council on the Aging, Inc. -- www.ncoa.org  More resources for the aging and their families. National Resource and Policy Center on Housing and Long-Term Care -- www.homemods.com/  The Home Modification Assistance Program site, which provides support for builders and others to make alterations to homes to allow for independent living. National Senior Citizens Law Center -- www.nscic.org  Advocacy for the aged. Visiting Nurse Associations of America -- www.vnaa.org  Links to local visiting nurse associations.

Other Resources

Careguide--ElderCare Resource Center -- www.careguide.net  A for-profit enterprise that provides a wealth of information for the elderly, caregivers and providers. Search for health care providers in your area. ElderWeb -- www.elderweb.com  An award-winning site founded by Karen Stevenson Brown, a member of the ElderCare task force. Numerous links to resources, useful articles and a listing of some of the CPAs and CAs now providing ElderCare services.


Mobil Masterpiece Theatre  PBS special event presenting nine films based on the works of major American authors, including Willa Cather, Eudora Welty, Langston Hughes, and Henry James.  http://ncteamericancollection.org/.

This website included aids for educators and a special page for student contributions.


Mindtrail is a revolutionary new tool for managing expert knowledge and performing assessments. Mindtrail delivers substantial productivity gains when used for assessments, document assembly, process capture and automation.

We have been given the opportunity to trial, Mindtrail, a tool for assessing essays etc electronically. For those interested, in can be found online at http://www.mindtrail.com

I am interested in knowing if anyone has had experience with this product or similar and your views on using such products.

Thanks 
Andrew Priest
 School of Accounting, Edith Cowan University, Pearson Street, Churchlands Perth, Western Australia 6018, Australia Phone: + 61 8 9273 8116 Fax: + 61 8 9273 8121 + 0411 22 9765 ICQ# - 38215599 Mailto:a.priest@ecu.edu.au Mailto:apriest@imstressed.com Home Page: http://www-business.cowan.edu.au/acctinfoplus Editor - Accounting Education.Com Double Entries http://www.accountingeducation.com/ Webmaster - AAA Government and Nonprofit Section http://www-business.ecu.edu.au/aaagnp
/


Bibliography of experimental economics --- http://www.economics.harvard.edu/~aroth/bib.html 


Java's future is in doubt since SUN pulled the plug on standardization.  See http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/stories/news/0,4153,2407597,00.html 


The AccountingWEB Friday Wrap-Up Newswire - Issue 20 December 10, 1999 http://www.accountingweb.com 

1. Top Story: E&Y May Sell Its Consulting Group 
2. Do Consulting Services Affect Auditor Independence? 
3. Success Factors Of M&A Outlined in Extensive Survey 
4. Never Thought You Would Deal With OSHA? Think Again . . . 
5. Technology Is Changing The Face of Financial & Business Reporting. Are You Prepared? 
6. Can A Virtual Assistant Solve Some Of Your Admin Issues? 
7. SEC Continues To Press Revenue Recognition Issue 
8. Dare To Get To Know Your Competitor 
9. Is An Ethical Assurance Service In Your Product Mix? 
10. Neat Must-Have Toy: C-Pen Scanner


AccountingStudents Newsletter: December 14, 1999 http://www.accountingstudents.com

1. Ring in the New Year with a Palm V 
2. How High a Salary Should Accounting Majors Expect? 
3. Internship Question of the Week 
4. The Complete Accounting Research Page 
5. Site of the Week: CARE CPA 
6. Survey Results: Where do you get the news? 
7. Ethics in Business 
8. Keeping a Positive Attitude During Your Job Search 
9. Tip of the Week: How to Conduct an Informational Interview


December 12th Internet Essentials '99 Newsletter for the financial professional. http://www.tiac.net/users/nhannon/news.html 

1. My $20 Cash Christmas Gift to You 
2. Eudora Pro (email software) Is Now Free 
3. Shutting Down Your Web Site for New Year's? 
4. Freemarkets.com, Business-to-Business Online Auctions 
5. What's Hot for 2000? Wireless Internet Access 
6. Customer Loyalty is a Major Factor '99's Holiday's Sales 
7. I'll Have a Coke and a Firewall Sandwich, Please 
8. Quick Comments on the Internet Scene


In a lecture, I once heard John Kenneth Galbraith state that Ireland is the land of artists and poets, but Ireland never produced one economist.  This is consistent with the following sent to me by Sherman Zelinski:

An out-of-work Irishman went walking around London until he found a construction site with a sign announcing that workmen were being hired. When he applied for the job it was his bad luck that the foreman in charge was an Englishman with a dismal view of the Irish.

"So, Paddy, you think you can do the work?" asked the foreman.

"Oh yes," said the Irishman. "I've been doin' construction for thirty years."

"Then you really understand construction?" asked the foreman.

"Of course," said the Irishman. "I can do it all -- the plumbin', the electric, the carpentry."

"Then you wouldn't mind if I gave you a bit of a test?" asked the foreman.

"No, no. Test away."

"Then tell me, Paddy, what is the difference between a joist and a girder?"

"That's too easy," said the Irishman. "Twas the former wrote Ulysses, whilst the latter wrote Faust."

Author unknown!



And that's the way it was on December 16, 1999 with a little help from my friends. If you are an accounting practitioner or educator, please do not forget to scan http://www.accountingeducation.com/.

 

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

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Bob Jensen's Index Page

Bob Jensen's Bookmarks

New Bookmark Archives

 

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December 8, 1999


Carl Hubbard passed this along.  You can get a free Internet connection and other free services --- http://www.freei.net 

Unlimited FREE Internet Access, Web Browsing, and Email News, Weather, and Shopping
FreeiFriendssm - chat/instant messaging
Now works on Windows 95, 98, and NT!
Download Version 2.5 Now!

All you have to do is tolerate a small banner on your screen


WebEntrepreneurs ---  http://www.webentrepreneurs.com/visitorshome.cfm 
This website offers quite a few free tools for starting and operating an eCommerce site.

Business@Home http://www.gohome.com/ 
This site focuses on operating a business out of your home.

This web site lets you play at business out of your home --- an online Microsoft Monopoly Game (humor and fun) M$-Monopoly.com --- http://www.ms-monopoly.com/monopoly.php3 
A humorous odyssey through Micro$oft's investments and strategic shifts of fortune.


News from Accounting Education.com at http://www.accountingeducation.com/ 

We are currently looking to recruit people to undertake book reviews for us - a handsome fee will be paid for each review completed! If you are interested in volunteering your services please email us at reviews@accountingeducation.com  giving brief CV information and we'll provide further details.

We are pleased to announce that we have agreed to host information on a key European interest group in our field - the British Accounting Association's Accounting Education Special Interest Group. Initially we have provided data on their forthcoming conference and further, more interactive, features will follow.

Whilst, of course, we don't run AccountingEducation.com for the glory (!) we do appreciate the occasional award as much as the next person. We have just been awarded a StudyWeb award for 'Academic Excellence' as 'one of the Net's finest informative educational links'. We humbly accept!

IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY ON ACCOUNTING FUTURE KEY FEATURE IN AUSTRALIAN CPA
 http://www.accountingeducation.com/news/news694.html 

WEB BASED EDUCATION HAS A FUTURE 
http://www.accountingeducation.com/news/news691.html
 

SEC CALLS FOR STRICTER ACCOUNTING RULES FOR INTERNET COMPANIES http://www.accountingeducation.com/news/news663.html 


I am not including the following for advertising or for promoting this particular source (LoanWise) of a business loan.  The reason that I am including it here is to illustrate how fast business managers will be able to borrow money via the Internet when more lenders commence similar services.  The source of the following is an advertisement that I received in the Wall Street Journal Business Alert about the murder of Edmond Safra in Monte Carlo.

The 5-Minute Online Business Loan Now business loans are on Internet time. At loanwise.com. Answer a few short questions about your personal and business finances. Your one application will be evaluated by multiple leading lenders. And you get a loan decision instantly ... right on your desktop. Select the loan that's best for your business and get back to work. All in less than 5 minutes.
http://ad.doubleclick.net/clk;612056;3549565;m?http://www.loanwise.com/ewsji 


Course Technology --- http://www.course.com/ 

Course Technology, headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was founded based on a vision that technology would transform the way people teach and learn. As the first publisher to truly integrate software with textbooks successfully, Course Technology pioneered the revolutionary concept of student versions of software and grew it into a wildly successful new publishing model. Today, the company continues to focus on developing leading edge materials to help people learn about technology. In its first year, Course Technology developed three products. This year Course Technology will ship over five million units to learners worldwide, and this web site will receive over 30 million hits. Led by President and CEO, Joseph B. Dougherty, Course Technology is now far and away the number one publisher of instructional materials on information systems in the world. The company has two divisions: the Academic Learning division -- the worldwide leader in IT publishing for the secondary and post secondary markets, and the Corporate Learning Division -- an emerging force in IT learning tools for the corporate market.


The Ernst and Young Center for Business Innovation  http://www.businessinnovation.ey.com/main.html 
There is also a forum at this website.

The Ernst & Young Center for Business Innovation is a source of new knowledge, insights, and frameworks for management. We exist to discover and develop innovations in strategy, people, process, and technology that deliver high value to business. Our work, performed in collaboration with leading thinkers in business, academe, and other research organizations, fuels Ernst & Young's development of new strategic consulting services, and is communicated broadly to general business audiences.

The research agenda of The Ernst & Young Center for Business Innovation is shaped by our vision of an increasingly connected economy. There is no doubt that connections and ways of connecting have proliferated wildly-among firms, among individuals, among computers, and more. In a highly connected world, things don't simply happen faster. Different things happen. Economies behave in non-classical ways. Firms take on different structures. Different kinds of assets drive competitiveness.

All this calls for new theories of management and new tools for managing. Our research agenda focuses on a few realms that will experience profound change. Our work in performance measurement focuses on the rising value of intangibles, and new ways to measure them effectively. Our inquiry into knowledge management explores intellectual capital as the most important-and underleveraged-source of competitive advantage. Research on customer connection identifies new ways to grow by forging economic, knowledge, and technological links to customers. The rapidly evolving world of electronic commerce is an example deserving of special attention. Finally, most broadly, our search for a new theory of the firm anticipates an economy so connected that it begins to behave as a complex adaptive system-and looks to complexity science to provide clues to the future.


Did those nasty little critters invade your privacy?  This is scary from The Wall Street Journal, November 30, 1999, pg. B6 or the WJS Interactive at  http://interactive.wsj.com/archive/retrieve.cgi?id=SB9439120611421351.djm&template=pasted-1999-11-30.tmpl 

WASHINGTON -- A company's popular software to change a Web browser's computer cursor into cartoon characters and other images is quietly tracking its customers across the Internet and recording which Web pages they visit.

Comet Systems Inc. ( www.cometsystems.com ), a private company in New York, doesn't dispute that its free cursor software, installed by more than 16 million people, reports back to its own computers with each customer's unique serial number each time that person visits any of 60,000 Web sites -- including dozens aimed at young children -- that support its technology.

Privacy advocates expressed dismay over the communications, which are sent without informing users. But the company insists it isn't violating customers' privacy because it doesn't attempt to match serial numbers against real-world identities. It published an explanation of its practices early Monday on its Web site after questions over the weekend.


800 Professors at the University of Washington Start a Campaign to "Just Say No to Distance Learning."

Hi Janet,

I really appreciate seeing this article. It is great for starting a debate. However, the author obviously has a naive view of distance education. By " naive" I mean equating modern-day distributed education with former correspondence courses. Correspondence courses did not have the technologies of communication that accompany good online courses of today and tomorrow. Firstly, most prestige distributed education courses such as the highly successful GEMBA Program at Duke University are heavily synchronized such that students meet at the same time in a virtual classroom (hearing each other with audio technology and seeing each other with video technology) and discuss a case in much the same manner that they would discuss the case if they were face-to-face on the Duke University campus. Secondly, students often overburden their instructors and other students with more messaging (email and chat room) outside of class than ever existed in traditional classrooms.

Reporters who write such naive columns just have not done their homework. For example, it is obvious that Ms SCHUBERT has never examined the outcomes of the multimillion Sloan Foundation experiments. See http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/260wp/260wp.htm 

It is important for academics to be objective about results of learning experimentation --- whether or not these results run contrary to our personal utility functions. Distributed education has serious flaws and serious advantages over traditional on-site education. When a writer such as Ms SCHUBERT resorts to a writing style like the message below, she sounds more like a spokeswoman for a faculty union than a scholar writing objectively on both sides of an issue.

Do you think I can put your message below into my December 8 Edition of New Bookmarks?

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

Message 2 from Janet
Be my guest ... I agree with your assessment of reporter Schubert. The earlier piece, reporting on the June 1998 letter signed by UW faculty, fit your description that she "sounds more like a spokesman for a faculty union."

There has always been a tension between the past and the future in academia - on the one hand, universities are repositories of past intellectual wealth. But on the other hand, the future is barreling down the track at the speed of the internet. Faculty can rail against it with "over my dead body" open letters, or they can - as you and other visionaries have proven - fashion the technology to serve both teacher and taught.
Janet Flatley [mailto:jflatley@ffpa.com

----------------------------------------------------------

Message 1 from Janet----- 
From: Janet Flatley [mailto:jflatley@ffpa.com
Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 1999 12:26 PM 
To: rjensen@trinity.edu  
Subject: brave new world of digital education

Have you seen this article? I have a paper copy of the article reporting the June 1998 letter signed by U of Wash faculty. It may seem dated, but I think the faculty's concerns have probably deepened & not improved since then.

Janet Flatley (360) 417-3104

-------------------------------------------------------

Original Article Sent to Me by Janet
Warnings are raised about downloaded education
Monday, October 11, 1999
By RUTH SCHUBERT SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER

Grants are referred to as "venture capital" and class materials are "content."

For-profit companies are vending virtual degrees, and politicians talk of the cost efficiencies to be derived through technology.

To many professors and researchers, this is the dark underbelly of distance learning's explosive growth. Their increasing concerns encompass intellectual property rights, "mentors" and "tutors" replacing professors and what some see as a decline in quality.

When Jones International became the first virtual university to gain accreditation in March, the American Association of University Professors immediately sent a letter of protest to the accrediting agency, arguing that it had ignored its own standards.

The letter zeroed in on the lack of full-time faculty, the paucity of degree-seeking students and the use of pre-packaged courses.

"By all public accounts, this virtual institution presents a very weak case for accreditation," wrote James Perley, head of the AAUP's accrediting committee. "Indeed it embodies most of our major worries about the denigration of quality that could follow this apparently inexorable march toward online education."

Closer to home, in June 1998, more than 800 University of Washington faculty signed a letter to Gov. Gary Locke that decried the "brave new world of digital education" depicted in his speeches.

"Education is not reducible to the downloading of information, much less to the passive and solitary activity of staring at a screen," said the letter, from the UW chapter of the AAUP.

The faculty letter was inspired in part by David Noble, a history professor at York University in Ontario. His less-than-ebullient views are enumerated in a series of articles posted on the Internet called "Digital Diploma Mills: The Automation of Higher Education.'

Steven Crow, an executive director at the regional accrediting agency that approved Jones International University, disagrees with much of what Noble argues -- but not all of it.

"I share the concern about education simply becoming a commodity that any business can put together and just goes out there," Crow said. "I am still convinced that we need the hand and role of people who, by training and by skill, are concerned with the coherence of the learning process and the coherence of the curriculum. That's a faculty role."

But it's a faculty role that could look far different than it does today. Supporters of educational technology talk in terms of "unbundling the faculty role" and becoming more "student-centered."

In this scenario, one faculty member may specialize in course design, another in tutoring students in class. Some of the new, for-profit vendors of online programs have signed on "brand name" schools or professors to develop or review course content. But students interact online with tutors or teaching faculty, who grade assignments and answer questions. The tutors don't have anywhere near the qualifications of the professors who design the courses.

The virtual Concord School of Law, created by the test-preparation giant Kaplan, hired Harvard Professor Arthur Miller to head the Board of Advisors, but he doesn't interact with the students. Under American Bar Association guidelines, Concord is a correspondence school and is not, therefore, accredited.

The fledgling UNext.com, funded in part by convicted insider-stock-trader Michael Milken, has signed on some of the most prestigious schools in the country to create online business education courses. Columbia University, the University of Chicago, Stanford University, Carnegie Mellon University and the London School of Economics and Political Science will create the courses. Tutors will teach the students.

Noble is at work on the next installment in his "Digital Diploma Mills" series, which compares today's online programs with the correspondence courses that proliferated a century ago.

Many failed, he argues, as universities cut costs by hiring per-course faculty and as quality plummeted.

"What's happening with distance education is a repeat, the only difference is instead of using the post office and the mail, they're using online delivery," Noble said. "But, it's being identified as a revolution, a complete departure, and what I'm saying is it's not new, we've seen it all before."

After reading the above messages, Earl Hall wrote the following and gave me permission to pass it along::

While I definitely agree with the sentence quoted from the letter, I disagree with the implication that digital education is bad.

I was one of the initial non-academic members of ANet (moderating FinAcc-L and AEthics-L for the period they were moderated) and felt confident to grasp the vision of the future that Roger and others had because of the education I was provided by the UW accounting department in the late 1960s and early 1970s while I was there. I have trouble envisioning the forward-looking faculty in the School of Business at that time joining in this letter.

=Url= (pronounced "Earl") From the Yakima of Washington - Upwind of Radioactive Emissions earl@earlcpa.com  - Downwind of Volcanic Emissions http://www.earlcpa.com 


Peter Kenyon had a later message along the above lines.

There is a new (11/99) essay by historian David Noble titled "Rehearsal for the Revolution." Noble's previous essays on "Digital Diploma Mills" sparked much controversy. I suspect there's little support for his views on this list, but you may want to test yourself by reading his essay.

See the newest article at: http://communication.ucsd.edu/dl/ddm4.html 

Peter B. Kenyon 
Professor of Accounting 
School of Business & Economics 
Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA 95521 USA 
707.826.4762 (tel) 707.667.0752 (fax) http://www.humboldt.edu/~pbk1/ 

At one point, David Noble states the following (I just do not agree that, with modern communications technologies, we can even remotely equate distributed education of Year 2000 with correspondence schools the past).

In essence, the current mania for distance education is about the commodification of higher education, of which computer technology is merely the latest medium, and it is, in reality, more a rerun than a revolution, bearing striking resemblance to a past today's enthusiasts barely know about or care to acknowledge, an earlier episode in the commodification of higher education known as correspondence instruction or, more quaintly, home study. Then as now, distance education has always been not so much technology-driven as profit-driven, whatever the mode of delivery. The common denominator linking the two episodes is not technology but the pursuit of profit in the guise and name of higher education. A careful examination of the earlier, pre-computer, episode in distance education enables us to place the current mania not only in historical perspective but also in its proper political-economic context. The chief aim here is to try to shift our attention from technology to political economy, and from fantasies about the future to the far more sobering lessons of the past.


In case  you missed it, The Wall Street Journal on December 6, 1999 had some heavy-duty inserts about technology in education and distributed (distance) education.


Girls Fight for a Living  (history, journalism) http://athena.louisville.edu/library/ekstrom/special/girls/girls.html 
This site has some very interesting documents that add another dimension to business history.


XML update from InformationWeek Daily, December 1, 1999:

Microsoft Submits XML Standard; Signs BizTalk Backer

Microsoft submitted for industry approval on Tuesday a network protocol for XML communication between Windows and non-Microsoft systems.

Microsoft submitted to the Internet Engineering Task Force a draft specification for version 1.0 of the Simple Object Access Protocol, a method for accessing objects over the Web. Soap employs the Extensible Markup Language, a format for platform-independent data exchange, to let developers write apps that call objects built with Microsoft's Distributed Component Object Model, as well as non-Microsoft components that use Java and Corba. Microsoft hopes interoperability between its systems and computers running Unix will spur sales of Windows 2000.

Meanwhile, Microsoft and New Era of Networks Inc., or Neon, announced a strategic relationship to create and jointly market XML-based E-commerce products. Under the relationship, Neon will support Microsoft's integration and development platform, Windows DNA 2000, as well as its Babylon Integration Server, and its XML-based BizTalk Server. Neon also endorsed Microsoft's BizTalk E-commerce framework and said it would join Microsoft's BizTalk steering committee, which is working on XML technology and standards.


To varying degrees, educators are torn apart by the fast pace of education technology experiments and the emergence of education as business ventures. The following quote from the November 30 issue of the Scout Report relays some serious findings by some serious educators and researchers.

Information Technology: Its Impact on Undergraduate Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology_ -- NSF ASCII: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/1998/nsf9882/nsf9882.txt .pdf version (287K): http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/1998/nsf9882/nsf9882.pdf

This 1998 National Science Foundation (NSF) report is the fruit of a conference that was convened by NSF's Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) to discuss the use of Information Technology (IT) for undergraduates in the hard sciences. After considering the explosion in both communication and computer technologies that has made IT so much more prevalent in undergraduate education, the report offers recommendations for ways to improve the use and integration of IT into standard curriculum. The consensus of the conference participants includes "a renewed call to change an academic culture that views research on education and the use of education technology as incidental or secondary to more traditional avenues of research."

In another Scout Report review, we find the following:

Social and Economic Implications of Information Technologies: A Bibliographic Database Pilot Project http://srsweb.nsf.gov/it_site/index.htm 

This pilot site from SRI International's Science and Technology Policy Program with support from the National Science Foundation Division of Science Resources Studies contains over 4,000 citations of "data sets, research papers, books, and web sites about the social and economic implications of information, communications, and computational technologies (IT)." These citations are organized in searchable listings called Road Maps, with categories such as Education, Government, Science, Globalization, and Employment and work, among others. Approximately one-third of the citations in the database have abstracts, and the majority appear to offer a link to the site or document. Also, citations on IT in the home have been specially annotated and collected on the IT in the Home project page. Directions for using the Road Maps Database is available from the main page as well as at the start page of each of the individual Road Maps.


Thank you David for this lead to research on the impacts of information technology on learning!

Bob

You may be interested in this paper I came across a couple of weeks ago. Interesting AND accounting related
http://www.cegsa.sa.edu.au/acec98/papers/p_gilliver.html 
David Stephens [StephensD@cbs.curtin.edu.au

The paper is entitled "Learning in Cyberspace: Shaping the Future," by Robert S Gilliver (Overseas Visiting Lecturer in Accountancy), Bernard Randall (Lecturer in Law), and Pok Yang Ming (Head of Department of Mathematics and Science) Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore).  Contact bobgill@mbox2.singnet.com.sg  Website http://www.cegsa.sa.edu.au/acec98/papers/p_gilliver.html 

Abstract
Proponents of multimedia and Internet based educational tools have long claimed their potential, but the absence of broad based quantitative research from controlled experimental use, continues to mitigate the transfer of that potential to reality. This paper reports on experimental work in Singapore, which was designed to establish a supportable theoretical foundation for the hypothesis that the use of information technology (IT) resources in education, does improve pedagogic outcomes. The authors reach a positive conclusion, and attribute those improved outcomes to the use of IT resources through the conduit of improved student motivation. The paper also draws the important distinction between using multimedia and the Internet as a facilitator of learning rather than teaching, and reports upon the research project in detail, particularly improvements in student understanding and results, quantified at 11% in one semester. The authors also report on productivity gains of 16% for educators as a result of effective use of Internet resources and use of the Internet to deliver course material for learning. Based on the research work done, this paper draws the statistically valid conclusion that use of IT resources does improve student learning.


Hi Denise,

I would like to know where you found the fountain of youth. You most certainly have not changed in looks much since when I first met you many moons ago.

I have no secrets other than arising before 4:00 a.m. and toiling for 14 hours each day. What benefits me the most is the help I get from my friends around the world.

You can read about RDF at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/xmlrdf.htm.   RDF will be to information what DNA is to our body cells. However, the standard setters are so slow, us old duffers may not really enjoy the efficiency of RDF  in our lives. We all know how important HTML has become in our lives. The HTML inventor, Tim Berners-Lee, is of the opinion that RDF will be the most important component in future development of knowledge bases.

Different forms of E-communication (e-mail, lists, discussion boards and FAQs/web pages) fit together" very neatly with RDF. Prior to RDF implementations, our most efficient alternatives indexing services (e.g., Alta Vista). What you are looking for are living threads link messages and keep growing like an AIDs quilt. If we could have some aecm volunteers thread messages for subsets of topics, it would be of great help. However, you can only get a limited amount of help from volunteers.

Message 2----- 
From: Denise Nitterhouse [mailto:dnitterh@condor.depaul.edu
Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 1999 1:44 PM 
To: Barry Rice; Bob (Robert F.) Jensen Subject: RE: Archives, general help, thanks

Thanks to both of you! The "farm I grew up on/ going home" discussion is another whole thread... I will turn XX (age deleted by Bob Jensen) years old in January 2000 and have spent quite a bit of energy the past 18 months on the question of "So what DO I want to do with the second half of my life?" (No definitive answers so far.) The professional part of the option set is certainly dependent on the IT developments so near and dear to all of us... But that's for another time.

Barry: I checked the tech-talk archives and they look like they provide an excellent set of searchable archives. That would be a great help for AECM, and I look forward to having it available. What tool does it use? But there's a large gap between searchable archives and the synthesis provided on Bob's site. We need both. How does one get from one to the other in a different, Bob-less domain?

Bob: Yes, I know I opened the whole can of KM (knowledge management) (perhaps also KG--knowledge generation--if we want to be really cocky about it) worms. But someone has to! I have used a Discussion Group with my class for the past 3 years, with some success, but many frustrations. Your "bookmarks", truly a living e-document, are a treasure. Would you please let us know how you do them (in detail!) and how long it takes you? I might be able to figure it out by digging through your site, but it would be MUCH simpler if you'd just explain it to us.

What's RDF and how and how soon will it save us?

Does anyone know, and has anyone succinctly stated, how the different forms of E-communication (e-mail, lists, discussion boards and FAQs/web pages) fit together, or should? Especially in a teaching/learning context.

I'm not sure how your "assigned archivists" would work. Please say more. One problem with assigning archivists is that the archive categories/assignments may need to change frequently, or possibly stifle evolution of topics.

If people like you continue to cull and post, and if I can figure out what bases you cover, and count on you to pick up everything there of potential interest to me, I can use you to cover those bases for me, leaving me more time to cover the areas of interest to me that no-one else does yet.

Please feel free to post any part of this that you find relevant to any location (either list or site) that you feel will contribute most to our evolving understanding and creation of this cyber-beast. 

Thank you BOTH for your crucial roles in this adventure!

The first message from Denise that started the above messaging, is shown below:

Message-1---- 
From: Denise Nitterhouse [mailto:dnitterh@condor.depaul.edu
Sent: Monday, November 29, 1999 10:37 PM 
To: Barry Rice Cc: rjensen@trinity.edu 
Subject: Archives, general help, thanks

I'm in a "list quandary", and hope you can help. I subscribe to several lists that have quite a lot of interest to me, and only a bit I can actually respond to. When I'm either out of town or just overloaded for several days (heaven forbid a week or more!) the load becomes overwhelming. It strikes me that I/we need a new way of communicating. I switched one of my other fav lists to digest mode and find that I don't follow it as well as I did previously, so I'm looking for a better alternative. I tried to access the AECM archives from the link at http://pacioli.loyola.edu/aecm/ and it went nowhere. I'm hoping that being able to periodically check archives would be a good alternative. In our case, Bob Jensen actually seems to retain a good bit of what's worthwhile on his site, so we have an "archive alternative" there that's a godsend, but I'm wondering if you know of a less work intensive method that does the job. I need to come up with an alternative for the other sites I deal with. (I'm in grave danger of getting seriously and officially involved with one of them.) Suggestions appreciated, and thanks again for starting and hosting a wonderful list!

Bob: Occurred to me as I was asking Barry for help that I should ask you, too. Please don't suggest that anyone else manage to put together the equivalent of your site. It's too overwhelming. I can't imagine it! On the other hand, it did bring up the "7 degrees of separation" idea that perhaps if each of us managed our own little corner of the universe and just linked it to the rest... No, I'd never be able to manage! BTW, I truly LOVED your tale from childhood (I recall the flavor, although I've forgotten the names). I, too, grew up on a farm (in PA) and you brought back many memories. I agree that the Internet initially created a similar but geographically unconstrained community, but fear that the "sick heads" (as my "dear old dad", at 85, calls them) find the Internet a protective cover of anonymity they didn't have in rural PA in the 1950s. But, for better and worse, it's here to stay, so I just try to use it as well as possible and harm as few as I can.

Best to both of you, sorry to go on so, thanks
Denise

Reply from Barry Rice

I completely agree that HTML archives for AECM are overdue. In fact, I am currently working to get the archives for the past couple of years on the Web. All future posts will also be available on the Web. All this should happen in the next month or so. Because the list will have to be moved to an NT server, I am using another list I own (Loyola's TECH-TALK) to make sure everything goes smoothly before I move AECM. For a good idea of how the archives will work, you can look at http://listserv.loyola.edu/archives/tech-talk.html .

Regards to you both.
 Barry


Computer security threats climb --- http://www.pcworld.com/pcwtoday/article/0%2C1510%2C10004%2C00.html 

Forget the stereotype of the teen hacker. Sophisticated cybercrooks caused well over $100 million in losses last year, and the trend toward professional computer crime is on the rise.

Most hacks are inside jobs --- http://www.pcworld.com/pcwtoday/article/0%2C1510%2C9673%2C00.html 

If you are anxiously awaiting the DVD recording on standardized formats, forget it for a while.  Just as Sony was about to release one of its most major products in history, a hacker cracked the encryption code designed to protect copyrighted products.  The timing of this make me suspicious --- sounds like an inside job from someone in Hollywood who does not want this product released.


From the Scout Report on November 30

Kids & Media @ The New Millennium  
Table of Contents: http://www.kff.org/content/1999/1535/ 
Press Release: http://www.kff.org/content/1999/1535/pressreleasefinal.doc.html 
Report (.pdf): http://www.kff.org/content/1999/1535/KidsReport%20FINAL.pdf 
Appendices (.pdf): http://www.kff.org/content/1999/1535/KidsAppendices%20FINAL.pdf 

Released this month by the Kaiser Family Foundation, this book length study touts itself as "one of the most comprehensive national public studies ever conducted of young people's media use." The study, "based on a nationally representative sample of more than 3,000 children ages 2 -18, shows how much time kids spend watching TV and movies, using computers, playing video games, listening to music, and reading." The report also examines the extent and nature of parental oversight, how children use media, and whether new media are replacing traditional ones for the nation's young people. One of the more sensational findings: "the typical American child spends an average of more than 38 hours a week - nearly five and a half hours a day - consuming media outside of school."


-----Original Message----- 
From: jano katsiridakis [mailto:jano@apivita.gr
Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 1999 3:51 AM 
To: rjensen@trinity.edu  S
ubject: access 2000

Hi Dr. Jensen
I am John Katsiridakis from Athens Greece I read your paper about publishing excel worksheets and charts in html format.   I wonder if you have something about publishing access 2000 pages.   I have an apache server running on a Linux redhut 6.0.   I also have Office 2000, and I use FrontPage 2000 to publish my webs I can't understand how to combine access pages with FrontPage.   I 'll it very much because I'm particular fascinated by the pivot tables you can built for publishing data on my intranet

Thanks in advance 
John Katsiridakis

------------------------------------------------------------

Reply from Bob Jensen

Hi John,

You can save Excel pivot tables as dynamic HTML (i.e., DHTML) interactive documents that will read in the Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher browser provided that you have MS Office 2000 installed. You can also save MS Access tables as DHTML documents that can be interactive on the Internet Explorer browser. However, you cannot obtain full MS Access database functionality from a web browser. If you have installed MS Office 2000, Microsoft provides some nice pivot table and MS Access table DHTML illustrations. However, these are somewhat hidden. I provide a suggested path where you might look in my document at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/dhtml/excel01.htm.

Not being able to save database forms as HTML is disappointing. However, being able to save database tables in HTML is neat. Certain levels of interactivity with queries are also feasible. I thought that perhaps you would like to check out an illustration that is probably already on your computer if you installed Microsoft Office 2000. Locate the directory where you placed Microsoft Office. Then follow the path (...\Microsoft Office\Office\Samples\Review Products.htm). The (Review Products.htm) file is a Microsoft Database table that you can now navigate interactively in your Internet Explorer 5.00 or higher. (Don't forget to click on the plus-sign buttons.)

There is another illustration of great interest. It is an Excel pivot table that interactively runs in your web browser. The path to that sample file is (...\Microsoft Office\Office\Samples\Analyze Sales.htm).

There is also a useful Excel illustrations file on the path (...\Microsoft Office\Office\Samples\Samples.xls).

I order to make full use of database interactions, you should look into ASP.  

I had a couple of requests to discuss ASP.  ASP will be a big deal in knowledge databases that are networked.  Although I know what it is, I thought it would be fun to test my guru.net installation.   After typing ASP in Word, I used Alt-Click to bring up the following:

An Active Server Page (ASP) is an HTML page that includes one or more scripts (small embedded programs) that are processed on a Microsoft Web server before the page is sent to the user. An ASP is somewhat similar to a server-side include or a common gateway interface (CGI) application in that all involve programs that run on the server, usually tailoring a page for the user. Typically, the script in the Web page at the server uses input received as the result of the user's request for the page to access data from a database and then builds or customizes the page on the fly before sending it to the requestor.

ASP is a feature of the Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS), but, since the server-side script is just building a regular HTML page, it can be delivered to almost any browser. You can create an ASP file by including a script written in VBScript or JScript in an HTML file or by using ActiveX Data Objects (ADO) program statements in the HTML file. You name the HTML file with the ".asp" file suffix. Microsoft recommends the use of the server-side ASP rather than a client-side script, where there is actually a choice, because the server-side script will result in an easily displayable HTML page. Client-side scripts (for example, with JavaScript) may not work as intended on older browsers.

Selected Links Client and Server Scripting in Web Pages provides some perspective about when and how to use Active Server Pages. Wolfgang Engel's brief but effective Active Server Pages Tutorial (I found this to be a dead link this morning) provides a basic level, a components level, and a database level.

Selected Books Active Server Pages Black Book: The Professional's Guide To Developing Dynamic, Interactive Web Sites With Microsoft ActiveX by Al Williams, Paul Newkirk, and Kim Barber explains ASP in the larger ActiveX context.

There is also Active Server for Dummies at
 http://www1.fatbrain.com/asp/bookinfo/bookinfo.asp?theisbn=0764501909&from=QHJ279 

If you have Office 2000 installed, you may also want to take a look at 
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/dhtml/excel01.htm
  

End of Bob Jensen's message to John Katsiridakis

-------------------------------------------------------

Steven Filling replied as follows:

Any chance of reconciling this with the latest Netcraft stats for web servers? They find that IIS [in all its incarnations] possesses less than 1/2 the market share of Apache, a stat which is echoed by the perhaps more relevant stat for developer systems.

Here's the URL I drew from .http://www.netcraft.com/survey/  
Steven Filling E-Mail: steven@panopticon.csustan.edu  Date: 02-Dec-1999 Time: 23:01:50

Robert Holmes adds the following

I would have discussed Application Service Providers who host applications over the Internet. This is another development in the perpetual dilemma of centralized service and control versus distributed service and control. Users tend to want things local and large organizations want things centralized. There are valid reasons on both horns of the dilemma. It is always interesting to watch these changes and reminds me of the old saw "The more things change the more they remain the same."
Robert C. Holmes [rcholmes@GLENDALE.CC.CA.US]  Thu 12/02/1999 9:41 AM

You can read more about networked databases at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/260wp/260wp.htm


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
http://www.rutgers.edu/Accounting/raw/aaa/ace/index.htm
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.

ACE has this addition from France:

Instructor:  Hervé Stolowy 
Institution: HEC School of Management, France 
Course Title: International Accounting and Auditing 
Textbook: International Accounting Author(s): Walton, Haller & Raffournier
URL:  http://www.hec.fr/profs/dept/ccg/stolowy/PERSO/Iaa/Iaa1.htm 
Course Details:  http://www.hec.fr/profs/dept/ccg/stolowy/PERSO/Iaa/Iaa98-99.htm#COURSE RESOURCES 

Thank you for sharing all the way from France Professor Stolowy


Upheavals in e-Commerce --- nobody is more sad and more hopeful than the U.S. Post Office

"Look Who's Becoming a Dot Com The U.S. Postal Service sees the handwriting on the wall. One thing it has in its favor: a trusted brand" Internet World, December 1, 1999, pp. 43-46.  The online version is at http://www.internetworldnews.com/idx_article.asp?inc=120199/ebusiness/commerce/12.01Commerce&issue=12.01  
By Elizabeth Gardner

The U.S. Postal Service has a special spot on its Web site for debunking the recurring Net rumor that it wants to impose a five-cent surcharge on every e-mail. "The U.S. Postal Service has no authority to surcharge e-mail messages sent over the Internet, nor would it support such legislation," the statement says.

The USPS's Robert Krause Photo Credits: Katherine Lambert But the rumor addresses a fundamental truth: The Internet could erode the bedrock of the USPS if it doesn't find a way to turn the Net to its own advantage.

Worst case: The Net devours so much postal business that the USPS has to cut back on its universal service commitment or jack up the price of stamps - or both - leading to a downward spiral that leaves it a shadow of its former self, propped up by government subsidies. A recent U.S. General Accounting Office report hinted at just that scenario, saying, "The Postal Service may be nearing the end of an era."

Best case: The USPS offers its own profitable Net-based services that customers find cost-effective and valuable, using the resulting revenue to support its shrinking paper-mail operation. Work along these lines has been proceeding for several years, and may soon come to fruition. But will it be soon enough?

The Postal Service's most visible Net strategy so far has been a splashy co-promotion - "What's Your ePriority?" - with Amazon.com for its Priority Mail package service, used by about 65 percent of Amazon customers. Amazon's Priority Mail boxes bear its logo as well as the USPS's. Priority Mail traffic was up a healthy 7.6 percent between 1997 and 1998, and is on track for a similar increase in 1999. The USPS estimates it has about a third of the package business generated by e-commerce. And its market share is likely to grow with innovations like the new Merchandise Return API, which allows unsatisfied customers of online stores to print out return shipping labels that charge the postage back to the store.

But e-commerce packages won't stanch the hemorrhage from First-Class Mail, which accounts for almost 60 percent of Postal Service revenue. (Priority Mail is still less than 10 percent.) The Postal Service estimates that First-Class Mail will begin falling off at a rate of 2.5 percent per year - roughly $850 million in revenue at current rates - by 2003.

 


From the Scout Report on December 2, 1999

Beyond Grey Pinstripes http://www.wri.org/wri/bschools/index.html 

Sponsored by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Initiative for Social Innovation through Business (ISIB), the Beyond Grey Pinstripes report identifies MBA programs in the US that include environmental and social elements. The report comes in two forms. The online version targets an academic audience and looks at the ways in which each featured business school addresses social and environmental issues, while the print version, which must be ordered for a small cost, is aimed at the corporate community. The online report ranks the top business schools in terms of environmental and social stewardship, and nearly 50 business schools have written short descriptions of how their programs have integrated these two elements into their curriculums and activities. The WRI and ISIB plan to add and expand several sections in the future, including a faculty research database, a study of business schools worldwide, and a listing of courses that deal in environmental and social stewardship.


e-Commerce updates at http://ecmgt.com/Dec1999/e-products.htm 


FinanceWise: Latin America Special Reports http://www.financewise.com/cgi-bin/l/lrrpre?P=/l/latunreg.htm 

FinanceWise Special Reports are designed to help you find the best information on the Internet in the quickest possible time.

Because of the nature of a search engine, information can often be located in a broad cross section of categories. Our reports bring that information together as one convenient resource enhanced by topic specific editorial abstracts for each site.

For the Latin America Special Report, we have compiled links on both a regional and a country-by-country basis. Also, ten countries have exclusive detailed information from the Emerging Markets Investor Fact Book.

In addition to links we have details of currency spot rates for all 13 countries in the region provided by theFinancials.com. There is also a review of newsgroups and discussion forums on the region.


Equity Analytics http://www.e-analytics.com/ 
This is a financial consulting firm that provides free services to the public (e.g., an annotated index includes information on government statistical releases, futures and commodities, financial planning, software downloads, and a discounted bookstore.)


The Gay Financial Network http://www.gfn.com/ 


Those of us who vividly recall the War in Viet Nam would never have expected to find a website like this in 1999 --- 
http://www.vinaone.com/
  (Please take a look at this VinaOne web site --- we can all be friends and partners.)


Lotus enhances FastSite Web publishing tool.  The upgrade to the office productivity suite lets users convert files to HTML format and build customized Web sites.  http://www.pcweek.com/a/pcwt9911305/1018283/ 

First, it can save documents to the read-only PDF format, publish them to a Web site and convert an entire Web site into PDF format, she said. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to read PDF files, and Adobe Acrobat Writer is required to publish PDF files to the Web.

Second, FastSite 3 is integrated with Microsoft FrontPage, so Web developers can now link their FastSite to their FrontPage site or pull an entire FastSite into FrontPage to further customize it, Scharfman said.

"FastSite is ... seamlessly integrated with FrontPage. It acts very nicely as a behind-the-scenes tool to get there," she said.

Finally, FastSite 3 offers new templates to take advantage of 3-D effects and more colorful designs, Scharfman said. "It has an easy-to-use interface and more customized features for people who are technically savvy," she added.

Lotus FastSite Release 3 will be bundled in the next version of SmartSuite, which is slated to debut in the summer of 2000, Scharfman said.


Apple's update offers enough significant features to make it a must upgrade for Macintosh PowerPC users, PC Week Labs finds. http://www.pcweek.com/a/pcwt9912031/2399000/ 


Gary Lauber sent in the following message regarding IRS Form 508 concerning Tax Benefits for Work-Related Education.

I believe the IRS just published maybe useful to some of your students. http://ftp.fedworld.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p508.pdf 


Online buyers dogged by  tech-support woes from e-commerce sites and Internet --- see
 http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/filters/katt/ 


Isaac Asimov Home Page http://www.clark.net/pub/edseiler/WWW/asimov_home_page.html 


Red Hat guns for Microsoft http://www.pcweek.com/a/pcwt9911291/2400243/ 


Teaching Indigenous Languages http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~jar/TIL.html 


Cambridge International Dictionaries Online http://www.cup.cam.ac.uk/esl/dictionary/ 



Retailers on the web are providing more incentives/rewards for web shopping, reviewing advertising, surfing, and other activities.
Rating Loyalty at Web Rewards Sites
Loyal users, or visitors who visited only one Web loyalty site, compared with total visitors
SITE LOYAL USERS UNIQUE USERS OVERALL REACH*
MyPoints.com 3.0M 8.4M 13%
FreeShop.com  1.6M 6.0M 9%
Webstakes.com 1.2M 3.6M 6%
Cybergold.com 1.2M 3.6M 6%
FreeRide.com 376K 1.8M 3%
ClickRewards.com 124K 553K 1%
Beenz.com 47K 549K 1%
*Among all U.S. home-based Internet users. Source: PC Data Online, Sept. 1999

The above table is reproduced in Internet World, December 1, 1999, pg. 27.

Sampleville at http://www.sampleville.com/index.html?SID=ba567bccee2aa67661ca189a0413ecdb 

At Sampleville, we don't just find the greatest free offers, we actually order them for you! What does this mean? The fastest access to samples...--- the samples are free.


Asa Somers, Computer Shopper's intrepid Buying Advisor, scours retail stores, Web sites, and online auctions for the best possible price on a handful of gift worthy products. http://cgi.zdnet.com/slink?14117:2700840 


This is an advertisement that I received ---  some of you may be interested

First, get a jump on your Holiday Shopping at the all-new LYCOShop and you can earn 500 Lycos Rewards Points on your first qualified purchase - plus one point for every dollar you spend on qualified purchases. Lycos Rewards Points are redeemable for a wide selection of premium merchandise. Best of all, as a registered subscriber, you will be notified directly of new Lycos Points earning opportunities as they become available - start earning your Points today! http://specials.lycos.com/go/991123w/REWARDS/?ly41910342 


OurHouse.com --- products and project information for homeowners. http://www.ourhouse.com/   

Home (house) architecture --- See Residential Architect at  http://www.residentialarchitect.com/ 

Mad About Amaryllis (gardening, flowers) http://www.madaboutamaryllis.com/ 


From the November 30, 1999 Scout Report

G. Robert Vincent Voice Library http://www.lib.msu.edu/vincent/ 

Maintained by the Michigan State University Libraries, this site offers selections from the largest academic voice library in the nation. Unfortunately, the site offers only a fraction of the library's more than 50,000 voices ranging over 100 years. Still, users can access excerpts from the speeches of over a dozen presidents, including Warren G. Harding coining the phrase "America First," Theodore Roosevelt pronouncing on "why the bosses oppose the progressive party," and John F. Kennedy publicly discussing the Cuban Missile Crisis. Selections of poems and fiction are also provided from the Michigan Writer's Series. Finally, the Website links to NPR's Lost and Found Sound, a fascinating collection of audio materials from the last century (see the March 26, 1999 _Scout Report_).


Satellite Update

"Broadband Infrastructure, Part 3: Satellite
 
"Highway in the Sky," Internet World, December 1, 1999, pp. 73-75.  The online version is at http://www.internetworldnews.com/idx_article.asp?inc=120199/internettech/theinfrastructure/12.01Infra&issue=12.01   
By Sarah L. Roberts-Witt

Broadband Internet access via satellite has been available roughly twice as long as cable or DSL. And anyone in the entire country who has an unobstructed southern view can get it, while cable and DSL are available to less than a third of U.S. households. So a lot more subscribers have signed on for satellite service, right?

Wrong. Despite the 1996 launch of DirecPC by Hughes Network Systems, an alluring 400-Kbps top speed and the painfully slow roll-out of competition from cable and DSL, the best estimate of broadband satellite Internet subscribers is that they will reach 100,000 by year's end. Cable had a million as of June, and DSL is expected to reach between 250,000 and 450,000 before 1999 is out.

But many experts predict a big burst of growth in satellite subscribership in the next couple of years - like the bursts in cable and DSL that happened this year, finally pushing their subscriber levels into the noticeable spectrum.

Related Stories Highway in the Sky Beaming the Internet A Network's Anatomy|Hughes Network Systems Jupiter Communications is relatively conservative with its growth estimates, predicting that there will be 200,000 U.S. residential satellite Internet subscribers by the end of this year and around a million by the end of 2002. Investment firm C.E. Unterberg, Towbin is more optimistic, saying U.S. satellite subscribers will hit 2 million by 2002 and jump to 6 million in 2004, eventually reaching nearly 15 million by 2008. And Pioneer Consulting's estimates grow from 100,000 this year to 4.5 million by 2002 and 13.1 million by 2008. Pioneer also predicts that once the promised new two-way services go live in the 2002-to-2003 time frame, the number of global subscribers will explode: nearly 6 million in 2002, 18 million in 2005, and 30 million by 2007.


EmailAbuse http://www.emailabuse.org/ 

The use of elctronic mail to advertise unethically, harass, annoy, or cause harm to the email recipient. Abuse can take the form of bulk email, threatening email, email sent with the intent to slow productivity of, or cause damage to, the recipient's system. It is a world wide problem and anyone with an email address is vulnerable.

EmailAbuse.org is dedicated to informing users of this potential abuse and providing them with the tools to avoid becoming a victim and to fight back at Email Abusers!


Multimedia poetry  --- see UbuWeb at http://www.ubu.com/ 

Grimm's Fairy Tales http://www.nationalgeographic.com/grimm/ 


Rankings of best and worst books are many and varied.  One set of rankings appears at http://www.ivillage.com/ (this is also a women's resource website for aspiring writers with some free downloads for writers).  Among the top 100, you will find the following:

Several months ago, we posted a list of your all-time favorite works of fiction. Well, you've voted again so we retabulated the list. To Kill a Mockingbird is still our number one, but some wonderful books including Toni Morrison's Beloved, Jeanette Winterson's The Passion, E. Annie Proulx's The Shipping News, and John Irving's The World According to Garp were knocked off the list altogether. Who made the new list? Keep reading and you'll find out:

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee 
The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood 
The Color Purple, by Alice Walker 
Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell 
Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand 
Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison 
Alias Grace, by Margaret Atwood 
Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte 
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald 
The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
Others at http://www.ivillage.com/millennium/qas/0,4773,32129,00.html 

 

The Intercollegiate Review in the Fall 1999 edition on pp. 3-13 lists the best 100 books and the worst 100 books of the 21st Century.  The five best and five worst at the tops of each list:

THE TOP FIVE BEST BOOKS

  1. Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams (1907)
    Pessimism and nostalgia at the bright dawn of the twentieth century must have seemed bizarre to contemporaries.  After a century of war, mass murder, and fanaticism, we know that Adam's insight was keen indeed.

  2. C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man (1947)
    Preferable to Lewis's other remarkable books simply because of the title, which reveals the true intent of liberalism.

  3. Whittaker Chambers, Witness (1952)
    The haunting, lyrical testament to truth and humanity in a century of lies (and worse).  Chambers achieves immortality recounting his spiritual journey from the dark side (Soviet Communism) to the--in his eyes--doomed West.  One of the great autobiographies of the millennium.

  4. T. S. Eliot, Selected Essays, 1917-1932 (1932, 1950)
    Here, one of the century's foremost literary innovators insists that innovation is only possible through an intense engagement of tradition.  Every line of Eliot's prose bristles with intelligence and extreme deliberation.

  5. Arnold Toynbee, A Study of History (1934-1961)
    Made the possibility of a divine role in history respectable among serious historians.  Though ignored by academic careerists, Toynbee is still read by those whose intellectual horizons extend beyond present fashions.

 

THE TOP FIVE WORST BOOKS

  1. Margaret Mead, Coming of Age in Samoa (1928)
    So amusing did the natives find the white woman's prurient questions that they told her the wildest tales--and she believed them!  Mead misled a generation into believing that the fantasies of sexual progressives were an historical reality on an island far, far away.

  2. Beatrice & Sidney Webb, Soviet Communism: A New Civilization? (1935)
    An idea whose time has come...and gone, thank God.

  3. Alfred Kinsey, et.al., Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948)
    So mesmerized were Americans by the authority of Science, with a capital S, that it took forty years for anyone to wonder how data is gathered on the sexual responses of children as young as five.  A pervert's attempt to demonstrate that perversion is "statistically" normal.

  4. Herbert Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man (1964)
    Dumbed-down Heidegger and a seeming praise of kinkiness became the Bible of the sixties and early postmodernism.

  5. John Dewey, Democracy and Education (1916)
    Dewey convinced a generation of intellectuals that education isn't about anything; it's just a method, a process for producing democrats and scientists who would lead us into a future that "works."  Democracy and Science (both pure means) were thereby transformed into the moral ends of our century, and America's well-meaning but corrupting educationist establishment was born.

 


A silly frog to waste your time ---  http://ligsg22.epfl.ch/people/clavien/public_html/ctouch_v3.html 


Lawyer joke from Kathy Nunberg:

What is black and brown and looks good on a lawyer?  --- A Doberman


AccountingNet Update http://www.accountingnet.com  For the Week of November 29, 1999 

1. This Week's Accounting-Specific News Headlines 
2. Win a $1,000 Scholarship 
3. Don't Miss This Week's Feature Articles 
4. Win an IBM WorkPad 
5. Our Choice for Site of the Week 
6. Four M&A Pitfalls to Avoid


AccountingStudents Newsletter: November 29, 1999 http://www.accountingstudents.com 

1. "Account for Your Future" Scholarship Program 
2. Ethics in Business 
3. How to Get Oriented for Studying 
4. Site of the Week: Dow Jones & Company, Inc. 
5. Survey Results: Which is more important, money or happiness? 
6. If You Do Not Pass the CPA Exam 
7. Accountants Included on Top 10 Best Jobs List 
8. Win Online CPA Exam Review Materials 
9. Tip of the Week: Facing Test Anxiety

AccountingStudents Newsletter: December 6, 1999 http://www.accountingstudents.com 

1. Win an Online CPA Exam Review! 
2. Cover Letters for Online Job Applications 
3. Internship Question of the Week 
4. Last Chance to Win a $1000 Interview Wardrobe! 
5. Site of the Week: Versity.com 
6. Survey Results: What is the setting of your desktop area? 
7. Objective Multiple-Choice Questions on the CFM Exam 
8. The Interview Challenge 
9. The CPA Developing Essential Career Skills 
10. New Government Financial Manager Section 
11. Tip of the Week: Let the Volunteer Spirit Last All Year


AccountingNet Update http://www.accountingnet.com  For the Week of December 6, 1999 

1. This Week's Accounting-Specific News Headlines 
2. Win Bisk's Online CPA Exam Review 
3. Every Company Needs Sexual Harassment Training 
4. Try Our FREE Financial Calculators 
5. Our Choice for Site of the Week: CPAdvantage.com 
6. AccountingNet's Tip of the Week


The December 5th Internet Essentials '99 Newsletter http://www.tiac.net/users/nhannon/news.html 

1. WebHelp.com .. An Actual Person to Help Your Web Searches 
2. Would you pay $7.5 Million for the "business.com" Name? 
3. Finally..A Site for Men 
4. Microsoft Supports Bluetooth Wireless Technology 
5. ZDnet's Killer Downloads including Hard Drive Maintenance Tool 
6. The End of Free-PC 
7. Buying a under $1,000 computer? You must read this first. 
8. A Dozen Dandy Web Sites


And that's the way it was on December 8, 1999 with a little help from my friends. If you are an accounting practitioner or educator, please do not forget to scan http://www.accountingeducation.com/.

 

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

Hline.jpg (568 bytes)

Bob Jensen's Index Page

Bob Jensen's Bookmarks

New Bookmark Archives

 

Hline.jpg (568 bytes)

 Hline.jpg (568 bytes)

December 1, 1999


On PBS television, the Wall Street Journal's technology editor, Walt Mossberg, clued me in on one of the neatest free software downloads that I have ever seen.  Guru software is from Israel, and the web site is at http://acronymfinder.com/ 

GuruNet is a free new one-click information service that works whenever you're online. It automatically analyzes pointed-to text in context and pops up a simple window without linking or leaving your document. You don't even have to select the word.

GuruNet's got reference information (dictionary, thesaurus and encyclopedia) and real-time information (e.g. news, sports, weather or stock quotes). And lots more exciting content on the way. Best of all, GuruNet works in any PC application, such as e-mail, MS-Office, PIMs and, of course, any browser.

Guru is really easy to download and install.  When you are connected to the Internet, Guru is really easy to use.  For example, I clicked on FASB and up popped a short definition that this was the acronym for the Financial Accounting Standards Board.  I was also given a link to the Acronym Finder at http://acronymfinder.com/.  Don't expect too much in the way of definitions of technical accounting terms.  It does, however, have short definitions to some technical terms in accounting and finance.  For example, the term "derivative" includes a definition for financial instruments derivatives but makes no reference to rules for accounting for such contracts.  You can, however, get definitions, links, and reverences for most technical computing and information system words and acronyms. 

You can read some of the press releases before downloading.  See http://www.guru.net/.

Word of advice:  Alt-Click means hold the Alt key down and click on the left mouse button.  This is not the same as Alt-Enter (which has special meanings in Word, Excel, etc. and will not trigger a Guru definition like Alt-Click.)


Impact of Web Courses on Student Learning and Faculty Loads
William S. Guad from Northern Arizona University has an article entitled "Assessing the Impact of Web Courses," in Syllabus, Nov/Dec 1999, pp. 49-50.  This is a nice short article that is not yet posted on the web.  Eventually you can read it at http://www.syllabus.com/syllmag.html 

Good News
Studies were made of learning in traditional versus web biology/ecology courses.  (Good news for web education.)

More than 50 percent of each class felt they had to take the Web section, while more than 30 percent felt that the Web section was simply more convenient than a traditional lecture section. This attitude is remarkable, since BIO 226 had an alternative lecture section available. There is clearly a market for Web-based classes.

The courses challenged the students. Students in both classes felt that they spent more time working on assignments in the Web sections than they usually did in lecture sections. The median number of hours per week was 6-9 hours for these three-credit classes. Many of the students were clearly excited by the resources they were using on the Web.

Besides providing a valid educational experience, taking the courses on the Web delivered additional benefits, as reported by the students. Between 30 and 80 percent of the students reported that the assignments using Web resources added depth and breadth to the course, contributed to a fuller understanding of the topics, and made subjects more relevant. In addition to learning about ecology and biology, between 30 and 60 percent of the students reported that they learned how to work independently, learned to budget their time effectively, and developed useful computer skills.

Bad News
The article also discusses impacts of web course instruction on faculty workloads. (Bad news for web education.)

So, how much time does a Web course take? For now, the data from these two courses suggest that the Web-based course is the format that is most expensive in faculty resources. Of course, the format of courses on the Web is quite variable. Different formats will not all lead to the same student learning, nor will they require the same amount of resources. And of course, faculty workload varies significantly across institutions.

Let's look at one example. If a professor is employed for 40 hours a week and is expected to work the equivalent of a 15-credit course load, then each course credit should require 2 and two-thirds hours of work each week. This means that a three-credit course translates into 8 hours, or one day a week. At 15 minutes per student for grading and feedback, this means that interaction and evaluation with 32 students would take the full 8 hours of a course time. Taking into consideration the technological demands of managing a Web-based course, such as checking links and continually updating and revising the pages, the data suggest that a three-credit student course would equal more than eight hours of a faculty resource. (This calculation did not include the planning and development time.)

The number for faculty load could be increased by considering a three-credit student course equivalent to a four-credit course for the instructor in terms of workload. If one additional credit is allowed for Web course maintenance, then student enrollment might be appropriate at 32 students. Otherwise, if the workload is maintained at the 3-credit load, the maximum course enrollment for Web courses should be no more than 22 students.

If a lecture course meets three times a week for an hour each time, and it takes the instructor one credit equivalent (two and two-thirds hours) for preparation per week, the class takes slightly less than six hours a week regardless of the number of students enrolled.

If an instructor decides instead to use four multiple choice exams, assume it takes eight hours to write each discriminating and thoughtful exam, but only one minute per student to grade with machine forms. The cost per week to write the exams is a little under two hours, but about 15 seconds per student to grade. The total weekly cost of such a class is approximately 7.5 hours per week plus a negligible amount per student. If the average number of hours worked per week by a university instructor is really a reputed 56, then the switch from essay exams to multiple choice exams occurs at approximately 45 students per section.

This model of the impact of course formats on faculty workload and the recommended number of students provides a way to quantitatively compare the faculty workload associated with different course formats. In the rapidly changing arena of the Internet, decisions need to move away from data-free analysis to an empirical basis for planning and resource allocation.

I might note that Northern Arizona University has over 50 courses that are delivered to UNA students (on-campus and off-campus students) from eCollege at http://www.ecollege.com/ (however, I think that you must access these courses from UNA rather than eCollege).  There was a program on this at the American Accounting Association Annual meetings in San Diego on August 18.  The presenter from UNA was Beverly Amer at email address Beverly.Amer@nau.edu .  You can order an audio MP3 disk of Dr. Amer's presentation along with presentations of others on the topic of Accounting Education Online.   I ordered the $199 CD that contains all presentations in MP3 audio compression that will play on most PCs.  You can also order individual tapes. The web site is at http://www.tsok.net . The company is Sound of Knowledge, Inc., 4901 Morena Blvd. Suite 207, San Diego, CA 92117. Telephones are 858-483-4300 (voice) and 858-483-4900 (fax).  Abstracts of these presentations are available at http://www.rutgers.edu/Accounting/raw/aaa/99annual/highlights.htm .  


Bad News
Business school enrollments are shrinking.  New York Times reporter David Leonhardt reports (I saw this in the San Antonio Express News, November 28, 1999, pg. 7A): 

In the last year, applications to Stanford, MIT, Dartmouth, Michigan, and the University of California at Berkeley have dropped as much as 11 percent.  On other elite campuses like Northwestern and Carnegie Mellon, applications have leveled off.  Some less prestigious universities have seen steep declines.

Reasons are varied and complex, but Leonhardt attributes much of this (especially the increasing drop out rate among students already enrolled in business education programs) to obsolete curricula.

Many people in their 20s and 30s also question whether the ivory tower is the place to learn about the emerging Internet world.

Good News
Perhaps in response to student criticisms and demands, business education programs are moving to correct curricula deficiencies in technology, e-Commerce, and Internet usage.  Leonhardt states the following:

To attract students and recruiters, schools are overhauling curriculums to offer more Internet courses and even creating majors devoted to the subject.  Some schools have increased advertising budgets and stepped up their own recruiting to compete with companies trying to lure skilled workers in a tight labor market.

Warning
Failure to modernize curricula with the changing times will impact negatively on virtually all areas of undergraduate and graduate higher education.  This problem is not limited to business education.


The Nov/Dec issue of Syllabus mentioned above has a Buyers Guide that is not posted online.  A few of the items mentioned in pp. 34-42 are as follows:

Various web course delivery shells are updated, including the following:

Network/Course Management Software updates include the following:

Online Communications and Resource updates include

There are also updates on Telecommunications and Video Conferencing on pp. 42-44 of the Nov/Dec issue of Syllabus.

For more information on these shells see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/245soft1.htm 


Update on Web Courses and Programs
Not all external campus options are fully asynchronous.  LearnLinc has an innovative approach for mixing synchronous and asynchronous pedagogies.  You can read the following at
  http://www.ilinc.com/article.cfm?ArticleID=12&EID=0&PID=5462 

An important element of any virtual classroom is synchronous activity, where the students and instructor interact through live voice or video while working together with a collaborative software package. Just as important is asynchronous activity – studies done at the student’s own pace, and their own time. The actual mix of synchronous and asynchronous activity is adjusted to suit each course. Although much of the course material may be reviewed asynchronously, the addition of a synchronous classroom provides a significant boost to student retention and training results.

Why Not Conduct a Completely Asynchronous Course?

History shows us why that is not such a great idea. There is a long record of just such efforts, based on both text delivery and computing. The completion rate for students in self-paced courses can be very low. This design works very well with the highly motivated. However, if students are not highly motivated, or there are too many students or employees to train, an asynchronous approach won’t work. Here’s an example: Ford Motor Company used computer based training to teach a new technique to their employees. They designed a CD-ROM for 15 hours of instruction, but employees completed less than 2 hours of the material on average.

Striking a Balance

With live Internet learning, there can be a balance between synchronous and asynchronous time. Individual study can offer self-paced flexibility, but in order to be really successful, students also need continuous feedback, interaction, and teacher mentoring.

What Does an Effective Internet-based Distance Learning Environment Look Like?

Delivery on standards-based multimedia PCs equipped for live video/audio interactions and connected to a large network.

A balanced mix of synchronous and asynchronous activity.

Compatibility with industry-standard authoring tools for multimedia courseware including audio and video clips, animation, and simulation exercises.

Use of professional quality software tools for CAD, spreadsheets, and word processing.

Small group discussions.

Question and answer tools.

Collaborative software for application sharing over the network.

Floor control for both instructor-led and student-centered learning.

Course administration tools for scheduling, registration, and resource management. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute – A Pioneer in Distance Learning

In 1992 Rensselaer was challenged by AT&T to create an Interactive Multimedia Distance Learning Environment (IMDL). They re-designed a course from AT&T's University of Sales Excellence (USE), an internal training and education organization. The course teaches the features of AT&T Advanced 800 Services and how to apply them to customer applications. Rensselaer created the multimedia materials and did the workstation programming for the project. AT&T Bell Labs took on the network programming. In June of 1993, they tested the IMDL environment with live participants. An instructor in Ohio delivered the course to students in Texas, Illinois, and New Jersey.



Update on Web Courses and Programs
Education to Go claims the following at http://www.educationtogo.com/ 

Education To Go is the world's largest supplier of Internet-based adult education courses. We manage all online instructional development and delivery for a network of over 450 colleges, universities, and other training institutions in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Our mission is to lead educational institutions towards a new online instructional standard. We make online education more accessible, more affordable, and more effective for your students. In short, Education To Go is changing the way people learn!

We can help you begin offering online courses to your students within minutes. Our unique program requires no budget or capital investment, reduces administrative costs, and maintains the primary role of your institution as an instructional provider to your local community.

By partnering with Education To Go, you'll completely bypass the steep development costs associated with creating and delivering new online courses.


Update on Web Courses and Programs 
Viviance is rising as a major player in web delivery of courses and programs in Europe.  There are also newer partnerings in the United States.  See http://www.viviance.net.

Viviance new education was founded in 1996 in St. Gallen, Switzerland by our two founders: Ursula Suter-Seuling, a former senior manager of an international education company and Ignatz Heinz, who had over 10 years of computer based training experience. A joint educational project for the internet helped serve as the eye-opener for both. Combining of sound pedagogy and high-tech was possible now and the time to move was at hand.

Both Ignatz Heinz and Ursula Suter-Seuling soon realized a trend of "techno people" doing education in online development. This motivated both to help change the face of technology based education and training into a healthier "think education first, then do technology" approach to design and development. Viviance AG new education quickly emerged as one of the leaders in instructional software development in the European market. Ursula Suter-Seuling and Ignatz Heinz drew from their educational and technological expertise to manage this innovative company. From its beginning situated in a farm house in Niederwil, that still serves as an office today, Viviance used the latest instructional design principles combined with the latest in online technology to help shape its corporate philosophy that is still in use today.

As the company realized success as a production company, it became more evident that the tools sets used to produce successful online courses were going to have to be internally developed. This led to the June of 1998 idea development of Thinktanx, a fully integrated authoring and delivery system in use today by Viviance designers and developers around the world.

Thinktanx is constantly updated to match the robust environment that is the internet. As such, Viviance made a critical commitment to online development technology that will keep the company in pace with what is new in the internet world.


It is a great season for deals on web shopping.  For example, the Wall Street Journal on November 29 notes that major online retailers are reducing or even eliminating shipping costs.  You can read the following at http://interactive.wsj.com/articles/SB943651612880233926.htm 

Online retailers are wielding a weapon they hope will tip the odds in their favor when they slug it out with their bricks-and-mortar peers this holiday season.

Online retailers CD-Now Inc., BarnesandNoble.com Inc., Amazon.com Inc. Buy.com Inc. and Cyberian Outpost Inc.'s Outpost.com are among the slew of online merchants betting that waiving or whittling down shipping costs will win over shoppers.


It is a great season for reviews of online shopping web sites and tips on the best shopping sites.  The Digital Duo on PBS television devoted an entire show to such a review on November 28, 1999.  I like the Digital Duo because they are often hard to please when it comes to web site and software reviews.  The Digital Duo web site is at http://www.digitalduo.com/ 

The November 28 show is not yet posted to the Digital Duo web site.  Digital Duo warnings include the tendency of many web merchants for taking orders for items not in stock.  There can be long delays before you see the goods at your doorstep.  Tech support often falls way behind what you receive from local merchants.   One way to check out merchants is at http://www.bizrate.com/.  However, Stephen Manes is quick to point out that low ratings from BizRate.com are rare, so don't expect to find some of the bad sites highlighted.

They mentioned one of my favorite shopping web sites --- Eddie Bauer at www.eddiebauer.com.  This is a great shopping web site!  It was also one of the first web sites to interactively allow you to see how you will look in a garment (provided you are willing to provide your measurements online).  

Department Stores Online
Susan Gregory Thomas likes Bluefly at http://www.bluefly.com (I find Bluefly's server to be frustratingly slow.)  There is a nice Bluefly 90-day money back guarantee.  Bluefly is good for genuine top-named products.  Stephen Manes found the photos to be of poor quality and the selection/sizes to be very limited.

Gifts and Sporting Goods
Stephen Manes, whose tastes for gifts for friends are sometimes a little weird, likes Archie McPhee at http://www.archiemcphee.com/   Susan Gregory Thomas is more traditional and prefers buying gifts from Violet at http://www.violet.com/v/home.asp.  She also likes sporting goods shopping at http://www.fogdog.com/.  There are experts online to help you buy sporting goods and will place special orders for hard-to-find products and vendors online.  FogDog is a high service web site.

Wine Online (there has to be a poem here someplace)
The Digital Duo agreed that Wine.com is a great place for bargain wine shopping --- http://www.wine.com/.  Some states like Pennsylvania won't allow you to purchase wine online.  Unfortunately, Wine.com does not tell you up front whether you can or cannot order from your state online.  You may go to the trouble of placing an order and then getting an email weeks later saying that wine cannot be shipped to residents in your state.  

Furniture and Home Furnishings:
Susan Gregory Thomas will go so far as to furnish her new home online.  She recommends http://www.furniture.com/ and http://www.goodhome.com .

The Digital Duo gives some very good advice --- don't buy techie gifts for techie friends unless you know that your friend wants a particular product.  You should also know the exact specifications that your friend wants for this product.  The Digital Duo recommends sending junk food to techies.


Online buyers dogged by  tech-support woe from e-commerce sites and Internet --- see
 http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/filters/katt/ 


On November 29, 1999 there was an excellent shopping review (particularly for new and different computer hardware items) on the PBS television show called Computer Chronicles.  The web site is at http://www.cmptv.com/computerchronicles/99-00showarchive.html 

This show has the Consumers' Buying Guide at http://www.cmptv.com/computerchronicles/shows/99-00/1710buyguide/1710-summary.html 

Consumer Buying Guide Our annual round-up of the latest and greatest software, hardware, websites, and gadgets, reviewed by a panel of journalists and analysts. Just in time for holiday buying ideas for your favorite techie......or yourself.  [Episode #1710, Broadcast Week of 11/23/99]

One of the most clever products (for a mere $99) is a fold-up keyboard for a Palm Pilot that will fit in a shirt pocket.  It unfolds in seconds to become a very usable keyboard.  Take a look at http://www.thinkoutside.com/ .  You can read about it at http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/99/11/circuits/articles/18hand.6.html .  Versions will soon be forthcoming for other PDAs other than Palm Pilot, e.g., versions are in the works for the Visor and the Compaq Aero 2100.

All Palm users should consider this product that lets you watch and store what your are writing (in pencil on yellow pad) on the Palm computer.  You can even send hand-written email messages without being near a keyboard.  Go to http://www.ecritek.com/.

The DVD Anywhere is also exciting at http://www.x10.com/products/offer60.htm.  For a mere $88 you can play a DVD disk on your PC and have it broadcast to television sets in any room of your house.

So you have a DVD player in your PC ... but it's not quite a home theater! It could be! Now you can easily enjoy your DVD movies on any TV in your home using X10's DVD Anywhere! Using 2.4Ghz wireless audio/video sending you can also watch regular or cable TV and control the lights and appliances (mood and environment control) all with one wireless remote. It's the incredible breakthrough X10 product: DVD Anywhere!

The online shopping picks of various people that appeared on the November 28 show are as follows:

Paul's Picks:

The new Compaq Aero 1500 Ultra-thin Palm-size PC is the thinnest Palm-size PC running Windows CE currently available.

The Lexmark Z51 Color Jetprinter claims to have the highest inkjet resolution on the planet!

X10's DVD Anywhere wireless remote lets you control everything on your PC including it's DVD Player.

Tim Bajarin
President of Creative Strategies.

Tim's Picks:

Handspring's Visor Handheld is a palmtop that has small add-on hardware products that expand the functionality of the Visor via the product's "Springboard" expansion slot.

Polaroid PhotoMAX PDC 640 Digital Camera makes digital photography easy and affordable while delivering outstanding image quality.

With the simple-to-use iMovie digital video editing software, Apple's iMac DV lets you create home movies, along with easy connection to the Internet.

Possibly the iMac of PCs, the AMD Internet PC focuses on making PCs easier to set up, easier to use, and easier to upgrade.

The IBM ThinkPad 240Z is ultra-thin, lightweight, and has loads of processing power and storage space.

The lowest cost Armada solution, the Compaq Armada V300 Ultra Sub-Notebook, comes with an Intel Mobile Celeron processor, a mainstream hard drive capacity, and graphics/multimedia capability.

The Psion Revo PDA offers agenda, contacts manager, email on the move, jotter, PC sync and lots more, all made to fit in your pocket.

The PocketMail Backflip offers an integrated mobile e-mail solution for Palm connected organizers.

Chris Gorman
Chris is the Principal Analyst of Consumer Products for Creative Strategies.

Chris's Picks:

Chris takes us through what she thinks are some of the best shopping sites online:

Beyond.com An all-encompassing site for your computer hardware and software needs.  See http://www.beyond.com/indexb.htm 

iGadget.com This is probably where 007 gets his favorite high-tech toys.  See http://www.gadget.com/ 

LandsEnd.com Give them your measurements and you can see what their clothes look like on your own virtual model.  See http://www.landsend.com/cd/frontdoor/ 

KBKids.com Toy shopping for kids made easy at the KBToys website.  See http://www.landsend.com/cd/frontdoor/ 

TheGift.com If you don't know what to buy for someone who has everything, let this site give you some suggestions.  See http://www.thegift.com/ 

Plus some hot products:

With a 56K modem, an ethernet port, Mac OS 8.6 and all the right software already installed Apple's iBook is as Internet-ready as a notebook computer can be.

Ecritek Ecrio allows you to directly enter data from your note pad into your palm top.  Go to http://www.ecritek.com/ 

Think Outside's Stowaway Keyboard is the first 100% full size, no compromise keyboard that is small enough to fit in your pocket.

Chris Charla
Editor-in-Chief Next Generation Magazine

Chris's Picks:

One of the most realistic PC games, EA Sports NHL 2000 brings all the best graphics and game play to your computer.

Sega DreamCast is the ultimate videogame console.  See http://www.sega.com/console/index.shtml 

Microsoft's "Age of the Empires II: The Age of Kings" is the sequel to the award-winning, best-selling real-time strategy game, Age of Empires

Zowie Interactive's "Red Beard's Pirate Quest" and "Ellie's Enchanted Garden" are "Smart Toys" that enable kids to control and change on-screen worlds and characters in real time through connected playsets. (Jensen Note:  Usually I hate computer games unless they are highly educational.  This one, however, really looks fun.  You get a tall mast ship that would look good above your fireplace.  When you move the people or turn the wheel, however, you are taken into action at sea.)

 


This is one game I do love for parties--- Trivial Pursuit Online http://www.trivialpursuitonline.com/ 


Summary of consumer buying guides:

Top 100 Products of 1999 
BizRate
  
ZDNet Shopping
Holiday Gift Guide
Electronic Ideas for the Holidays.
Cool Stuff
Holiday Gadgets
How to Buy Index
The Year's Best Gear
Forbes ASAP Product Guide
Videogames.com's Holiday Gift Guide
ZDNet Holiday Gift Guide Showcase

And don't forget the always-helpful Yahoo at http://www.yahoo.com/ 

And then there is a Yahoo copy cat at http://www.invisibleweb.com/ 


From T.H.E, Magazine, November 1999, pp. 34-40.  The online version is at http://www.thejournal.com/magazine/vault/M2615.cfm 

EduNet

 


Congratulations to Northeastern University.  Northeastern's High Technology MBA Program ranks Number One in ComputerWorld's Top Techno MBA Survey.  See http://www.cba.neu.edu/htmba/ 

Ranked #1 Techno-MBA in the United States -- Computerworld. "The cream of the business school crop is no match for schools such as Northeastern University ... when it comes to producing graduates with 21st century business and information technology (IT) skills." Computerworld Press Release, 09/24/99.

The High Technology MBA stands as the premium program in New England for fast-track managers in high tech product and services industries. It is a comprehensive MBA program designed for managers who not only need to continue working full-time, but in fact, wish to use the program to achieve advancement and promotion in their companies and industries.

Our program is focused on Leading Growth and Innovation in Technology-based Industries. We serve three primary segments of the regional industry:

Systems and software, be it for telecommunications, general purpose computing, or industrial products and processes. Financial services. Heath care and biotechnology. Now, what is our High Technology MBA really about? What is its heart and soul? The answer is simple yet at the same time, complex. Executives want their best people to help grow the business. Growth means the ability to conceive, develop, produce, and distribute extraordinary products or services that cause excitement in the market and command a position of value-cost leadership. It also means understanding the dynamics of how marketing, product development, manufacturing, and finance must interact to accomplish non-incremental change.

Achieving growth in a company, and by extension, helping students to consider the issues of growth would appear easy at first. However, if it was, every company and business school would be doing it well. Throughout industrial history, market leaders have consistently become stuck in their own traditional ways of building products and running the business. Most of us know how difficult it is to introduce innovations within our own organizations and to our customers. Our entire curriculum focuses on the challenges and successful approaches of growth. By the nature of our students, the context includes large corporations, small-to-medium sized firms, and startups.


The British Film Institute presents this list of all-time favorite "culturally British" films --- http://www.bfi.org.uk/features/bfi100/ 


The American Accounting Association badly needs new members, especially accounting practitioners who would like closer ties with accounting educators worldwide.  There are a lot of benefits to practitioners as well as educators.  See http://www.rutgers.edu/Accounting/raw/aaa/join.htm .  Whether you are an educator or a practitioner, this is a super organization.  The web site has some great helpers at http://www.rutgers.edu/Accounting/raw/aaa/ 


Financial ratios and company comparison reports (updated daily) --- http://ip.dowjones.com/help/cic_compare.htm 

The Company/Industry Comparison Reports page enables you to select a company or industry and compare its statistics with other companies or industries. You have the option of comparing two companies, two industries, or a company and an industry.

Each Comparison Report provides stock price change in percentage in dollars and percentage, the stock's price change versus S&P 500's performance, key ratios, and shareholdings.

Using Company/Industry Comparison Reports, you can search approximately 8,300 U.S. publicly held companies, and more than 50 industries. These reports are currently available for U.S. companies only.


 

Helpers for teaching accounting.

Accounting Course Materials  http://www.accountingeducation.com 
Check out the links section and in particular the sub-category: Course Materials.

Also you can  go to particular courses at http://www.rutgers.edu/Accounting/raw/aaa/ace/index.htm 

South-Western Publishing Company's "Great Ideas for Teaching Accounting" at http://www.swcollege.com/vircomm/gita/gita.html 

The CPA Journal Online is unique in that it carries a lot of back issues that may be helpful to educators.  See http://www.luca.com/cpaj.htm 

For management Accounting, Amelia Baldwin suggests the following:

The Institute of Management Accountants website is here http://web.imanet.org and they publish a journal called Strategic Finance (it used to be called Management Accounting) and some of the articles are available online here: http://www.mamag.com/strategicfinance/ I often use articles from SF in class.

Amelia A. Baldwin, Ph.D. Arthur Andersen Faculty Fellow & Associate Professor Culverhouse School of Accountancy, Box 870220 The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Al 35487-0220 Ph: 205-348-6679 Fx: 205-348-8453 Email: abaldwin@cba.ua.edu Web: http://www.webprofessor.org 


Look up 118,300 acronyms/abbreviations & their meanings --- http://acronymfinder.com/ 


This is for Barry Rice and others interested in eBooks.  You can now purchase or rent them from netLibrary.  See http://www.thejournal.com/magazine/vault/A2356.cfm 

A veritable library of electronic books has been created on the Internet by netLibrary. At www.netlibrary.com you can search, view and borrow eBooks such as reference, scholarly, mass market and professional publications. The list of publishers providing content include: Grove's Dictionaries, Inc., Macmillan Ltd., National Academy Press, St. Martin's Press, The Brookings Institution and McGraw-Hill Companies, as well as many university presses such as Cambridge University Press, Columbia University Press, Duquesne University Press, University of Akron Press, University of California Press, University of North Carolina Press, New York University Press, Ohio University Press and Rutgers University Press.

The netLibrary provides the services of a traditional library in that patrons have the option of either borrowing the eBook and viewing it online, or viewing it offline by downloading it to their computer. Patrons will have to wait for eBooks that have been lent to other patrons before them. Some of the nation's major libraries are charter customers of netLibrary. Individuals and corporations may also become customers and check out what these cyber shelves hold. netLibrary, Boulder, CO, (303) 415-2548, www.netlibrary.com .

Recall that my review of eBooks is in my July 30 Edition of New Bookmarks at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99.htm#Rocket .

I might add that the Digital Duo on November 28 was not very complimentary of the Franklin's pioneering electronic books at http://www.franklin.com/.  These books require that you purchase tiny disks for at least $20 or more and have a very limited selection of books as opposed to Internet download books such as are available from netLibrary, Barnes & Noble, Rocket, etc.  Recall that my review of eBooks is in my July 30 Edition of New Bookmarks at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99.htm#Rocket 


Joint Working Group of Banking Associations Financial Instrument Issues Relating to Banks

- banksjwg.pdf - Discussion Paper 
- jwgfinal.pdf - Final Position zum Fair Value Accounting

Hi Dr. Jensen!

It is the official site about the Financial Instruments - Comprehensive Project of the IASC http://www.iasc.org.uk/frame/cen3_112.htm  The site of the IAS Recognition and Measurement Project is: http://www.iasc.org.uk/frame/cen2_139.htm 

Your Trinity-Homepages on Derivatives SFAS No. 133 is my favourite on this subject, espicially the illustrative examples (and the account simulations).

Currently I am focusing on splitting up hybrid financial instruments, especially those with embedded optional building block. The book of Smith/Smithson/Willford (1998) Managing Financial Risk and that from Das S. (1998) and Walsey J. (1997) provides a good guidance how these products are structured.

Best Regard Christian


Free Technology & Learning Journal --- http://www.techlearning.com/index1.html 

 

T&L Software Awards of Excellence By Susan McLester For the 17th year, "The Best of the Best" in School and Home Learning products, Technology & Learning, November 1999, pp. 13-31. 

 

Technology & Learning articles online at http://www.techlearning.com/content/working/articles/articles.html 

 


 

Did you note the article entitled "IBM's Accounting Method Faces Scrutiny:  One-Time Gains Raise Questions," in The Wall Street Journal, November 24, 1999, p. C1.  The online version is at
  http://interactive.wsj.com/archive/retrieve.cgi?id=SB943394213352502942.djm&template=pasted-1999-11-24.tmpl 

 

. . . some accounting specialists and analysts, scrutinizing the footnotes, now are raising questions about IBM's unusual treatment of one-time gains. At issue: IBM booked about $4 billion in such gains from the sale of its Global Network business to AT&T Corp. during its second and third quarters. The gains were included in selling, general and administrative expenses, or SG&A.

Translation: Reported costs were lowered. And reported operating income was raised.

The issue is important on Wall Street. This is because operating income --which excludes taxes, interest and other items that have little to do with success in making and selling products or services -- is often more important to investors than net income, and widely regarded as an indicator of how well management is running the shop.

In a new report, accounting watchdog Howard Schilit says IBM should be "roundly criticized for its policy of bundling one-time gains and other nonoperating activities into operating income." SG&A expenses, he says, should be "just that" -- and shouldn't include one-time charges or gains that don't reflect operating performance. Mr. Schilit's reports on such matters have a close following among money managers.

For many years I used IBM's annual reports as examples of managed-earnings accounting.  Remember "IBM's Method of Accounting for Cutbacks Bucks Trend of Taking Repeated Charges."


 

In the November 23 edition of New Bookmarks, I reported the following:  Plagiarism.org will soon be an important web site for many educators and many others, including investigators and journal editors, who want to check if any writer's work is authentic.  Entire schools may be interested in paying for this service.  This site was featured on November 22 on CNN television.  I discovered it at breakfast while watching the news.  Go to  http://www.plagiarism.org/  

 

Paul Myers replied as follows:

 

The following URL -- with spelling error and all -- provides background on the Berkeley plagiarism-detection program --- http://www.cnn.com/TECH/computing/9911/21/plagerism.detective/index.html 
J. Paul Myers, Jr. Associate Professor Department of Computer Science Trinity University 715 Stadium Drive San Antonio, Texas 78212


From INFOBITS November 23, 1999

THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY (IJET) is a new refereed journal in the field of educational technology, sponsored by faculty, staff, and students at The Graduate School of Education at the University of Western Australia and the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. IJET [ISSN 1327-7308] is published online twice each year and is available without an access charge. The journal is available on the Web at http://www.outreach.uiuc.edu/ijet/

Articles in the first issue include:  "Technology in Education: Who, Where, When, What, & Why?" "Can Computer-Based Testing Achieve Quality and Efficiency in Assessment?" "Opportunities and Options for Web-Enabled Databases: Comparing in Choosing the Right Software for Virtual Courses and Communities"


 

Also from INFOBITS on November 23, 1999

HOW TO PROCTOR FROM A DISTANCE

According to a recent article in THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION ["How to Proctor From a Distance," by Dan Carnevale, vol. 46, issue 12, November 12, 1999, p. A47],"technology is offering students new and easier ways to cheat, especially in on-line courses. But the same technology is also giving professors easier ways to catch cheaters." The article contains a variety of methods that faculty can use to detect plagiarism and cheating in online assignments and tests.

However, detection technology alone cannot eliminate the isolation and anonymity that might incline a student to cheat. According to Jeanne M. Wilson, president of the Center for Academic Integrity at Duke University, "online education only worsens that sense of isolation and anonymity. 'It's kind of like the difference between living in a big city and living in a small town where everyone knows your folks and would tell them if you did something wrong.'" To address this isolation, professors will also need to use communication technology, such as online chats and discussion forums, to get to know their online students better and to establish closer relationships with them.

The complete article is on the Web at http://chronicle.com/free/v46/i12/12a04701.htm 


 

How XML unleashes data
PC Week Labs looks at XML, the simple and almost universally compatible language that is poised to become the key technology in e-commerce ---  http://www.pcweek.com/a/pcwt9911231/2396831/ 

Greenwich Mean Time to offer PC auditing tool.  The software will help IT managers keep track of what software and hardware end users are adding to their systems ---  http://www.pcweek.com/a/pcwt9911235/1018274/ 

Non-PC devices: Long on hype, short on substance.  The current talk about non-PC devices getting market traction is a lot of malarkey, says John Dodge ---  http://www.pcweek.com/b/pcwt9911236/2397497/ 

 


 

New Adobe Acrobat Reader http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/webbuy/main.html  

Adobe has announced a new version of the Adobe Acrobat Reader which is Webuy enabled. This is a proprietary technology that works in the following manner: 1. You go to the PDF merchant's file server and order (and pay for your book); 2. After downloading the book the Acrobat Reader checks for the license, and if the license is not found, it connects to the merchant's site and identifies to the merchant your CPU # and hard drive number. 3. The buyer gets a software key to unlock the book. 3. The Adobe site has a number of Freebooks - such as "Poems by Shakespeare", that you can use to test the process. http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/webbuy/freebooks.html  Adobe makes its money by selling the PDF Merchant software which is installed on the merchant's server.

Richard J. Campbell RJ Interactive www.rj-int.com mailto:campbell@rj-int.com



 

Virtual Tour of ERIC --- http://www.accesseric.org/resources/eric_train.html 

 


 

Information for lawyers --- http://www.infirmation.com/ 

 


Science Service Historical Image Collection http://americanhistory.si.edu/scienceservice/ 


NEW FEATURES from The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition.

Dear Subscriber:

We've added a powerful new feature that lets you conduct in-depth analysis of an industry's performance as well as compare a specific company to its industry.

The new Dow Jones Industry Group Center uses industry-performance data provided by Dow Jones Global Indexes and interactive charting features from BigCharts.com to provide you with a collection of industry-analysis tools, including: -- Expansive reports on the best and worst performing U.S. industries and the stocks within those industries. You can also sort stock charts based on criteria and time frames you specify. -- Interactive industry charts that include basic industry pricing data and fundamental information as well as the ability to compare an industry to selected indexes, stocks and other industries.

The Industry Group Center is available in the Global Indexes section of the Markets Data Center: http://interactive.wsj.com/edition/resources/documents/mktindex.htm 

 

 


Accounting Education News --- http://www.accountingeducation.com/news/ 


Adobe has announced a new version of the Adobe Acrobat Reader > http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/webbuy/main.html   which is Webuy enabled. This is a proprietary technology that works in the following manner:  2. After downloading the book the Acrobat Reader checks for the license, and > if the license is not found, it connects to the merchant's site and identifies to the merchant your CPU # and hard drive number.  3. The buyer gets a software key to unlock the book.

This is absolutely frightening. I am not sure there was as much snooping in fascist dictatorships.

Nobody should have the right to look at anything on my machine without my express permission (except for law enforcement agencies with court permission).

If some one were to walk into house and snoop around your closet, would you feel any less violated?

I have always suspected that Microsoft snooped around my hard drive (so usually I do not visit Microsoft related sites from home usually), and now Adobe, a company that I have had the highest regard for!

It is pathetic that we should be so violated in the name of free enterprise, democracy, and all those nice-sounding words that these rascals love.

jagdish -- Jagdish S. Gangolly, Associate Professor (j.gangolly@albany.edu) State University of New York at Albany, Albany, NY 12222. Phone: (518) 442-4949 Fax: (707) 897-0601 URL: http://www.albany.edu/acc/gangolly 

 


Island Ireland --- http://www.islandireland.com/ 


Grimm's Fair Tales --- http://www.nationalgeographic.com/grimm/ 


A gallery of opinionated art.--- http://www.impolitic.com/


Where do computers go when they die --- http://www.ce.cmu.edu/News/nyt-extract.html 


How will technology change our economies, our businesses, and our lives?  Where are we going and where have we been?  http://www.mamag.com/strategicfinance/1999/11e.htm 


The AccountingWEB Friday Wrap-Up Newswire - Issue 19 November 26, 1999 http://www.accountingweb.com 

1. AICPA Publishes New Peer Review Standards 
2. Family Feud an Andersen Heats Up 
3. Sexual Harassment Reminder: Know What To Do 
4. Enhance Your Work Environment Through Student Internships 
5. Internet Companies Face Accounting Crackdown 
6. Helping Clients Make Money With Uncle Sam 
7. IASC Approves Restructure For The Future 
8. Tax Legislation Stalemate Yields Some Improvements 
9. $$$Savings Corner Tip: Check Your Cellular Phone Plan


The November 27th Internet Essentials '99 Newsletter http://www.tiac.net/users/nhannon/news.html 

1. E-mail advice from womenCONNECT.com 
2. Sage Software Taking DacEasy Accounting to the Next Level 
3. Computer Crash Recovery Programs 
4. Shopping Helpers for Buying Online 
5. IBM Criticized for Financial Reporting 
6. Computer Chips to Hold 400x More Transistors 
7. Security Policy: Your Best Defense


And that's the way it was on December 1, 1999 with a little help from my friends. If you are an accounting practitioner or educator, please do not forget to scan http://www.accountingeducation.com/.

 

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

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Bob Jensen's Index Page

Bob Jensen's Bookmarks

New Bookmark Archives

 

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November 23, 1999


Several years ago one of the Trinity University students in my First-Year Seminar was killed in a senseless accident.  The class really never recovered from that loss.  Hence it is difficult for me to fathom the grief in the Texas A&M University community that lost twelve students in one tragic accident.  Even though we make jokes down here about "Texas Aggies,"  we seriously love and respect them greatly.  Texas A&M is one of the great universities in the world, and our hearts and prayers are with them all --- students, staff, and families.


Department of Defense compares seven Web-based learning management systems.  http://www.pcweek.com/a/pcwt9911191/2391276/ 


Free long distance telephone calls --- http://www.dialpad.com/   --- I wonder when the government will shut this down or tax it to death?  At Trinity University we are not allowed to make free phone calls due to limited network bandwidth and a firewall that prevents us from hearing what persons on the phone at the other end of the line are saying to us (even though they can hear our voices).  Other universities such as Kent State University in Ohio, however, are making use of dialpad.com.

You can make free phone calls from your web browsers to any telephone in the US. Now you don't have to disconnect from the Internet to make a phone call. Just come to dialpad.com and make free unlimited long distance calls.

You don't have to download and install anything. Just come to dialpad.com. With its Java/Web technology, everything is automated.

All it takes is a PC sound card and a microphone and a network connection that is not blocked by a firewall computer.   A veteran user named Norman Meonske [nmeonske@kent.edu] from Kent State calls me regularly.  He was on the PC at Kent State, and I was on a regular telephone at Trinity University.  He told me about dialpad.com.

Norm sent me the following forwarded message:

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

It appears that I was not correct about the firewall problem even though the Help File for Dialpad claims that Dialpad will not work in front of a firewall.  Note the following message from the Director of the Trinity University Computing Center.

 

This morning (Wednesday before the Thanksgiving holiday, with no one around) dialpad works really well. Yesterday afternoon, under a moderate network load, the quality was ok, but there was a noticable delay, much like the early days of transatlantic calls. We'll leave the ports open until the traffic gets bad again.

When the phone company uses T1 circuits for voice, they will put only 24 calls on one circuit. Systems like dialpad do several things to allow more calls, including -- You are not giving a fixed amount of bandwidth. Each packet must compete individually with all other data and voice packets for the available bandwidth. The audio is highly compressed. For some kinds of sound, like most phone calls, this probably works. This technology is changing rapidly and this may be how all voice traffic is handled in the future. Meanwhile, at less than 5¢ an minute, I'll use a circuit switched phone network.

--larry

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Posted at 12:22 a.m. PDT Friday, October 29, 1999 --- Start-up offers free phone calls from PC

BY CHRIS O'BRIEN Mercury News Staff Writer

If you've been wondering just how cheap long-distance calls can get, here's your answer: free.

San Jose-based dialpad.com has launched a service that allows anyone with a PC to make free long-distance calls through its Web site. Just sign up, plug in your headphones and microphone, and call any phone in the United States.

Don't throw out your old telephone just yet, though. The reliability and quality of dialpad.com doesn't match the traditional telephone system. A typical call on dialpad.com sounds like an analog cellular phone call and heavy traffic can sometimes make it tough to place a call. Still, the service is so cheap and easy to use, it may begin to move PC calling out of the realm of geeks and hobbyists and into the mainstream.

The big long-distance carriers aren't exactly quaking in their boots, and analysts say dialpad.com won't trigger any immediate drops in long-distance prices, which have already plunged to as little as five cents per minute for high-volume callers. But they do agree that dialpad.com provides a glimpse into the not-too-distant future where Internet technologies will make phone calls so cheap they'll be given away for free as part of packages of other communications services.

``We used to go to conferences a few years ago and talk about this like it was pie-in-the-sky kind of stuff,'' said Sarah Hofstetter, vice president of Net2Phone, a dialpad.com rival that charges a 3.9-cents-per-minute fee for domestic PC-to-phone calls. ``Now it's happening right before our eyes. It's kind of freaky.''

To use dialpad.com, you need a PC that has at least Windows 95 (Sorry, no MacIntosh or Linux users.) and a sound card, headphones, a microphone and an Internet connection. First, you create an account by providing personal information that dialpad.com uses to target you with banner ads -- where the company plans to make much of its revenue for now.

Then go to the main page where a Java applet will pop up on your screen. This will ask permission to install another applet that is relatively small and takes a few seconds to load. That second applet then opens and displays a screen with numbers. Just click on the phone number you want to call, hit ``dial'' and the call is put through.

There are certainly drawbacks. Holding a microphone while talking for long periods isn't comfortable. In addition, it can sometimes be hard for people on the phone to hear the person on the computer. Calls can be made only from a PC to a phone, not from a phone to the PC. And if Internet traffic is heavy, the call won't go through.

Hyunduk ``Doug'' Ahn, CEO of dialpad.com, said quality problems are due to the unexpectedly high volume of users. Since launching 11 days ago, dialpad.com has signed up 70,000 users and predicts it will have 250,000 at the end of its first month. Ahn said GTE Internetworking, which provides the network to carry the calls, is scrambling to install more equipment to accommodate the quick growth.

``Traffic is well beyond our expectations,'' Ahn said.

The free service is possible because of a technology called Internet telephony. The unwieldy name refers to the fact that calls are being made over networks using the same technology -- Internet Protocol, or IP -- that carries data across the Internet. This system is far more efficient than traditional phone networks. And the size of the data ``packets'' that make up a phone call is so puny compared with other video and data traffic sharing that IP network that GTE's cost of carrying the phone call is negligible.

Using dialpad.com, the call travels from the caller's PC to the Internet service provider to GTE's IP network. At the other end, it's then handed to the local telephone company, which delivers the call to its final destination. This last step requires GTE to pay a small termination charge. While GTE won't say what the cost is, the company said it's small enough that it can be covered by the ads running on the dialpad.com site.

Whether or not dialpad.com ever makes a dime, the cost of its service to consumers still could be trend-setting.

``It has the potential to be a market-changing characteristic,'' said Meredith Rosenberg, a senior analyst for the Yankee Group. ``By offering this for free, they'll appeal to a much wider audience.''

Making Internet calls isn't exactly new. People have been making telephone calls over their PCs in some form for several years now. As the Internet grew in popularity, companies developed software that allowed people to talk for free to someone on another PC. But it was tricky because you had to figure out how to use the software and then schedule the call with the other person.

The medium took its next step when companies like Net2Phone and deltathree.com developed software that allowed users to place calls from PCs to regular telephones. These calls were much cheaper than regular long distance, but still required users to download software they had to configure. The companies also charged for the calls.

The founders of dialpad.com believe they'll have an advantage over these other PC-to-phone services not only because their service is free, but because it's easier to use. However, Ritch Blasi, an AT&T spokesman, said he doesn't think dialpad.com will put a dent in the his company's revenues, noting that just over half of U.S. households own a PC.

``I don't think this is going to affect us immediately,'' he said. ``It's a niche product and you have to have a computer to initiate the call.''

Still, phone companies are building IP technology into their networks. And Blasi acknowledged that as it becomes more widespread, it will reduce the cost of calls almost to zero.

To make up that revenue, companies like AT&T and SBC Communications Inc., the parent company of Pacific Bell, have begun offering services in ``bundles,'' where customers pay one fee for a package of wireless, Internet access and voice calling.

But if everyone starts offering free long distance in the United States, dialpad.com won't be unique for long. Next year, the company will begin offering free international calls, which account for the bulk of traffic for competitors such as Net2Phone.

The company also hopes to license its technology to Web sites that have a telephone number on them, say for customer service at an e-commerce site. The idea -- dubbed ``click-to-talk'' -- is that someone clicks on the number and the call is made to that number using dialpad.com, rather than the traditional voice network.

The problem here is that companies like Net2Phone are already offering this service to customers such as Lands End and FTD.com. Analysts say Net2Phone is well entrenched in this market and it could be hard for dialpad.com to break in.


 

I am really impressed with an IASC document (Five Chapters) entitled Business Reporting on the Internet that is available free at http://www.iasc.org.uk/frame/cen3_26.htm 

This is an exploratory staff research project not yet on the Board's agenda. The first phase of the project involved developing and publishing a discussion paper, Business Reporting on the Internet. The discussion paper was published in November 1999 and was authored by: --

Prof. Andrew Lymer (University of Birmingham) --
Prof. Roger Debreceny (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore) --
Prof. Glen Gray (California State University, Northridge). --
Prof. Asheq Rahman (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)

IASC Project Manager: Paul Pacter - ppacter@iasc.org.uk  

Fundamental Issues Facing IASC 
What are the current technologies available for electronic business reporting? What are companies around the world actually doing? What kind of standards for electronic business reporting are needed now, within the constraint of today's technologies? What are the shortcomings of business reporting on the Internet within current technologies? What technological changes are on the horizon and how can they improve electronic business reporting (particularly the ability to go beyond the Internet as "electronic paper" to facilitate downloading and analysis of financial data)?

Outline of the Discussion Paper

Chapter 1 reviews some of the impetuses behind the proliferation of Web based business reporting. It also provides background information on the increasing types and number of corporate Web sites, and the increasing number of online traders. Chapter 2 explores and summarises the multitude of different electronic reporting technologies that can be used by Web designers. These technologies are not mutually exclusive, which means that a designer can use any mix of these technologies to develop a Web site. Chapter 3 summarises the findings of the existing literature on Web-based financial reporting and adds further findings from a survey of 660 corporations in 22 countries conducted by the authors. The chapter also discusses electronic reporting environments within national disclosure and regulatory regimes such as EDGAR and SEDAR in the USA and Canada, respectively. Chapter 4 examines the information presented in the prior chapters and proposes that the IASC should seriously consider the development of a "code of conduct" that would cover both the form and content aspects of Web-based business reporting. Chapter 5 addresses issues raised by pending and future technologies, which are evolving at a rapid rate. The chapter suggests that to add value to information consumers, it is critical that international standards setters and other organisations respond to these new technologies, which can greatly improve business reporting and subsequent Internet searches. This chapter highlights the significant need for a universal Business Reporting Language (BRL) to facilitate the electronic dissemination and use of business information. The Chapter suggests a consortia approach that will help ensure the development of standards that provide both certainty in reporting and flexibility for future innovations. Chapter 6 synthesises the information provided in the prior chapters to discuss the opportunities, challenges, and implications for the accounting profession and the IASC, its international standard setter.

What impresses me most is the documentation and illustrations of how companies (especially European companies) have already adapted financial reporting to newer technologies.  It might help us yanks if there were more U.S. illustrations, but then we can't ask for everything in one research study.

 

Every accountant and financial analyst should examine this study.  Virtually all upper-level students in accounting courses should study this document.  My hat is off to my former doctoral student, Paul Pacter, for organizing this significant research contribution. You can learn more from Paul Pacter at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/acct5341/speakers/pacter.htm 

 

The document appears to be quite current in terms of new technologies and new initiatives in XML reporting.  I do have a few minor criticisms.  The document may be downloaded as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file or as a HTML file.  The HTML file provides dynamic hyperlinks.  The PDF file provides better hard copy printing.  See 
http://www.iasc.org.uk/frame/cen3_26.htm .

 


 

Home page of the XFRML Workgroup http://www.xfrml.org/ 

XFRML (XML-based Financial Reporting Markup Language), will be the digital language of business. XFRML is a framework that will allow the financial community a standards-based method to prepare, publish in a variety of formats, exchange and analyze financial reports and the information they contain. XFRML, which will be freely licensed, will also permit the automatic exchange and reliable extraction of financial information among various software applications.

The XFRML working group was begun by the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants). The following organizations have already joined this important effort: Arthur Andersen LLP; Caseware International; Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants; Cohen Computer Consulting; Crowe Chizek; Deloitte & Touche LLP; Document Technologies; e-content, a division of Interleaf, Inc.; EDGAR Online, Inc.; Ernst & Young LLP; FreeEDGAR.com, Inc.; FRx Software Corporation; Great Plains; Institute of Management Accountants; KPMG LLP.

You can read more about XML, RDF, and XFRML at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/xmlrdf.htm 

 


 

Due to a possible security risk caused by JavaScript, the Department of Defense considers banning it from all military websites --- See  http://www.pcweek.com/a/pcwt9911225/2398182/ 

 


 

I was born forty years too soon.  First I missed the sexual revolution.  Now I am missing the F/M revolution.  This is a message from Glenn Meyer.

FEWER THAN 45 PER CENT of today's college students are men, down from about 55 per cent in 1970, and college officials are starting to pay attention. About 70 college presidents and deans met here at Goucher College this week to discuss the trend and what -- if anything -- should be done about it.
 http://chronicle.com/daily/99/11/99111803n.htm 

 


 

Plagiarism.org will soon be an important web site for many educators and many others, including investigators and journal editors, who want to check if any writer's work is authentic.  Entire schools may be interested in paying for this service.  This site was featured on November 22 on CNN television.  I discovered it at breakfast while watching the news.  Go to  http://www.plagiarism.org/  

Proven Results. Our proprietary plagiarism detection algorithms* have successfully been used in multiple classes at U.C. Berkeley and abroad.

Powerful Methods. Our computational processes for 'finger-printing' papers and determining degrees of originality will detect plagiarism.

Speed. We can 'finger-print' and evaluate thousands of papers each day.

Extensive Database. Our extensive and growing database of term papers will deter your students from plagiarizing other work.

Easy To Use. We make every effort to customize the service's web page so that our plagiarism deterring technology is a non-technical seamless addition to your classes.

Increases Quality. Instructors report that the quality of their students' work increases when they know that manuscripts will be checked for originality.

Increases Student Morale. Students themselves report that unchecked cheating and plagiarism by others undermines their own efforts and educational enthusiasm.

The purpose of this service is to insure that term papers, essays, and manuscripts, which are submitted as a requirement for a university or college course, are never plagiarized. This means that papers will never again be recirculated/recycled every year, that papers will not be copied from one class and used for a different class, that papers from one university will not find their way to another university course, and that papers acquired from the Internet will NEVER be used to fulfill a course requirement.

An instructor registers his/her class with Plagiarism.org. Each instructor then requests that her/his students upload their term papers or manuscripts to the Plagiarism.org web site.

Each student in the instructor's course accesses the Plagiarism.org web site.

From the web site students can upload their work into our database designed specifically for their particular class. Students can also access information regarding plagiarism and information concerning intellectual property.

Our proprietary technology converts each manuscript into an abstract representation; essentially, we 'finger-print' each paper.

Each term paper submitted for a class requirement is statistically checked against a database of other manuscripts collected from different universities, classes, and from all-over the Internet. Only cases of gross plagiarism are flagged. This means that papers using some identical quotes or papers written on similar topics will NEVER be flagged as unoriginal.

A report is then emailed (or mailed) to the instructor detailing the degrees of originality for each paper checked with Plagiarism.org.

The fees, which I find reasonable for this remarkable service, are described below:

Our offer is simple. To insure that only interested parties use our service there is a one-time, $20.00 (US) fee to create an account with us. This account can be used to upload 30 different manuscripts. We will email you a link to a confidential webpage containing an exact numerical analysis of each manuscript's originality. If any manuscripts were plagiarized you will know. After an account has been created, there will be a small charge of $0.50 for every manuscript, after 30, subsequently analyzed.


 

The Financial Executives Institute (FEI) has a number of downloads that may be of interest at http://www.fei.org/download/dl_index.htm .  For example, you can download Phil Livingston's PowerPoint slides on emerging issues.

 

Technical and Policy Issues are at http://www.fei.org/tech.htm 

 

I would like to pass along the following commentary that appears on Page 6 of Financial Executive, Nov/Dec 1999 (the main journal of the Financial Executives Institute).

FROM THE PRESIDENT
by Phil Livingston
plivingston@fei.org

AUDIT EFFECTIVENESS -- WORRISOME TRENDS

 No doubt you've read about SEC concerns over "earnings management" and recent high-profile cases of accounting misstatements.  Part of the SEC's reform effort is to scrutinize the audit process; the commission has charged the Public Oversight Board to study the issues and prepare a formal report.  The POB held public hearings in October; FEI gave the corporate perspective.

Our testimony, posted as text and as a PowerPoint presentation at www.fei.org, stressed four points:

·         FEI members want and need a critical, independent audit.  It provides a valuable, third-party cross check in producing accurate financial statements.

·         Many members sense that the auditing and assurance business has diminished in prestige and emphasis.  The auditing profession needs to turn this trend around.

·         CPA firms must reestablish their leadership roles in the development, analysis and interpretation of accounting standards.  We sense a shift in the balance of authority in accounting and auditing, with auditors relying too much on the SEC and the FASB to solve difficult accounting issues.

·         Regardless of the market pressures on management to deliver results, those pressures shouldn't affect the outside auditor's ability to complete an objective, independent, well-executed audit.

Generally speaking, the audit process isn't broken; there's no objective evidence that audit or financial reporting failures are up.  But we can do more to maintain high quality and enhance the stature of this important function.

One problem is the perception that audit work is less desirable than consulting.  Traditional auditing is essentially a line of business with finite potential, not one of dynamic growth.  So understandably, audit firms have leveraged their core skills into other, more lucrative, areas.  But does that translate to less qualified personnel and fewer resources being devoted to audit work?  And for how long will it be possible to attract capable new entrants to the audit side, if the prestige and rewards are better elsewhere?

An inability to get tough questions answered by the local audit team also troubles many members. Audits now almost always involve checking with the firm's national office and, often, "no-name consultations" with the SEC.  There are many reasons for this; some are valid.  And there's no doubt accounting rules are more complex.  But the authority and confidence of audit firms are too often undermined when the SEC renders opinions.  We encourage the Big Five to retake the high ground here -- it will benefit all parties and make for more efficient capital markets.  CFOs can help by encouraging more leadership from their local audit partner.  And CFOs shouldn't encourage appeals to the regulators if the local answer isn't attractive.

SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt has called auditing "the very soul of the profession, not a loss leader as a foot in the door for higher-fee consulting services."  That's worth remembering.  The financial statement audit is essential to capital formation and corporate governance.  More than any other activity, the audit lends credibility to a company's published results.  Those involved must strengthen and enhance it -- not undermine it.  As long as companies seek investor capital, we'll need high-quality audits.


 

A message to accounting educators trying to figure out how to help themselves and their students make sense out of SFAS 133 and IAS 39 on accounting for derivative financial instruments and hedge accounting.

 

Hi XXXXXX,

I agree entirely. But the wide scope of standards are perhaps wider than you imagine in your wildest nightmares. I am going to remove your name from this message and send it out to my many friends with an appeal for more help. I would especially encourage practitioners to help us out with your appeal (which is also my appeal).

 

I might note that students are not the only ones having trouble identifying a derivative. Practitioners in public accounting and industry are having even greater troubles, because they do not have the luxury of retreating to artificial worlds of professors and students (better known as ivory tower worlds). I contend that the major problem we are having (with SFAS 133 and IAS 39) is that the concept of a "derivative" covers thousands of types of disparate contracts. In the past, SFAS 80 narrowed its focus on selected contracts. Now SFAS 80 has been deep-sixed, and the current FASB and IASC standards have a wide-angled derivatives lens that is difficult to focus. Many things pointed at remain fuzzy no matter how hard we look at a contract.

 

I think that for some types of derivatives, the "contracts" are relatively standard and do not need to be set out for students in great detail. For example, futures contracts and options contracts are traded on major exchanges that deal only in standardized contractual terms. The main difficulty in those instances lies in understanding those terms when you are not used to the tools and languages of street traders. This is the main reason I wrote the "street-smart" illustration cases that you find at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/caseans/000index.htm . You will find that these illustrations, especially the CapIT case are based upon CBOT illustrations designed to help investors be more street smart.

 

Another place to look for help are the tutorials that illustrate the tools, languages, and standardized contracts of trading markets. My best illustration here is the wonderful set of tutorials provided free online by the CBOE at http://www.cboe.com/education/ 

 

You may find some help in the DIG issues, but the DIG often deals with complicated issues that students need not tackle until they grasp the basics. If you are interested in DIG issues, see the items in red boxes at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/acct5341/speakers/133glosf.htm 

 

I really agree with you with respect to custom contracts such as swap contracts and the thousands of specialty contracts (crude oil knocks, etc.) I also agree with you on complex contracts such as circuses. It would be a great service if the executive research staffs of major CPA firms would share contracts with us, both simple contracts and complex contracts. I am certain that it would be easy enough to disguise client names. I think some firms have helped us considerably with their "Guides" on SFAS 133. For references, see http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/000overview/mp3/133summ.htm.  However, those "Guides" sometimes assume that readers are familiar with the contracts being illustrated.

 

Perhaps the best way for many higher education programs to teach students about SFAS 133 and IAS 39 is to team teach these topics with faculty in finance (if they are experts in derivatives trading and hedging) teamed with financial accounting faculty (if they are familiar with the relevant standards such as SFAS 52, SFAS 107, SFAS 115, SFAS 130, SFAS 133, and IAS 39).  If you really want to get into the technicalities of derivative instruments, I recommend the following (the excerpt is from the Barnes & Noble web site):  (for example, there is a nice section on pricing of swaps)

Derivative Securities, with Disk (Second Edition ) Robert A. Jarrow and Stuart Turnbull

www.bn.com Price: $85.75 In-Stock: Ships within 24 hours. Order this item no later than Dec. 17 using standard shipping to make sure it arrives by Dec. 24th Format: Hardcover, 1st ed., 686pp. ISBN: 0538862718 Publisher: South-Western Publishing Company Pub. Date: December 1995 Edition Desc: BK&DISK

But SFAS 133 can even confuse the pros in finance and economics. I am currently working on two joint projects with a finance professor. One of these is forthcoming in Derivatives Review. It explains the behind-the-scenes aspects of Example 2 of SFAS 133. The second project was inspired by my confusion with Example 5 of SFAS 133. When I derived the yield curves for that illustration, the economics of the illustration just made no sense to me. I have convinced my colleague (an investments professor) that Example 5 probably will never make any sense to finance experts. He is now working on the details of "whys" with me. His conclusion is that Example 5 could only arise in very inefficient and unrealistic markets.

 

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

-----Original Message----- 
From: XXXXXX Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 1999 12:36 PM 
To: Jensen, Robert Subject: Suggestion for FASB 133 instructional materials

Hi Bob,

Thanks for permission to use your FASB 133 stuff for CPE presentations and other instruction. I will, of course, acknowledge with gratitude the source for anything I use.

I do have one suggestion. It seems to me that the main problem for many (perhaps most) practitioners and professors and virtually all students in coming to grips with FASB 133 will lie in (a) knowing a derivative when they see one (b) correctly classifying it as a hedge or non-hedge and, if a hedge, into one of the three hedge categories. I noted that the FASB recommended that its group-study course not be taught by anyone who did not have significant hands-on experience with derivatives. It seems to me that a library of sample derivative instruments, redacted to protect both the innocent and the guilty, could be a useful instructional tool. It could be done in lots of ways. Examples: sample instruments of each type could be linked to the definitions of each hedge category; critical terms or concepts in the instruments could be linked to explanatory material; assignment modules could be constructed around correctly classifying various instruments.

Someone like me would find it very difficult to construct such a learning resource because: (a) I have no practical knowledge of derivatives, having never actually read a derivative contract, and (b) I would be starting from zero in trying to amass a library of such instruments--not a single contact in the world of investment banking. Clearly, though, such a resource would be a grand way to leverage the time and knowledge of the right person for the benefit of the accounting profession, the academy, reporting entities, and the public at large.

Again, thanks for the help. It's really nice to see a person with your high-flying record in academic research with his feet so firmly grounded in the day-to-day, practical problems of accounting, business, and teaching

Sincerely,

Professor XXXXX

Reply for the former Chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board

Bob,

I don't know if it will make you or Professor X feel any better, but I've decided not to try teaching FAS 133 in detail to my graduate accounting students. Many of them do take a finance department class on derivatives that deals with the financial risk mitigating issues but doesn't get into the accounting as I understand it. Interestingly, a few of the MAcc students taking that class have come to me to seek help with papers they have to write for the class - they want to focus on accounting issues even though the class doesn't!

In my Accounting Policy graduate level class I spend one or two sessions having the students read some generalized materials about derivatives, including some of the current articles about how companies are using derivatives, the companies that have had major "busts", etc. I ask the students to define derivatives as a starting point (most can't) and then we talk about the business reasons why companies should or shouldn't use derivatives. We then talk in broad terms about the key conclusions in 133 and what the FASB hoped to accomplish (including some of the political pressures from the banking community and others).

Similar to some of the recent exchanges about using technology in accounting education, I try to help the students learn about this complicated topic without falling into the bottomless pit of the details of 133 and the DIG interpretations. I emphasize "try" as I don't have any current way of evaluating whether this method is better than a much more detailed approach. By the way, I haven't done any review of the intermediate accounting texts but are they adding this as a topic? If so they will have to send students to body building classes before they buy the book.

A couple of related comments. I wrote an article about accounting standards becoming overly complicated that was published in the March issue of the Journal of Accountancy. I got more favorable reactions to that one article than the total number of comments I've received in my life on the 75 or so other articles I've published. In the J of A article I noted that 133 is nearly 250 pages long and many sentences need a flowchart to be understandable. What I didn't say in the article is that 133 is pretty close to the same length as ARB 43-51, which was the grand total of codified GAAP when I was an accounting student.

I know this is a much more complicated world that we live in, but I feel that professional leaders have a responsibility to try to make things easier to use and understand. At a conference last summer, one of the speakers pointed out that autos are much more complicated than they were when you and I were first learning to drive. But they are also much easier to use, with no popping of the clutch to get the car started, very infrequent flats, etc. I think that accounting policy makers should assume similar responsibility to make the final product more user friendly.

One final point that also runs to Professor X's comments. Several months ago the Georgia Society of CPAs contacted me and asked me to present a seminar on derivatives using the FASB's materials. Now I spent about five years at the FASB learning about how derivatives work including educational sessions from many world class companies. And I led most of the accounting deliberations that led to 133 a year after I left the FASB. But I turned down the invitation to teach because I didn't feel competent to cover the subject in as much detail as the seminar called for. (Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I could have done it but it wasn't worth the amount of time I would have to spend to adequately prepare myself.) Even more important, it turned out that the seminar was for accounting employees of Coca Cola, which is headquartered in Atlanta. I told the Georgia Society person that there probably were a dozen or more people at Coca Cola who were far more competent to teach this material because of their hands on experience as compared to my relatively hands off education.

Denny Beresford, University of Georgia

Response from Ed Swanson at Texas A&M University

Bob and Denny

As a supplement to your e-mails, Wiley has a chapter on SFAS 133 on its website that will be used in the next edition of Kieso and Weygandt, Intermediate Accounting. I am using it in teaching accounting theory and supplementing it with additional examples. However, I also spend four classes on the major types of derivatives before beginning the topic of how to account for derivatives. I spend eight classes on this general topic. Even spending this much time, I skip most of the complexities of the pronouncement.

Ed Swanson


 

On Tue, 16 Nov 1999, Frimette Kass wrote:


One of my accounting students told me that you can  download from Sun's website, for free, a competing product to MS Office that's  really good. Has anyone seen this yet?

Yes, it is called StarOffice. It was produced by a German company that was recently acquired by Sun. We have had it in our lab for a while now. It accepts word documents, and after edits it can save them as .doc files that you can load on MS Word. However, if you are producing a document for the first time, in StarOffice you can not save them as .doc (probably some patent/copyright problems).

StarOffice can be downloaded at www.sun.com. I think you can also buy a CD for probably the cost of media and postage.

StarOffice is also available on unix platforms, and in fact in December I am loading it on all our unix servers/workstations. Friends of Bill in our university academic computing refused to load it on unix (do I wonder why?), and so I am loading it on my own and serving it in our lab. We were tired of our meager funds being spent on Bill's charitable givings.

Jagdish S. Gangolly, Associate Professor (j.gangolly@albany.edu) State University of New York at Albany, Albany, NY 12222. Phone: (518) 442-4949 Fax: (707) 897-0601 URL: http://www.albany.edu/acc/gangolly 


 

Jagdish clued us in on the new eService Quarterly journal from Indiana University http://www.spea.indiana.edu/esq/ 

The e-Service Quarterly is a multi-disciplinary journal aimed at publishing high-quality, original, innovative, peer-reviewed research about the design, delivery and impact of electronic services rendered using a variety of computing and communication technologies.  The journal combines both private sector and public sector perspectives regarding electronic services and thus bridges e-Business and e-Government.


 

From Jim Borden on Cable Modems:

After hearing about Barry Rice's use of a cable modem from home to access the Internet ( a couple of years ago), I kept waiting for my local cable company to offer the same service. Despite their promises, it still hasn't happened. Right now the cable company offers a hybrid service where you still have to dial-up to get on to the Internet, but when you download, it is done through your cable line. Uploads however, are at the speed of your regular modem.

Then, I started reading about the ADSL service being offered by Bell Atlantic in my neighborhood, and I decided to give it a try. It has been wonderful! The service is always "on", thus I have instant access to the Web and email. It does not tie up a regular phone line, so there was no need to add a second phone line. I can be on the phone and on the web at the same time. The speed is excellent, I see little difference between my T1 speeds at the office and my ADSL speeds from home. Bell Atlantic offers different levels of service (speed) for different prices. I chose the least expensive, $40 per month for a download speed of 640K. (They do offer speeds up to 8 meg for a higher cost). This cost is in addition to my ISP charges. Bell was offering a special deal on the modem and the installation if you chose them as your ISP, so I did, which is another $20 per month. Thus, the total cost is $60 per month, which is a little more expensive than the cable modems, at least from what I have heard. I have had no problems in the six months that I have had this service - no down time whatsoever. Highly recommended!

I'd be interested to find out if anyone else is using such a service, and in particular, if anyone has tried both cable and ADSL and which they preferred.

Jim Borden

james.borden@villanova.edu www.homepage.villanova.edu/james.borden 


 

What happens if you "sell" your course materials to an online university while you are on the faculty in the Harvard Law School?  I suspect that this would not have been an issue in 1970 if Harvard's Professor Miller had made videotapes for a Concord correspondence course.  I think this would not be a big issue in 1999 if the videotapes were merely video supplements for chapters in a textbook authored by Professor Miller, although the line gets fuzzier with respect to what is a textbook with supplements versus what is a "complete course."  If the materials begin to look like a complete course that merely needs another instructor to conduct examinations, assign grades, and answer questions from students, there is a world of difference between 1970 and 1999.  In 1970, Harvard University would not even contemplate starting up a correspondence school  In 1999, however, Harvard University is well underway in developing web-based distance education programs through Pensare Corporation as described at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99.htm#Prestige.

 

Virtually all major universities will offer distance education over the web in the 21st Century.  This is going to lead to increasing conflicts between universities and employees regarding "who owns what" and "what is allowed" with respect to selling of intellectual properties.  The issues have many complex dimensions.  Faculty tend to think that they have all rights to intellectual properties that they produce except when terms to the contrary are explicitly written into employment and research funding contracts.  Most certainly there is an established and unwritten tradition that faculty may sell rights to their textbooks and textbook supplements.  But it is also true that prestigious employers make it easier for faculty to make better outside deals than would otherwise be the case.  Professors at the Harvard Law School will become very wealthy even if they teach for free, because merely being a professor at such a prestigious institution is a ticket for lucrative consulting and deals from publishing companies.  Professor Harvard, Professor Princeton, Professor Stanford, etc. have all sorts of opportunities that would not be nearly as lucrative if they were not affiliated with prestigious institutions.  In fact, merely being on the faculty of such institutions for a short period of time adds value to a resume.  

 

In the past, universities made a hard distinction between an on-campus "course" and the instructor's "course materials."  The web is turning established traditions upside down.  The most prestigious learning institutions on earth are in the process of porting those on-campus courses to the world via the web.  Selling intellectual property rights to web competitors adds new employer/employee conflicts that just did not arise in the simple times before the world wide web was invented by Tim Berners-Lee and his physicist colleagues in 1990.  The issues are relatively easy to resolve with new hires if employment contracts explicitly take intellectual property rights into account.  The transitory problem revolves around us old duffers who were tenured with vague or non-existent contract terms regarding intellectual property rights.  Unfortunately, most faculty in most higher education institutions fall into the latter category even if they are not yet old duffers.  The issues are very complex, and I worry a great deal about institutions that naively bow to early pressures of faculty to sell the farm so to speak.  Rushed out newly written policies that sell the farm for nothing are short-sighted.  Perhaps Harvard University has taken the more prudent course of action for the long run (I may lose a lot of friends over my position on this.)

 

The excerpts below come from the front page of The Wall Street Journal, November 22, 1999.

Why Harvard Law School Wants To Rein In a Star-Struck Professor 
By AMY DOCKSER MARCUS Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Long before Judge Judy and Judge Joe, there was Arthur Miller and "Miller's Court," a television show that helped explain the law to nonlawyers. Mr. Miller burnished his persona as TV host in an acclaimed public-television series examining the media and society.

In Socratic fashion much imitated by later shows, the Harvard Law professor would posit an issue taken from the daily headlines to a panel of experts, then lead them through questions designed to probe where they stand.

Now Mr. Miller has become embroiled in a case that would be perfect fodder for one of his TV shows. "A Harvard professor wants to give an online course at a smaller school," one can imagine him telling the audience in his Brooklyn-tinged baritone. "Who owns his teaching: the professor or the university? Can two institutions offer his lectures at the same time? You decide."

Last summer, Mr. Miller -- one of Harvard's most recognizable names -- signed on with the Concord University School of Law, an online degree-granter set up by Washington Post Co.'s Kaplan Educational Centers, and videotaped 11 lectures for a course on civil procedure. To him, Mr. Miller says, the Web represents what TV did when he started doing "Miller's Court" in 1979 -- the next frontier for teaching law to the masses.

Harvard doesn't see it that way. In a sign of academia's growing unease at the encroachments of the Internet, the university wants to pull the plug on Mr. Miller's Concord affiliation. Harvard says that despite the surface similarities, Internet lectures aren't like an educational-TV program. Concord is a school, with an enrollment of 170 students, who each pay $4,200 a year to attend. Harvard policies bar faculty from teaching for another educational institution during the academic year without getting the dean's permission.

But Mr. Miller argues that he isn't teaching. He never meets, interacts, or exchanges e-mail with any of the Concord students. They are tested and graded by other faculty at the school. When they have questions about the material in the tapes, it is those teachers, not Mr. Miller, who respond to them.

In a six-page letter to Harvard Law School Dean Robert Clark, the professor argued that he hadn't violated the university's conflict-of-interest rules. "I simply do not see any distinction between preparing a few hours of thoughts about civil procedure on videotape for use at another educational institution via frontier technology and the publication, in whatever form, of casebooks, textbooks, hornbooks, student aids, audio tapes, data collections, or other educational material," Mr. Miller wrote.

Beyond the Gates

Mr. Miller says he feels "vilified" and had even questioned whether he wanted to continue teaching at Harvard. And he argues that the implications of his battle over his Concord involvement go far beyond the gates of Harvard Yard.

The university never objected to his high-profile forays into TV, including a stint as legal editor of ABC's "Good Morning America." Indeed, freelancing is a way of life at Harvard, and the university officially permits faculty members to do outside consulting as long as it accounts for no more than 20% of a professor's "total professional effort." Mr. Miller's colleague Alan Dershowitz helped defend O.J. Simpson, and is a regular on "Rivera Live." The head of the Department of Afro-American Studies, Henry Louis Gates Jr., writes for the New Yorker and stars in a PBS series based on an African-American encyclopedia he co-edited.

The 20% rule has sometimes been controversial, in part because deans and faculty often interpret the limitations differently -- and the general conflict rules now are under review by Harvard's provost. The rush to the Internet has complicated matters even more. It can involve a potential audience of millions and at least the promise of a lot of money, all without violating Harvard's policy. A professor's existing course can be downloaded from the Internet and then viewed anytime.

In the case of Mr. Miller, he made all of his videotapes during the summer academic break from Harvard, when he had no teaching responsibilities. Concord students can watch his lectures on the Internet and then participate in online discussion groups with actual Concord teachers. In his letter to the dean, Mr. Miller argued that Internet ventures cannot be considered teaching for another school because "the very fact that these lectures will be videotaped means that I -- in the corporeal sense -- will not be giving them 'at' another educational institution."

'Not a Gray Area'

In Miller vs. Harvard, the experts are divided as to whether he has crossed the line. "This is not a gray area," says Harvard Business School Dean Kim Clark, who gets many requests by faculty eager to cash in on the Internet boom. "If you want to get the content and the impact of Harvard faculty members, you have to do it at Harvard."

"Arthur got jumped on," counters Charles Nesson, a Harvard Law professor who is involved in some Internet ventures but nonetheless says he is ambivalent about the subject. "Arthur loves a show. Harvard's problem is it hasn't offered to produce him. Why are they letting Concord take this gem? If Harvard does nothing, then those with the drive and experience to experiment with new technology will go off and do it somewhere else."

"I see both sides," says Mr. Gates. "The university makes the course possible, but the professor does the course. I've been teaching the same course, with modifications, for 23 years. I've taught at Yale, Cornell and Duke, too, and when I moved to a new university nobody said to me I couldn't take my course with me because the university owned it."

Why is Harvard so irked? "It's the money," says Mr. Dershowitz, who says he turned down an offer by students in his class who claimed they could earn $100 million setting up a Dersh.com site to give legal advice online. "What distinguishes the Internet from everything else is the number of zeroes. The money is so overwhelming that it can skew people's judgment."

"Arthur does this for Concord, and then the Michael Milkens and the Microsofts will come along offering huge amounts of money to Harvard professors," echoes Mr. Nesson. Suddenly, "the cream of Harvard is available online, and it's on sale from Microsoft."


 

From my friends at NewMedia

Bob,

What the heck is going on in this industry? Mergers, sales, acquisitions…how can anyone keep up?

You will with the 1999 NewMedia 500 poster. This is your chance to order online at http://promo.newmedia.com/cgi-bin/flo?x=dgAKAAKugwhBhuX  . The NewMedia 500 poster gives you a comprehensive overview of the industry, its key players, and their alliances. Absolutely no other resource gives you this valuable, in-depth information all in one place.

The NewMedia 500 is where you will turn to find out what the 500 most powerful, innovative, and ground-breaking companies - like Amazon, IBM, Disney, eBay, Yahoo, AOL, Organic, USWeb, Compaq, EA, Sun - are up to.

Aside from the wealth of information the poster offers, it really does look fabulous. It won a multitude of design awards last year and is sure to do the same this year.

Last year's poster sold out so we encourage you to buy today. To order call 1-877-GET-NM500 or order online at http://promo.newmedia.com/cgi-bin/flo?x=dgAKAAKugwhBhuX  .

Richard Landry, CEO NewMedia


 

From the Scout Report:

Dime Novels and Penny Dreadfuls
  http://www-sul.stanford.edu/depts/dp/pennies/home.html
This extraordinary Website is devoted to the Dime Novel and Story Paper Collection at Stanford University Library. The site offers thousands of cataloged graphic images of illustrated covers to issues of the dime novels and story papers that were immensely popular in America from the mid-nineteenth century to its close. The images may be searched or browsed; search options include an exhaustive listing of "salient features," including -- but not limited to -- cover images relating to Napoleon Bonaparte (2), African-Americans (107), Cowboys (118), and College Students (8). Cultural studies scholars can make good use of these search options in examining graphic representations of gender, class, race, work, and manners of the time. The site also includes nine complete texts and catalog information for all of the issues imaged. Images may be viewed in thumbnail or full screen versions.

Democracy in America: Alexis de Tocqueville
  http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/DETOC/ 
This site from the University of Virginia's American Studies Website does much more than provide an online edition of Alexis de Tocqueville's _Democracy in America_. It offers contextual history not only for Tocqueville's famous trip but for the American Republic about which he made his trenchant, albeit biased, observations. The site features a virtual tour following Tocqueville's route in 1831 that includes his itinerary, a map of his route, and a travel narrative studded with piquant quotations from Tocqueville's letters and writings. Separate sections summarize and comment upon Tocqueville's encounters with Native Americans, slavery, religion, and the life of women in the early Republic (see the February 14, 1997 _Scout Report_ for a review of this last section). Other sections discuss European Perspectives on Democracy, Tocqueville's Informants, Inland Navigation, Southwest Humorists, European Travellers in America in the same decade, and more. A key word/phrase search engine allows users to quickly locate on-site materials on particular subjects
.

History of American Education Web Project http://www.nd.edu/~rbarger/www7/index.html 
Maintained by Professor Robert N. Barger at Notre Dame, this site offers an online history of American education from the Puritans to the present. Separate sections focus on European Influences on American Educational History, the Colonial Period of American Education, the Early National Period of American Education (ca. 1776-1840), the Common School Period of American Education (ca. 1840-1880), the Progressive Period of American Education, and the Modern Period of American Education (ca. 1920-present). Each section offers brief scholarly essays on relevant topics as well as images and texts from the period discussed.

"Global Environmental Protection in the 21st Century" http://www.foreignpolicy-infocus.org/papers/environment/index.html


 

From the Scout Report (another search engine)

Sookoo! http://www.sookoo.com/ 
Sookoo (Strategy Organized Online [with] Key Ordered Optimization) is a search engine dedicated to making it "easier to find high-quality business strategy information on the web." According the Sookoo's developers, Alan Wickham and Danny Capparelli, because the search mechanism is already focused on business management information, the hits tend to be much more germane than those from larger, all-purpose search engines. Although search terms seem to be limited, the browseable directory of popular searches renders a decent number of annotated sites.


 

Social and Economic Implications of Information Technologies: A Bibliographic Database Pilot Project http://srsweb.nsf.gov/it_site/index.htm 

IT Road Maps provide searchable listings of research publications, data sets, and Web sites that can help us understand the social and economic implications of information, computation, and communication technologies.


 

Hi David,

You will find links to some of the leading SAP/ERP higher education programs at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/245glosap.htm 

 

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

-----Original Message----- From: David Pugsley [mailto:dpugsley@JULIET.STFX.CA] Sent: Thursday, November 18, 1999 8:28 AM To: AECM@VAX.LOYOLA.EDU Subject: SAP in Accounting

We are a new SAP alliance program member and are currently looking at the integration of SAP into the introductory financial accounting curriculum (undergrad.). Has anyone done this? What resources are available or have already been developed? The students currently do Simply Accounting exercises so this will be a big step.

Any advice would be appreciated.

David Pugsley St. Francis Xavier University Antigonish, NS Canada mailto:dpugsley@stfx.ca


 

Cost of a Bad Hire Calculator: http://www.advantagehiring.com/calculators/fs_hfcalcs.htm 

 

Cost of Employee Turnover Calculator: http://www.advantagehiring.com/calculators/calc_turnover.shtml 

 


 

CharityWave.com --- http://www.charitywave.com/ 

 


 

WebSwap --- http://www.webswap.com/ 

 

Hagglezone --- http://www.hagglezone.com/ 

 


 

Wireless update --- After years of pooh-poohing the handheld market, Dell is on the verge of offering its first palm-sized device -- the BlackBerry.  http://www.pcweek.com/a/pcwt9911163/1018171/ 

 


 

Oldies from the hero of the keyboard for us oldies --- The Hoagy Carmichael Collection http://www.dlib.indiana.edu/collections/hoagy/index.html  

 


 

Edward Hopper Scrapbook (Watercolor Art) --- http://nmaa-ryder.si.edu/collections/exhibits/hopper/ (This is neat!)

This scrapbook, compiled by the staff of the Smithsonian's American Art Museum, offers a glimpse into Hopper's life, his friends, and the paintings that have fascinated art lovers worldwide ever since Hopper first came to prominence during the mid 1920s.


 

Hi Lorenzo,

Be careful about terminology. E-commerce, information technology, and networked databases are not synonyms. E-commerce generally means the financial transactions themselves are networked, usually with some form of accompanying payment such as a credit card.

 

Information technology is a very broad term that covers just about everything implied by the term "information technology." Networked databases are networked databases that may or may not be directly involved in e-Commerce.

 

What you probably are most interested in is financial reporting in real time that overcomes artificial "closing dates" that were, until now, inherent in accrual accounting. Now we may have rolling closings such that financial reporting becomes much more of a time series process than in times past. However, it will be some time before the companies and their constituencies will give up traditional closings and traditional "year-end" statements that are structured much the same as they were in the past. There also is the issue of "continuous auditing" that will not be the same as before. I suggest that you look up these topics in recent Journal of Accountancy issues. These are online at http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/index.htm . In particular, look at the recent articles at http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/nov1999/fleming.html  and http://www.aicpa.org/members/div/infotech/top1098.htm 

 

Probably the best reference for your research at the moment is at http://www.iasc.org.uk/frame/cen3_26.htm  (See my comments above about the importance of that new study.)  

-----Original Message----- 
From: drylite@micanet.it [mailto:drylite@micanet.it
Sent: Friday, November 19, 1999 10:38 AM To: rjensen@trinity.edu 
Subject: e-commerce vs accounting

Kindest Prof. Jensen,

I am writing a research paper about the effects of e-commerce on accounting procedures.

Specifically, I am looking for information on how electronic commerce changes the face of some financial statements (balance sheet, cash flow, journal etc.), where some items (such as "accounts receivable") become obsolete or rare. Also accounting procedures and the reading of financial statements from the external environment (creditors, business partners etc.) are changed.

I have been looking through your fantastic list of links, I haven't found yet something really precise about this matter. Could you indicate me some other sources of information for my purposes ? Also, if you know the names of teachers or CPAs who might be informed on this subject, please let me know. Last but not least, I'd love to have you opinion about this matter. I would really appreciate if you could answer as soon as you can, (my time is running out :)).

Thank you very much.
Lorenzo Campus


 

Accounting Education News --- http://www.accountingeducation.com/news/ 

 


 

AccountingStudents Newsletter: November 22, 1999 http://www.accountingstudents.com 

1. Win Online CPA Exam Review Materials 
2. How Do I Make My Resume Stand Out? 
3. Strapped for Cash? Win $1,000! 
4. Site of the Week: Tutornet 
5. Survey Results: Which Big  5 firm would you prefer to work for? 
6. Who are Internal Auditors? 
7. Ask the Intern Advisor 
8. Win an IBM WorkPad 
9. Tip of the Week: Three Easy Ways to Expand Your Vocabulary


 

The AccountingWEB Friday Wrap-Up Newswire - Issue 18 November 19, 1999 http://www.accountingweb.com 

1. Venture Capital Funding Hits The Accounting Sector 
2. Turning Gender Differences Into Business Opportunities 
3. Arthur Andersen To Attempt Profit-Sharing Mechanism 
4. Emotional Intelligence In the Workplace 
5. Free Tax Return Preparation Hits The Marketplace 
6. Taking Time To Teach Training Tips 
7. Helping Clients Understand What You Are REALLY Worth! 
8. Sales Tips For CPAs 
9. Uncle Sam to Help With "Fast Cash" Tax Refund Loans 
10. Internet Tip: Discover Online Maps If You Haven't Already


 

The November 19th Internet Essentials '99 Newsletter  http://www.tiac.net/users/nhannon/news.html 

1. WEB SITE OFFERS FREE TAX PREPARATION! 
2. Success Creating a Real Post Card! 
3. Headlines from Comdex, THE computer show of the year 
4. Company Expanding? Use a Construction Site Portal 
5. Tis the Season --- To Receive Free offers on the Web 
6. Free Comprehensive Office 2000 Reference Tool 
7. IBM plans Web design centers, to Partner in Niches 
8. Heading to an Outlet Mall? Shop Here First.


 

The most frequent refrain that I hear from my wife is: "Did you hear what I just said?" I am sorry to say that I often must ask Erika to repeat both that question and her comments preceding the question. In fact, my penchant for listening without hearing has become somewhat of a joke between us. She has threatened to learn about computers just to communicate with me. Her problem is that she is just too busy to learn about computers. When she does find the time, however, I'm in for big trouble. Seriously, however, when I am in the midst of concentrating on one thing, I have a bit of the same problem with student communications on other issues.

 

I agree with Peter and Ron (see the messages below) to a point. However, the Sloan Foundation Experiments suggest that faculty/student and student/student communications increase with asynchronous courses. Students who rarely take the trouble to visit faculty during office hours will send email and chat room communications. Students have a penchant for catching us in our offices at a bad time, and they become embarrassed that it is a bad time. The trouble is that, being so busy, there is rarely a really good time for us to really communicate face-to-face. Sometimes students have to wait outside our offices, and being human, they conclude that they have better things to do with their time --- such as seeking out a teaching assistant or another student in the class. I sometimes think my "former" students know be better, via email, after graduation than while they were my students. Perhaps it is because they learn to appreciate my work more after they have graduated. But I am certain there is more to it than that.

 

I taught in five universities over the years and encountered a few, surprisingly few, professors who have great face-to-face encounters with students outside the classroom. There are many (like me) who seem to do better with electronic communications. Years ago, I encountered an assistant professor from a prestigious university who reported that the only way for faculty or students to really make contact (before email was invented) with one of the superstars on the faculty was through written memos even though that superstar was located two doors down the hall.

 

For more on the relation between communications and pedagogy, see http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen/slide01.htm . For more on student evaluations, see the course evaluations at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm#Illinois . What seems to be more of a problem with asynchronous courses seems to be faculty burn out that, in large measure, is caused by increased communications with students. Asynchronous courses are also more demanding on materials development. Much of what we expound in lectures comes from long-term memory that is triggered by something (patterns of association) in the midst of class. Beforehand, the same thoughts may not have surfaced in our offices that surface in the middle of a class. This makes it almost impossible to write down complete lectures for asynchronous courses having no lectures.  Barry Rice reports that he records his prior lectures in order to be reminded of what materials to write down for asynchronous learning.

 

Electronic communications, of course, are not as satisfactory in many respects as face-to-face encounters. However, I would argue that electronic communications are sometimes "closer." For example, there are times when I feel a bit intimidated myself in the presence of some people that I communicate freely with by email. There are people that I hate to interrupt with a telephone call, but I am rarely embarrassed to send them email messages. After a face-to-face or telephone visit, there are almost always things that I belatedly think that I should have said or not said. This seems to be less of a problem with email, and when it happens I just send out correction/addendum messages.

 

My point here is to avoid associating "closeness" with "face-to-face." We can be virtual strangers face-to-face and close friends over a network. We may repeat daily greetings with colleagues in the hallways who we rarely communicate with in depth. I am less close with colleagues that I "see" in our hallways than with many of you with whom I correspond regularly. There have been some studies (one was reported in Playboy) showing that husbands and wives that see each other every day have a surprisingly small amount of genuine communication except at certain peak moments such as when they are in a car together on a long trip or awaiting a meal by candlelight in a slow-service restaurant. Would some of us learn more about our spouses and kids if we communicated anonymously or openly with them via email and chat rooms? Will our kids open up more to anonymous strangers on the web than they will face-to-face with us.

 

But then maybe I am just "listening" to Peter and Ron without "hearing."

 

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

-----Original Message----- 
From: Ron [mailto:rrtidd@MTU.EDU] 
ent: Friday, November 19, 1999 6:55 AM 
To: AECM@VAX.LOYOLA.EDU 
Subject: Re: Distance Learning with traditional undergraduate students

Peter made one comment that I suspect reflects the sentiments of many 20th century educators- any technology that detracts from our ability to physically connect with our students is going to diminish our career satisfaction. While I share this sentiment whole heartedly, I believe that we confront two inescapable realities in 21st century education.

First, distributed education (whether distance or proximity) is going to become a more prominent feature of the academic landscape. Second, students are going to become increasingly comfortable with online social interaction and communities.

Given those two "assumptions," most (if not all) educators must learn how to develop an appropriate classroom community in cyberspace. To me, that means having a community that fulfills all participants' needs to connect, while achieving academic objectives. A difficult challenge when the participants come from two generations that define connecting and community in such different ways.

I have not had a chance to read it, yet, but some might find "Building Learning Communities in Cyberspace," (Palloff and Pratt) to be informative.

Ron Tidd

Original message from Peter Kenyon

My own experience is with a three-semester experiment of a non-majors "survey" course. We met as a class once at the beginning of the semester and once again at the final exam. Without presuming that my experience can be generalized to others, I've made the following observations.

It was MUCH more work to prepare and execute the course than I ever expected. I covered a little less material than in the traditional course. Assessment was very difficult. Student reaction was strong and about equally divided between those who loved it and those who hated it. DL seems better suited to mature learners with well-developed learning skills.

In the end, I concluded their was little for me to like about this mode of instruction. It takes away the part of my job I like best (classroom interaction) and substituted mass quantities of gizmo tweaking (GT). Improved tools will reduce the need for GT, but I don't see how we maintain interesting human interaction. I use gizmos to support traditional instruction, but I have no desire to give up the classroom.

As Barry Rice says, the traditional classroom MAY be a dinosaur in need of extinction. But when it does, I'll find other work to do because there's little joy for me as a cyber-prof.

Peter Kenyon [pbk1@AXE.HUMBOLDT.EDU ]


 

From Richard Haar:

A lawyer and a farmer were walking in a field. The farmer had on high boots and the lawyer had on a pair of $500 shoes. Before too long, the lawyer steps into a cowpile with both feet. He exclaims," What is this??????!!!!!!!" The farmer replies," I don't know, but it looks like you are melting."

 


 

I received the following data from a distant relative.  The sources for these findings were not disclosed in the message.

THE BEST CONGRESS MONEY CAN BUY....

Based on records prior to summer break,

029 members of Congress have been accused of spousal abuse. 
007 have been arrested for fraud 
019 have been accused of writing bad checks. 
117 have bankrupted at least two businesses. 
003 have been arrested for assault. 
071 have credit reports so bad they can't qualify for credit card. 
014 have been arrested on drug related charges. 8 have been arrested for shoplifting. 
021 are current defendants in lawsuits.

In 1998 alone 84 were stopped for drunk driving, but released after they claimed Congressional immunity.


 

Bob-

Enjoyed the latest version of your New Bookmarks. You closed with a list of accusations against members of Congress, which got me curious enough to try to track it down. The summary you gave seems to come from a news release from the Libertarian Party (available online at http://www.lp.org/rel/990902-Congress.html . Their news release in turn cited the online publication Capitol Hill Blue as its source. Sure enough, Capitol Hill Blue has a five-part series on the topic ("America's Criminal Class: The Congress of the United States"). The figures in the news release come from the first installment, which mostly focuses on Rep. Corinne Brown of Florida. It's online at http://www.capitolhillblue.com/Aug1999/081699/criminalclass1-081699.htm ; there are links from that page to the four subsequent articles.

The articles are written by Capitol Hill Blue's publisher, Doug Thompson. Sources for the specific claims about how many members of Congress have been arrested, have bad credit, etc. are not given. I'm not sure how to assess the credibility of the publication, which describes itself like this:

Who, or what, is Capitol Hill Blue?

Musings, brain drain and rantings from the demented mind of Doug Thompson, a recovering newspaperman and communications consultant living near Washington. He is helped by a ragtag cast of characters, most ex-newsies themselves, who wander in and out of here like homeless children. Some still work for news organizations and use Blue as an outlet for the stories their outfits don't have the guts to publish.

By the way, the first site I found the Libertarian Party news release on (not the one linked above) billed itself as a First Amendment site. At the bottom of the page were links to "Page 2," "Page 3," etc. I clicked on "Page 2" and immediately a series of windows opened on my screen with hard-core porn images! My monitor is visible from the sidewalk outside Chapman, so I was clicking like crazy trying to shut 'em all down before someone walked by and looked in.

Curtis Brown
Philosophy Department Trinity University 715 Stadium Drive San Antonio TX 78212


And that's the way it was on November 23, 1999 with a little help from my friends.

 

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

 

 

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

 

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November 16, 1999


Hi Germain and Robert,

The problem with these debates is that they boil down to short answers (e.g., bottom line deductions) that can never adequately cover all the many complex issues involved. The issue is not so much that technologies are good or bad investments per se. Success depends upon how they are used --- except in some of the no-brainer applications. Without even conducting formal studies, it is obvious that whenever visualization aids learning, any tools that improve visualization also aid learning. That is a no-brainer deduction! Scientists never question the learning benefits of visualization in their dogged search for better visualization technologies. Are there any topics in the MBA program at Vanderbilt where visualizations improve learning or the pace of learning?

The next big technology area is communication. Students talk to faculty. Students talk to other students. Students talk to employees of business firms, and faculty talk to anyone that will listen. Any technologies that improve communication aid learning as long as they are not used to a fault. For example, note the messages below from Robert and Germain. Think of how much more difficult it would have been in 1970 to share the thoughts of Germain Boer and Robert Holmes. We take such sharing of messages among hundreds or thousands of listserv/forum subscribers as routine in 1999.

The problem with formal learning research is that, when good students know what is expected from them, they will perform about as well under any pedagogy --- including not even having a teacher if their learning goals and materials are provided. This often leads to the classical "no significant difference" conclusions that give some faculty and administrators excuses to not even learn how to use or invest in newer education and knowledge-based technologies.

In response to Robert's tongue-in-cheek response, I would add that Plato lived in the world of deductive logic in a very small knowledge base that could almost be memorized by a single human being. Our students live in a much more complex world that often defies logic and the ability to fathom even a small fraction of what is known. Our knowledge bases today are enormous and are growing exponentially. Tiny subsets of most any discipline have knowledge bases that a single mind cannot fathom. Scholarship today is much more related to our skills in developing and using knowledge bases than it is the puny knowledge bases that we put to memory.

Scholarship today relies on the skills of using knowledge bases and on implementing the findings in practice and/or further research that adds to those knowledge bases. Technology adds enormous benefits to efficient and effective use of knowledge bases. The primary benefits lie in visualization and communication, but there are many other benefits.

And in a simple, bottom-line answer, I will say to Germain that his good MBA students may learn as well with or without technology as long as he is very specific as to what they must learn and he provides them with materials to meet those goals. But he will also find, as has been learned in many military learning experiments, that technologies improve the pace of learning such that students have more time to learn more things. I would never attempt the breadth of coverage in my courses today without the aid of the computers, networks, electronic communications, and digitized knowledge bases. Without these technologies, my students would still get the same grades. They would simply have to learn fewer things to earn those grades.

And my final conclusion for Germain is that his MBA graduates are entering a business and personal world filled with technologies. By failing to invest in technologies as part of their curriculum, he will short change those students. Can you imagine what a handicap it would be for a graduate to enter the business world with the knowledge of spreadsheet, relational database, and other information technology concepts and software? I contend that in the area of IT, you cannot understand must concepts until you learn some of the software. We used to stress how important it is to make students learn how to use the library. Now the Internet has become the world's largest, albeit not the only, library.

We have had a lot of failures in pioneering applications of technologies in training and education. For example, I view adding hours of PowerPoint presentations to lectures as a disaster. But the problem lies not in newer technologies. The problem lies in how we use those technologies. For example, a severe problem may lie in the lecture pedagogy rather than the technologies that aid the lecture.

But every now and then I do envy technology luddites. Think of the time I waste on mundane problems (Windows crashes, searches for lost files, learning to use software, sorting hundreds of email messages, etc.) that my old roommate in Manchester, New Hampshire never contends with while he fills his days experiencing the joys of music and art collected in his own home. But I prefer not to change places with him, because I rely upon learning from my friends like Robert and Germain and the rest of you who fill my days with new ideas and correct my idiotic mistakes. I prefer to reach out for learning that I have not yet collected in my own home.

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

-----Original Message----- From: Robert C. Holmes [mailto:rcholmes@GLENDALE.CC.CA.US] Sent: Friday, November 12, 1999 6:45 PM To: AECM@VAX.LOYOLA.EDU Subject: Re: Technology and Faculty

Never ever think of giving more value to your customer. They probably won't appreciate it anyway. The great teachers of the past like Plato just sat on a park bench and chatted with their students. Why don't you sell your buildings and go back to basics? Too bad Gutenberg happened and now we have to buy books, in prior times they all went to the library and read the handwritten books.

Germain Boer wrote:

I am having a friendly debate with some of my colleagues on a committee that is looking at the use of technology in MBA education. I argue that the only way we can justify spending scarce resources on technology is if it replaces > what faculty now do or if it allows the Dean to generate more revenue with the same faculty. Any expenditure on technology that does not serve one of these two purposes is not worth doing. > > 

What do you folks think? Also, does anyone know of any school that has actually replaced faculty by using technology? 
Germain Boer  Phone: 615-322-2059 Fax: 615-343-7177


Both my private and the aecm listserv replies to the above messages were too numerous and, in some cases, too lengthy to repeat in full here.  I have take the liberty to include only a few of the replies, and in some instances only portions of the replies are reproduced below.

Reply from Mike Haselkorn:

If revenue loss is avoided this strikes me as the same as generating new revenue. If every kid on the block is bragging about his technology, you may have to compete to maintain the student body you want. And maybe faculty too. Here in Boston we have many fine hospitals, all of which offer all the latest techniques and equipment. I have heard a suggestion that the consumer might be better off if there was some specialization and less redundancy. But which hospital will be the first to admit it can't do it all? So I think we're stuck with being technology driven until some new competitive-advantage item comes along.

How can faculty suffer because of the new technology? In theory it enhances our teaching and research, and we control its use. Replace us with HAL? Never.

Mike Haselkorn MHaselkorn@bentley.edu 

Partial replies from David and Jagdish:

> My advice to those contemplating technology would be:  "Identify the problem before you spend money on a solution." (David Fordham)

This is one of the most sensible things I have heard of late on this listserv.

In my opinion, the problems are

1. High cost of basic courses at the undergraduate level. 2. Poor quality of work-life for faculty. 3. Much coursework, specially in accounting, of the "busywork" variety. 4. Little, if any, development of critical thinking skills, in the accounting curriculum. 5. Too much rote-learning of the skull-numbing variety, specially in financial accounting.

Now we can ask what can the technology offer us in solving the above? In my opinion, plenty, but the pencil-pushers would rather "invest" in technology that can be "seen" and "displayed" for the world to see so they can score bragging rights.

I think it is quite appropriate to use technology to move slowly to a mixed-mode or pure distance-mode for basic freshman/sophomore courses specially at the Carnegie I, II, and Doctoral institutions. At these schools, teaching 100 and 200 courses is often the academic equivalent of the latrine-duty. A mixed-mode delivery where doctoral candidates can be deployed for tutorials to augment distance-mode delivery seems appropriate. It may shock many on this listserv to know that this has been the PRIMARY mode of delivery at the exalted institutions in the English-speaking world (I am talking about Oxford and Cambridge), where the distance as measured from the last row to the podium is in dozens of yards.

There is no reason why technology can not be used to enhance the quality of life for the faculty by having the drudgery replaced by technology. I can give many instances I have used in the past in my own case.

I can see teaching of financial accounting revolutionised by appropriate use of technology.

But I never hear an immersion of current curricular content in technology, but just a window-dressing of it.

I do see crusades for "wiring" every classroom, an ethernet port at every student seat -- ideas I have fought tooth-and-nail at Albany whenever I could. Why don't people realise that technological sophistication has to be a "state of mind" rather than a state of classroom furniture. Some of the most brilliant computer scientists I have known continue to this day to use chalkboards and NO technology in the classroom, but technology is something they have sort of been "hardwired" with!

J. S. Gangolly [gangolly@CSC.ALBANY.EDU]

Jagdish added this later:

It is rather presumptuous of any one to ascribe writing to the ancient Greeks (no offense intended, myself being a consummate Hellenophobe, my favourites being Sophocles and Thucydides). Four of the "cradles" of civilization -- Egypt, Mesopotemia, Indus valley, and China all had systems of writing at least as ancient as Greece. In fact, formal exposition of grammatical rules were laid out for Sanskrit way back in the 4 - 6 centuries BC by the author Panini. It may interest the systems folks to know that the current way of specifying grammars formally for computer programming languages, developed by IBMers Backus & Naur, is sometimes called the Panini-Backus-Naur Formalism (most know it as BNF). For details, see http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/history/Mathematicians/Panini.html 

Reply to Jagdish from Joe Brady:

At Universities, we are in the business of education ... Matters of "training" are best left to the accounting firms who have comparative advantage.

When we designed the AIS program at Albany, we had to bear in mind that the program not degenerate into a training program. So we made sure that the students LEARN how to learn and cope with the ever-changing technology.

I would be interested to know how you "make sure" that students learn how to learn. My understand of the critical thinking lit is: it's pretty hard to teach people how to learn to learn. Are there actually reliable methods? Particularly, reliable methods, for the information systems/AIS/MIS areas?

There is an old Chinese saying that says: feed a person fish and he won't go hungry for a day, but teach a person how to fish, and he will never go hungry. Training is feeding a person fish. Education is teaching the person how to fish.

Your two-fold claim must be: (1) If you teach general thinking skills, those skills will transfer to problem solving in AIS/information systems. But (2) If you teach specific hardware and software skills, they will not transfer to problem solving in AIS/information systems. Yes? Is that what you are saying?

I ask the questions with all due respect. My long- time concern is transfer effects in education. Of course, the goal is better problem solving and decision making. My working hypothesis is that transfer effects are weak -- whether the student is "educated" or "trained". I'd like to be proven wrong.

Best, Joe Brady

Reply from Brian:

To Bob, and many others

One aspect of this fascinating and on-going discussion which has not, I think, been mentioned yet is the critical difference between education and training.

I teach at a two year college here in Canada, and I readily acknowledge that our college's main mission falls squarely in the training area - but then how much of any professional-related program does not?

Jagdish Gangolly in his reply mentions that some brilliant computer scientists continue to use chalkboards and NO technology in their classrooms. I do not disagree with this assertion, but suppose that the point must be that these professors (they are professors, right?) are in the education business. It is nowadays inconceivable that training (in an area such as accounting) could take place in such an environment. I obviously see a connection between training and employment.

Part of what I do, even in a two year college does relate to education, and for the most part, that requires little involvement of technology. Having said that, I have just come from a senior course in Management Accounting where we used Excel to do some reasonably complex simulations. Fascinating and useful (i.e. good training) in and of itself, but my point is the unexpected relation we discovered to the ethics question of running a given simulation over and over again until the results appear most supportive of a given point of view. I can think of no way to adequately address this topic without using a computer, given that each “trial” consisted of 500 randomly generated profit scenarios (which are quickly repeated at the tap of a key), and as well the obvious point that this problem could not have existed before we had the technology to force it into being.

A final quick word to Mohammad Abdolmohammadi who expressed concern about the cost of education for his children. We introduced this year at the college a laptop group of (accounting) students who are expected to cover about half of the cost of the laptops. Our experience was the number of applications for that section actually went up. Sorry, Mohammad. Perhaps it is just a statistical outlier.

Brian Zwicker [zwickerb@ADMIN.GMCC.AB.CA]

Reply from Amelia:

I am currently reading "The Impact of Technology on Faculty Development, Life and Work" edited by KH Gillespie (1998 Jossey-Bass). Concerning when technology should be used (or any other TOOL, as David noted), Anita Gandolfo makes an assertion whose simplicity fascinates me:

Technology should be used when it enhances student learning.

On the surface, this seems reasonable, but in my experience, it is almost never the driving force behind technology investment in higher education. A rapidly developed and installed SAP "curriculum" at my prior institution comes to mind as an example, and a huge ad hoc investment in hardware (driven by a donor) at a previous school is another example. No doubt, y'all have numerous examples of your own.

If some institutions want to use technology to replace faculty, then so be it. But first, let them show how it enhances student learning. In a few cases, it may very well enhance student learning, perhaps, but how would they know one way or another? Too often, technology is used for its own sake. I think we make this mistake with technology tools much more often than we do with other developments that impact our teaching.

The crux of the matter is:

(1) Do students learn better?

If so, even in courses whose content has little to do with technology, use of appropriate tools is warranted.

(2) Are students better prepared for whatever it is we are supposed to be preparing them for?

This question seems particularly relevant to courses that are, at least on the surface, "about" technology.

Of course, these questions are not unique to the introduction of technology but are also relevant to just about any change in instruction, not just technology, but also delivery modes, etc.

Clearly more of us (administrators _especially_ included) should be focused on identifying what enhances student learning.

:o)

Amelia A. Baldwin, Ph.D. Arthur Andersen Faculty Fellow & Associate Professor Culverhouse School of Accountancy, Box 870220 The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Al 35487-0220 Ph: 205-348-6679 Fx: 205-348-8453 Email: abaldwin@cba.ua.edu Web: http://www.webprofessor.org 

Reply from Germain:

Thanks for all the comments on my original post. In a way I was setting you up because I really do believe we can justify our use of technology purely on a cost reduction or revenue enhancement approach. Just pretend, for example, that we can find ways to substitute technology for face to face teaching and student to teacher interaction. Look at the benefits for faculty and those who provide the budgets for us.

1. We could spend less time teaching students and more time working on better ways to present material or on research.

2. With less time devoted to classroom instruction we have more time to do other tasks that add to the value of the institution.

3. We allow students to learn asynchronously and at their own pace.

My view is that we can take parts of many of our courses and substitute technology for teachers. In management accounting, for instance, I think I can prepare a technology based presentation of break-even analysis that is superior to anything I can do in the classroom. By allowing students to learn this topic outside of class and at their own pace, I free up a small part of the course to do other things. As part of this model, I would do no e-mail with the students. The technology would do everything. If I did this for those parts of all my classes where it works, I could perhaps free up enough time to have the equivalent of one course off.

I would still do those parts of the courses in person where technology cannot replace the teacher, but I would substitute the technology for me where it works better. This approach may give us a way to increase the productivity of faculty in the delivery of material to students so we make teaching more efficient and more effective at the same time.

Germain

Germain Boer Phone: 615-322-2059 Fax: 615-343-7177


Thank you John Donahue for this great reference.
Essential Demographics of Today's College Students. by Edmund J. Hansen (hansened@emporia.edu) published in: AAHE-Bulletin, vol. 51, no. 3, November 1998  (statistics, education)  http://www.emporia.edu/tec/t_idea8.htm 

Lately a surprising number of college teachers1 have been busy analyzing or speculating about what makes current students different from those just a few decades ago. Much of this effort seems motivated by the puzzlement and frustration faculty experience in today's college classrooms. With this article, I hope to add to the effort by providing a set of baseline data from scholarly research and government statistics that allows some comparisons across decades. I leave the analyzing largely up to the reader, with the hope that awareness of the scale and types of changes can be a first step toward a better understanding.

Overall student demographics, preparedness, and attitudes toward college have shifted greatly over the last three decades, coupled with an increase in the number of college students. But probably more important are developments in our society that have created vastly different conditions for the maturation and development of today's teens and young adults. Stressful experiences in school and at home, combined with the unparalleled distractions of today's mass media and entertainment industry, create an environment that has altered the rules for academic learning forever. See for yourself!

Increase in Student Numbers
Changes in Student Demographics
Indices of Student Preparedness
Changes in Student Attitude
Family Income & Time
Divorce & Single-Parent Families
Violence & Suicide
Drug Use
Mass Media
Footnotes


XML/RDF Watch --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/xmlrdf.htm 

Those of you following the tremendous impact that XML is having and will soon have upon all networking may be interested in a special insert in the November 15 Edition of The Wall Street Journal called "Technology:  The Providers."  I have not been able to find an online version of this insert.

SIDE BY SIDE

Publicly, few Microsoft officials claim that Windows will dominate the Internet, and instead say they envision a world in which Microsoft operating-system and application software coexists peaceably with that of competitors. "Windows 2000 is our intellectual property, and we will continue to drive forward with that," says Bill Anderson, head of Web application services for Microsoft, based in Redmond, Washington. But, he adds, "in a heterogeneous environment down the road, it will become increasingly difficult to interject proprietary standards in a Web-based world."

So, for instance, Microsoft has embraced an industry-wide standard for distributing data known as XML, for Extensible Markup Language. XML seems likely to become the common language of electronic commerce, making it possible for businesses to exchange in a universal format purchase orders, product descriptions and other minutiae important to e-commerce.

Microsoft has driven aggressive efforts to standardize the use of XML across the industry, even establishing a clearinghouse of XML data types called biztalk.org. Some critics have been surprised at the company's embrace of the standard; many expected Microsoft to attempt to subvert it by adding proprietary extensions that would work only on computers that run Windows.

But so far, the company's approach to XML differs substantially from its defensive reaction a few years ago to Sun's Java technology, an earlier attempt to break Microsoft's lock-in by making it possible to transfer software programs across incompatible computers without modifying them. E-mail disclosed as a result of Microsoft's numerous legal tussles has shown that officials from Bill Gates on down feared Java's threat to Windows; as one Microsoft foe put it, company officials set out a strategy to "embrace, extend and extinguish" Java by building in extensions that would tie it closely to Windows. Microsoft eventually had to abandon that strategy when Sun sued and obtained a ruling that forced Microsoft to hew to Sun's Java standards; the matter remains before the courts.

This time, Mr. Anderson insists that Microsoft will adhere to industry-wide XML standards. "It benefits us to be a good player in XML space," he says. Most Microsoft-inspired extensions to the XML standard, he says, will be accepted industry-wide; any exceptions will be "one-off" solutions tailored to solve particular problems. "We're saying we're going to take that framework, build on it and extend it, and make sure it's robust for the Windows 2000 platform," Mr. Anderson says.

Microsoft, however, envisions XML as much more than a simple data-description language; instead, it considers the standard a way of letting programs communicate with each other across networks of otherwise incompatible machines. That job currently required the use of Java or other similar technologies that create a layer of compatible "middleware" that allows programs to communicate. Microsoft competitors such as Sun and IBM consider the company's passion for XML little more than a thinly disguised attack on Java and other middleware technologies.

Indeed, some critics scoff at the notion that Microsoft intends to cooperate with the rest of the industry indefinitely. Fear of the Internet explains "why Microsoft is rushing so quickly to embrace the Web, to extend it in proprietary ways and get people to use those proprietary extensions," says Dan Kusnetzky, an analyst with International Data Corp. "Once you do, you are tied to Microsoft, which is trying to own the Web in a way no other provider is really trying to do."

XML rift may split HR applications standards.  A schism is forming over the way developers use XML schema to integrate human resources software and services --- http://www.pcweek.com/a/pcwt9911152/2393058/ 


From Andy Lymer, University of Birmingham, UK
A report for the IASC entitled 'Business Reporting on the Internet' ( get a free copy of all 120 odd wonderful pages from the IASC website at http://www.iasc.org.uk/frame/cen3_26.htm  )

Status

This is an exploratory staff research project not yet on the Board's agenda. The first phase of the project involved developing and publishing a discussion paper, Business Reporting on the Internet. The discussion paper was published in November 1999 and was authored by: --Prof. Andrew Lymer (University of Birmingham) --Prof. Roger Debreceny (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore) --Prof. Glen Gray (California State University, Northridge). --Prof. Asheq Rahman (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)

IASC Project Manager: Paul Pacter - ppacter@iasc.org.uk Fundamental Issues Facing IASC What are the current technologies available for electronic business reporting? What are companies around the world actually doing? What kind of standards for electronic business reporting are needed now, within the constraint of today's technologies? What are the shortcomings of business reporting on the Internet within current technologies? What technological changes are on the horizon and how can they improve electronic business reporting (particularly the ability to go beyond the Internet as "electronic paper" to facilitate downloading and analysis of financial data)?

Outline of the Discussion Paper

Chapter 1 reviews some of the impetuses behind the proliferation of Web based business reporting. It also provides background information on the increasing types and number of corporate Web sites, and the increasing number of online traders. Chapter 2 explores and summarises the multitude of different electronic reporting technologies that can be used by Web designers. These technologies are not mutually exclusive, which means that a designer can use any mix of these technologies to develop a Web site. Chapter 3 summarises the findings of the existing literature on Web-based financial reporting and adds further findings from a survey of 660 corporations in 22 countries conducted by the authors. The chapter also discusses electronic reporting environments within national disclosure and regulatory regimes such as EDGAR and SEDAR in the USA and Canada, respectively. Chapter 4 examines the information presented in the prior chapters and proposes that the IASC should seriously consider the development of a "code of conduct" that would cover both the form and content aspects of Web-based business reporting. Chapter 5 addresses issues raised by pending and future technologies, which are evolving at a rapid rate. The chapter suggests that to add value to information consumers, it is critical that international standards setters and other organisations respond to these new technologies, which can greatly improve business reporting and subsequent Internet searches. This chapter highlights the significant need for a universal Business Reporting Language (BRL) to facilitate the electronic dissemination and use of business information. The Chapter suggests a consortia approach that will help ensure the development of standards that provide both certainty in reporting and flexibility for future innovations. Chapter 6 synthesises the information provided in the prior chapters to discuss the opportunities, challenges, and implications for the accounting profession and the IASC, its international


The Reciprocal Pairings Conflict:  How can the Big Five international accounting firms ethically have more than ten back-office accounting clients?

"BP Amoco to Outsource Accounting, Back-Office Work to Pricewaterhouse"
By STEVE LIESMAN Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
November 10, 1999 on Page A4.  

BP Amoco PLC, taking a further step in its cost-cutting efforts, said Wednesday that it will transfer much of its U.S. accounting and back-office operations to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in a $1.1 billion, 10-year deal.

The transaction is among the largest of its kind in the fast-growing business-outsourcing industry, in which companies have been unloading functions that once were thought inseparable in a multinational corporation. PricewaterhouseCoopers executives credited technology with enabling such outsourcing, making it possible to conceive of a company that concentrates on areas where it has an advantage and leaves noncore functions to others.

"It's a relatively new and emerging way for large organizations like BP Amoco to focus on what they do best and improve their performance," said Ray Bayley, partner in charge of business-process outsourcing at the accounting firm.

Under the deal, the oil giant's back-office and accounting operations in Tulsa, Okla., Chicago and Houston will be taken over by PricewaterhouseCoopers. About 1,200 employees, mostly in Tulsa, will be transferred from BP Amoco to the accounting firm, but there won't be employee reductions or salary cuts.

PricewaterhouseCoopers will assume the financial-reporting, accounts-payable and accounting responsibilities for BP Amoco's chemical and oil-exploration and production units in the U.S., excluding Alaska. The U.S. refining and marketing operation isn't part of the arrangement. The sides are currently negotiating a deal for the Canadian operations that could be announced early next year. PricewaterhouseCoopers will also take over the acquisition, maintenance and upgrading of technology linked with providing the services.

Mr. Bayley declined to estimate the savings for BP Amoco but said other companies have seen their accounting expenses reduced 10% to 20%. He said companies often turn to outsourcing when they have wrung as much savings out of an operation internally as they can.

PricewaterhouseCoopers will, in turn, try to use the same operations and employees to serve additional clients. For example, as many as 300 of the 1,200 BP Amoco employees are involved in maintaining the accounting technology. They could as easily service several companies as a single company, Mr. Bayley said.

Arthur W. Bowman, editor of the newsletter Bowman's Accounting Report in Atlanta, cautioned that it is too early to know if such deals deliver the promised results. But, he added, "No one has yet been fired from one of these contracts because it didn't pay off." He said an added benefit for the accounting firm is that it will inherit trained employees, the lack of which have been a major barrier to growth. At the same time, accounting employees moving from the oil company to PricewaterhouseCoopers could find greater opportunities to advance because their skills will no longer be peripheral to their company's business.

Notes from Bob Jensen:
I started this section by asking how the Big Five accounting firms can ethically  have more than 10 back-office accounting clients in conjunction with FinTrust (my concocted acronym for a traditional financial audit) and SysTrust (new information system assurance) clients.  For example, in the above illustration where PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is doing the back-office accounting for BP Amoco, there are only four remaining firms in the Big Five who can perform a FinTrust traditional audit and/or a SysTrust assurance service engagement.  Suppose that Ernst & Young (E&Y) performs a FinTrust audit of BP Amoco.  There would seem to be a back-scratching conflict of interest if E&Y should take on the back-office accounting of, say, Shell Oil Corporation that is audited by, for argument sake, PwC.  In that hypothetical scenario, only three of the remaining Big Five firms remain to do the Shell Oil FinTrust audit and/or SysAudit without an apparent conflict of interest.  

Using the familiar n!/[(n-2)!2!] combinatorial formula, we set the total upper limit of Big Five clients to n=10 that can be audited without reciprocal-pair conflicts of interest where Client X has Firm A as an auditor and Firm B doing the back-office accounting when Client Y has Firm B as an auditor and Firm A doing the back-office accounting.  It will be impossible to avoid reciprocal-pair conflicts of interest when the Big Five's eleventh audit client that elects to have a another Big Five firm do its back-office accounting.  Since PwC has latched onto BP Amoco, only nine more corporations worldwide that are audited by a Big Five firm can ethically chose another Big Five firm for a back-office accounting engagement.  After that reciprocal-pair conflicts of interest are inevitable.

If you follow the above chain of logic, I think you see where this is leading even if the arithmetic is in jest.  The bottom line is that with hundreds of clients having both FinTrust traditional audits (or SysTrust assurances) and back-office accounting engagements, the concept of "independence" becomes an outright sham.  With nothing to do after the Microsoft Corporation judgment, Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson and federal prosecutors will be looking for new monopolies to bust up.  Do you suppose they will take after the five leading public accounting firms that divide up thousands of FinTrust, SysTrust, and back-office accounting clients?  The potential reciprocal-pair moral hazards will be immense, and Judge Jackson may once again smell a monopoly/oligopoly that needs busting up.


Reply from John Haden

The more ethical answer to this these types of services is AUDITFORCE. Check them out at http://www.auditforce.com/.  For years, I have felt that the big firms have stepped over and around the very ethical bounds that they impose on the small firms.

John Hayden --- Merrie & John Hayden [m.j.hayden@PRODIGY.NET]


Reply from Roger

Although this recent outsourcing of accounting functions to the Big 5 is large, it is by no means the first. In Double Entries 4/3 on 13 Jan 1998 there was the following report:

[6] E&Y/SHELL JOINT VENTURE TO BE LOCATED IN GLASGOW Reuters reported on 7 January that the E&Y/Shell Joint Venture to provide accounting services to Shell Transport and Trading Co Plc and others will be based in Glasgow. Tasco Europe is likely to create more than 400 jobs in the area within the next three years, said a Shell International statement issued on behalf of Tasco.

Source: Reuters

Although the item reports 400 jobs in Glasgow, I seem to recall that total staff transferred from Shell to the JV was nearly 2000. Does putting the outsourcing into a JV make a difference in conflict of interest issues, I wonder?

Roger Debreceny, PhD, FCPA, CMA Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University, Room S3-B1-B61 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798 rogerd@netbox.com  adebreceny@ntu.edu.sg  ICQ 22958324 Ph: +65 790 6049 Fax: +65 791 3697
http://www.ntu.edu.sg/home/adebreceny 


Reply from Glen

The part I don't exactly understand is will PWC employees be the actual data entry staff? In other words, if I send an invoice to BP Amoco, will a PWC employee, either at BP AMoco or offsite, enter my invoice into the system? Or is BP Amoco just outsourcing the IT function and BP people will still do data entry? When the AP system prints checks, will PWC or BP AMoco people mail the check?

If PWC people are doing *everything* then what about cash management decisions? For example, lets say BP Amoco is having cashflow problems so they tell PWC to slow down paying vendors. Even if an invoice says 2 10 net 30, BP says wait 60 days *and* take the discount. In addition do not pay any late charges. When vendors start complaining (and maybe suiting), will PWC say, "Gee, we were just following orders."

***************************************************************************** 
Glen L. Gray, PhD, CPA * (818) 677-3948 (Voice) Department of Accounting & MIS * (818) 677-4903 (FAX) California State Univ. Northridge * (818) 677-2461 (Department office) 18111 Nordhoff Street * glen.gray@csun.edu Northridge, CA 91330-8372 * http://www.csun.edu/~vcact00f/index.html 
******************************************************************************


The CEO of SAP says that nobody should blame SAP for the costly snafus (such as the loss of millions of dollars in candy shipments from Hershey just prior to Halloween).  I guess we have to blame the back-office accountants (Oh! Oh!).  Read the rest of the SAP excuses story at http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/stories/news/0,4153,1018078,00.html .  

Hasso Plattner, head of SAP, of Walldorf, Germany, said Tuesday at an event here that customers are too reluctant to call in help from SAP when problems with implementations arise. As a result, he said, SAP is often left to fix a major problem that might have been minor had the customer notified SAP earlier.

"The better the relationship [with a customer], the faster we can fix a problem," he said.

SAP has acknowledged recent problems with enterprise resource planning implementations at Whirlpool Corp. and Hershey Foods Corp., but Plattner said these were mainly issues revolving around failed integration of non-SAP systems. He also said SAP has remedied the Whirlpool situation. The main problem, Plattner said, is that in-house IT staff is too insistent upon trying to fix problems without bringing in experts from SAP.

For more on SAP and ERP systems in general, go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/245glosap.htm 


From Barbara:

Congratulations to our (Trinity University) students........

Three computer science majors (Tom Bankston, Dimitri Brown and Ben Truitt) traveled to Claremore, Oklahoma to compete in the 1999 ACM Regional Programming Contest and won First Place in the undergraduate division and Fourth Place in the overall (undergraduate and graduate) competition.
Barbara Latimer [blatimer@Trinity.edu]


For a fee, Net Detective 2000 claims that it can find unlisted phone numbers and other facts that you did not know were available to the public ---  http://www.collector-club.com/DET/members/100242/ 


Food for thought for SysTrust advocates from http://www.antionline.com/cgi-bin/News?type=antionline&date=11-08-1999&story=trust.news 

"Can You Trust Them?"
 Monday, November 8, 1999 at 11:06:49 by John Vranesevich - Founder of AntiOnline

It seems more and more these days, mega-security corporations are turning to what may be called "unconventional" methods of keeping themselves up to date, and coming up with ways to "better protect your network". It may be that the line between network intruder and network defender is becoming thinner and thinner, as each side attempts to make "first contact" with the other. What does this mean to the security of your network?

Let's take Kroll-O'Gara for an example. Recently they acquired the popular "PacketStorm" website. A massive collection of files created by not only security experts, but, in the most part, by hackers. Not just your average coders, but files created by malicious individuals responsible for breaking into dozens of sites.

What interest would Kroll-O'Gara have in running such a massive repository? From their website:

"Kroll-O'Gara ISG offers information security services to businesses and government agencies. Services include Security Assessment, Auditing, Secure Architecture Design, and Incident Response."

Incident Response?

As I mentioned above, Kroll has decided that it's very important to them to maintain what could almost be called a "working relationship" with known groups of malicious hackers. Yet, if you find that your network has been attacked, they also expect you to trust them in tracking down these individuals.

What would happen if they did track down one of the very same malicious hacking groups that they invited to keep repositories on their site, as being the group that broke into yours?

How would it look to their company, to come to you and say "Yes, we know who did it, we've been working with them for several months now, and host their hack group's webpage for free". Do you think they would be willing to admit that to you? Well, maybe they would, and maybe they wouldn't. Personally, if the security of my network were at stake, whether it be a corporate network, or a governmental one, I surely wouldn't chance it.

Another alarming trend in the security industry is the notion that "you need to have been a malicious hacker, to stop a malicious hacker". Many security firms are even finding it "sexy" to hire individuals that have a "good reputation" of being responsible for breaking into dozens of high profile servers, or developing viruses that infected thousands of individual systems.

There seems to be some sort of cyber-puberty-like-process that I don't yet understand, which makes an individual who on Monday broke into 7 military sites and stole the credit card databases of 3 e-commerce sites, totally realize the errors of their ways on Tuesday and go through some sort of instant maturing process that makes them more than qualified to do vulnerability testing with firms like Ernst & Young. "Yes, I used to screw over people much like yourself on a daily basis, but just yesterday, I went through my cyber-puberty-like-process, bought a suit, and am now more than trustworthy to secure your network".

Uh-huh.

But in the security industry, the fun doesn't stop there. There is this interesting process where a group of individuals will create a virus, trojan, or exploit, release it to the internet, and make sure as many people as possible become infected with it or exploited by it. Then, they develop a software package, which for a reasonable price, will protect you from the very same evil little ditty that they created just weeks earlier.

Talk about the cyber-equivalent of the famous "protection money scheme" developed by the friendly neighborhood mobsters. Yet, in the security industry, this is a much accepted practice, and we even praise these people for pointing out "how weak our security was". Should the FBI ever find the urge to, I think they'd have a world of fun bringing racketeering charges against some of our country's most well known computer security firms.

Finally, and my personal favorite, is the famous "It's wrong, but there's nothing we can do about it" that we so often hear from the government.

The FBI is currently backlogged something on the order of what, 800 cases now? So even if you do find yourself falling victim to a computer crime, and the malicious individual responsible faxes you a signed confession admitting to his illegal actions, he's still not likely to ever face any sort of punishment, unless that is, he's cost you over a quarter million in damages. Then maybe there's a little something that the government might just be able to do to speed the processes along a bit for you.


Here is a serious concern for the advocates of the AICPA's WebTrust:

Although TRUSTe has investigated several major violations and hundreds of minor incidents, it has never revoked a Web site's right to display its privacy seal.

Find out more at  http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,32388,00.html   

The AICPA uses Verisign --- see http://www.cpawebtrust.org/shared/details/det_part.html .  Does anybody know  record of Verisign in investigating and revoking privacy seals?  The Verisign web site is at http://www.verisign.com/.


From AntiOnline at http://www.antionline.com/index.html 

Enter your e-mail address and hit "go". One of our systems will scan your computer remotely, then e-mail you with a full security report of your system. We'll tell you of any security problems you have, and how to fix them.


Warning  thought from Hacker News Network at http://www.hackernews.com/arch.html?111199#6 

By viewing this new virus, named Bubbleboy, on the inbox screen of Microsoft's Outlook Express or other web based email clients a user will become infected. It is no longer necessary to open an attachment. Network Associates has posted a new virus definition that stops the virus. (This virus has not yet been reported as infecting anyone, is not destructive, has a patch available and it has been given a low threat rating. But one new feature and it makes all the news sites. Hmmmm, sensational?)


What messages do hackers leave when they break into systems?  This web site is both scary and fun.  Click on a few examples (such as Jack Daniels) at  http://www.hackernews.com/archive/crackarch.html.

Hackers protect each other.  See http://www.freekevin.com/home.html 


CPA Vision 2000 Project --- http://www.cpavision.org/ 

Over two days in January 1998, 57 delegates to the National Future Forum reviewed the database of national top five values, services, competencies and issues as identified in the Future Forums held across the country from September to December 1997. Delegates to the National Future Forum developed initial drafts of the core purpose and vision statement for the CPA profession in 2011.

The Core Purpose and Vision Statement are the heart of the Vision Process being presented to a wide range of audiences, including CPAs attending conferences sponsored by state CPA societies, the AICPA and a number of other organizations.


For archived and current editions of the FEI Express Newsletter from the Financial Executives Institute, go to http://www.fei.org/newsletters/indexnws.htm 


What relatively new public accounting assurance services might have discouraged Sony from breaking its promise?  It is possible that public accountants could have prevented this breaking of a promise if Sony had been a WebTrust client. You can read the following in The Wall Street Journal, November 8, 1999, pg. B1:

InfoBeat, a popular Internet newsletter service owned by Sony Music Entertainment Corp., has been sending the e-mail addresses of its readers to advertisers despite a pledge to keep such data private, a computer-security expert has found.

The newsletter -- which nearly 2.5 million people receive free via e-mail -- asks readers if they want to share their Internet identity with outsiders. But even those who replied "no" had their e-mail addresses disclosed when they clicked on the ad banners of two advertisers, Infobeat concedes.

The addresses were slipped into the Internet code that whisked the readers to the advertisers' Web sites, where the e-mail names could then be collected.

 For a discussion of WebTrust, SysTrust, and other new information system assurance services, go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99.htm#SysTrust 


My links to tools for hackers and crackers in the November 2, 1999 Edition of New Bookmarks led to the following replies about the tools listed at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99.htm#Hack 

Reply from Richard Campbell on November 10:

To check the online security of your Internet connection: http://grc.com/x/ne.dll?rh1ci2l2=g1u31bqj 

See: www.lockdown2000.com for a demo of cracker techniques.

Richard J. Campbell RJ Interactive  mailto:campbell@rj-int.com  
http://www.rj-int.com 

Reply from George Wright

My office desktop machine is running NT 4.0 server 24/7, so I use BlackICE from http://www.networkice.com  to protect from the types of probing this link does. This is the result I get after the test probes:

All attempts to get any information from your computer have FAILED. (This is very uncommon for a Windows networking-based PC.) Relative to vulnerabilities from Windows networking, this computer appears to be VERY SECURE since it is NOT exposing ANY of its internal NetBIOS networking protocol over the Internet.

If you have a cable modem at home, you should consider one of these two intrusion protection products or something similar, especially if you leave the machine on.

I leave my home computer on 24/7 too. Every morning I find a record of an RPC probe, an FTP probe, a Back Orifice ping, or some such. These are typically due to ``script kiddiez,'' folks who download an intrusion script from the net and then scan millions of machines on the net for weaknesses.

Sometimes the intrusion protection product will capture the complete identity of the prober. (The hard core hacker knows how to conceal all but an IP address.) When this happens, I amuse myself by sending a message which includes date, time, DNS, NetBIOS ID, and even MAC ID, asking if your mom/your school knows you are using this computer to pursue mischief on the net. I've even had some anxious replies.

No serious computer hobbyist should be without a product like BlackICE or lockdown2000.
George Wright [geo@LOYOLA.EDU


From online banking to online financial services http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/stories/news/0,4153,2386175,00.html 


From Barry Rice

Remember back in August when Craig Polhemus was telling us about the two ebooks he would have available for examination at the AAA booth in San Diego? I really liked the Rocket eBook but thought I would wait until the price came down to buy one. Having downloaded the PC simulation of the Rocket eBook to try on my computer, I got on the mailing list. Today I got an invitation to fill out an online questionnaire and have an opportunity to buy the device at $179 + $12 shipping instead of at the regular price of $269 + shipping.

I just placed my order and thought that AECM subscribers might like to know where to go for the questionnaire and special offer. It's at http://www.pollweb.com/com/nuvomedia/cs5105.asp .

If you would like to download and try the simulation on your PC, go to http://www.rocket-ebook.com/eRocket/index.html .

E. Barry Rice, Rice@Loyola.edu  S-Mail: Loyola College in Maryland V-Mail: 410-617-2478 4501 North Charles Street  Baltimore, MD USA 21210-2699  http://www.barryrice.com 

Note from Bob Jensen
My guess is the Rocket eBook that you can get for $179 is the basic version that holds approximately 10 books.  If you are interested in my eBook Review and my links to how to upgrade your Rocket eBook's memory to where it will hold approximately 100 books, go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99.htm#rocket 


Thank you Roger B. Cruser [cruser@WEST.NET] for suggesting the following online backup services (where you can store data on somebody else's online hardware):


I  received this email message from Macromedia

The latest generation of Dreamweaver -- designed to help you build Web sites faster -- will ship next month. Be one of the first to benefit from the productivity gains this remarkable product delivers and take advantage of our special upgrade pricing, just $249 for the complete Dreamweaver 3 Fireworks 3 Studio or $129 to upgrade to Dreamweaver 3 alone. Simply call 1-800-457-1774 and mention the offer code DW3FW3D.

If you pre-order the full Dreamweaver 3 Fireworks 3 Studio, we'll send your package via express shipping for the standard shipping price.

To learn more, visit our Web site at: http://www.macromedia.com/software/dreamweaver/  


Social Security Death Index http://www.ancestry.com/ancestry/search/ssdi/ssdi_index.asp 
Internet Obituary Network (Death)  http://www.obits.com/ 


I found this to be a rather nice helper site for mathematics  http://www.mathforum.com//problems/sara3.4.98.html 


Some interesting web links from Professor Huesca in the Communications Department at Trinity University:

All About Hypertext ---  http://www.trinity.edu/rhuesca/hypr.html 

AlterNETive: or how I learned to stop worrying and love the net! (Links to alternative television, radio, and film): http://www.trinity.edu/departments/communication/old%20www%20pages/student%5Fpages/r%2Dtv%2Df.html 

Department of Communication Courses: http://www.trinity.edu/departments/communication/old%20www%20pages/2125/dept/courses.html 


From Adobe Systems:

Discover how you can improve team collaboration, accelerate project timelines, and manage your documents efficiently-for just $24.95 per user, per month! Visit http://adobe.0mm.com/cg/rd.cgi?i=ADB022001_63500  and sign up for your free 30-day trial of Team Online


Microsoft said Monday it will ship a new version of its project-management software during the first quarter of 2000, along with templates for Windows 2000 and Office 2000 deployment planning.  


Used cars (you can list your car for free if you want to sell it yourself) at http://www.autotrader.com/ 


Project Linux - http://www.projectlinux.org/ 


Comdex 99 Program --- including a major speech by Bill Gates http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/filters/special1/ 

Spencer F. Katt bets the millennial Comdex will see lots of money riding on Chairman Bill. http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/filters/katt/ 


Semiconductor (microprocessor) industry of the future http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/stories/columns/0,4351,1018083,00.html 


NOVA: Decoding Nazi Secrets http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/decoding/ 


Life Beyond Earth - http://www.pbs.org/lifebeyondearth/ 


Popular Science: 1999 Best of What's New http://www.popsci.com/features/bown/bown99/  (By Categories)


WhatsNu reports to you weekly on the newest & hottest web sites launched in 29 various categories. To view the entire list of categories go to  http://www.whatsnu.com/ 


Sony Music 100 Years (History)  http://www.millennium.sonymusic.com/ 


GiftEmporia.com - http://www.giftemporia.com/ 


Bill Brandt - "probably the finest British photographer of the 20th Century."(art)  http://www.billbrandt.com/ 


The Granger Papers Project http://www.nh.ultranet.com/~granger/ 

This collection of diaries, letters, photographs, and memorabilia chronicles the pioneering work of American paleontologist and fossil collector Walter Granger (1872-1941)


Ticketmaster-CitySearch is aiming to show that online city guides can be integral to daily life http://www.citysearch.com/ 


Bob,

I am still at it with my software.

What is new is that now one can Internet Download the software for installation or Open and run it in Internet Explorer.

Omnis Mus is shareware and is available via the Internet as a self-extracting zip file from

http://www.gbodnar.com/download.htm

No password or registration is necessary. Students can download with a single click and install with a few more clicks.

Omnis Mus can be also opened in Internet explorer: http://www.gbodnar.com/omnisweb.htm Installation is automatic as it is controlled by Internet Explorer.

Registration for Omnis Mus licenses 3 additional (separate) programs at no extra cost: - Electric Books - 'real' financial statement data in an easy to use format - QuizBall - a test bank/ study guide with +600 multiple-choice questions - Omnis Mus II - a General Fund (governmental) accounting practice set. Omnis II (governmental) can be opened in Internet explorer and licensed for use without downloading the other software: http://www.gbodnar.com/fundweb.htm

For complete information, please visit my home page:

http://www.gbodnar.com 

Thank you

George Bodnar


Ford to Let Web-Site Visitors Bid On New Cars Using Priceline.com
http://interactive.wsj.com/articles/SB942621547601651713.htm 


Want to find out which candidate most closely matches your priorities and choices? Check out this site http://www.selectsmart.com/PRESIDENT/ 

Also see http://www.freedomchannel.com/ 


Dear Bob

Thought the following item from The Online Australia Update: 15-November-1999 might be of interest.

Regards Andrew Priest

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has begun using an Internet-based telephone system to link its agencies and research establishments around the country.

The voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) system has been implemented on the nationwide Australian Academic Research Network (AARNet), of which CSIRO is a member organisation. It will eventually become available to all of Australia's 37 universities and other science agencies using AARNet.

The software for the system, developed in collaboration with Cisco Systems, converts inter-city phone traffic to Internet data and transmits it over the AARNet between cities. CSIRO says the VoIP system, the largest roll-out of its type in Australia, will cut long distance call costs by up to 70 per cent, without loss of call quality.

'The quality is such that most users can't tell the difference between a VoIP call and a normal long distance call,' said Jonathan Potter, general manager of CSIRO IT Services, adding that it will also eventually be used for mobile calls, video and multimedia applications.

'Twelve moths ago VoIP was experimental but while still leading edge has now matured to the stage where can implemented as a production system,' said Potter.

-- School of Accounting, Edith Cowan University, Pearson Street, Churchlands Perth, Western Australia 6018, Australia Phone: + 61 (0)8 9273 8116 Fax: + 61 (0)8 9273 8121 Mobile: + 61 (0)411 229765 Email: a.priest@ecu.edu.au ICQ# - 38215599 WWW: http://www-business.cowan.edu.au/acctinfoplus 

Editor - Accounting Education.Com Double Entries http://www.accountingeducation.com/ Webmaster - AAA Government and Nonprofit Section http://www-business.ecu.edu.au/aaagnp/ 


True story from the New York Times (April 29, 1999)

SOMETIMES IT DOES TAKE A ROCKET SCIENTIST:

Scientists at NASA built a gun specifically to launch dead chickens at the windshields of airliners, military jets and the space shuttle, all traveling at maximum velocity. The idea was to simulate the frequent incidents of collisions with airborne fowl to test the strength of the windshields.

British engineers heard about the gun and were eager to test it on the windshields of their new high speed trains.  Arrangements were made and a gun was sent to the British engineers.  When the gun was fired, the engineers stood shocked as the chicken hurtled out of the barrel, crashed into the shatterproof shield, smashed it to smithereens, blasted through the control console, snapped the engineer's backrest in two and embedded itself in the back wall of the cabin, like an arrow shot from a bow.

The horrified Britons sent NASA the disastrous results of the experiment, along with the designs of the windshield and begged the U.S. scientists for suggestions.

NASA responded with a one-line memo:  "Thaw the chicken."


The AccountingWEB Friday Wrap-Up Newswire - Issue 17 November 12, 1999 http://www.accountingweb.com 

1. Centerprise Gets SEC Approval Then Withdraws IPO Bid 
2. PWC Signs $1 Billion Outsourcing Deal 
3. Roth IRA Conversion Deadline Extended by IRS 
4. AICPA Creates New Information Technology Accreditation 
5. IRS to Show Leniency Towards Y2K Related Business Snags 
6. Finding Clients To Die For 
7. Defining the Mission and Market for the CPA profession 
8. Permission Marketing - Buzzword for the Next Decade 
9. Make a Benefits Inventory - And Take It To The Market 
10. Internet Tip: Got A Number, Need A Name


AccountingStudents Newsletter: November 15, 1999 http://www.accountingstudents.com 

1. "Account for Your Future" Scholarship Program 
. Win a $1000 Interview Wardrobe 
3. Keeping Up Appearances: Dressing For Success 
4. Site of the Week: Joke-of-the-Day 
5. Survey Results: What actions should be taken to reduce the violent shootings in the United States? 
6. CPA Exam Structure and Format 
7. Meet Derek Doke, Accountant/Entrepreneur 
8. Tip of the Week: Safe Internet Shopping 
9. College Students Expect Starting Salary of $50,000 or More (Times have indeed changed.)

 


November 12th Internet Essentials '99 Newsletter  http://www.tiac.net/users/nhannon/news.html 

1. Bubble Boy Virus Deserves Your Attention 
2. Trouble finding good day-care? Visit eDayCare.com 
3. The Real Scoop on "Cookies" 
4. Mitchell Levy on Non-Monetary Values 
5. Privacy Practices Help Build Trust, Get and Retain Web Customers 
6. See What Web Surfers are Asking Search Engines 
7. Telecommuters have Higher Productivity and Quality of Life 
8. The Lesson: Kids take Technology Advances For Granted 
9. Create Real Postcards from your Digital Pictures! 
10. Got a Complaint about an Internet Purchase? They listen. 11. Copernic 2000 .... Advanced Multiple Search Engine


Forwarded from my close friend Sid Miller (original author unknown)

S L O W D A N C E:

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round

Or listened to the rain slapping on the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight

Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You better slow down

Don't dance so fast

Time is short

The music won't last

Do you run through each day on the fly

When you ask "How are you?" do you hear the reply?

When the day is done do you lie in your bed

With the next hundred chores running through your head?

You'd better slow down

Don't dance so fast

Time is short

The music won't last

Ever told your child,

We'll do it tomorrow

And in your haste, not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch,

Let a good friendship die

'Cause you never had time to call and say "Hi"?

You'd better slow down

Don't dance so fast

Time is short

The music won't last

When you run so fast to get somewhere

You miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day,

It is like an unopened gift....

Thrown away...

Life is not a race.

Do take it slower

Hear the music

Before the song is over.


And that's the way it was on November 16, 1999 with a little help from my friends.

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

Hline.jpg (568 bytes)

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

 

Hline.jpg (568 bytes)

November 9, 1999


This is something to keep in mind when you are putting audio and video online.

Dear Jensen,

I do not agree with your audio clips about FAS 133 at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/000overview/133suma.htm  because not everyone with nonnative English has a couple of good ear in English.

I prefer if you transcript the audio clips into written format and everyone in the world can read them including me and my students.

Thanks for your help.

RUDI HANDOKO Registered Accountant No. D-21261
Tim1 [Tim1@jsx.co.id]

Reply from Bob Jensen 
Transcriptions are important for other reasons as well --- they take up only a fraction of the disk space vis-à-vis audio/video files, and they can be searched for key word and symbol strings.  I do provide transcriptions as much as possible ---  I have many hours of transcribed audio that I share with my students but cannot make available to the world due to requests by the experts to restrict use of such materials to my students.   With respect to my hundreds of hours of other captured audio and video, my beleaguered secretary (bless Debbie Bowling) asks for mercy and understanding.  Transcribing audio is a very tedious job until speech recognition software can be more accurate on my amateur recordings at conferences and workshops.  I give Debbie about as much transcribing work as any human being can stand.


One of the best articles on XML with a minimum of techie jargon, is entitled "Is XML the answer?  Depends on the Question?" by Michael Goulde in Application Development Trends, October 1999, pp. 21-22.  The online version is at http://www.adtmag.com/Pub/oct99/d9910xml.htm 

One of the reasons XML has captured so much interest so quickly (Version 1.0 of the XML specification was released in February 1998) is that it represents a parsimonious solution to a wide variety of problems. There are three sets of users who have a very high level of interest in XML. The first group includes Webmasters and other designers of Web-based information systems who use HTML to mark up information for presentation, but have no way to structure the information they send to browsers. By providing structure to the unstructured Web data in a standard way, a Web query can deliver a much more useful set of results, increasing the value of the information.

The second group of users have toiled for years with the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) to create structured documents such as training manuals and technical documentation. Although HTML is derived from SGML, SGML in general is not well suited to the Web environment because it is extremely complex -- something that has also affected its universal adoption. XML is an SGML derivative that is not only easier to use on the Web, it has garnered wider adoption. These users have also become very active in World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) working groups that are hammering out additional specifications and standards to ensure that XML meets many of the same application requirements as SGML.

The third set of users fascinated by XML are a set who were not originally targeted by the W3C's XML efforts. But very early on, application developers building distributed applications -- and faced with difficult challenges around application integration and interoperability -- saw XML as a way to free their applications from the tyranny of over-the-wire binary formats that made it impossible to link applications together in real time. These developers, many from the Java community, but equally as many using Microsoft tools, quickly realized that they could use XML syntax in their messages and, because of the self-describing nature of XML documents, applications could exchange data without having to be explicitly written or compiled to do so. Freedom! This group has now expanded to include developers who want to extend EDI, link networks of suppliers and customers, create dynamic marketplaces, and perform other heretofore impossible tasks over the Web.

You can read more about XML and RDF and pick up some of the terminology at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/xmlrdf.htm 


Serious question of the week:  What is XFRML?  Why might XFRML be the biggest thing to hit accounting since the invention of the double entry system?

Answer:  You can read more about it in "Steering a Course for the Future," by Peter D. Fleming, Journal of Accountancy, November 1999, pg. 38.  Actually, Fleming's article is a tribute to my good friend Bob Elliott who has probably done more to change both accounting education and accounting practice than any one person in the 20th Century.  Bob has always made his presence known in academe in one way or another, most notably as a major player in the Accounting Education Change Commission.  His most significant impact on practice came through his dynamic, albeit controversial, leadership as the AICPA's Chair of the Special Committee on Assurance Services and the CPA Vision Project.  

I want to especially congratulate Bob on his new appointment as Chair of the American Institute of CPAs.  Whether you agree or disagree with where Bob is leading the profession, you must agree that no other person is more skilled at bringing about change in the accounting profession than Bob Elliott.  An online tribute to Bob is provided at http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/nov1999/fleming.html.

There has apparently been a change in policy at the AICPA with respect to online publishing of the Journal of Accountancy.  In the past, there was at least a six month lag between the date of hard copy release and the posting of the articles to the web server.  Now selected major articles are instantly put online at http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/index.htm

The home page of the XFRML Workgroup is at http://www.xfrml.org/.

You can read the following at http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/nov1999/fleming.html.

Elliott is pleased the AICPA has “taken ownership” of XFRML, the project that will lead to the development of an XML-based financial reporting language. “We staked out the territory, and we’re going to set the standard. We’ve energized some of our brightest and most creative members. The team that’s working on this project is doing a fabulous job—both the staff and volunteers. I have, however, encouraged them to come up with a more user-friendly name.”

Elliott says XFRML represents a way to vastly increase the utility of financial information. “The first half of the information revolution was about pumping out more and more information. The second half will be about acquiring, refining and using information. XFRML is an important part of that effort. It allows users to search out the information they need and find it in an interpretable, consistent and analyzable format.”

Today, Elliott points out, most companies put their financial statements on their Web site as a PDF file, or the equivalent, where “you can read it, but you can’t analyze it.” If you’re an analyst and want this information, you wind up keying it into your own spreadsheet. “The new language will reduce the information float in the marketplace. It has huge potential to improve the way the financial markets work. Ultimately, I hope it will facilitate online, real-time access to information by a wide variety of users.”

Since the project was announced in August, Elliott says the AICPA has heard from a number of parties, including Congress, who are interested in how they can be involved. He believes the financial community will also support the project “because it’s to their benefit.” The alternative, he says, is multiple competing standards, which “is not the way to go. We have the credibility, talent and resources to do this right. It’s going to be a big advantage to the business community and a prestige item for the AICPA.


What is SysTrust?  Why might SysTrust be the biggest thing to hit auditing and public accounting since the origination of the SEC and the SEC's requiring of CPA audits of business firms?  One of the most significant and controversial professional practice areas where Bob Elliott is leading the accounting profession into its new Song of SysTrust.  I don't know if all accountants have noticed the monumental and highly controversial change in attestation services being proposed by the AICPA and the CICA for the public accounting profession.  Most certainly the lyrics are not familiar to non-accountants other than attorneys who, while dancing in their briefs, have difficulty containing their enthusiasm for this new Anthem of the Auditors.  This is the first major shift of the accounting profession into the attestation of complete information services.  Financial audits may eventually be but a small part of the total attestation and assurance service symphony of services.  The proposed new "auditing"-firm service is called SysTrust at http://www.aicpa.org/assurance/stintro.htm 

The exposure draft version 1.0 of the AICPA/CICA SysTrust SM/TM Principles and Criteria for Systems Reliability (download instructions noted below) explains SysTrust; the SysTrust principles, criteria, and illustrative controls; and the form of report that can be issued by the practitioner.

The SysTrust service entails the public accountant providing an assurance service in which he or she evaluates and tests whether a system [information system] is reliable when measured against four essential principles: availability, security, integrity, and maintainability.

SysTrust is designed to increase the comfort of management, customers, and business partners with the systems that support a business or a particular activity. Potential users of this service are shareholders, creditors, bankers, business partners, third-party users who outsource functions to other entities, stakeholders, and anyone who in some way relies on the continued availability, integrity, security and maintainability of a system. The SysTrust service will help differentiate entities from their competitors because entities that undergo the rigors of a SysTrust engagement will presumably be better service providers- attuned to the risks posed by their environment and equipped with the controls that address those risks.

The document that you can download begins as follows:

Developments in information technology are making far greater power available to entities at far lower costs. The systems supported by this technology are not just doing bookkeeping- they are running businesses, producing products and services, and dealing with customers and business partners. As a result, information technology permeates all areas of a company, differentiates companies in the marketplace, and requires increasing amounts of capital. As business dependence on information technology increases, tolerance decreases for systems that are unsecured, unavailable when needed, and unable to produce accurate information on a consistent basis. Like the weak link in a fence, an unreliable system can cause a chain of events that negatively affect a company and its customers, suppliers, and business partners.

Consequently, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) are introducing a new professional service to provide assurance on the reliability of systems. The development of this service is part of a broader future vision to supply real-time assurance on informational databases and systems.

SysTrust is an assurance service developed by the Assurance Services Executive Committee (ASEC) of the AICPA and the Assurance Services Development Board (ASDB) of the CICA to be provided by public accountants. It is designed to increase the comfort of management, customers, and business partners with the systems that support a business or a particular activity. The SysTrust service entails the public accountant providing an assurance service in which he or she evaluates and tests whether a system is reliable when measured against four essential principles: availability, security, integrity, and maintainability.

Potential users of this service are shareholders, creditors, bankers, business partners, third-party users who outsource functions to other entities, stakeholders, and anyone who in some way relies on the continued availability, integrity, security and maintainability of a system. The SysTrust service will help differentiate entities from their competitors because entities that undergo the rigors of a SysTrust engagement will presumably be better service providers- attuned to the risks posed by their environment and equipped with the controls that address those risks.

This document explains SysTrust; the SysTrust principles, criteria, and illustrative controls; and the form of report that can be issued by the practitioner.

Probably the best summary of SysTrust to date has just been put online in "Reporting on Systems Reliability," by Efrim Boritz, Erin Mackler, and Doug McPhie in the Journal of Accountancy, November 1999, pp. 75-87.  The online version is at http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/nov1999/boritz.html.  (It might be noted that both Boritz and McPhie are from Canada --- SysTrust is a joint venture with the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and the AICPA in the U.S.)  Boritz et al conclude as follows:

REQUIRED COMPETENCIES

To perform a SysTrust engagement, practitioners should have a number of competencies, including information technology (IT)-related skills. However, the degree of IT sophistication will depend on the nature of the system the CPA is examining. Many practitioners already have most of the essential skills needed to conduct an effective evaluation of internal control. With modest additional training, practitioners can enhance these skills to enable those with internal control evaluation skills to provide valuable SysTrust services to their clients.

Some aspects of a SysTrust engagement may require more specialized IT skills. Those skills can be brought to bear on an examination as needed—they are not required for the entire engagement. Thus, with effective teamwork and skills management, practitioners can combine their talents with those of colleagues who are IT specialists to provide SysTrust services.

THE NEXT STEPS

For the immediate future, the systems-reliability task force will work on building awareness and acceptance of this new assurance service among practitioners and the business community—including management, boards of directors, system developers, outsourcers and internal auditors. It will seek to demonstrate the value of SysTrust to both industry and practice. For practitioners, SysTrust represents potentially significant engagements they can leverage into opportunities to provide other services such as security profiling and design, application controls consulting and privacy consulting.

Will a SysTrust report prevent the situations headlined at the start of this article? By itself, no. What SysTrust will do is reduce the risk that such situations will occur and provide a common level of assurance that management has taken prudent steps to address reliability and to implement a balanced set of controls that operate effectively. The SysTrust principles and criteria are a rigorous test of system reliability from which business partners, customers and regulators can take comfort.

You may want to read more about Efrim's work at University of Waterloo Centre For Information System Assurance at http://arts.uwaterloo.ca/ACCT/uwcisa/ 


Perhaps the unwillingness of the government to regulate privacy will create more demand for SysTrust.  See http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/stories/news/0,4153,2387484,00.html 


Why are attorneys dancing with glee?  The main reason is that there are thousands upon thousands of hackers and crackers (over 39% of whom reside outside the United States and Canada) poised to crash the AICPA and CICA auditors' SysTrust parties.  These unwanted "guests" will arrive in "Trojan Horses" and enter the information systems through "Back Doors."  Even more frightening is moral hazard of insiders of innocent or conspired acts of insiders that allow the unwanted guest into the systems.

Where do hackers and crackers learn how to create Trojan Horses, Back Doors, and the other evil tools of their trade?  The best place to start is at http://www.anticode.com/ .  There you can learn about all the evil things the SysTrust auditors are up against, including such things as the following:

 

 

 

A great web site to visit often on security and cyber warfare issues is AntiOnline at http://www.antionline.com/index.html.

Another good web site on security is Hacker News Network at http://www.hackernews.com/ 

Another tool of the trade for hackers and crackers is virtual networking anywhere that can be used for good and evil.  See http://www.uk.research.att.com/vnc/ 

VNC stands for Virtual Network Computing. It is, in essence, a remote display system which allows you to view a computing 'desktop' environment not only on the machine where it is running, but from anywhere on the Internet and from a wide variety of machine architectures.

Reply from Richard Campbell on November 10:

To check the online security of your Internet connection: http://grc.com/x/ne.dll?rh1ci2l2=g1u31bqj 

See: www.lockdown2000.com for a demo of cracker techniques.

Richard J. Campbell RJ Interactive  mailto:campbell@rj-int.com  
http://www.rj-int.com 

Reply from George Wright

My office desktop machine is running NT 4.0 server 24/7, so I use BlackICE from http://www.networkice.com  to protect from the types of probing this link does. This is the result I get after the test probes:

All attempts to get any information from your computer have FAILED. (This is very uncommon for a Windows networking-based PC.) Relative to vulnerabilities from Windows networking, this computer appears to be VERY SECURE since it is NOT exposing ANY of its internal NetBIOS networking protocol over the Internet.

If you have a cable modem at home, you should consider one of these two intrusion protection products or something similar, especially if you leave the machine on.

I leave my home computer on 24/7 too. Every morning I find a record of an RPC probe, an FTP probe, a Back Orifice ping, or some such. These are typically due to ``script kiddiez,'' folks who download an intrusion script from the net and then scan millions of machines on the net for weaknesses.

Sometimes the intrusion protection product will capture the complete identity of the prober. (The hard core hacker knows how to conceal all but an IP address.) When this happens, I amuse myself by sending a message which includes date, time, DNS, NetBIOS ID, and even MAC ID, asking if your mom/your school knows you are using this computer to pursue mischief on the net. I've even had some anxious replies.

No serious computer hobbyist should be without a product like BlackICE or lockdown2000.
George Wright [geo@LOYOLA.EDU


Gift from the California Society of CPAs (its consulting scope extends well beyond California)
CalCPA http://www.calcpa.org/ from the California Society of CPAs

Are you a non-CPA or consumer with a tax, small business or personal finance question? Get answers straight from the source: California CPAs! If you have a question you'd like to see addressed in this monthly feature, please send it to us via email. We can't answer every question, but will choose those with the broadest reader appeal.


Gift from Bob Jensen
SFAS 133 and IAS 39 will soon have to be implemented.  My major gift this week has been to seriously upgrade the Glossary at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/acct5341/speakers/133glosf.htm.  The major parts of the upgrade include more referencing to paragraphs in the international standard (IAS 39).  The international rules are highlighted in green.  I have also added the Derivatives Implementation Group (DIG) issues to date in red boxes.

For those of you who want even more, there are two good articles on derivative financial instruments in the November 1999 issue of the Journal of Accountancy

Smoother P&L. The accounting treatment for insurance is considerably simpler and less controversial than accounting for financial instruments. Insurance avoids the onerous mark-to-market provisions accorded derivatives under FASB Statement No. 133, Accounting for Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activity. “Generally, at any particular time, the value of a financial instrument such as a derivative can be above market or below market—worth more or less than what you paid for it. The rules require companies to record those changes on their financial statements—marking to market,” explains Zaccaria. “Some months or quarters you might report a profit on the instrument; some months or quarters you might not. The profit and loss statement jumps up and down based on fluctuations in the derivative’s market value. Meanwhile, determining that value is difficult. Why bother with all that aggravation?” Zaccaria asks. “If your goal is to smooth the revenue stream by hedging business risk, insurance has more going for it than a derivative,” he says.

Kudos from the Street. “We’ve received very positive attention from our shareholders and Wall Street for better quantifying our bottom-line costs,” FirstEnergy’s Spencer says. “They see this as a very viable smoothing mechanism.”

 


Thanks for the tip Linda Specht (Linda uses some of these materials in accounting courses at Trinity University) --- Course supplements for the "Greens" interested in "sustainability" helpers at http://www.greenleaf-publishing.com/ 

GREENLEAF PUBLISHING is now a fully independent publisher specialising in the rapidly growing subject area of business and sustainable development.

Among its current catalogue, you will find an unparalleled diversity of titles tackling both environmental and social aspects of the growing imperative for business: to make profit while performing sustainably.

All of our books are carefully chosen in conjunction with an international editorial board and utilise some of the leading minds active in both research and practice from around the world. We aim to provide leading-edge source material for students, teachers, researchers, professionals, policy-makers, practitioners, NGOs and all those interested in changing views and behaviour patterns on how business is responding to increasing stakeholder pressure to ‘walk the talk’.

Greenleaf Publishing is determined to maintain its reputation as a source of radical new ideas, strategies, experience and actions to meet growing expectations and challenges for the new millennium.

Also see  "On The Net" -- New Ideas in Pollution Regulation  http://www.worldbank.org/nipr/onthenet.htm 

Intimate Strangers: Unseen Life on Earth  http://www.pbs.org/opb/intimatestrangers/ 


Message from Bob Jensen to Trinity University on November 2, 1999:
Some faculty at Trinity University are seeking to model Trinity University on the nation's most elite colleges and universities. My question is whether we should model the "old" or the "new" elite institutions? There is a danger that we will set our mission on outmoded missions and goals. I think there will continue to be a need for full-time resident students --- it's part of the maturation process as well as the education process. But the pedagogy may change and our own curriculum may be salted with top courses from the elite institutions. Perhaps the UCC in the future should study the electronic curriculum of the next millennium.

Perhaps we should also examine how not to be left behind in providing something to the elite electronic curriculum.

It's a dynamic time we live in when a convicted felon and subsequent electronic curriculum leader (Junk Bond King Mike Milken) is named by The Los Angeles Times as one of the top ten people in the 20th Century.

Ivy Online

Elite universities and professional schools are scrambling to "leverage their brands" and make extra money through online education.

See http://www.thestandard.com/articles/display/0,1449,7122,00.html  (thanks for the tip Scott Bonacker)

I provide recent links at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99.htm#PrestigeUniversities 

Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm 


Some excerpts from http://www.thestandard.com/articles/display/0,1449,7122,00.html

Columbia is not alone in its Internet ambitions. The nation's elite universities, long secure in their centuries-old reputations, face a rapidly changing world in which any school, from the University of South Alabama to UC Berkeley, can put its courses online and court a global market for continuing education. Fearing that they will be left behind, Ivy League administrators are becoming dealmakers, and buzz phrases like "leveraging brands" and "tapping intellectual capital" echo from the Stanford Quad to Harvard Square.

In recent months, Stanford, the London School of Economics and other top-tier schools have followed Columbia's lead, signing with UNext to trade their name and curricula for equity in the startup. Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, meanwhile, have struck deals with Pensare, a Silicon Valley company that creates online courses. Harvard will receive stock warrants in Pensare, as will Duke University, which is licensing a complete MBA curriculum to the company.

(The UNext web site is at http://www.unext.com/ )
(The Pensare web site is at http://www.pensare.com/index.htm )

...

Education As Commodity

Thanks in part to the Net's ability to distribute courses to students anywhere at any time, learning is becoming another commodity, part of the $740 billion "education industry" that has attracted keen interest on Wall Street. Scores of community colleges and universities have embraced distance learning in recent years, putting courses online for people who are too busy or live too far away from institutions to attend classes. Meanwhile, online-only schools, such as the for-profit Jones International University, have emerged to capitalize on the growing demand for adult education.

The ultimate "brand" in education is a Harvard, a Stanford, a Columbia degree; the ultimate market for those schools is overseas, where there's a relative surfeit of universities and the names Harvard and Stanford are as recognized in corporate circles as Coca-Cola and Pepsi. But the Ivys have been late to move online, reluctant to put their jealously guarded reputations in the hands of the private partners that are needed to provide the technology and financing to create Internet courses.

Helen Chen is the type of potential student the top-tier schools covet but could lose to more wired competitors. The 32-year-old Harvard graduate wants to obtain an MBA but expects she'll have to do so online because the demands of her job at consulting firm Mitchell Madison Group prevent her from attending a traditional program. But Chen is still looking to enroll at a top-ranked school. "I have a pretty good undergraduate education and I don't want to get just any MBA attached to my name," she says.

The needs of people like Chen are forcing elite universities to embrace the Internet, acknowledges Harvard Business School Dean Kim Clark. "Education used to be done in the early stage of someone's life and maybe once or twice after that," he says. "We are moving into an era where organizations are much more fluid, the pace of change is much faster and much more international. There's much more need for just-in-time, just-right education. The Internet is becoming central to education because it allows you to meet these kinds of needs."

There are other motivators, however, behind university administrators' enthusiasm for the Net. For decades, they have watched professors transform the knowledge they acquired in the university's employ into royalties from books that publishers then sell back to the universities. Now that this gold mine of intellectual property can be packaged and sold online, universities are determined to share in the profits. "The idea that all of this content – we used to call it teaching and learning – can be turned into content with an economic value is extraordinary," says Geoffrey Cox, a Stanford University vice provost. "Frankly, if anyone is going to get the economic value of that, it will be the university."


The following indented quotation appears in the November/December 1999 issue of Educom Review, pg. 4. It is not yet posted to the web, but eventually it will be available at http://www.educause.edu/pub/er/erm.html

WELCOME TO COLLEGE: NOW MEET OUR SPONSOR

The University of Memphis, the University of Idaho, Villanova University, and more than five hundred other institutions of higher learning will be receiving free intranet service in return for allowing their campus Web pages to be used for advertising purposes.  Allowing commercial control of the Web pages and e-mail services of what was once considered a sacred domain -- academia -- is resulting in contentious debate.  However, many universities, particularly public ones that have seen their budgets shrink rapidly but that still must keep up with technological trends to attract students, say the concept is too attractive to resist.  The cost for a medium-sized public university to create an internal Web service could be more than $2 million.  This is where Campus Pipeline comes in.  The startup, which is heavily invested in by Dell Computer, Sun Microsystems, and McKinney & Company, among other firms, began offering to set up campus Web sites for colleges late last year.  The cost has been free so far to the few campuses that have already had the systems installed, but Campus Pipeline may charge colleges installation costs of as much as $32,000 in the future.  (New York Times)

Some people are not exactly sure about just what an "intranet" is and how it relates to the Internet. The concept is really quite simple. When a system of web pages can be accessed by anyone in the world over the Internet we call this an Internet or web system. When access is controlled to a system of web pages, the Internet system becomes an intranet. For example, if a professor delivers web pages on the Internet but requires a password for viewing those documents, she or he has created an intranet. My students in Accounting Information Systems are assigned chapters of an online Cybertext textbook and must take weekly online quizzes delivered across the Internet from http://www.cybertext.com. Since they must purchase a password to access the book and quizzes, this Internet system of documents is called an "intranet."

I always suspected that large universities would eventually accept advertising revenues to help finance their enormously expensive web/intranet systems and their IT systems in general. I was a little surprised to discover that over 500 colleges and universities are now financing IT through advertising. It may well be that boards of trustees will consider it an oversight if other colleges and universities are not considering this relatively simple source of added funding for IT services.

Advertising in education is distasteful at first blush. Students have no choice other than to endure the advertising as part of earning a grade in a course.  There is no freedom of choice once they are enrolled in a course.  There is no freedom of choice for many courses if the advertising is across the university.  However, there are advantages. As the quotation above points out, IT budgets at universities are never adequate in this era of zooming technology changes. Cybertext currently does not have advertising in its online books. But if Cybertext did start accepting advertising revenues, the company might be able to significantly reduce the prices of accessing books. Thus, the good news is that universities and publishers can reduce product prices and/or increase the quality of product and service with those added revenues. The bad news is that students may really grow weary of the advertisements.

There are also possible conflicts of interest and ethical considerations. If a publisher allows advertising, will that publisher advertise products of a major competitor? Will Villanova University accept advertising from Drexel University? Or one day might there be a banner on Villanova's homepage that reads "Learn for less at Temple University?"  I pointed out previously that CNext and Pensare will soon be providing undergraduate/graduate courses and complete degree programs from elite universities such as Columbia, Stanford, Chicago, Penn, Duke, Harvard, and the London School of Economics. Will CNext one day agree to advertise Pensare courses and will Pensare agree to advertise CNext courses? You can find my discussion and links to CNext and Pensare at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99.htm#PrestigeUniversities 

I like this quotation from The November/December 1999 issue of Educom Review, pg. 16.  It is not yet posted to the web, but eventually it will be available at http://www.educause.edu/pub/er/erm.html.

The telegraph, when invented by Samuel Morse on a government grant, was described by Nathaniel Hawthorne as a thing that would wrap the world in a great nerve of intelligence.  And the reason this did not happen, except in the high-end business community, and the reason the telegraph was fundamentally used by railroads and insurance agents and armies as opposed to people and education is that throughout the nineteenth century, the average price for communication by telegraph was one dollar per word.   The great revolution that we have now has that technological character but also has an economic character.

Advertising will most certainly make educational intranets more affordable to billions of people on earth.  I have experimented with every new device that "supposedly" suppresses advertising on television --- my conclusion is that no device works very well. But think about this for a minute. If a device comes on the market that works well at suppressing television and/or PC advertising, it follows that advertising will no longer underwrite the content development and distribution . Every show will become a direct pay-for-view or my cable/satellite monthly fee will jump to $500 per month.  Web sites that depend upon advertising may disappear from the Internet.  Three cheers for advertising. Down with inventors of devices that suppress advertising.


Reply from good friend and always predictable (when it comes to frying capitalism and market economies) Tony Tinker:

Dear Bob,

I've just breezed through the article on editorial on Intranet Sponsors at Universities and must query the cheery enthusiasm for bankrolling education / intranet services in universities with advertising revenues. We may be bludgeoned into this by cutbacks and "the market"; but this is no reason why we should go quietly (and certainly not in a mild state of ecstasy).

Surely, in all areas of life, we have to be wary of the ways in which a "quick buck" can be made by shading the truth, lying, misrepresentation, cheating, etc. (And in anticipation to the caveat emptor / "the student really knows" response: obviously the advertisers don't agree). Isn't, "something wrong with this picture" when social institutions, once charged with helping citizens to pursue "truth" and "the good life", should now have to auction-off its space to those dedicated -- not just to simply "inform" -- but to inform-for-a-profit? (And again, to head-off at the gulch those "Here-comes-Stalin" cliché's: America the beautiful must be able to come up with more than the Hobson's choice of either the dumb market or a dumb dictatorship).

As for the celebration advertising on TV; I would have hoped for better taste. There cannot be a better example of a massive market failure, than the dumbed-down, wall-to-wall mediocrity (peppered with a sprinkle of deviant niches) that is served up to the American consumer. Not that we should ape the practices in other countries (the BBC -- "to lead, not follow" -- for instance, seems to have joined the race to bottom). I would urge however that, we don't give up so easily on an agenda, for the media and education, as ways of making ours the most civilized of civilizations. We've become so caught up with selling off anything that isn't nailed down, that we've stopped discussing such matters.

Warm regards, TT

Tony Tinker Professor Co-Editor:Critical Perspectives on Accounting Co-Editor: Accounting Forum Baruch College: Box E-723 17 Lexington Avenue New York, NY 10010 USA Tel: 212 802 6436 Fax: 212 802 6423 Email: Tony_Tinker@Baruch.CUNY.edu Email: TonyTinker@MSN.com  Standing Critical Conference WEBsite: http://bus.baruch.cuny.edu/critical/ 

Reply from Bob Jensen
I want to stress that I was not advocating advertising on any web documents accessible on college and university servers.  I merely wanted to relay that over 500 campuses are already accepting revenues from such advertising.  It is obviously a very controversial issue laden with concerns over ethics and policies.  I do advocate freedom to choose.

As far as advertising in general for television, radio, the Internet, or whatever, it is clear that someone has to pay for content generation and distribution.  For example, CNN and the NY Times both have  to pay a heavy price for reporters and correspondents located around the world.  It would seem that there are several basic choices:  customer pay (e.g., pay-for-view), tax funding, advertising funding, charitable donations, and packaging with other products that are sold.  What we want is the "best" content that can be provided and the easiest access possible.  Tax funding of all content generally leads to bureaucratic inefficiencies and lack of competitive zeal and innovation.  Customer funding cuts out the poor and the geographic sectors that are most difficult to serve.  Charity has its limits, especially if there are limited tax incentives.  In the final analysis, I would hate to rely upon any single source of funding of information content and distribution.  PBS serves a purpose, but I would hate to let it become a media monopoly.  

It would seem that Tony has not proposed a better alternative than one in which people are free to broadcast and seek their own funding.  In an enormous way, the Internet provides more freedoms because, as of yet, the FCC does not license IP addresses or bandwidth like it licenses radio and TV bandwidth.  Universities that advertise have simply taken advantage of their freedom to choose.  However, I would hate to see a legislative mandate that all state-supported institutions must accept or reject advertising.  I suspect that my friend Tony and I will agree on this last point ---  at least the part about freedom to accept advertising.   Also, if "dumbed-down" web sites or TV shows (e.g., Knicks games) are popular with adults, who are we to ban them?  The best we can do is to ban information that is misleading and fraudulent.  Externalities add nonconvexities to free markets, and there will always be debates on where to impose constraints.  But I have yet to see a decent information monopoly solution whether it is a private or public monopoly.


Reply from Janet Flatley

Dear Professor Jensen and Professor Tinker:

May I offer another view of the university and Madison Avenue debate?

Despite Professor Tinker's protest to the contrary, many universities have indeed become social institutions, once charged with helping citizens to pursue "truth" and "the good life" [that have auctioned off their] space to those dedicated -- not just to simply "inform" -- but to inform-for-a-profit. College football, anyone? From coffee mugs in the school colors to multimillion dollar deals with TV networks, it's not that far to leap to bankrolling education / intranet services in universities with advertising revenues. And why is the thought of financing the university with advertising revenues more odious than accepting research grant money from government agencies? Or repeatedly seeking corporate donations?

When I lived in Texas, the University of Texas was tied to taxes on the boom-and-bust vagaries of the oil industry. Here in the Pacific Northwest, the public university system has suffered from loss of timber-related revenue due to environmental clashes. Institutions of higher learning must compete, like any other business, for dollars to fulfill their higher purpose of passing on the wisdom of past generations and prepare future generations for a the next evolution/revolution.

And despite Professor Jensen's protest to the contrary, while "students may not have a choice other than to endure the advertising as part of earning a grade in a course," will they really care? Not likely; the wild proliferation of advertising on the mass media has been so prevalent in the final half of the 20th century that I bet people are both immune to its presence and unconscious of its effects. We did not, after all, become a conspicuous consumer society without help or under protest.

In fact, I would be more concerned about colleges increasingly offering more courses that will help citizens, not with the pursuit of the truth, but with the pursuit of wealth in a society whose values begin and end with a dollar sign. But that's another debate ...

Janet Flatley, CPA AVP-Controller 1st Fed S&L Assn Pt Angeles WA (360) 417-3104


I just know Tony Tinker's eager to try this one:
Ad*Access http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/adaccess/ 

Thousands of images from U.S. and Canadian print advertising spanning the years 1911-1955 are now online, courtesy of the J. Walter Thompson Company Competitive Advertisements Collection at Duke University


Two gems from a contributor to the aecm who is becoming a great provider of links to new and interesting web sites (Thanks Scott):

While looking for information on piecework compensation systems, I came across samcert and studybreak.com. These are both related to distance learning if anyone is looking for additional examples.

Scott Bonacker [scottbonacker@CLAND.NET]
CPA McCullough, Officer & Company, LLC Springfield, Missouri

The first web site mentioned by Scott is "eStudy:  Your Internet Study Guide" at http://www.websolvers.net/SamCerto/ .  There are chapters full of multiple choice review questions.

The second web site mentioned by Scott is "Study Break:  The Online Resource for Today's College Student" at http://www.studybreak.com/.

Study Break! has been designed specifically for today's students. Based on student input, with some links selected on assignment for Prof. Sam Certo of the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida.

Study Break! promotes the use and exploration of the Internet while catering to the interests of the contemporary student population.


Do you ever search for the spelling of an English word that you just cannot find in an English language dictionary?  Try http://www.mathcs.carleton.edu/faculty/jondich/CSTI/words.txt 

Also don't forget the technical Jargon links at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/245gloss.htm 


Updates from the November/December 1999 issue of Educom Review.  These are not yet posted to the web, but eventually it will be available at http://www.educause.edu/pub/er/erm.html

"VIRTUAL UNIVERSITY" HAS QUIET START  (to say the least)

The Western Governors University (WGU) has been offering online classes for a year and is off to a disappointing start, some say.  Although Utah Governor Mike Leavitt estimated that thousands of students would be taking courses from WGU within a few years, only about 120 students are now enrolled.  WGU offers courses from thirty-nine higher-learning institutions with the aim of providing courses for rural citizens as well as training for employees in technical fields.  WGU President Robert Mendenhall believes that thousands of students have used the online school's course catalog but have then dealt with the university offering a course rather than with WGU in order to avoid WGU's $30 processing fee.  As a result, WGU has eliminated the fee and will instead collect 30 percent of the tuition from students who sign up through WGU, as part of a deal with participating universities.  WGU needs 3,000 students enrolled in its degree programs to break even and should reach this goal within three years, Mendenhall says.  (Associated Press)

PARTNERS IN EDUCATION

A Commerce Department report recommends that businesses, governments, and educational institutions band together to train more IT professionals.  Taking this advice, the University of Nebraska has opened the Peter Kiewit Institute, a computer science center that combines offerings from its College of Information Science and Technology and the Lincoln College of Engineering and Technology.  The center is funded by local businesses and the state government.  Further, local businesses are funding scholarships and internships for students of the institute.  The institute's curriculum will focus on practical classes that teach students how to fulfill business requirements.  To accomplish this, the institute will offer an "experts-in-residence" program, which will invite IT executives from leading companies to teach and/or mentor students for a year or longer.  (Information Week)

SCHOOLS GET DOWN TO THE VALLEY

Prominent business schools are opening satellites in Silicon Valley to take advantage of the proximity to the epicenter of the growing electronic business industry.  Schools such as Harvard Business School and the Tuck School of Business Administration have been the first to create these research facilities to prepare their students for jobs in Silicon Valley.  Through these outposts, students can make business connections and experience the culture.  The Harvard facility features a research center in which faculty study Silicon Valley businesses and write case studies while students study these cases and form solutions.  The Tuck satellite features an office for visiting students and faculty and, later, will most likely have one or two permanent faculty members.  Also considering the idea are the University of Michigan Business School and the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley, while Stanford takes advantage of its existing proximity to Silicon Valley.   (Wired News)

GLOBAL SECURITY SURVEY: VIRUS ATTACK

An Information Week survey indicates that viruses are at the top of the list of IT managers' security concerns and that the problem is growing.   According to the survey, about 64 percent of companies fell victim to a virus attack in the past twelve months, up from 53 percent the previous year.  In the United States alone, viruses hit 69 percent of companies, which is about four times as many as that of the next-highest category of security breach, unauthorized network entry.   Only 22 percent of companies reported no security breaches at all.  Hackers and terrorists were blamed for the majority of security breaches, at 48 percent, while only 14 percent of the respondents blamed hackers last year.  Contract service providers were blamed by 31 percent of respondents, up from 9 percent last year, while the percentage of respondents blaming authorized users and employees was down to 41 percent from 58 percent last year.  (Information Week)

 YOUNG WEB USERS RESHAPING INTERNET USE

The Internet is having a profound impact, to a degree heretofore unseen, on the lives of users between the ages of 16 and 22, according to "The Net-Powered Generation," a report from Forrester Research.  The report finds that the younger generation averages nine hours a week surfing the Web, nearly 38 percent longer than the average for adult Internet users.  Young people also visit a wider range of Web sites than adults, use the Internet to listen to music and read Web zines, and desire high-speed Internet access.  Further, the report finds that 47 percent (12.4 million) of the 16-to-22 age group are Internet users; the 16-to-22 age group as a whole accounts for 10 percent of the U.S. population.  Forrester also notes that 40 percent of these 12.4 million users shop on the Internet and will make a total of $1.5 billion in electronic-commerce purchase this year.  (Newsbytes)


Whereas Western Governors University (WGU) is off to a disappointing start in terms of expected versus actual online enrollments, the largest university in the world (Open University) is flying high.  You can read about it in an interview with Mike Fitzgerald, Former (for 12 years) Dean and Director of Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences.  See "Toward a Model of Distributed Learning:  An Interview with Mike Fitzgerald, Educom Review, November/December 1999. pg. 40ff.  


PitStop 4.0 (for $99) that makes it possible to change or fix Adobe PDF files without having to return to your word processor and save a new PDF file.  Even though Version 4 of Adobe Exchange allows for certain types of edits, the editing capability from Adobe is very limited.  Pitstop 4.0 from enfocus will allow you to change PDF files from your laptop on an airplane or wherever.  Go to http://www.enfocus.com/pitstop99/.  (Note that you will still need the more expensive Adobe Exchange program for basic creation of PDF files that is available from Adobe but may be priced much lower from your favorite software vendor.)  Acrobat Exchange is part of the Adobe Acrobat package described at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/main.html.  Adobe's price is $249, but I am sure you can beat this price by using software resellers.


From Bob Blystone

I would like to call to your attention a WEB-based Student Learning Assessment Guide. This is not a ³Course Evaluation² but rather a Learning Assessment. There are two related URL¹s to be viewed: 1) http://www.wcer.wisc.edu/nise/cl1/flag/flaghome.asp

2) http://www.wcer.wisc.edu/salgains/instructor

Both sites have been developed by the National Institute for Science Education operating at the University of Wisconsin with major funding by the Exxon Foundation.

The first site is called FLAG, for Field-tested Learning Assessment Guide. To quote from the introduction: ³Its purpose is to offer a readily accessible, up-to-date resource of classroom-tested assessment tools for instructors who have an interest in sharing and implementing new approaches to evaluating student learning, attitudes and performance.²

The second site is called SALG, for Student Assessment of Learning Gains. SALG consists of four steps: 1) Modification of the basic SALG assessment instrument 2) Implementation of SALG instrument for Web use 3) View and analyze data 4) Extensions

SALG is built around five broad theme questions. Q1 - How much did each of the following aspects of the class help your learning? Q2 - As a result of your work in this class, how well do you think you now understand each of the following? Q3 - How much has this class added to your skills in each of the following? Q4 - To what extent did you make gains in any of the following as a result of what you did in this class? Q5 - How much of the following do you think you will remember and carry with you into other classes or aspects of your life?

The subsections under each question can be modified. Comments can be accepted. Once the form is set up, the student can be given an account number and password. The student responds to the Web instrument by some deadline. Then the instructor can ask for the data and statistics. It is an exceptional interactive instrument for measuring student learning.

Once you familiarize yourself with the process, it is easy to administer the form. If you would like to try it out as a student go to the following URL where I have set up a fictitious account for GNED1000 http://www.wcer.wisc.edu/salgains/student/default.asp Use 714705907 as the account and the password is grissom (all lower case)

Your comments would be helpful.

Robert V. Blystone, Ph.D. 
Professor of Biology, Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas 78212 
210.999-7243 210.999-7229 FAX
RBLYSTON@Trinity.edu
  


Accounting, Business Ethics, Economics, Finance,
Information Systems, International Business,
Management, Marketing, Operations Management
 
Announcing the "ACADEMY OF BUSINESS EDUCATION"
 
A new multi-disciplinary academic association
focused on promoting:
 
1) Educational research
2) Creative pedagogy
3) Curriculum development
4) Ethics in business education
5) Internationalization of curriculum
6) Cross-functional education
 
Learn more about the mission of this exciting
new association, the outstanding founding
Board of Directors, our official journal (the
Journal of Business Education), and our first
annual meeting on September 22-23, 2000 in
Stonington Beach, Bermuda by visiting our
web site at:
 
http://www.abe.villanova.edu
 

Top Economic Events of the Twentieth Century by Mark Zandi at  http://www.dismal.com/top25/introduction.asp 

Have some fun --- guess what made the top ten before visiting this web site.


Internet Corruption Perception Index 1999 http://www.GWDG.DE/~uwvw/1999.html (bribery, ethics, law)


Mitchell Levy's updates on E-commerce

Dec'99 & Jan'00 Survey Question (http://ecmgt.com/Nov1999 )

Management Perspective: Security, Privacy and Non-monetary Forms of Currency by Mitchell Levy (http://ecmgt.com/Nov1999/management.perspective.htm )

Sponsors (CommerceNet99, Openconsult.com, WorkZ.com) (http://ecmgt.com/Nov1999/sponsors.htm )

Privacy Practices Help Build Trust, Get and Retain Web Customers by Dave Steer (http://ecmgt.com/Nov1999/feature.article.htm )

Readers Comments (http://ecmgt.com/Nov1999/readers.comments.htm )

E-News Sections (http://ecmgt.com/Nov1999/all-enews.htm )

 E-Strategies (sponsored by ECnow.com(http://ecmgt.com/Nov1999/e-strategies.htm

   E-Products (http://ecmgt.com/Nov1999/e-products.htm )

   E-Services (http://ecmgt.com/Nov1999/e-services.htm )

   E-Marketing (http://ecmgt.com/Nov1999/e-marketing.htm )

   E-Commerce Supply Chain (sponsored by ConnectInc.com ) (http://ecmgt.com/Nov1999/supply.chain.htm )

   Content, Portals & Community (http://ecmgt.com/Nov1999/content.portals.community.htm )

   Governance & Going Global (http://ecmgt.com/Nov1999/governance.going.global.htm )

   Partners & Deals (http://ecmgt.com/Nov1999/partners.deals.htm )

   Movers & Shakers (http://ecmgt.com/Nov1999/movers.shakers.htm )


From the Scout Report

From the New York Public Library (NYPL) Planning Digital Projects for Historical Collections http://digital.nypl.org/brochure/index.html  
African American Women Writers of the 19th Century http://digital.nypl.org/schomburg/writers_aa19/toc.html 

Online! Citation Styles http://www.bedfordstmartins.com/online/index.html 

Latin Phrases and Words Used in English http://depthome.brooklyn.cuny.edu/classics/englatin.htm 

HUD Report: "What We Know About Mortgage Lending Discrimination in America" Press Release: http://www.hud.gov/pressrel/pr99-191.html  Full report: http://www.hud.gov/pressrel/newsconf/menu.html 


Also from the Scout Report --- Online Study Guides http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/guides_index.html 

This site features study guides prepared by English Professor Paul Brians of Washington State University for his classes, but available free of charge to Web users, provided they credit the author. The site offers study guides to an extensive library of works, including texts in the fields of science fiction, world history, eighteenth and nineteenth century European classics, Renaissance and World Literature, and the Bible. The study guides not only provide detailed summaries and analyses of the texts, but helpful glossaries of vocabulary and allusions, related Web links, and explanations of key cultural concepts. All together, there are study guides for about 75 texts as well as useful guides to such things as Misconceptions, Confusions, and Conflicts Concerning Socialism, Communism, and Capitalism; and French Impressionist painting.


Another find in the Scout Report --- Glass Ceiling Commission [.pdf] http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/library/e_archive/glassceiling/ 

Existing from 1991-1996, the Glass Ceiling Commission was a federally funded commission which considered the "invisible, artificial barriers that prevent qualified individuals from advancing within their organization and reaching full potential." While the term "Glass Ceiling" originally referred to women, it was expanded to also include minorities. The Catherwood Library at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University has electronically archived the reports and findings of the commission, as well as a host of papers written on the Glass Ceiling Commission. The Commission summaries, reports, and findings are annotated, as are the accompanying papers.


Microsoft's CE is losing game in palm-size struggle  http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/stories/news/0,4153,1017923,00.html 


Someone encouraged me to post the reference to a chapter by Robert Bjork, a cognitive psychologist at UCLA. Bjork has headed some sort of national task force on applications of cognitive science, and he's well known for his own memory research.

The chapter describes in very accessible terms a phenomenon well known to memory researchers: Characteristics of "learning" situations that promote long term retention and use of cognitive skills also tend to give learners the short-term impression that they have not learned. This is not an intuitive relationship for many people in educational settings. It is often ignored by those who want to evaluate teaching and learning. For example, teachers are encouraged by typical professional contingencies to design their courses in ways that lead students to feel confident in what they have learned. I recommend:

Bjork, R. A. (1994). Memory and metamemory considerations in the training of human beings. In J. Metcalf & A. P. Shimamura (Eds.), Metacognition (pp. 185-206). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. I have the book.

Paula Hertel phertel@trinity.edu Department of Psychology 715 Stadium Drive San Antonio, TX 78212-7200voice: 210-999-8380 fax: 210-999-8386

The other form of my "summary" is:  The techniques that lead students to be satisfied with their progress (e.g., high quiz grades, impressions of being knowledgeable...) are those that lead to poorer performance after some time has passed.

I also have that book Paula, but I missed that point about "short-term impression that they have not learned". Bravo!

Some of Bjork's other findings are summarized at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/265wp.htm


A reminder for Trinity University Staff and Students:

The Library is pleased to announce a new online subscription to the San Antonio Express-News, available through NewsBank. The full text of all articles as recent as the previous day are searchable; the archives goes back to 1990. Articles from the current day are not available in this subscription.

You can connect to the Express-News (as well as Global NewsBank, another subscription product) through the Library's Electronic Resources web page at http://www.trinity.edu/departments/library/electronic_resources.html  or directly at http://infoweb.newsbank.com/ 

The product is site-licensed, meaning any networked computer with a Trinity IP number may sign in. ----------------------------------------------- Christopher Nolan Head of Reference, Coates Library Trinity University San Antonio, Texas 78212-7200 cnolan@trinity.edu http://www.trinity.edu/cnolan phone: 210/999-7429 fax: 210/999-8021


Apple or Dell: Who rules education?  http://www.pcweek.com/a/pcwt9911045/2387572/ 


For Tom Robinson (I am still grateful for our trip to Alaska that you arranged.)  See http://www.nationalgeographic.com/greatland/ 


ASK EDITH THOSE REAL ESTATE QUESTIONS  http://www.lycos.com/realestate/index.html#edith 


Database of TravelHelpers http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/2442/database.html 


China: Fifty Years Inside the People's Republic http://www.AsiaSociety.org/arts/chinaphotos/ 


Some tips to help e-valuate Web sites --- forget the profit motive  http://www.pcweek.com/b/pcwt9911046/2384324/ 


From InformationWeek Daily on November 5:

R.R. Donnelley Partners With Microsoft In E-Book Deal

Printing giant R.R. Donnelley & Sons yesterday said it has agreed to license software from Microsoft for the creation and distribution of electronic books. The move is part of Donnelley's campaign to create a massive repository for electronic content that it plans to make available for sale via distribution deals with publishers and online retailers.

"The growth of the electronic-book market has been limited by the chicken-and-egg factor, but we believe that we have taken care of that," says Mark Bayer, Donnelley's senior VP and general manager for Digital Content Services.

Under the deal, Donnelley will license Microsoft software for online rights management and distribution. The software will reside on servers maintained by Donnelley, with Microsoft receiving fees based on the number of hits received. Earlier this year, Microsoft and Donnelley collaborated in developing a standard format--dubbed Open eBook--for delivering electronic content across a wide range of viewing devices. Bayer says Donnelley plans to offer a variety of content through the service, including popular literature, rare titles, and corporate literature and documentation.

Meanwhile, Microsoft will independently market its Microsoft Reader device--a portable platform for downloading and viewing E-books--beginning in the first quarter of 2000. The Microsoft Reader uses Microsoft's ClearType font technology to create reader-friendly text on screen.


Education in Year 2010 --- Below is a description of the November/December 1999 issue of The Technology Source, a free refereed Web periodical at http://horizon.unc.edu/TS   

Virtual classrooms, videoconferencing, course catalogues tailored to individual student interests--Rodney L. Everhart, president of SCT Education Solutions, has a vision of how these high-tech elements will contribute to the world of education in the year 2010. Editor James L. Morrison interviews Everhart about this vision and about how these new technologies will combine to encourage students to become asynchronous, independent learners.

Dirk Rodenburg's commentary reminds educators and corporate trainers that the potential for using Internet technology to teach depends on many factors besides the availability of advanced hardware. As Rodenburg puts it, the challenge is not only to use technology, but to use it appropriately. Context, sustainability, and sound educational principles are as important as ever, and an understanding of the target learner population is critical. Rodenburg suggests five objectives for online design that both educators and information technology experts won't want to miss.

Students in Indiana State University's Department of Industrial Technology Education (ITE) have lots of different needs--and the ITE program offers them lots of different options. Chris Zirkle and Hal Shoemaker report that students choose not only which courses they will take, but also how those courses will be delivered to them. All classes are offered on campus for students who prefer an emphasis on face-to-face interaction. But almost half of ITE's courses each semester are also taught using three alternative simultaneous delivery methods: a satellite system, a videotaped program, and an Internet-based program. The advantages offered by each delivery option allow the ITE program to serve a student base with widely diverse needs and learning styles. Sound useful, creative, and intriguing enough for a Technology Source Case Study? We thought so.

Many educators have theorized about how to transform a traditional degree program into a dynamic Internet-based one; Mary Anne Nixon and Beth Leftwich have actually done it. In this issue's second case study, they retrace the steps Western Carolina University took to define a mission and goals, unite a team, design a structure, implement a program, and provide for constant improvement. Nixon and Leftwich's firsthand account is sure to encourage any readers who have heard exciting projections about using technology but find themselves wondering, "How would we ever do that here?"

In this issue's look at the virtual university, Joel Foreman imagines a virtual world that students explore using computer-based selves called avatars. These avatars roam unbounded through time and space, interacting with other avatars and with their surroundings. Besides describing his own first venture into this world, Foreman tells about creating a set of virtual team-building exercises for his students. His experiences illuminate the potential for the use of this technology in education, leaving readers with the question, "Who, after all, will want to sit in a classroom or read a book, say, about Elizabethan London when it is possible to explore an avatar version of that long ago city?"

Providing face-to-face faculty and staff development workshops for scattered rural educators has traditionally been costly and time-consuming for everyone involved, but Angie Parker thinks new technology provides a better way. Parker and a team of professors and graduate students developed a series of online workshops for special education teachers in rural Washington State. Combining online journals, chat groups, and abundant assistance, these workshops allowed faculty to learn new behavioral assessment techniques within their own classrooms. Faculty practiced techniques and recorded responses throughout the school day, exercising new skills and receiving the ongoing support that a one-day workshop in a distant city could never offer. Best of all, Parker reports that her team's user-friendly approach made teachers comfortable with the Internet technology that could link them to even more professional support.

Sometimes the sheer abundance of Web resources on education can be, well, daunting. In this issue's spotlight site, Terry Calhoun tells about the Scout Report Web site, home of four publications that take on the challenge of monitoring for new postings and Web sites, sorting and evaluating their findings, and organizing and annotating the material specifically for educators. According to Calhoun, this well designed, timesaving site "amply justifies its motto of 'Scout Smarter.' "


The AccountingWEB Newswire - Issue 16 November 5, 1999 http://www.accountingweb.com 

1. The Rumor Is True: The First CPA/Law Firm Is Here
2. New Independence Requirements for Auditors Approved
3. IRS Will Be Ready for Y2K (Not!)
4. Congratulations, You've Got a Website. Now What?
5. Workplace Violence: These Resources Can Save Lives and $$$
6. Required Reading: M&A Insight from One of the Best
7. Proven Ideas To Keep Paper From Burying You
8. No Operating System. No Booting Up. No Kidding . . .
9. Search the Web Like a Pro


November 5th Internet Essentials '99 Newsletter for the financial professional http://www.tiac.net/users/nhannon/news.html 

1. Forget 5 Cents/minute...Free PC to Phone Phone Calls! 
2. Peter Drucker on the Information Revolution 
3. Microsoft Giving Away Free Anti-Virus Software To Fight Y2K Hackers 
4. Want Fast Internet? How about 1,000x Standard Modems 
5. RCFoC or The Rapidly Changing Face of Computing 6. The Numbers Behind Spam (Junk e-mail)
7. Quick Hitters: New and Helpful


Travel lodging for Train Watchers  http://home.att.net/~roadrailer/MotelsIntro.html 


From a second cousin twice removed (not far enough)!

A Touching Story about Love and Marriage

An elderly man named Bob lay dying in his bed. In agony, he suddenly smells the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookies wafting up the stairs. His lovely and devoted wife, Erika, is baking his favorite foods on what is possibly his last day on earth.  Bob gathers his remaining strength and lifts himself from the bed. Leaning against the wall, he slowly makes his way out of the bedroom and with even greater effort forces himself down the stairs, gripping the railing with both hands. With labored breath, Bob leans against the door frame, gazing into the kitchen.

Were it not for death's agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven --- there, spread out upon newspapers on the kitchen table are literally hundreds of his favorite chocolate chip cookies.

Is this really heaven? His wife is absolutely lovely in her finest dindle and ruffled apron.  Or, this the one final act of heroic love of his devoted Erika, seeing to it that he leaves this world a happy man? Mustering one great final effort, he throws himself toward the table and lands on his knees in a rumpled posture. His parched lips part in anticipation of  a wondrous cookie that might, at least momentarily, relieve his pain.

His aged and withered hand, shakingly makes its way to the table's the edge and over the top where it's suddenly smacked with a spatula.

"Stay out of those!" she commands, "They're for the funeral."


I received this from one of my top students (Katherine Kornelis). 

TIPS FROM STAFF TO THEIR SENIORS/MANAGERS:

1) Never give me work in the morning. Always wait until 4PM and then bring it in to me. The challenge of a deadline is refreshing. If it's a rush job, run in and interrupt me every 10 minutes to inquire how I am doing. That helps. Or even better, hover behind me, advising me at every keystroke.

2) Always leave without telling anyone where you are going. It gives me a chance to be creative when someone asks where you are.

3) If my arms are full of papers, boxes, books, or supplies, don't open the door for me. I need to learn how to function as a paraplegic and opening doors with no arms is good training.

4) If you give me more than one job to do, don't tell me which is the priority. I am psychic.

5) Do your best to keep me late. I adore this office and really have nowhere to go or anything to do. I have no life beyond work.

6) If a job I do pleases you, keep it a secret. If that gets out, is could mean a promotion. If you don't like my work, tell everyone. I like my name to be popular in conversations.

7) I was born to be whipped.

8) If you have special instructions for a job, don't write them down or even mention them. In fact, save them until the job is almost done. No use confusing me with useful information.

9) Never introduce me to people you are with. I have no right to know anyone or anything. In the corporate food chain, I am plankton. When you refer to them later, my shrewd deductions will identify them.

10) Be nice to me only when the job I am doing for you could really change your life and send you straight to manager's hell.

11) Tell me all your little problems. No one else has any and it's nice to know someone is less fortunate. I especially like the story about you having to pay so much tax on the bonus check you received for being such a good manager.

12) Wait until my yearly review and THEN tell me what my goals should have been.

13) Give me a mediocre performance rating. Receiving only a cost of living adjustment is fine with me, I'm not here for the money anyway.


And that's the way it was on November 9, 1999 with a little help from my friends.

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

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

 

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November 2, 1999


Chuck Hickman gave over 20 years of devoted service to the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).  He's endured more deans than any of us would ever care to take on.  Three cheers for Chuck!  Maybe we should send him one of the Shakespearian Insults given at the bottom of this edition of New Bookmarks.  Seriously, we wish Chuck well in his new position as Vice President of Academic Affairs at University Access, 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 801, Los Angeles, CA 90028.  His email address is chickman@universityaccess.com .

The University Access home page is at http://www.universityaccess.com/ 

University Access (UA) is an Internet-based company specializing in broadband content for higher education. By combining the strengths of the Internet and television, UA creates a world-class library of interactive courseware and video content for distance and lifelong learners in three distinct marketplaces: undergraduate, graduate business, and corporate education.

University Access (UA) will now deliver broadcasts of its business courses on the Internet. A free hour of lecture preview for each of its courses is available across all bandwidths, from dialup to T1 connections. UA's business courses will also be available on-demand and for purchase on the broadcast.com Web site.

In addition, students taking UA courses through one of the company's partnering colleges and universities can now access the lecture materials at no additional cost by broadcast television (due to a partnership with PBS/Adult Learning Service) and cable access channels.

The T.H.E. Journal, (Broadband EduNet), October 1999, pg. 35 notes the following:

University Access will now deliver broadcasts of its business courses on the Internet.  A free hour of lecture preview for each of its courses is available across all bandwidths, from dialup to T1 connections.  UA's business courses will also be available on-demand and for purchase on the http://www.broadcast.com/  web site.


The for-free IASC comparison study of IAS 39 versus SFAS 133 (by Paul Pacter) at http://www.iasc.org.uk/news/cen8_142.htm

The non-free FASB comparison study of all standards entitled The IASC-U.S. Comparison Project: A Report on the Similarities and Differences between IASC Standards and U.S. GAAP
SECOND EDITION, (October 1999) at http://www.rutgers.edu/Accounting/raw/fasb/IASC/iascus2d.html

Andrew Lymer (in Double Entries, October 27, 1999) pointed out that a recent G4+1 report is available for a fee in some countries but is being distributed free online by the FASB.  The report is entitled Special Report on Joint Ventures from the G4+1 and the free source is at http://www.rutgers.edu/Accounting/raw/fasb/news/nr93099.html.  


Good work Mark!  Mark Garrison is the first Trinity University faculty member, to my knowledge, to become directly involved in the delivery of an online worldwide course.  You can read the following at http://www.trinity.edu/departments/classical%5Fstudies/profess.html 

Between 1990 and 1992 he was field director of the Trinity University excavations at Carthage, Tunisia, and since 1995 he has been the field director of the Bilkent University excavations at HacImusalar in Turkey. Dr. Garrison has recently received grants from the ACS Mellon Teaching with Technology Initiative to pursue the use of information technology in the teaching of archaeology. As part of this initiative, he is the director of the ACS Archaeology program. In the Spring 1999 semester, he and ACS faculty from five other schools are teaching an on-line course on the Archaeology of Western Anatolia. For more details on the ACS Mellon Teaching with Technology Grant, click here.


Every educator should know about this free journal called Rapidly Changing Face of Computing from  Jeff Harrow at http://www.digital.com/rcfoc/ 

The Rapidly Changing Face of Computing is not a new publication -- it's been around for years providing tens of thousands of employees at Digital Equipment Corporation with pragmatic, unbiased insight, analysis, and commentary on the innovations and trends of contemporary computing.

As a result of some experiments we conducted making The Rapidly Changing Face of Computing available to people outside of Digital, we found that many of you are also interested in receiving the RCFoC to help you keep up on these innovations and trends -- insights that will help prepare you to make the best possible business decisions in an industry that "moves at net speed." And that's the goal of the RCFoC -- that plus challenging you to connect all of these events in ways that may be beyond the obvious or comfortable -- "beyond the nine dots." Ways that may help you consider your business, and your career, in light of "The Rapidly Changing Face of Computing."

I suppose I should introduce myself, Jeff Harrow. I'm a Senior Consulting Engineer with Compaq's Technology & Corporate Development organization. I have a long history, both outside of, and for the last 13 years within Digital and now Compaq, of exploring new ideas and technologies that have the potential to "change the rules - big time" (of course this isn't all altruistic -- let's face it, this new technology can be fun!). I've been known to challenge the status quo, and I try to approach the constantly changing innovations and trends that drive the high tech industry, our society and our business practices -- not from the detailed technical perspective of the engineer, but from that of the people who actually use the results of all this technology -- the users.

And now we're sharing these generally weekly musings with you 40+ times per year. But let's be clear on one thing -- the commentary that I bring you through the RCFoC represents my views on these rapidly evolving events, and do not necessarily reflect those of Compaq. By the way, I look forward to your feedback . . . 

So let's get started. I promise to give you some interesting tidbits, to provoke some "Hummm, what if..." thoughts, and -- to have some fun -- as together we explore The Rapidly Changing Face of Computing.

An example tidbit from  Jeff Harrow can be found at http://www.digital.com/rcfoc/19991101.htm#_Toc465668790 

The Oct. 19 Los Angeles Times ( http://www.latimes.com/news/front/19991019/t000094383.html ) reports that the 231-year old Britannica, which has seen its workforce shrink from 2,300 ten years ago to 350, is now making the rigorously-researched contents of its entire 32 volume set available through its Web site at no charge, hoping to derive its revenue from advertising ( http://www.britannica.com  ). Their new goal, according to Sr. VP Jorge Cauz, is, "... to become the most trusted source of information, learning and knowledge in the online environment."  

Note from Jensen:  You will also find a Neil Hannon link to this at http://www.tiac.net/users/nhannon/news.html 

As you may know, the launch of Britannica.com last week created such an enormous volume of traffic that we were simply unable to handle the demand. Many people have told us how eager they are to use the site, and as I'm sure you can imagine, we are just as eager to make it available. I now believe we will be able to serve a significant number of users beginning sometime next week. But even after the site goes live once again, we will continue to add capacity over the next several weeks until we reach a point where we are confident we can successfully serve everyone who wants to use Britannica.com. As we've discovered, that's a lot of people, and reaching that capacity is a big job, but we're committed to getting there as fast as we can.

In the meantime, I'd like to share with you some of what we will have to offer at Britannica.com. Most of the attention you've seen has probably focused on the Encyclopedia Britannica itself, but that's just the beginning of what you'll find here. We will also offer the text of more than 75 top-quality magazines, a directory of the best sites on the Web, and the Books in Print database. You'll be able to search all of these sources simultaneously and receive trustworthy information on your topic from a wide range of quality sources.

What's more, Britannica.com will feature content that's updated daily on current events in sixteen different subject areas including news, arts and entertainment, business, and science. In short, it will be a place where you can find the information you need, or just come to learn something new.


In a previous online document, I provided audio excerpts from executives at Union Carbide praising their worldwide integrated installation of ERP (via SAP).  The web address is http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/000overview/133suma.htm 

Now we have a chilling (Oh nuts!) account of a disastrous installation of ERP (via SAP) at Hershey.  Shall I say the ERP was not even bitter sweet? (Sorry about that.)  One report of this is entitled "Hershey's Biggest Dud Has Turned Out to Be Its New Technology" in a lead article in The Wall Street Journal, October 29, 1999, pg 1.  In fairness the SAP experts are pointing fingers elsewhere, but then every player in this fiasco is pointing fingers of blame on someone else.

The bottom line is that Enterprise Resource Planning implementations are tricky no matter how much is spent and how deep the commitment to make them work.  When they succeed, everybody toasts their glasses to the celebration "Treats."  When an ERP installation is a dud for a candy company's wholesale shipments in the months leading up to Halloween, ERP is the costly trick part of "Trick or Treat."


I received this message from the former Chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board.  It concerns my comments above and the Union Carbide audio clips in http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/000overview/133suma.htm 

Bob,

In reading your latest bookmarks last night I noticed your comment about problems with Hershey's ERP system. You also made reference to your previous "praise" of Union Carbide. You might have missed it but Union Carbide has had some problems too. Its press release for the September quarter included the following paragraph:

In addition, the corporation reported that it has restated net earnings for the first and second quarters of 1999 upward by $6 million ($0.04 per diluted share) and $7 million ($0.05 per diluted share), respectively. The fourth quarter of 1998 earnings were also understated by $2 million, after tax ($0.01 per diluted share), the adjustment for which has been included in the third quarter of 1999. These adjustments correct an overstatement of cost of sales of $22 million ($15 million, after tax). The overstatement was the result of human error associated with a work process change in conjunction with Union Carbide's enterprise-wide information systems implementation. The overstatement did not impact cash flow. As restated, diluted earnings per share for the second quarter of 1999 were $0.46, including a net gain of $0.06 from a litigation settlement.

There's a related item in this morning's (November 2, 1999) Wall Street Journal that notes that the company that makes GoreTex products is suing Deloitte & Touche and PeopleSoft for a faulty ERP system that, among other things, made incorrect payments to Donald Duck.

Denny Beresford
University of Georgia


From INFOBITS

TOP 100 BOOKS IN LIBRARIES

A survey was taken of the 8,650 libraries that list their collections in WorldCat (the OCLC Online Union Catalog of materials from libraries in the U.S. and other countries) to find out what books they were most likely to have on their shelves. With 3,971 libraries listed as having it in their collections, In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America's Best-Run Companies, by Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman, Jr., topped a list of one hundred books, a position it has held since 1989. The list is heavy in reference works (Bartlett's Familiar Quotations; The Elements of Style, by William Strunk, Jr.) and nonfiction bestsellers (Megatrends, by John Naisbitt; The Closing of the American Mind, by Allan Bloom). To view the entire list, go to http://www.oclc.org/oclc/press/19991005a.htm 

The OCLC member libraries include all types of libraries: research, university, public, corporate, government, and school libraries. For more information about OCLC and its other services, see their Website at http://www.oclc.org/ 

-------------------------------------

RECOMMENDED READING

"Recommended Reading" lists items that have been recommended to me or that I have found particularly interesting and/or useful. Send your recommendations to carolyn_kotlas@unc.edu 

Dr. Jason Ohler, Director, Educational Technology Program, University of Alaska Southeast, would like other Infobits readers to know about his new book on technology and society. TAMING THE BEAST: CHOICE AND CONTROL IN THE ELECTRONIC JUNGLE (Technos Press, 1999) "casts a discerning eye on our love-hate affair with technology; reveals 27 ways to see, evaluate, and gain control over the electronic and mechanical extensions that have become such vital parts of our lives; and shows how we can choose new machines wisely for educational, business, and community use." More information, including the table of contents and reviewers' quotes, are available at http://www2.jun.alaska.edu/edtech/taming 

Contact the author: Dr. Jason Ohler, Director, Educational Technology Program, University of Alaska Southeast, 11120 Glacier Highway, Juneau, AK 99801 USA; tel: 907-465-6427; fax: 907-465-5159; email: jason_ohler@uas.alaska.edu; Web: http://www.jun.alaska.edu/edtech/jason/ 


Campus Computing Project  http://www.campuscomputing.net/ 

Begun in 1990, the Campus Computing Project focuses on the use of information technology in higher education. The project's national studies draw on qualitative and quantitative data to help inform faculty, campus administrators, and others interested in the use of information technology in American colleges and universities.

The annual Campus Computing Survey is the largest continuing study of the role of information technology in US higher education. Each year more than 600 two-and four-year public and private colleges and universities participate in this survey, which focuses on campus planning and policy affecting the role of information technology in teaching, learning, and scholarship.


Thank you Matthew R. Bunin for the tip on WinLinux 2000 at http://www.winlinux.net/ 


From INFOBITS

ELECTRONIC CLASS DISCUSSION HANDBOOK
Nancy Chism, Director, Office of Faculty and TA Development, The Ohio State University, did a qualitative study on electronic discussions, primarily listserv discussions, and published her findings and guidelines on the Web. HANDBOOK FOR INSTRUCTORS ON THE USE OF ELECTRONIC CLASS DISCUSSION is a practitioner's guide, and it includes comments by faculty and students. Although the study was done a couple of years ago and some of the details are specific to the OSU campus, most of the information is still very useful for faculty who are contemplating introducing online discussions in their courses. The Handbook is available at http://www.osu.edu/education/ftad/Publications/elecdisc/pages/home.htm 

I found the "Tips" to be helpful.  Note especially Tip 4 that reads as follows:

Instructors and students alike pointed out that the instructor needs to be willing to put in the time needed for being a good facilitator. Students recommended that instructors maintain a balance between enough structure to ensure order and civility but not so much as to dominate student discussion. One instructor indicated that the amount of structure will depend on the course goals: "If it's a writing class, I'd say that the [electronic discussion] should be the students' space and that the instructor should be very passive and talk about issues and conflicts in writing as they come up and help them bring this to their paper assignments. . . . If it's for more of a content area, I would focus it upon certain issues that they're going to discuss: reactions to books they may have read, reactions to historical events. The students and faculty suggested that instructors emphasize good netiquette and model it themselves. The instructor should also structure the list. As one said, "You can't just say, 'Write about something.' It has to be an assignment. [The students] have to feel it's important."

I am reminded that the first time I used this approach (1996/97), one student tabulated my own messages over two semesters at 547.  Even though my classes are small, I now take pity on my students and only send out occasional messages --- live and learn.  Tip 9 reads as follows:

Students recommended that instructors limit the number of messages to a reasonable amount. They would like this number to be set based upon class size so that students do not receive an inordinate number of messages. One student suggested that when class sizes are large, separate discussion lists be set up for subsections of the class to keep the numbers down.


Hi Rudi,

I got a number of requests to help people find web sites about Activities Based Costing (ABC), Theory of Constraints, etc.  Try the links below.

http://akao.larc.nasa.gov/dfc/abc/abcbib.html (annotated bibliography)

http://users.aol.com/caspari/l118.htm (Is ABC Fundamentally Flawed?)

http://www.chief.co.il/toc/ 

http://members.aol.com/caspari0/toc/BIBLIOG.HTM (bibliography)

http://www.focusedmanagement.com/FMI%20Articles/softabc%281%29.htm (ABC Software)

http://www.deloitte.com.au/index.asp?MenuId=0&Page=/content/abc.asp 

http://www.mmsonline.com/articles/119803.html 

http://mba.vanderbilt.edu/germain.boer/Creating%20Value/Discussions/InvLevelandProfit.htm (from my good friend Germain)

http://www.intentia.se/liston/1762_2.lxml 

http://www.neiu.edu/~hchen/202/98/ 

http://web.mit.edu/lfm/www/working_papers/1996_abstracts/strimling_abstract_1996.html 

http://www.sba.pdx.edu/faculty/darrellb/dbaccess/finalstu.htm 

http://www.acq-ref.navy.mil/wcp/abc2.html 

http://www.tocc.com/Geyser_G.html (you have to do a little hunting)

http://hamilton99.execmba.com/activity.htm (Case Study)

http://www.acca.org.za/publications/studenews/9811p34.html (Value Added)

http://www.sbm.temple.edu/~jmereba/research.html (See the Working Papers section)

I would examine the listing of the Managerial Accounting texts at http://www.bn.com/. Enter the search terms "Managerial Accounting" and "Management Accounting." 

I also recommend that you look at the Managerial and Cost Accounting Courses in ACE at http://www.rutgers.edu/Accounting/raw/aaa/ace/index.htm 

Added later 

Dear Professor Jensen,

There is an interesting website about ABC and EVA that named: Activity-Based Costing (ABC) Economic Value Added Internet Website GuideWritten by Narcyz Roztocki (http://www.newpaltz.edu/~roztockn/)  at http://www.pitt.edu/~roztocki/abc/abc.htm 

Regards,

Rudi Handoko
Tim1 [Tim1@jsx.co.id

Note from Jensen:  I added a new ABC costing section in my Bookmarks at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm#ABC 


Hi Bob,
You might be interested in a bookmark synchronization service.  One can synchronize bookmarks on all their computers and for all browsers, and can invite others to subscribe to their bookmarks.  If you published your bookmarks, it would prevent your having to constantly e-mail your bookmark file.  You can check this out at www.syncit.com. There is at least one other service whose name escapes me.
 
I have used syncit.com for a couple of months and it has worked fine.  In addition, there are also a number of public bookmarks at their site one can subscribe to.
 
You might want to check this out.
 
Roger B. Cruser, CPA
www.cruser.com
 
Yes of course you may quote me.  Two other programs neither of which I have used are:
 
       1. Mastak BOOKMArKER  at:  http://www.mastak.com/  I have used this program to convert Favorites to Netscape Bookmarks and vice versa, but they just added a synchronization feature.
 
        2. Cool Sync  at: http://bookmarks.coolsync.com/  I downloaded but have not tried.
 
 
The above are free.  It is great to have office and home bookmarks in sync.  Also i traveled to Oregon this past weekend and could use my bookmarks from up there on using relative's computer for internet access.
 
Professors like you make a difference.  I know there was quite a debate in the past about your bookmarks.  I have found them useful.
 
Keep up the good work.
Roger B. Cruser, CPA
www.cruser.com
 

Updates from FEI Express

FASB Update 
Last week's FASAC (advisory council to the FASB) meeting yielded some interesting nuggets of information.

The FASB is currently reviewing its agenda priorities by discussing possible new projects with constituents. Out of the discussion I was most surprised by the high interest in lease accounting. Lynn Turner of the SEC had it as his top item of importance. He commented that the SEC staff was not finding lack of compliance with current rules, but they were amazed at the assets and liabilities that were off the balance sheet. It sounds like he favors a complete reconsideration of FAS 13. Important heads-up for all of you with major lease accounting in your business.

Other possible projects - reporting cash flow, accounting for R&D, liability recognition, the second phase of the business combinations project, and accounting for unconsolidated entities. I personally favor improving cash flow reporting as more and more management teams and investors focus on it. There was a push at the meeting to REQUIRE the direct method for the cash flow statement. The direct method is currently an optional format and used by very few companies.

SEC Update 
Lynn Turner is also talking about the "poor implementation" of the new segment reporting rules. He said that the Enforcement Division was going to act on the non-compliance soon.

Chairman Levitt gave an important talk last week on a broad range of topics important to our members. Here is a link to the text of the talk: www.sec.gov/news/speeches/spch304.htm 


Hi Claire,

I am not an expert on the Glass Steagall Act. There may be some consultants who can help you put together an event on this topic. Sessions on internal controls and firewalls may be useful. See http://www2.uk.coopers.com/financialservices/bankersdigest/glasssteagall/glasssteagall2.html 

I found it interesting about how banks will take after technology company markets and vice versa. --- see http://ing.azcentral.com/computing/news/june02/bank.shtml  


   SearchOpolis for Educators --- http://www.searchopolis.com/ 

Now there are two great ways to get the most from Searchopolis.

The first, of course, is through the Searchopolis features students and educators have come to respect - the Web's most powerful filtered search engine, a beefed-up curriculum directory, piles of reference material, and today's most up-to-the-minute information.

But now, Searchopolis features an awesome array of Web-based tools for registered users. Together with the research links in Searchopolis, these tools can help you harness all the brain power available on the Internet. Wow!

Check out what's lurking under the tool bar when you join:

Searchopolis E-mail - filtered E-mail system that allows students to safely send and receive E-mail messages within a school environment.

Searchopolis Calendar - an easy-to-use planning tool that allows teachers, students, and parents to schedule and track upcoming group and student activities.

Virtual Locker - file storage and workspace environment where students store files, post virtual notes, and save favorite Internet links for retrieval from any Web browser.

GradeChecker - a grade reporting and communication tool that provides parents and students an instant report card on student progress in the classroom.  (Say what?)


Update on shells for authoring and delivery of online courses.  For more details see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/245soft1.htm 

Blackboard
Blackboard, Inc., Washington, DC, (202) 463-4860  http://www.blackboard.com
Blackboard, Inc. has introduced its online solutions for hosting Web-based courses for mid-level and enterprise-wide systems. Blackboard CourseInfo 3.0 is a mid-level server product used by K-12 schools or universities to create and to maintain scalable course Web sites. Blackboard standardizes the functionality that Web courses demand without customers having to install a Blackboard platform in their own servers.

Blackboard Campus is the enterprise-level online course system. It provides a locally installed, online campus that integrates with university administrative systems and can be customized to suit the institution's unique look and feel. The multinational company NextEd, Ltd., has agreed to license the Blackboard Campus TM software platform for use across its international server network in Asia/Pacific, Europe and Africa. NextEd offers 72 fully accredited university courses on Blackboard's open-software platform and plans to support more than 400 by January 2000.  

-------------------------------------------------------

FirstClass 
SoftArc Inc. Markham, Ontario, Canada (800) SOFTARC www.softarc.com 

From the T.H.E. Journal at http://www.thejournal.com/magazine/vault/A2287.cfm 

Duquesne University has selected SoftArc's FirstClass Intranet Server (FCIS) Version 5.5 as their distance learning tool for bringing students and teachers together in virtual classrooms, free of academia's traditional bricks and mortar. Online conferences are the future of distance learning programs at Duquesne.

An estimated 1,500-2,000 students, faculty and administrators in undergraduate departments and doctoral programs at Duquesne use FCIS 5.5 to replace much of their traditional face-to-face contact with electronic communications from class instruction and e-mail to chat conferences and group projects. Long-term plans call for expanded use of FCIS throughout the University, which is aiming for "10K in 2K"(10,000 students in the year 2000).

Duquesne has four stand-alone Pentium-class Dell servers (named for famous educators Socrates, Dewey, Wolf and Sagan) running FCIS 5.5. Each server has 128 or 256 megabytes of RAM and multiple hard drives. TCP-IP links are used for access. The primary server is licensed for 1,600 users on FCIS 5.5 in the doctoral nursing program and some undergraduate departments. Another machine, dedicated to the doctoral pharmacy program, has 300 users, and will soon be upgraded from FCIS 5.01 to 5.5. Duquesne's Center for Academic Technology uses a third FCIS server. The fourth server handles 1,000 users in the education department. System administrators can create e-mail post offices on multiple drives to meet the University's rapidly growing and changing communications needs.

For more details and other alternatives see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/245soft1.htm 


On the technical IT side of things from Indiana University, you can read about Oncourse Environment in "The Rise of a New Paradigm Shift in Teaching and Learning," by Ali Jafari, T.H.E. Journal, October 1999, pp. 56-68.  See http://www.thejournal.com/magazine/vault/A2289.cfm 

The big picture solution evolved into the research and development of a comprehensive teaching and learning enterprise that offers a "one stop shopping" Web solution to all online teaching and learning needs. From a technical perspective, the Oncourse Environment was designed as an "add on" program to the university legacy system and/or to the Student Information System (SIS) to dynamically create a personal homepage and a course Web site for every individual and every course section in the university. From a business perspective, the Oncourse Environment offers millions of dollars in savings by not creating and maintaining duplicate database systems, nor duplicating existing IT services already in a university, not to mention savings realized by automatic Web site creation and maintenance. From a faculty perspective, Oncourse introduces a new and useful technology with a Toolbox that can be easily learned and maintained without, for most users, the need to attend workshops or receive technical consultation.

Note that this is similar to database system installed at UCLA --- where attempts were made to force all faculty to put up a course web site (with ease) and to make it possible to access student records online, register for courses anywhere in the world, and even package the books required for all courses in a students registration course selections.  I gather that some faculty threw sabots  into the system by refusing to put their course materials online.  Sabots?  Please look of the origins of the word "saboteurs."  Are there also faculty saboteurs at Indiana University?


PBS Business Channel http://www.pbstbc.com/ 


Support challenges at the University of Minnesota call for a robust, easy-to-use help desk system
http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/stories/news/0,4153,2376984,00.html 


Thank you Kibraim for the tip on 'LECTRIC LAW LIBRARY --- http://192.41.4.29/tour.html 


I noticed the following in Macromedia News.  Some of you may be interested.  Sorry about the style of writing.

If you're interested in learning Dreamweaver quickly, check out the top selling new book and CD training kit from world-renowned Web design instructor Lynda Weinman. Dreamweaver 2 Hands-On-Training teaches all the essential features of Dreamweaver 2, including site management, layers, tables, libraries, templates, CSS, DHTML, rollovers, and behaviors.

Read some of the SAMPLE CHAPTERS and check out the other links at: http://www.lynda.com/books/dw2hot 

Order an autographed copy of the book for $31.99 (20% off); visit: http://store.lynda.com  ...then, click Books.

And, for a limited time, when you order Fireworks 2 for $199 from Macromedia's online store, you'll receive a FREE copy of Lynda Weinman's popular video "Learning Fireworks 2.0."


Care to bet on this?  http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/stories/columns/0,4351,2377711,00.html 

Now I'm writing to you again to say thanks. This time, a sincere appreciation for not forcing another one of your products—Windows 2000—out the door too soon. I can see you and your staff have learned a valuable lesson. Even your president, Steve Ballmer (who no doubt had more of a say in this decision than you did), acknowledges that "there's no need to ship at this point ... until [Win2K is] absolutely, positively right."

How times have changed! It used to be release-to-manufacturing dates were a big joke in Redmond. The motto (borrowing from Will Rogers) went something like this: You never wrote a piece of software that couldn't be fixed with a patch, a service pack or an outright upgrade. Yes, writing software is a tricky and imperfect craft, but you have indeed learned your lesson, since you probably realized many corporate users were going to skip the initial version of NT 5.0—I mean Win2K—because history told them to.


Ten Good Deeds in Web Design http://www.useit.com/alertbox/991003.html 

Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox, October 3, 1999:
When analyzing Web design, it is easy to identify a large number of mistakes that reduce usability: the original top-ten mistakes of Web design, the top-ten new mistakes of Web design the top-ten mistakes of Web project management.  It is much harder to say what good things to do since I have never seen a website that was truly stellar with respect to usability. The best major site was probably amazon.com as of late 1998, but during 1999 Amazon declined in usability due to the strategy of blurring the site's focus. Of course, articles that list 30 mistakes can be seen as constructive criticism and a prescription for 30 things to do in a Web project: design to avoid each of the mistakes!

Neilsen provides a list of ten additional design elements that will increase the usability of virtually all sites.


From BARNES & NOBLE [barnesandnoble.com@info.0mm.com]

At the Frankfurt Book Fair, Microsoft announced a brand new .literary award with a $100,000 grand prize. The Frankfurt eBook Awards will go to the best books available electronically (and formatted according to the Open eBook standard). Other e-book companies Nuvomedia and Softbook are also contributing to the awards, which will also include several other $10,000 prizes. Microsoft's Dick Brass said that the goal of the prize is to be an incentive for electronic publishing. Onward!


The National Education Association recently printed a list of paper mill websites where students can download papers for free or for a fee. I'm sure there are other sites as well.

In case you are interested, here they are:

www.schoolsucks.com  

www.a1termpaper.com 

www.ezwrite.com 

www.CheatHouse.com 

http://www.junglepage.com 

Dr. Cassandra Van Buren, Assistant Professor Multimedia and Emerging Communication Technologies Department of Communication ~ Trinity University 715 Stadium Drive ~ San Antonio, TX 78212-7200 210.999.8153 voice ~ 210.999.8355 fax http://www.trinity.edu/vanburen 


Syllabus [ISSN 1089-5914] is published ten times a year by Syllabus Press, Inc., 345 Northlake Drive, San Jose, CA 95117-1261 USA; 
tel: 408-261-7200; fax: 408-261-7280; email: info@syllabus.com; Web:  http://www.syllabus.com/ 

Annual subscriptions are free to individuals who work in colleges, universities, and high schools in the U.S.; $24 (non-educators/U.S.); $24 (Canada and Mexico); $75 (other countries). An online form for free subscriptions is available at http://www.syllabus.com/syllsub.html 


Icon Magazine http://www.iconmagazine.com/ 

At a long-forgotten point in time, humanity developed a need to share stories. And soon thereafter, we set about developing means to satisfy that desire, to fill the hole made by things the soul cannot survive without. We were telling stories not as a substitute for life, but as an enhancement of it. From the first time two human beings ever shared a story, we discovered that the fire that catches in one's imagination spreads as easily as the one in the forest, and that the ashes left behind by that imagination can leave our souls fertile for a lifetime. So think of a story as a process, a dance between a teller and a taker, aware of each other's powers and responsibilities. Every story has a message, a set of ideas and emotions. Every story has a design, or style, or aesthetics. Every story has a medium, a space where the expression takes form. So every story is a trinity between these three things, and the two-way streets that connect them. And remember that every story is alive, is an evolving process where people who receive stories have the power to shape them to the contours of their own soul.

Sometimes, however, your medium can define your limits. And this can be good, because storytellers would die of boredom if they could control everything that their audiences sensed and felt. You can't stimulate imagination and suffocate it at the same time.

But what if there was a place where one found a new freedom from the constraints of a particular medium and had the discipline to properly use it? What if a particular story had a preference about the way in which it would leave one person and go to another? What if you loved all kinds of stories, those from the world and those from the soul, and wanted to be in a place where you could find them all? Would you go there?

Icon may be that place. Icon is a creative endeavor that uses the possibilities afforded by today's technology to bring something new to the art of storytelling. Part magazine, part gallery, part forum, Icon is a participatory space where the power of stories is given a new freedom and saddled with a new responsibility.

Ever wondered what a sunset sounded like? Or what color a sonnet about racism should be? The cosmos and the atom can be compressed or exploded into a story; politics can be satirized, sanitized, satanized; poetry can extol silicon, and electric impulses can make us think about love. Pictures, sounds, and words can mix like hues on a palette; complex ideas and feelings can be separated like bands through a prism. Or a short story can be just a short story.

Put simply, it's like this: what if there was a place where the bonds between what, where, and how we want to create stories were broken and remade in ways that are even freer than they are now? What if there wasn't such a place?

Would you create it?


Wonders of the African World  http://www.pbs.org/wonders/ 


For John Rice --- Vintage Guitars http://www.guitarhq.com/ 


SafeAmerica --- Included safety tips on cyberspace and technology http://www.safeamerica.org/ 

SafeShopping  http://www.safeshopping.org/ 


The AccountingWEB Newswire - Issue 15, October 29, 1999, http://www.accountingweb.com 
1. PWC To Lay Off 1000 Administrative Staff
2. The Line Between CPA and Legal Professions Continues to Blur
3. (Unfortunately Not) The Final Word on Computer Viruses
4. Association Helps Modernize The Chinese Accounting Profession
5. Working With Generation X
6. Big Five Consulting Arms Invest In Start Ups
7. Avoiding The Superman Complex
8. Looking to Specialize?  Consider E-Commerce Accounting
9. Analyzing Financial Statements -- Practical Tips

My good friend Don Van Eynde pointed out this web site in Russia --- http://www.alexei.makeshin@mtu-net.ru/inform_eng/news-99.htm 

News Archive for 1999 16.06.1999 MTU-Intel, one of the leading Internet providers in Moscow, has introduced new Internet cards which not only enable users to register with our company for access to the Internet but also to deposit funds directly to your personal account. 01.06.1999 MTU-Inform cuts tariffs for international and local communications 01.06.1999 MTU-Inform introduces prepaid long diastance telephone card. MTU-Inform offers prepaid access to international and city-to-city communications 21.05.1999 MTU-Inform establishes Russia's first 155 Mbps Internet channel 21.05.1999 MTU-Inform will provide wireless Internet access in Moscow region.


Don also pointed out the link to Association Trends Online http://www.assntrends.com/ 


"The Worthless Ivy League"
We have known for some time after countless studies that, for the brightest and most motivated students, there seems to be "no significant impact" on type of pedagogy, degree or type of education technology, use of video, etc. on performance (although technology does appear to affect pace of learning).  It now appears that choice of college also has "no significant impact."  In "The Worthless Ivy League" in Newsweek, November 1, 1999, pg. 45, Robert Samuelson states the following (also see http://newsweek.com/nw-srv/printed/us/na/a29842-1999oct24.htm):  

We all "know" that going to college is essential for economic success. The more prestigious the college, the greater the success. It's better to attend Yale or Stanford than, say, Arizona State. People with the same raw abilities do better and earn more by graduating from an elite school. The bonus flows (it's said) from better connections, brighter "peers," tougher courses or superior professors. Among many parents, the terror that their children won't go to the "right" college has supported an explosion of guidebooks, counselors and tutoring companies to help students in the admissions race. 

The trouble is that what everyone knows isn't true. Going to Harvard or Duke won't automatically produce a better job and higher pay. Graduates of these schools generally do well. But they do well because they're talented. Had they chosen colleges with lesser nameplates, they would (on average) have done just as well. The conclusion is that the Ivy League—a metaphor for all elite schools—has little comparative advantage. They may expose students to brilliant scholars and stimulating peers. But the schools don't make the students' success. Students create their own success; this makes the schools look good.

...

Dale and Krueger examined the 1976 freshmen of 34 colleges. They ranged from Yale, Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore (highest in SAT scores) to Penn State and Denison University (lowest in scores). The SAT gap between top and bottom was about 200 points. Dale and Krueger knew which colleges had accepted and rejected these students as well as their future earnings.

...

The explanation is probably simple. At most colleges, students can get a good education if they try. "An able student who attends a lower tier school can find able students to study with," write Dale and Krueger. Similarly, even elite schools have dimwits and deadbeats. Once you're in the job market, where you went to college may matter for a few years, early in your career. Companies don't know much about young employment candidates. A shiny credential (an Ivy League degree) may impress. But after that, what people can or can't do counts for more. Skills grow. Reputations emerge. Companies prefer the competent from Podunk to the incompetent from Princeton.

If you can't (or won't) take advantage of what Princeton offers, Princeton does no good. What students bring to college matters more than what colleges bring to students. The lesson has relevance beyond elite schools. As a society, we've peddled college as a cure for many ills. Society needs more skilled workers. So, send more students to college. College graduates earn much more than high-school graduates. So—to raise incomes—send more students to college. In that, we've succeeded. Perhaps three quarters of high-school graduates go to college, including community colleges.

Samuelson bases his editorial on the recent research of Alan Krueger (an economist from Princeton University) and Stacy Berg Dale (a researcher at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation).  However, his essay does not quite tell all of the story.  I performed a web search on Dale's papers and found a link to an abstract of their working paper entitled "Estimating the Payoff to Attending a More Selective College: An Application of Selection on Observables and Unobservables" at http://papers.nber.org/papers/W7322

There are many estimates of the effect of college quality on students' subsequent earnings. One difficulty interpreting past estimates, however, is that elite colleges admit students, in part, based on characteristics that are related to their earnings capacity. Since some of these characteristics are unobserved by researchers who later estimate wage equations, it is difficult to parse out the effect of attending a selective college from the students' pre-college characteristics. This paper uses information on the set of colleges at which students were accepted and rejected to remove the effect of unobserved characteristics that influence college admission. Specifically, we match students in the newly collected College and Beyond (C&B) Data Set who were admitted to and rejected from a similar set of institutions, and estimate fixed effects models. As another approach to adjust for selection bias, we control for the average SAT score of the schools to which students applied using both the C&B and National Longitudinal Survey of the High School Class of 1972. We find that students who attended more selective colleges do not earn more than other students who were accepted and rejected by comparable schools but attended less selective colleges. However, the average tuition charged by the school is significantly related to the students' subsequent earnings. Indeed, we find a substantial internal rate of return from attending a more costly college. Lastly, the payoff to attending an elite college appears to be greater for students from more disadvantaged family backgrounds.

Three cheers for tuition.  Let's up it some more for the sake of helping our students.

In fairness, Samuelson does site other studies which support his basic conclusions:

A new study from the Department of Education ("College for All?") reports that these students achieve only modest gains in skills and income. What determines who finishes? In another report, Clifford Adelman—a senior researcher at the Department of Education—finds that the most powerful factor is the difficulty of high-school courses. And the finding is strongest for black and Hispanic students. Not having enough money (inadequate financial aid) explains few dropouts. Tough courses do more than transmit genuine skills. They provide the experience—and instill the confidence—of completing something difficult.

How to motivate students to do their best? How to make high schools demanding while still engaging? How to transmit important values (discipline, resourcefulness, responsibility) to teenagers, caught in life's most muddled moment? These are hard questions for parents and society as a whole. If the answers were self-evident, we'd have already seized them. But going to college—even Harvard—is no shortcut.

Three cheers for tough courses and tough standards.


Reply to the above message from Rich Meyer

Samuelson's brief article is corroborated by: Pascarella, Ernest T. and Terenzini, Patrick T. How college affects students : findings and insights from twenty years of research. 1st ed. San Francisco : Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1991. [LC call no.: LA229.P34 1991]

That review, which summarizes the research of many others besides the authors, breaks the outcomes from college down into eight or nine categories. In most of them, choice does make a difference. In terms of cognitive development and learning, it is the internal variables that count -- motivation, learning ability, and so forth.

It's a long book, but well worth reading. To whit: "there is little consistent evidence to indicate that college selectivity, prestige, or educational resources have any important net impact on students in such areas as learning, cognitive and intellectual development, other psychosocial changes, the development of principled moral reasoning, or shifts in other attitudes and values. Nearly all of the variance in learning and cognitive outcomes is attributable to individual aptitude differences among students attending different colleges. Only a small and perhaps trivial part is uniquely due to the quality of the college attended." (Pg. 592) Their synthesis of results corroborates those of the other major research syntheses in this area.

Sort of focuses your sense of mission, doesn't it? Eg., maybe it is wise for students to select the college based not on what they want to learn (assuming they WANT to learn anything) but on how the choice will impact one's long-range objectives. Do a high percentage of TU graduates make it into med school? Do you want to be a doctor? Then, other factors equal, TU may be a better choice than TA&M.

From: Richard Meyer [mailto:rmeyer@Trinity.edu ]
Sent: Monday, November 01, 1999 10:49 AM
To: tigertalk@Trinity.edu
Subject: Re: "The Worthless Ivy League"


A responding message from Bob Blystone

Bob:  
Thank you for calling attention to Dale and Krueger's research.  Along this line, the Chronicle recently (sorry I don't have the exact issue but 
in the last month or so) reported on drop out rates and the selectivity of the school.  The most selective schools had about an 8% non-graduation 
rate and the least selective schools had a 46% (or so) non-graduation rate.
In a related area, The Sept 3 Chronicle reported on a study titled "The American College Teacher" based on a survey including 34,000 faculty at 
about 400 colleges. Of the surveyed professoriate the data revealed the following:
64% male
77% married
25% divorced
32% with an academic partner
56% tenured
61% under 35 used the computer at least twice a week for scholarship
48% over 55 used the computer at least twice a week for scholarship
One of the more interesting features of the Chronicle article dealt with "How Professors Teach and Test".  One might want to check out the 
information on page A18.

Robert V. Blystone, Ph.D. <RBLYSTON@Trinity.edu>
Professor of Biology
Trinity University
San Antonio, Texas 78212
210.999-7243 210.999-7229 FAX


AccountingStudents Newsletter: October 26, 1999 http://www.accountingstudents.com

IN THIS ISSUE: 
1. Account For Your Future Scholarship Program 
2. Meet Jennifer Terami: Special Agent 
3. Site of the Week: Wall Street Journal Careers 
4. Business Students Rank Accounting Firms 
5. Survey Results: Are You Willing to Put Off Having a Family for Your Career? 
6. CPA Exam Tips 
7. Win an IBM WorkPad 
8. Tip of the Week: Halloween Costume Tips!


October 29th Internet Essentials '99 Newsletter http://www.tiac.net/users/nhannon/news.html 

1. Using coupons to cut your grocery bills  
2. Should you Bank Online? 
3. Pentium III Chips for Laptops Arrive 
4. Looking for help in selecting Accounting software? 
5. Free Graphics Viewer 6. Quick Reminder on Free Faxes 
7. CASE STUDY: The Case of the (Un) Balanced Scorecard  http://www.tiac.net/users/nhannon/news.html 
8. Encyclopedia Britannica Goes Live...... Well, not just yet. 
9. HIGH-SPEED WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS 
10. Microsoft Knowledge Base Web site. 
11. Bonus Live Coverage of Daily Events!


From the articulate mouth of a four year old boy on the Bill Cosby show:

QUESTION:  What do you get when you run the tape of a country and western song backwards?  

ANSWER:  Your house, then your car, and if you play it back to the beginning of the first verse --- you get your girl returned.  (Has this kid found a better way to explain the Theory of Relativity?)


A forward of a forward from Glenn Meyer at Trinity University --- insults for husbands, wives, significant others, parents, children, journal editors, referees, department chairs, deans, selected students, grown children, ungrown children, and old professors who write newsletters.

Warnings:  Shakespeare did not have to worry about U.S. attorneys!  Also beware of mixing your metaphors!

Shakespearean Insult Kit
To construct a Shakespearean insult, combine one word from each of the
three columns below, and preface it with "Thou":

Column 1         Column 2              Column 3

artless              base-court             apple-john

bawdy              bat-fowling            baggage

beslubbering     beef-witted            barnacle

bootless            beetle-headed       bladder

churlish             boil-brained           boar-pig

cockered          clapper-clawed      bugbear

clouted             clay-brained           bum-bailey

craven              common-kissing     canker-blossom

currish              crook-pated           clack-dish

dankish            dismal-dreaming      clotpole

dissembling      dizzy-eyed              coxcomb

droning            doghearted             codpiece

errant               dread-bolted         death-token

fawning            earth-vexing          dewberry

fobbing            elf-skinned            flap-dragon

froward            fat-kidneyed        flax-wench

frothy               fen-sucked          flirt-gill

gleeking           flap-mouthed       foot-licker

goatish             fly-bitten             fustilarian

gorbellied        folly-fallen           giglet

impertinent      fool-born            gudgeon

infectious        full-gorged           haggard

jarring             guts-griping         harpy

loggerheaded  half-faced           hedge-pig

lumpish           hasty-witted        horn-beast

mammering     hedge-born         hugger-mugger

mangled          hell-hated           joithead

mewling          idle-headed        lewdster

paunchy          ill-breeding         lout

pribbling         ill-nurtured          maggot-pie

puking            knotty-pated       malt-worm

puny               milk-livered         mammet

qualling           motley-minded    measle

rank               onion-eyed          minnow

reeky             plume-plucked     miscreant

roguish           pottle-deep         moldwarp

ruttish             pox-marked        mumble-news

saucy             reeling-ripe          nut-hook

spleeny          rough-hewn         pigeon-egg

spongy           rude-growing       pignut

surly              rump-fed              puttock

tottering        shard-borne           pumpion

unmuzzled     sheep-biting           ratsbane

vain               spur-galled            scut

venomed       swag-bellied          skainsmate

villainous        tardy-gaited          strumpet

warped          tickle-brained       varlet

wayward        toad-spotted        vassal

weedy            unchin-snouted     whey-face

yeasty             weather-bitten      wagtail


And that's the way it was on November 2, 1999. 

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

Hline.jpg (568 bytes)

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

 

Hline.jpg (568 bytes)


October 26, 1999


Asymetrix has changed its name to Click2Learn.com inc.  I have dabbled some with Version 7.1 of ToolBook Instructor and provide some early-experience positive and negative review comments near the bottom of this edition of New Bookmarks.  I also provide some remarks on the history of hypertext software in academe and the history of revisions of ToolBook.  Please scroll down to the bottom of the October 26 edition of New Bookmarks.


eCommerce grew too big for its bandwidth --- http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/stories/news/0,4153,1017752,00.html 

Microsoft bCentral - http://www.bcentral.com/ 

eHobbies - http://www.ehobbies.com/ 

DrugDigest - http://www.drugdigest.org/ 

Find the "best buy" on models' eggs and other Internet auction items at http://www.auctionrover.com/ 


I previously gave you some alternatives for MP3 encoding and decoding at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99.htm#MP3.  Scott Bonacker provides the following update message on software for converting wav files into MP3 files:

Bob,

Try freeware CDex by ALFA Technologies 3-15-1999 at this URL:

http://hotfiles.zdnet.com/cgi-bin/texis/swlib/hotfiles/info.html?fcode=000SXL&b=adesk 

I used CDex to 'rip' a 3:53 audio track from CD and made a WAV file of 40,264KB, then CDex took almost fifteen minutes to create a 3,649KB MP3 file in a separate step. Alternatively, CDex can rip an audio track and go straight to an MP3 file.

Also, go to this URL : http://hotfiles.zdnet.com/cgi-bin/texis/swlib/hotfiles/search.html?link=1 

and do a search for BladeEnc. You'll find that program for converting WAV's to MP3's plus some others I hadn't seen before.

Have fun, 
Scott Bonacker [bonacker@nospam.worldnet.att.net

I could not find BladeEnc at the site mentioned above.  However, an easy search at ZDnet took me to the free BladeEnc download site where you can read the following:

BladeEnc (also known as Blade's MP3 Encoder) is a free 32-bit command-line program for creating .MP3 files from 32, 44.1, or 48 KHz .wav or .aif files. Use it by itself or with many of the freeware and shareware graphical front ends and CD rippers that support it. To turn .wav or .aif files into standard 128 Kb stereo .MP3 files, just drag and drop them onto BladeEnc.exe. BladeEnc encodes the files one by one until finished. The resulting .MP3 files are placed in the same folder as their corresponding source files. Numerous command-line switches are available for adjusting bit rate and other properties. The accompanying HTML-based documentation is excellent. 

Note from Bob Jensen:  
I followed Scott's lead and downloaded BladeEnc from ZDnet.  The download included some other files such as WinPlay Pro.  The BladeEnc program is free whereas the WinPlay Pro program costs $10 after you try it and decide you like it.  I like both programs.  The WinPlay Pro program lets you drag MP3 files into a playlist window and then save the playlist to play back anytime you choose.

The free BladeEnc program is fantastic.  Recall that I put out my SFAS 133 Overview file out that links to 311 Mb of WAV files.  Storing these files on my laptop hogs precious hard drive.  Storing these files on CD-Rs that I burned results in slight pauses during executions in my road shows.  Now I can keep a great deal of audio on the hard drive of my laptop.  BladeEnc converted those 311 Mb of WAV files into 28 Mb of MP3 files that play with great quality (subject to the varying quality of audio that I captured in live presentations by experts on SFAS 133).  The bottom line (accountants like bottom lines) is that I save over 90% of hard drive or CD-R space required to store captured audio.  You can make audio playback comparisons at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/000overview/133suma.htm.

I might give you some advice following my first try at using BladeEnc to covert WAV audio files into MP3 audio files.  

If you want software to playback MP3 files or to record MP3 files directly without first recording WAV files, go to my previous discussion at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99.htm#MP3 


Update on the ASP we will all learn to love http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/stories/news/0,4153,2375464,00.html 


On the Horizon On-Line is a strategic planning publication for technology in education published in print form by Jossey-Bass publications and published under contract in online form by UNC-Chapel Hill on its Horizon Web page.  The September-October 1999 edition is now available online.  

IN THIS ISSUE

Space: The Final Frontier Donald M. Norris President, Strategic Initiatives, Inc.

The advent of virtual communication means more than just new ways of doing things—it also means new concepts of physical space. Buildings designed with face-to-face classes and business meetings in mind must be redesigned as many of these activities begin to take place online. At the same time, public spaces must satisfy the everpresent human needs for interaction and community. Donald Norris surveys several campuses experimenting with multifunctional and fused-use facilities, as well as some urban centers recreating our concepts of museums, zoos, and public areas. For anyone interested in the physical ramifications of technology, this article tells where to look for new innovations.

Information Technology in Higher Education: The "Global Academic Village" and Intellectual Standardization Phil Agre Department of Information Studies University of California, Los Angeles

Communications systems set up with different objectives in mind have tended to use different language, different structures, different equipment. But Phil Agre notices a trend toward "ontological standardization": organizations now have to communicate with each other using the same systems, so they seek to use the same models in reinventing themselves. For example, schools have to standardize their use of terms like "course" and "teacher" for prospective students making global comparisons. Agre observes that such standardization can pose threats to the uniqueness possessed by many educational institutions and reminds educators to preserve their schools' identities as they incorporate new systems.

Electronic Networking in the Future: An Interview with Judith V. Boettcher, Part II Judith V. Boettcher, Executive Director Corporation for Research and Education Networking and  James L. Morrison, Professor of Education University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Judith Boettcher tells editor James L. Morrison in this interview that many educators, even those with technical experience, grossly underuse the potential for electronic networking. According to Boettcher, "many educators are still using Information Age technology with Industrial Age learning experiences." Rather than using the same old classroom techniques with new technology, she calls for educators to develop approaches specifically for the Web. These new approaches may integrate features such as "book Web sites," pocket computers, and audio equipment, and Boettcher tells us how.

On the Tenure of University Presidents: Arthur Padilla and Sujit Ghosh, College of Management, North Carolina State University

University presidents shape the institutions where tomorrow's leaders are trained, but few stay in these important positions for more than a decade. Art Padilla and Sujit Ghosh look at the statistics that describe the men and women serving as university presidents: how satisfied they are, what risks they take, what drives them out, and the effects of their tenure on the universities they lead. Educators concerned about the balance of stability and innovation in their institutions will want to consider Padilla and Ghosh's analysis of the factors affecting the turnover at the top.

Democracy and the Academy:  Laurence R. Marcus, Professor in Educational Leadership, Rowan University

In his last article for On the Horizon, Laurence Marcus suggests a change in focus for the political debates over the democratization of the academy. Rather than emphasizing the ideological battles on campus, Marcus believes the educational politics should emphasize the balance between accountability and autonomy that must be maintained for those debates to be fairly adjudged. Universities have responsibilities to the communities they serve and must be accountable, yet their unique purpose in society also requires that they possess autonomy in the intellectual explorations they pursue. Marcus explores the factors involved in achieving this critical balance.

For details, see http://horizon.unc.edu/horizon/online/html/7/5/ 


This is another possible case study on barriers to maximizing an ERP potential.  The focus is on the Wisconsin Technical College System.  You can read about it at http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/stories/news/0,4153,2374510,00.html 

Even with the move to ERP, however, WTCS officials could not figure out how to mesh the divergent accounting, time-keeping, grading and registration systems used at the 11 colleges. The hope was to get all of them on one system, but project leaders were unable to forge compromises that satisfied all parties. The colleges have a history of autonomy, and they decided to subdivide the group to save time, said Joe Wiegand, technical project manager for one of the groups.

Ultimately, the campuses formed four groups based on geography and past data processing affiliations. While this wasn't quite the unified solution WTCS officials had hoped for, it's a good work around that brings the schools a giant step closer to a streamlined system.

Despite remaining barriers, WTCS officials see the PeopleSoft project as an important step toward systemwide cooperation. At the very least, the colleges will be using similar hardware and software


Bob,
 
I started to put together a list of non-academic web sites that explain in relatively simple terms the basics of financial statements. Perhaps you could add these to your bookmarks, or maybe you already have such a category with these links, but I checked and couldn't find one. You may want to check them yourself to determine their suitability for your site.
 
IBM: http://www.ibm.com/financialguide/
Datachimp: http://www.datachimp.com/articles/financials/fundamentals.htm
E*Trade: https://trading.etrade.com/cgi-bin/gx.cgi/applogic+Knowledge?gxml=Knowledge/Understanding_Financial_Statements/index.html
Nohemy??: http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Lair/5263/main.html
 
Also, I have proposed offering a "History of Technology" course to be team taught with someone from our History department (hopefully!).  Do you know of any such courses being offered anywhere, any good books on such a topic, and last but not least, any good web sites devoted to such a topic?
 
Thanks for your help! Hope all is well.
 
Jim Borden
http://www.homepage.villanova.edu/james.borden
mailto:james.borden@villanova.edu
 

My response to Jim to the above message included the following recommendation to persons interested in the history of computing.  

For good web sites on technology history, see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99.htm#historicalLinks.  One of the better sites listed there for the history of computing is http://www.cbi.umn.edu/ .  Within that you will find all sorts of interesting links, inclucing the archival documents at http://www.cbi.umn.edu/access.htm  
 

Thank you Gary Lauder for the lead on Charity Search

Charity Search is a good place to start for information about colleges, universities, charity organizations, etc. The IRS is making Form 990 more public. See http://www.guidestar.org/  .

You can find all sorts of financial information about nonprofit organizations. Among other things, charities are obligated to disclose the top 5 earning employees on their annual Form 990, which is a detailed tax reporting form all charities must complete (probably for the last twenty years or so maybe longer).

GuideStar is a searchable database of more than 620,000 nonprofit organizations in the United States. Type a name in the Charity Search box to find your favorite charity, or use the Advanced Search </search/index.adp> to find a charity by subject, state, zip code, or other criteria. Learn More </learn/> about philanthropy and read the latest Charity News </news/>. Share your resources in Give Online </give/> and Volunteer & More </classifieds/index.adp>. Visit the Nonprofit Center </npo/> to add information about your organization. It's free. I found this web site very slow, so it is best to join me at 4:00 a.m. if you are looking for details on the organization.


Perhaps universities should consider replacing lab computers with thin (disposable?) clients.  See http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/stories/news/0,4153,2352301,00.html 

Not only are thin clients going where no computers have before, they're also replacing aging 286, 386 and 486 boxes, according to Eileen O'Brien, director of IDC's Enterprise Thin Client program. Those sales won't cannibalize the PC market in the near future—as most knowledge workers aren't likely to trade in a full-service PC for a stripped-down model any time soon. But the rising thin-client numbers are a clear sign the market is alive and growing, albeit much more slowly than was predicted. "The market was way overhyped, and that didn't do a lot of good," O'Brien said. "But now, with major vendor endorsements and technical breakthroughs, thin clients today represent another desktop option."


From an innovative author (Pete Mazany) of Mike's Bikes and other networked simulation learning systems.

Hi Bob

Thanks again for the great help that you gave me at San Diego. It was a pleasure to spend time with you and work with you.

Things keep moving forward for us. The following deals have come through

1. Irwin McGraw Hill - for marketing and distribution to the academic market for Spring 2000 2. Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia (as a capstone in their Professional Year - New Zealand and Scotland are following) 3. Nortel Networks - for a Strategic Modelling And Rapid Training System for their mid-level management ( in progress) 4. The University of Auckland Business School - putting their Diploma Business courses online. 5. Some companies in New Zealand 6. University of Calgary and some others

Also I took some of your advice - check out our online courses for corporates at http://www.activelearningonline.com/smarts/ 

We are using this now and most of it is ready to go. When we are ready, maybe you could include it on your site or email.

Am also trying to get XXXXX to give us a go at putting a simulation together for him. He sounded positive a while ago, but he is a bit hard to get to due to work pressures at present.

Any more ideas from you on any of this would be great!

Fondly

Pete

PS I hope that the wine was a nice drop - I hadn't tasted it and just purchased on price. ================================= Active Learning ONLINE pmazany@visionplus.co.nz http://www.activelearningonline .com Phone: International (649) 528-1998 Fax: International (649) 528-1269


From the Scout Report:  GoProfit http://www.goprofit.com/ 

Touted as "The World's Financial Search Engine," GoProfit's busy homepage is a one-stop informational source including world business news, stock information, commentary, interactive polls, and bits of trivia. The search feature allows users to search both the Internet as well as GoProfit's current catalog. Users may also create a portfolio which allows them to follow businesses and stocks of their choosing.

Track IPOs  http://www.ipomaven.com/ 


UCLA Language Materials Project http://www.lmp.ucla.edu/default.htm 


Wordsmyth: The Educational Dictionary-Thesaurus http://www.wordsmyth.net/ 


Monty Python http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/special_report/1999/10/99/monty_python/ 


Create online photo albums, share them with your friends or list them in the album directory. 
It's easy and free! http://www.zing.com/ 

Galileo Project http://es.rice.edu/ES/humsoc/Galileo/ 


A modern day Walden Pond on three acres in Houston http://www.houstonlot.org/ 


Your intranet files may not be as private as you think --- http://www.microsoft.com/security/bulletins/MS99-040faq.asp 


Jim Courtright writes the following with respect to my JavaScript password tutorial at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/busn2311/helpers1.htm#JavaScript 

A contact working with a consulting firm tells me that JS can be set so that workers on the inside can use it with a password code .. that eliminates outsiders... users in the inside all have access to a common set of documents.  However, the only secure method is apparently JS + cgi scripts.

Yours does look forbidding enough to the casual browser, however.
Jim COURTRIGHTJ@marquette.edu 


The AccountingWEB Newswire - Issue 14 October 22, 1999 http://www.accountingweb.com 

In the headlines this week: 
1. Beware - The Melissa Virus Is Still Lurking 
2. The Future of CPE Is About To Change 
3. It's Time To Dust Off and Brush Up on the "De Minimis" Rule 
4. Technology Planning Tips For The Firm 
5. Robert Elliott Takes Over As Chair of AICPA 
6. Cost Cutting Tip: Reduce Hotel Phone Charges 
7. Clients Are Seeking Business Coaches: Do You Fit The Bill? 
8. If You Do QuickBooks Consulting, Read This 
9. Top Earners To Pay More Social Security Tax In 2000 
10. Internet Site: Need To Know The Time?


SPECIAL edition of the Internet Essentials '99 Newsletter for the financial professional. http://www.tiac.net/users/nhannon/news.html 

It's been one year for the newsletter. To celebrate, Neal Hannon assembled the best FREE products you can use right now from the Web. The categories are:

1. Free E-mail, both Web-based and hard-drive based 
2. Free Browsers and Trial software 
3. Free Internet Connection Service 
4. Free PC's (You get what you pay for) 
5. Free Instant Messaging 6. Free Fax, phone mail, voice e-mail 
7. Free Web Storage 
8. Free Office Suite (full complement of products) 
9. Free Business Web Pages 
10. Free Gems of the Internet


Version 6.0 of HotMetal Pro is now available.  http://www.softquad.com/ 


History and Current Status of ToolBook and Some Other Software:

Let me commence this section with a bit of history of hypertext and hypermedia in academe.  You can find a much more detailed account of the beginnings and the demise of nearly 60 software alternatives for hypertext and hypermedia authoring of course materials in Chapter 3 of the Jensen and Sandlin (1994) book that is online at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/245cont.htm#1994 .  Links to the various software packages described below can be found in the following documents:

  1. History and Future of Authoring Technologies at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/290wp/290wp.htm 

  2. High-End Web Authoring Courseware Shells and Other Authoring Software 
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/245soft1.htm  

The following is a somewhat personal and somewhat off-the-wall summary of authoring software history:

  1. History and Future of Authoring Technologies at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/290wp/290wp.htm 

  2. High-End Web Authoring Courseware Shells and Other Authoring Software 
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/245soft1.htm  

 

Now, after the above buildup, I will commence my early impressions of Version 7.1 of ToolBook Instructor.
ToolBook Instructor from Click2Learn.com inc (formerly Asymetrix Corporation)  has been making a transition from OpenScript to Java for some time.  I have been a long-time user of ToolBook Instructor and give ToolBook credit for the following:

  1. ToolBook Instructor uses a book metaphor which I like much better than the icon network metaphor of Macromedia Authorware.  ToolBook's powerful OpenScript is great for authoring stand-alone CD-ROM courses.  I especially like its clip editor for audio/ video files coupled with playback those clips (subsets) without having to store media files more than once on a disk.  A "clip" is a path to a subset of a media file rather than a separate file that must be stored.  

  2. ToolBook has powerful Java utilities for delivering courses over the network and is especially interactive as a course management system when used in conjunction with the shell known as Librarian.  However, networking of courses via Java and Librarian requires heavy duty Java programming skills, requires that users have high technical skills in downloading and installing special Java utilities (known as Java classes), and is very expensive relative to other network shell alternatives discussed at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/245soft1.htm.

  3. Commencing with Version 3.5, ToolBook Instructor became a wonderful hypermedia course authoring software package.  It was especially suited to CD-ROMs containing audio, video, and animation files.  ToolBook's utilities for making media "clips" of subsets of the stored media files is fantastic for CD-ROM development.

  4. ToolBook Instructor has a new Version 7.1 that attempts to gain more market share by running some Dynamic HTML (DHTML) "Action Objects" that provide some network delivery interactions (such as recording of students' answers to questions) that will run in updated browsers (such as Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher) without having to download complicated Java classes.  Richard Campbell provides an illustration as described below:

Following is a link to a DHTML practice exam I created for my managerial accounting students: The e-mail button is not working correctly for me though. When I hopefully get it working, it will send the score back to the student's e-mail address and also send me a copy of the score to my e-mail address.

Some other issues and features of the quiz. I've structured the quiz so that responses can't be changed after selection. In the fill-in-the-blank question two alternative answers can be accepted: - either factory overhead or manufacturing overhead. In all cases when an incorrect response is selected, the correct answer pops up.

http://www.rj-int.com/accqz2/acqz006a/index.html  

Richard J. Campbell 
RJ Interactive http://www.rj-int.com mailto:campbell@rj-int.com 

I just started experimenting with Version 7.1 of ToolBook Instructor and am very disappointed.  My major complaints are listed below:

  1. The OpenScript advancements are minimal for CD-ROM authoring.  In fact Asymetrix does not intend further development of OpenScript since networking of OpenScript courses and playback on Neuron is virtually a market share failure.  The market never accepted Neuron as a networking option for good reason.  For example, when making audio clips you must still use WAV files.  MP3 audio files play with virtually the same quality and require less than 10% as much storage space on a disk.  Why couldn't the clip editor be expanded to cover MP3 files?  The answer probably is that Asymetrix (now Click2Learn) does not intend further development of OpenScript.

  2. I danced for joy when I looked at the "Action Editor" in Version 7.1 and read where the new DHTML export option could play media "clips."  I excitedly created an experimental ToolBook with media clips that played back very well in OpenScript.  But when I exported the book using the "Web Publishing" option that utilizes DHTML, my "clips" no longer played back as clips.  For example, a ten second audio clip from a 30 minute audio file played the entire 30 minute audio file from beginning to end.  Since I paid for Level Two Technical Support at Click2Learn, I got a ToolBook Instructor technician named Loren who initially had no idea why the clips would not play.  He did, after researching the problem, reply with the most discouraging message that I ever received from Technical Support.  It reads as follows:

    -------------------------------------------------
    Dr Jensen,

    The start and stop position set in the clip system are only understood by ToolBook, not the DHTML players. You will need to crop down the wave files to the portion you want to play.

    One way to do this would be to use the WaveEdit utility that comes with Instructor. From within Toolbook select the 'tools' menu, 'applications,' 'WaveEdit'. You can also get to the Wave Editor through the Windows Start button: select Programs\Asymetrix Learning Systems\Toolbook II Utilities 7\Wave Editor.

    Hope this helps,
    Loren Milliman ToolBook Technical Support
    -------------------------------------------------

    Bah Humbug! (although I do thank Loren for finding this out for me.)
    My Version 7.1 euphoria deflated the instant I read the above message.  Prozac should be included in each ToolBook upgrade box.  It's a real bummer for me to have to repeatedly record and save small subsets of large media files.  Since I cannot make clips for web delivery in ToolBook, there is little incentive for me depart from simple FrontPage that I used for online media documents such as the one that you will find at 
    http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/000overview/133suma.htm 

    The WaveEdit utlity mentioned by Loren is useful, but you must save each edited result as a new media file.  Secondly, that editor is restricted to WAV files.  If I am going to take the trouble of recording new files and adding to disk space, I would be better off converting WAV files to MP3 files that are high quality and take up less that 10% of their WAV file counterparts.  MP3 options for editing WAV files are discussed at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99.htm#MP3.

  3. Even though you can now export (package) ToolBooks with some HTML and DHTML scripts, you cannot import any HTML or DHTML scripted items.  For example, veteran Microsoft FrontPage and Macromedia Dreamweaver authors are accustomed to cutting and pasting portions of a HTML or DHTML document into other documents.  Its a bummer that you must start every ToolBook from scratch rather paste pieces of your other work into a ToolBook.  For example, if you had an answer with 100 hyperlinks scripted on an htm document, you cannot paste those 100 links into your ToolBook. 

    Also consider the following frustrating example.  A really powerful feature of Microsoft Office 2000 is the ability to save Excel spreadsheets, Excel charts, and Access 2000 tables as interactive web documents where the Visual Basic codes are automatically converted into DHTML codes for web browsers.  For example, if you have Office 2000, see my examples of interactive spreadsheets and charts at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/dhtml/excel01.htm .

    In ToolBook Instructor it is not possible to import any interactive web-interactive Excel spreadsheet, Excel chart, or MS Access table into an answer, question, case, or problem even though this is just a simple copy and paste routine in Microsoft FrontPage or Macromedia Dreamweaver.  

    The sorry bottom line is that, even though you can export some ToolBooks as HTML or DHTML documents, those exported documents are "black boxes" into which you cannot import other HTML or DHTML scripting.  Even more depressing is that exported documents cannot be imported into other HTML or DHTML editors.  For example, if you convert a ToolBook file called book12.tbk into a book12.htm file using the Web Publishing option in ToolBook, your new book12.htm cannot be read or modified in any HTML editing software or even in ToolBook Instructor.  The black box is sealed forever unless you saved the backup book12.tbk file.  The bottom line is that Version 7.1 of ToolBook creates "black box" web documents (with htm file extensions) that do not communicate with any authoring software.

  4. Asymetrix will tell you that you can link to other web documents from its "black box."    This is true, and one advantage of Version 7.1 over Version 6.5 of ToolBook Instructor is that you can now make relative hyperlinks to other documents instead of fixed (absolute) links that are path dependent.  However, since your ToolBook does not have the power for many things that you can do in HTML editors such as Microsoft FrontPage and Macromedia Dreamweaver, you cannot encase that HTML scripting in the "black box" security of the ToolBook.  You must resort to hyperlinks to less secure htm documents.

  5. The "black box" criticisms get even worse.  See the following depressing message arrived from Jim Richards from Down Under:

However, to reply to your question. From all of the discussion on the Toolbook list about export to DHTML I doubt that what you ask is possible. It is a one-way process from Toolbook to DHTML. There was a lot of criticism on the list about the fact that once you export to DHTML you cannot edit the code to tweak it. You basically export a black box and cannot touch it once it is exported. 

There were a number of complaints about not being able to edit the DHTML code once it was exported.  As usual, Asymetrix has given all sorts of reasons for it, but none which satisfied the power users.

Regards
Jim Richards  
Commerce Programme  
Murdoch University 
South Street MURDOCH WA 6150 Australia
Phone: 61-8-9360-2706   Fax: 61-8-9310-5004

The "black box" Action DHTML features are limited in scope, but they are useful if you are sending out examinations over the Internet.  What Version 7.1 does offer is described below:

- the ability to add custom programmatic functionality using the Actions Editor, 
      and deploy that functionality in the new DHTML runtime 
- almost 40 new or modified object types 
- page transitions (Internet Explorer only) - faster download times - faster 
      performance within the browser
-ability to solve logical and other mathematical expressions 
-Universal media player support
- 14 question types, all with automatic grading and all of which can be 
     deployed in the new DHTML/JavaScript runtime: 
     - Fill in the blank 
     - Hotword fill-in-the-blank 
     - Multiple choice buttons 
     - Multiple choice fields 
     - Multiple choice ratings - True/False 
     - Definable multiple choice 
     - Definable arrange objects - Drag objects 
     - Drop targets - Definable drop targets 
     - Match item fields 
     - Definable match items 
     - Slider position
     - path animation 

When I compare these new DHTML features (in a very  expensive upgrade to Version 7.1 of ToolBook Instructor) with the power of DHTML in Macromedia Dreamweaver, Excel 2000, Access 2000, and other software that will export htm documents with DHTML scripts, I find the Version 7.1 ToolBook to be very limited.  Some of the major limitations that I have encountered in very limited testing of my Version 7 of ToolBook include the following:

If you are a desperate die-hard ToolBook author and look for most anything to cling to in the Version 7.1 mess, security offers one glimmering ray of hope.  Richard Campbell writes the following:

I really can't criticize Asymetrix for the "black box" approach to DHTML. First of all it creates an easy authoring process, and secondly it hides the answers to the questions from the students. Dreamweaver Attain does not have that security. It's easy in Toolbook to create hyperlinks to wherever. It would be completely transparent to end user which creative tool is being used.

Richard J. Campbell 
RJ Interactive http://www.rj-int.com  
mailto:campbell@rj-int.com
 

Once again, however, I want to remind you that there are many HTML and DHTML scripting options that you cannot perform in a ToolBook.   Nor can you ever edit the DHTML code in the "black box" in an effort to be creative.  As a result,  you cannot assign passwords to the hiding and showing of objects in your web version of ToolBook (this is something that you can do in OpenScript but not in the Internet version of a ToolBook).  For example, it would be neat to show a question and then have a button that would show the answer only when the user has been given a password.  Such password controls are not possible in Version 7.1 of ToolBook Instructor.

In my opinion, most professors will not look to ToolBook's "black box"  system for authoring their courses, and I do not look to Version 7.1 or higher to become the authoring software of choice for web delivery in higher education.  Those like me that used ToolBook Instructor in the past will probably ignore it as an alternative for the future.  The main market for ToolBook was and will remain wealthy corporate training systems that have fleets of Java programmers and huge amounts of money for Librarian management of a web-delivered course.  Click2Learn ( Asymetrix) does not have a good product to compete nose-to-nose with WebCT, Blackboard, and the other authoring alternatives moving across higher education markets like wild fire (see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/245soft1.htm).  To be fair, ToolBook's  main "high end" competitor, Macromedia Authorware, is losing market share even faster than Asymetrix ToolBook.  The top authoring packages in the early 1990s are losing out in the late 1990s to other options listed at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/290wp/290wp.htm.

Do any of you see any market share hopes for ToolBook Instructor or Macromedia Authorware in higher education?   Neuron is a flop for Internet delivery of courses in higher education.  The DHTML "black box" in Version 7.1 of ToolBook Instructor will probably be a similar flop in higher education, because it limits the ability to be creative, assign passwords to hiding/showing of objects, etc.   Living with templates makes life easier, but the loss in the ability to innovate is too restrictive for most professors.  There are too many web delivery limitations and too few advantages (other than the limited security advantages) mentioned above in Version 7.1 of ToolBook Instructor.  What are the other alternatives?  You might check out "The Next Big Thing" at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000equip.htm.

Accountants like bottom lines.  My bottom line conclusion is that Version 7.1 of ToolBook Instructor is too expensive and has too many limitations to be a real contender in the academic materials authoring market.  It has only very limited HTML and DHTML capabilities.  It does have several very nice templates, especially multiple choice question templates, that can be exported as DHTML black boxes.  For example, Richard Campbell used the "Advanced Content" multiple choice question template in ToolBook to develop the questions shown at http://www.rj-int.com/accqz2/acqz006a/index.html .  This template is excellent, but there can be no added DHTML creativity since the DHTML script is contained in a "black box" that ToolBook authors cannot access.  Nor can we import DHTML spreadsheets, MP3 audio, HTM scripts, much of anything else into our ToolBooks.  The "black box" strategy of Click2Learn stifles creativity of authors.  This is a total departure from the OpenScript basis, a dying basis, of traditional ToolBooks that gave us all sorts of creative opportunities for CD-ROM hypermedia books.

Other references on Click2Learn's ToolBook Instructor (including helper web sites) http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob4.htm#Click2Learn 


And that's the way it was on October 26, 1999. 

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

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

 

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October 19, 1999


"SEC Chairman Levitt dramatically called for the possible need for a new self-regulating organization to oversee the AICPA and the accounting profession in total. There have been some bad cases of audit failure recently that have the SEC quite upset."  Phil Livingston in FEI Express #19 from the Financial Executives Institute

The document containing our full written testimony and the Powerpoint presentation containing the key points can be accessed from our web site or by clicking here http://www.fei.org/download/dl_index.htm  My verbal comments are summarized in the "Notes" view of the presentation.  

You can read "SEC's Levitt Sharply Attacks Auditors' Role," in The Wall Street Journal, October 8, 1999, pg. A6.  Among other things, Arthur Levitt "suggested the need for a new self-regulatory organization to better police auditors."


Obviously some documents that I share with you are more important than other documents. I will give you the link to my latest document that is more important than many of the documents I prepare for my students and share accounting educators and practitioners. The document contains a great deal of old and new audio from experts on financial instruments accounting and SFAS 133 in particular. The "old" dates back to Denny Beresford in New York City when he tells us that derivatives work a bit better than prunes for us old guys. What is important about this particular document is that it provides us academics with some audio clips from professionals that work with real-world clients on some very sticky issues in accounting for financial risk.

There are also some audio clips in the document from executives at Union Carbide who tell us about being happy with their expensive ERP (i.e., SAP) total enterprise system that integrates data from literally all parts of the earth. These executives tell us about progress being made to integrate SFAS 133 implementation into the SAP system.

I want to express my sincere gratitude to the experts who allowed me to tape their presentations. I'm the lucky one since I have the hundreds of hours of full video on file for my students. You are only receiving my filtering of a small part of what I learned from smart folks in the real world. Once again it proves that there are many rewards when ivory tower academics like me learn from professionals who deal with real clients in the real world.

I do hope that most of you can download the audio files in reasonable lengths of time. In some ways my university is still in the dark ages. Our computer center is still not able to serve up RealAudio. You will have to settle for the tried and true wav files.

The web address for my new document is at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/000overview/133suma.htm. This document also provides links to my "secret" tutorials that have answers to my cases. If you have been using my Eurodollar cases, please download new versions since I made some corrections to the MarginWhew and MarginOPPS Cases.

I will be conducting two sessions at a forthcoming workshop in New York City in December. The above document is what I prepared for the lead-off session on the first day of the NYC conference described below.

I will be chairing a conference on SFAS 133 in New York City December 13-14.  The conference is called "Issues and Strategies for Financial Services Companies"  at the web site http://www.ibcusa.com/2489/ 
December 13-14, 1999 · Millennium Broadway Conference Center · New York, NY

Key Industry Speakers From:

BankBoston
Brown, Brothers Harriman & Co.
Chase Bank
Duff & Phelps
Kawaller & Co.
Lazard Asset Management
Lehman Brothers
PricewaterhouseCoopers
Principia Partners
RiskMetrics Group
Salomon Smith Barney
Smith Barney Capital Management
Trinity University
Tucker Anthony Cleary Gull


I added the following Addendum to my short story at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/max01.htm 

Addendum:  A Toast for New Year's Eve Leading Into Y2K

I watched the final episode of "Biography: Biography of the Millennium: 100 People 1000 Years" on Arts & Entertainment.  Across both episodes there were bits on each of the 100 "most important" people in the past 1,000 years.  The selection process is described below:  

To assemble this landmark program, BIOGRAPHY conducted a survey of scholars, scientists, journalists, artists and viewers. Among those asked to rank the 100 most important people of the millennium were Henry Kissinger, Kofi Annan, Isaac Stern, David Remnick and Bob Ballard. BIOGRAPHY then tabulated the results and produced a mini-profile of each of the 100 people who made the final list. The result is a fascinating, whirlwind tour through history, a kaleidoscopic landscape of the personalities who have shaped the world. And the countdown format eventually reveals the individual BIOGRAPHY has chosen as the "Person of the Millennium."

From Genghis Khan to Thomas Edison, Bill Gates to Margaret Sanger--these are the people who have done the most to shape our world today.

The final winner, at long last in the program, was Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press from movable type.  This proves once again that Canada's Marshall McLuhan was correct in stating that "the medium is the message."  There can be no doubt that, since the 1450's when Guttenberg invented the movable type for mass-produced books, newspapers, magazines, etc., the print medium became within the virtual reach of everyone on the planet.   Press items became the single most important medium for the archiving, retrieving, and spreading of knowledge and entertainment.  In this vein, the second most important person (albeit not the camera's  inventor), who was not recognized as being so important by A&E, had to be George Eastman as described below at http://www.calpots.com/sp_exhibits/camera_exhibit/photo_pop_culture.html 

The introduction of the Kodak camera in 1888 brought about massive, permanent changes in the world of photography. The Kodak was preloaded at the factory with sufficient film for 100 exposures. When the roll was finished, the entire camera was returned to the factory in Rochester, N.Y., where the film was developed and printed and the camera reloaded. In a single stroke, George Eastman had created the class of amateur photographers, those who wanted to take pictures but were unwilling to deal with the darkroom mechanics of the photographic process. The sales motto "You press the button, we do the rest" accurately summed up the new system. In 1900 the marketing of Eastman's Kodak Brownie #1 popularized photography even further. At a cost of $1.00 for the camera and 10 cents per roll for the film, the Brownie put a basic photographic system within reach of virtually everyone.

Among the many advantages of graphics and photographs are that messages can be communicated to both illiterate people and people who cannot read a particular language on the printed page.  Guttenberg and Eastman brought us the affordable text and graphics of the last 100 years.  Be that as it may, the importance of the press is waning as this millennium draws to a close.  Two problems with press communications (e.g., printed books and pictures) are that the ink dries and the information flows in only one direction.  In the next millennium, communications will flow in both directions, and both text and graphics are subject to revision in real time with digital "ink" that never truly dries. I think that my favorite quote of all time came from a Playboy interview with Marshall McLuhan in 1969.  Decades before the Internet and the world wide web, this visionary anticipated the next millennium as follows:

"... in which the human tribe can become truly one family and man's consciousness can be freed from the shackles of mechanical culture and enabled to roam the cosmos."    (Free To Be)

Another McLuhan quote from Understanding Media  is as follows:

"After 3,000 years of explosion, by means of fragmentary and mechanical technologies, the Western world is imploding."   (Inward Compression)

Accountants live for the bottom line.  Johannes Guttenberg had a good run for about 500 years.  He is the clear winner in this millennium.  The bottom line is that the print medium became the biggest explosion on earth.  In the next millennium, however, the world wide web will reverse this process by becoming the world's largest implosion.  And with advances in software for language translations, readers will be able to choose to either read or listen in their languages of preference.  The print medium can no longer compete.  But as we toast to our own lives on New Year's eve leading intoY2K, we will raise our glasses and say thanks for sharing Johannes.  My guess is that Johannes will grin from the grave, because when our books are in electronic form, we are still inclined to push the print button whenever we get serious about reading.


I really enjoyed Robert Samuelson's tribute to one of his former University of Chicago and Harvard University political science professor named Ed Banfield.  The article is entitled "The Gift of a Great Teacher:  I learned That the Truth Was No Less Important Just Because It was Unpopular or Unfashionable," Newsweek, October 18, 1999, pg. 54.  The online version is at http://newsweek.com/nw-srv/issue/16_99b/printed/us/bz/sa0116_1.htm.  By way of illustration, note the following:

Americans take democracy, freedom and political stability for granted. Ed was more wary. These great things do not exist in isolation. They must somehow fuse into a political system that fulfills certain essential social functions: to protect the nation; to provide some continuity in government and policy; to maintain order and modulate society's most passionate conflicts. The trouble, Ed believed, is that democracies have certain self-destructive tendencies and that, in modern America, these had intensified.

On the whole, he regretted the disappearance after World War II of a political system based on big-city machines (whose supporters were rewarded with patronage jobs and contracts) and on party "bosses" (who dictated political candidates from city council to Congress and, often, the White House). It was not that he favored patronage, corruption or bosses for their own sake. But in cities, they created popular support for government and gave it the power to accomplish things. And they emphasized material gain over ideological fervor.

In this same vein, we might note that the latest (10/13/99) Nobel Prize in Economics was given to Columbia University's Robert A. Mundell.  Dr. Mundell, like Dr. Banfield, was willing to question ideological fervor.  Among foreign currency and trade topics, he wrote on the advantages of supply-side economics in overcoming things such as famine in the world.  You can read more about this at http://cnn.com/US/9910/13/nobel.01/


The fuzzy zone between education and training is getting a fuzzier as major universities are providing more online and offline IT courses.  See http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/stories/news/0,4153,2347750,00.html 

Those ivy-clad walls that kept corporate IT at arm's length are now beginning to crumble. A handful of schools such as Pennsylvania State University and the University of Nebraska are working to build a new generation of schools that may begin to deliver the skills corporations are really looking for. To do that, they're relying on the expertise of real-world IT managers and emphasizing e-commerce and entrepreneurial skills as well as new Web technologies.

As universities rework their curricula, for-profit training companies are investing big bucks to expand vocationally oriented schools to train more recruits for hands-on, technology-centric jobs. All of these new IT education initiatives face one serious challenge: As with corporate IT organizations, many are having a hard time recruiting experts to be instructors. Still, the birth of such new-breed IT schools gives corporate managers reason to hope that help in coping with the skills shortage is on the way (see related story).


Attacked and hacked! The attacks on PC Week Labs' hackpcweek.com test site offer powerful ammunition in security war By Pankaj Chowdhry, PC Week Labs October 11, 1999 9:00 AM ET  http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/stories/news/0,4153,2350743,00.html 

PC Week Labs went to great lengths to take the same security measures on the Linux and Windows NT servers running the site that any IT manager worth his or her salt would implement. The successful hacker, known as Jfs, bypassed the firewall, the intrusion detection system and a locked-down server to exploit a hole in a CGI script on the Linux server, which was running Red Hat Linux 6.0.

The successful attack against our Linux server was a methodical assailment by a hacker with intimate knowledge of C, PERL and The Home Office-Online's PhotoAds classified-ad engine application. PhotoAds is publicly available (at www.hoffice.com), as is information on its known security holes and fixes. Companies that don't keep on top of application fixes will be at the mercy of hackers who do.

Also contributing to the hacker's success were incomplete security updates on our test site. At the time we began the tests, Red Hat Software Inc. had 21 security updates available for Red Hat 6.0, which had been out for only a couple of months. (PC Week Labs will apply the patches to the Linux server and update the scripts for further testing.) While any operating system needs patches and updates, there is no central repository for testing or approving patches to the Linux system. Kernel patches can be obtained from a verified source such as kernel.org, but most other components have no central infrastructure.

This problem is exacerbated by the distributed nature of today's enterprise and the need to test and verify any patch before it is installed on a mission-critical server. The only option for Linux is to use a utility called autorpm, which polls a server for updates and automatically installs them. But no administrators in their right minds would use this sort of utility because they would have no idea what was being installed on their servers.


A book called  The Wired Professor by Anne B. Keating and Joseph Hargitai is accompanied by "The Wired Professor" web site at http://www.nyupress.nyu.edu/professor.html/ that is described below by David Albrecht:

I clicked on the second of the first level pages, "The Web In Teaching." The first page that appears in this section is "Outstanding Faculty Web Sites." Here the look changed to a white background, but this served to emphasize the visual appeal of the featured web sites (sporting a screen capture of each). Most of the sites are from NYU (the "Wired Professor" is being sold by NYU Press). A common theme is apparent, the pages are all visually attractive (especially the first one listed--wow!!!). Very, very stylish and attractive.

My first thought is to see if anyone in accounting has one of these unlisted "Outstanding Faculty Web Sites."  I went looking for web sites that had both content and a stylish look. Before I mention what I've found, I think I'll ask the question, do you know of any outstanding accounting faculty web sites (self-nominations accepted)? If so, what makes them outstanding? Why are there so few? Do you think there are fewer or more in other academic disciplines?

Are there fewer or more in our sister business discipline? Are these reasonable questions?

Oh by the way, the book (Wired Professor) does look intriguing. Does anyone have the book? If so, why not send a book review to this list to help some of us decide whether to purchase the book

Dave Albrecht
Associate Professor of Accounting
Bowling Green State University
Chapter 1 has the following nice set of historical links:

1. The Perseus Project: An Evolving Digital Library on Ancient Greece at http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/  is a growing database that contains a vast array of information, including texts, lexicons, images and maps on ancient Greece.

2. HyperHistory On-line at http://www.hyperhistory.com/online_n2/History_n2/a.html  presents three thousand years of world history with a combination of colorful graphics, lifelines, timelines and maps.

3. WWW History of Telecommunications at http://www-stall.rz.fht-esslingen.de/telehistory/  offers a comprehensive summary of the history of telecommunications created by a team of communications engineering students at Fachhochschule für Technik Esslingen, Germany.

4. The Early History of Data Networks at http://tmpwww.electrum.kth.se/docs/early_net/  is the Web version of a book about the optical telegraph by Gerard J. Holzmann and Björn Pehrson.

5. The Telegraph Office—for Telegraph Key Collectors and Historians at http://fohnix.metronet.com/~nmcewen/ref.html  is a comprehensive site for collectors and telegraph historians. It contains annotated lists of many telegraph resources from Web sites to print resources.

6. The Labyrinth: A World Wide Web Server for Medieval Studies at http://www.georgetown.edu/labyrinth/labyrinth-home.html  is widely considered the standard starting point for medieval studies on the Internet.

7. The Library of Congress Vatican Exhibit at http://sunsite.unc.edu/expo/vatican.exhibit/exhibit/Main_Hall.html  presents approximately two hundred of the Vatican Library's manuscripts, books and maps, "many of which played a key role in the humanist recovery of the classical heritage of Greece and Rome. The exhibition presents the untold story of the Vatican Library as the intellectual driving force behind the emergence of Rome as a political and scholarly superpower during the Renaissance."

8. A Hundred Highlights from the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (The National Library of the Netherlands) at http://www.konbib.nl/100hoogte/hh-en.html  is the Web site that accompanies A Hundred Highlights from the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, published in 1994. It is a jewel of Web site design as well as a fascinating collection of a hundred of the finest examples of book culture in the Netherlands. As the creators of this site acknowledge: "these objects,...except for temporary exhibitions, hardly ever leave their bookcases or cabinets because they are extremely vulnerable. A most regrettable state of affairs, for what is the use of having such treasures if they can not be displayed and admired."

9. The Classic Typewriter Page at http://xavier.xu.edu/~polt/typewriters.html  is the creation of Richard Polt, an assistant professor of philosophy at Xavier University and collector of antique typewriters. A rich and well-designed Web site on the history of typewriters.

10. Charles Babbage Institute at http://www.cbi.umn.edu/  is a comprehensive source of scholarly information on the history of computing. The site is maintained by the Charles Babbage Institute Center for the History of Information Processing, a research and archival center at the University of Minnesota.

Links to Outstanding Web Sites are given at http://www.nyupress.nyu.edu/professor.html/webinteaching/index.html

Although there are merits to The Wired Professor book and web site above, some of the "outstanding web sites" picked by the authors tend to stress form over content.  The first "outstanding web site" by Michelle Adelman is and excellent example of form over  content.  Adelman's web site is described by the book's authors (Keating and Hargitai) at http://www.nyupress.nyu.edu/professor.html/webinteaching/index.html.  They write the following:

Michelle Adelman http://www.nyu.edu/classes/adelman/ NY is a doctoral student in the Educational Communication and Technology program in the School of Education. As a teacher at NYU, she is uniquely situated in the forefront of both incorporating and analyzing the impact of educational technology.

Dr. Adelman's clock metaphor is stylish and clever.  However when put to the test by auditors from the accounting profession (a profession of skeptics), there are complaints that Adelman's web site emphasizes form over substance.  Robert Holmes writes as follows in an email message to the aecm:

I too just clicked on the NYU site. My first impression was of content. The word "curriculums" jumped out at me. . . . Then I went to the first site listed which had a cute clock and asked for me to indicate whether I am a day or night person. I clicked on day, and then went to the 3 o'clock site. It told me what to do at 3:00 A.M. This is surely for a night person. I then chose night person and was told what to do at 3:00 P.M., nearing the end of a work day. Again, very cute idea (choose day or night) but the content was exactly wrong. Summary, form was very good, content very poor. Further investigation may alter this, but I have other things to check out and this one loses.

David was impressed (and rightfully so) with the form, and I wonder why is form so important if the content is second rate.

Robert C. Holmes [ rcholmes@GLENDALE.CC.CA.US ]

This was followed by the following message from Richard Campbell:

And a lot of the content is just plain incorrect and misleading - particularly the author's comments on multimedia formats.

For example, the author states that the Apple Quicktime format is the preferred and most popular method of delivering video, because of its "cross-platform" capability. Realnetworks Realvideo has the lions share of web delivery, because of its streaming capability.

Richard J. Campbell 
RJ Interactive
http://www.rj-int.com  
mailto:campbell@rj-int.com 

Ron Tidd states the following:

As one who has worked long hours in public accounting and equally long hours in academia, I know that it is not always small intellectual capacity that generates such errors. This is especially true in today's environment when more are asked to fill far too more roles than they were ever trained to fill.

We should not be too quick to judge. I have the book but must confess that I have not read all of it. It is pretty basic, although it walks beginners through a sequence of "growth" with the technology. It also provides some information that I personally found useful and informative about audio/video enhancements. However, there are the expected differences between what was "virtual reality" when the book was written and what the virtual reality is now. For example, QuickTime has been replaced by Realvideo. I suggest that those interested in reading about the conceptual foundations of web-based education read "Web-Based Instruction," edited by Badrul Khan. It is a well-organized collection of short "essays" by many educators who have obviously spent some time thinking about what it means to create effective web-based materials. It is weak on the techie "how-to" that is in the "Wired Professor," but I believe it provides the insights necessary to take us beyond the mere digitization of 18th century pedagogy.  Building Learning Communities in Cyberspace is also worth looking at (Rena Palloff and Keith Pratt). If nothing else, it should get everyone to thinking about what is a critical component of web-based education, whether distance or proximity.

Ron [ rrtidd@MTU.EDU ]

From the Scout Report

The Economic and Social Impacts of Electronic Commerce: Preliminary Findings and Research Agenda_ [.pdf] http://www.oecd.org/subject/e_commerce/summary.htm 

Electronic Commerce has been in existence for little more than three years, but due to its enormous capacity to affect "economic activities and social environments," it has already had a huge impact on retail, finance, and communications, representing 30 percent of GDP. This 156-page report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development examines the past and potential impact that e-commerce promises to have on business and the economy. The report is broken into five chapters, which need to be downloaded separately, including "Growth of electronic commerce: present and potential," "Electronic commerce, jobs and skills," and "Societal implications of electronic commerce," each with its own set of charts and graphs. A report summary is also included.


Society for Electronic Commerce and Rights Management http://www.ecarm.org/ 

Started in 1998 as a daily mailing list, The Society for Electronic Commerce and Rights Management (ECARM), (mailing list reviewed in the February 6, 1998 Scout Report) has grown into a not-for-profit agency focused on "the fostering and enabling of Electronic Commerce and Rights Management" by creating an online community; providing educational material by way of its mailing list, discussion groups, and links; and conducting research and analysis. Interested visitors may sign up for the mailing or discussion lists, view the current issue of the quarterly _E*Journal_, or read the weekly cartoon "eKarma."


A special NY Times Online report about the explosion of commerce on the Internet http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/99/09/biztech/technology/?1005  
This extensive report covers the world of online buying and selling, from online advertising to customer service, taxation to direct marketing. Online industry leaders tell you their favorite sites.


You can now find copies of Internet Explorer in the Swiss Cheese section of your market's cooler.  See http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/stories/news/0,4153,1017637,00.html 

Microsoft Corp. this week said a security hole in its Internet Explorer 5.0 browser could enable Web site operators to read files on visiting users' PCs.

According to a security alert issued by Microsoft, Web site operators can read files only if they already know the name of the file and the folder in which it resides. The security hole does not allow malicious operators to list the contents of folders; create, modify or delete files; or have any administrative control over others' PCs.

The Redmond, Wash., company is developing a patch to eliminate the vulnerability.

Until the patch is ready, Microsoft recommends that users add Web sites they trust to the "Trusted Zone" in IE 5.0 and disable Active Scripting in the "Internet Zone," where all Web sites exist. These actions will provide full functionality for all trusted sites, while preventing untrusted sites from being able to exploit the security hole, officials said.


From Scott Bonacker on copyright issues

With regards to making information available, protecting copyright interests, etc. - the weekly free journals at mcb.co.uk this week are "Building a Collection" as in building a collection of specialized materials, and "Library Management". Among these articles are how to cope with electronic publishing, copyright issues, the role of the digital library vs physical libraries, etc. I expect that most would find something of interest there if not several articles.

"As part of MCB's Journals of the Week campaign the journals 'Collection Building' & 'Library Management' will be available for free fulltext access at http://www.mcb.co.uk/jotw/  until 18 October, 1999"

Scott Bonacker, CPA 
McCullough, Officer & Company, LLC 
Springfield, Missouri    moccpa.com  


For tech stock investors and researchers
Silicon Valley Companies Database  http://www.mercurycenter.com/svtech/companies/db/ 


This message pertains to my MarginWHEW and MarginOOPs Eurodollar cases at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/acct5341/133cases/000index.htm 

Hi Michael,

The STB and BTS terms are my own concoction.  STB simply means you sold a futures contract.  STB means "sell-then-buy."    BTS means you purchased a futures contract.  BTS means "buy-then-sell."  Actually you do not sell or buy the underlying --- you "net settle" the futures contract for the difference between selling and buying prices.  Technically you do not pay out cash or receive cash on the date you buy or sell a futures contract.  There is only one futures price whether you are the buyer (BTS) or the seller (STB).  For example, you can contract to sell (STB) or buy (BTS) a futures contract on June 17.  Selling futures contracts will hedge like a short sale or a put option. You are going "short" by selling a futures contract. If interest rates rise, the price of interest rate futures contracts declines so that your ultimate "buying" price is less than your current "selling" price. The net settlement increases with soaring interest rates (yields). Conversely, your short position net settlement becomes more negative if interest rates plunge.  Declining yields and higher futures prices caused negative margin account settlements in the MarginOOPs Case. The ultimate buying prices exceeded the June 17 sales price of most of the futures contracts.  Of course this did not matter in the sense that the losses in the futures contracts were offset by lowered borrowing rates on the note refundings.

If you instead went long with a BTS purchase of a futures contract, your cash settlement increases with soaring interest rates. Buying futures contracts hedges like a call option.  You win if interest rates decline and futures prices increase. You lose if interest rates soar and force you to sell the futures contract for less than you paid on June 17.

Does this make sense to you?  As a result of your message I have changed the wording of the MarginWHEW and MarginOOPs cases. It was partly incorrect, and I understand your confusion.

Please keep me posted on any other problems.

Thanks,

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: XXXXXXXX
Sent: Monday, October 11, 1999 8:54 PM 
To: rjensen@trinity.edu Subject: Two points on your FAS 133 site

Dear Dr. Jensen:

I have found your site extremely helpful in understanding the implications of FAS #133 and thank you for setting it up.

I am wondering if a minor error exists in the fourth paragraph of the case introduction section. It seems to me that a STB contract would benefit from interest rates going up - not going down as the sentence states and as later on in the paragraph is explained. I am not familiar with the terminology of STB or BTS so I thought I would check with you to make sure I was understanding the case.

Also I am working on a project helping the FX division of a multi-national bank help its customers understand the opportunities presented by FAS 133. Essentially we are looking at FAS 133 as a business development opportunity.

Do you know of anyone who might have an interest in sharing similar experiences, and are you available for consultation?

Best, Michael XXXXXXX


Thanks Janet,

I've been searching the internet for cost-benefit analysis courses for our non-accounting/finance managers, which sounds similar. I found http://www.rms.net  to be useful in gathering ideas. They look at it from Information Technology area, but I think some of the same issues apply to engineers. Rather than trying to split accounting & economics, it might be easier to look at it from a project management point of view. Having worked briefly for a residential builder, I think PM combined with real-world financial analysis would probably be more relevant & interesting to the students.

Janet Flatley AVP-Controller (360) 417-3104 fax: (360) 417-3208


Thanks John,

Not real high tech, but I use a computer based simulation in my cost class. It is the Management/Accounting Simulation published by Micro Business Publications. It is a small firm operated by Kenneth Goosen. His web site is http://www.microbuspub.com/ 

In this, students are given responsibility for financial, marketing, and production decisions of a financially failing company, They normally work in teams of 3-4, preparing budgets, etc. to arrive at decisions. I've used it for a number of years, and students feel they learn from it.

John Stancil


Technology Help from CNET

CNET Help.com ( http://www.help.com/  ) is the place to find hundreds of thousands of computer and technology questions and answers, culled from Usenet newsgroups and submitted by users around the world. And the best part is, it's all free. Here's some of what you can do:

* Search our database of questions and answers, or submit your own question to the worldwide community of computing experts. Most questions are answered within 24 hours.

* Browse our directory of thousands of tips and how-tos, written by CNET editors, for more help with the hardware and software products you use every day.

* Get more resources on your favorite tech topics in our Help Centers, where you'll find everything from books to online classes to assisted tech support.


Thanks Paul Dierks for the tip on http://node.on.ca/networking/ 

NETWORKING welcomes your submissions, comments, and questions. Send them to Erin Bale at <editor@node.on.ca>. To subscribe to NETWORKING, send the message "SUBSCRIBE NETWORKING yourfirstname yourlastname" to < listserv@mail.node.on.ca >, leaving the subject line blank.  ******************************************************** Back issues of NETWORKING are archived at < http://node.on.ca/networking/  >.


Oingo searching at http://www.oingo.com/ 

Oingo is the Internet's first meaning-based search engine. By going beyond searching for just simple text characters, Oingo brings the most relevant information to you. Oingo is the first search engine on the web that allows you to refine your search based on the actual meaning of your search words or search phrase.

Why is meaning so important to search?

Because written language isn't a perfect science. There are so many ways of saying the same thing, so many synonyms, so many similar terms and phrases. Meaning-based search is a search performed on the meanings of words rather than the literal text. A search engine should be intelligent enough to bring you the best information based on what you mean - no matter how you choose to express yourself.

Oingo meaning-based search is a much more intuitive, more human way of searching. Using the Oingo Lexicon, a rich database of words, meanings, and relationships, Oingo seeks first to understand the user's query and then return the best search results.

We welcome you to use and to play with the Oingo search engine! We believe you will find Oingo comprehensive, precise, and unique. Most importantly, you will find Oingo to be a valuable tool for searching the Internet.


MP3 Decoder for converting MP3 files into data files http://ehoffman.simplenet.com/hplsoft/mp3dec/ .  ZD Net labs came to the following conclusion:

If you've downloaded a batch of .mp3 files that you've wanted to copy to a CD-R but can't figure out how to make the necessary conversion to .wav format for the transfer process, check out MP3 Decoder. It lets you easily change one or more .mp3 files to .wav format with a minimum of fuss. It can also be used as a Winamp playlist generator. A multitude of configuration options are available. Although we couldn't get a handful of the minor functions to work, the program did a great job of decoding our test .mp3 files to .wavs in virtually no time. Reviewed on Jul 19 1999.

If you want to record in MP3 format, you might check out http://www.netins.net/showcase/phdss/mp3/mp3_encoders.htm or  http://dialspace.dial.pipex.com/town/gateway/y/yyz81/mp3recorder/.  ZD Net labs has the following to say about the free MP3 Stream Recorder:

Mp3 Stream Recorder is a free program (thanks to banner ads) that lets you record live .mp3 streams from servers all over the Internet, so you can listen to the feed at your leisure. The files you record are standard .mp3 files playable with Winamp or Windows Media Player. Just enter the server address and choose a file to which you'd like to save the stream. (Several links to streaming audio servers are included to get you started.) Press the Start Recording button to begin the storage of the stream on your hard drive. As it records, the program provides information about the stream, such as name, URL, bit rate, and server version. You can tell it exactly how much of the stream you'd like it to record. It can also be used with your Web browser, so instead of clicking on a .pls file and launching Winamp, Mp3 Stream Recorder will begin archiving the stream. Although you can't hear what you're recording, Mp3 Stream Recorder is still a great way to capture all that free music. Reviewed on Aug 19 1999.

If you want to convert MP3 files or WAV files into Microsoft's WMA format, check out the MP3 Converter at http://www.amersol.edu.pe/_jreate/skitworld/shareware.html.  ZD Net labs reports the following:

MP3-Converter lets you transform .mp1, .mp2, .mp3, and .wav files to Microsoft's .wma format. (If you believe the claims, the .wma format is the only streaming media platform to feature FM-stereo quality over a modem, MP3 quality at half the size, and improved piracy protection.) You can convert files individually or in batches, and you have the option to automatically delete the original file after the conversion process. Unfortunately, MP3-Converter disables its Options and Properties controls until you register, so you don't really get a full idea of what the program can do. 
Reviewed on Sep 20 1999.

In the October 17, 1999 PBS show of the Digital Duo, WSJ's Walt Mossberg gave thumbs up to MP3.  A summary of his show commentary is given at http://www.digitalduo.com/218_dig.html.  

Even non-techies can handle MP3s. Just download and install one of many free programs that let you catalog and play MP3s. Then get the music itself either by downloading tracks from the Web, or converting your own CDs into MP3s by popping the CD into your PC, and then running a software program called a "ripper." Once you've made your favorite tracks into MP3s, you can create your own compilations and store them on your hard drive, or download them to portable players like the Nomad. 

Rippers can be downloaded free.  See http://www.netins.net/showcase/phdss/mp3/mp3_encoders.htm 

Scott Bonacker provides the following update message on software for converting wav files into MP3 files:

Bob,

Try freeware CDex by ALFA Technologies 3-15-1999 at this URL:

http://hotfiles.zdnet.com/cgi-bin/texis/swlib/hotfiles/info.html?fcode=000SXL&b=adesk

I used CDex to 'rip' a 3:53 audio track from CD and made a WAV file of 40,264KB, then CDex took almost fifteen minutes to create a 3,649KB MP3 file in a separate step. Alternatively, CDex can rip an audio track and go straight to an MP3 file.

Also, go to this URL : http://hotfiles.zdnet.com/cgi-bin/texis/swlib/hotfiles/search.html?link=1 

and do a search for BladeEnc. You'll find that program for converting WAV's to MP3's plus some others I hadn't seen before.

Have fun, 
Scott Bonacker [bonacker@nospam.worldnet.att.net

I could not find BladeEnc at the site mentioned above.  However, an easy search at ZDnet took me to the free BladeEnc download site where you can read the following:

BladeEnc (also known as Blade's MP3 Encoder) is a free 32-bit command-line program for creating .MP3 files from 32, 44.1, or 48 KHz .wav or .aif files. Use it by itself or with many of the freeware and shareware graphical front ends and CD rippers that support it. To turn .wav or .aif files into standard 128 Kb stereo .MP3 files, just drag and drop them onto BladeEnc.exe. BladeEnc encodes the files one by one until finished. The resulting .MP3 files are placed in the same folder as their corresponding source files. Numerous command-line switches are available for adjusting bit rate and other properties. The accompanying HTML-based documentation is excellent. 

Note from Bob Jensen:  
I followed Scott's lead and downloaded BladeEnc from ZDnet.  The download included some other files such as WinPlay Pro.  The BladeEnc program is free whereas the WinPlay Pro program costs $10 after you try it and decide you like it.  I like both programs.  The WinPlay Pro program lets you drag MP3 files into a playlist window and then save the playlist to play back anytime you choose.

The free BladeEnc program is fantastic.  Recall that I put out my SFAS 133 Overview file out that links to 311 Mb of WAV files.  Storing these files on my laptop hogs precious hard drive.  Storing these files on CD-Rs that I burned results in slight pauses during executions in my road shows.  Now I can keep a great deal of audio on the hard drive of my laptop.  BladeEnc converted those 311 Mb of WAV files into 28 Mb of MP3 files that play with great quality (subject to the varying quality of audio that I captured in live presentations by experts on SFAS 133).  The bottom line (accountants like bottom lines) is that I save over 90% of hard drive or CD-R space required to store captured audio.  You can make audio playback comparisons at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/000overview/133suma.htm.

I might give you some advice following my first try at using BladeEnc to covert WAV audio files into MP3 audio files.  

If you want software to playback MP3 files or to record MP3 files directly without first recording WAV files, go to my previous discussion at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99.htm#MP3 


Help in getting out of debt http://www.genus.org/ 


Hi Gloria,

I found the problem with my eCommerce link.  The link went to a file on my local computer rather than the e-Commerce file on the server. I think I corrected the problem. Give it a try once again by clicking on e-Commerce at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm 

I appreciate hearing about bad links or other problems with my web site. Please keep me informed.


Science, coffee, and health  http://www.cosic.org/ 


Forum for Women Entrepreneurs. http://www.fwe.org/ 


Help in writing accounting and other policies

On Wed, 13 Oct 1999, Juanita Russell wrote:

I'm in the process of developing accounting policies for my company. I'm having difficulty with the Property Plant & Equipment policy. Can anyone provide guidance as to some available resources that might help? I'm  also interested in finding out what guidelines companies are using with regards to capitalization of property. At what dollar value is the  decision made to capitalize? I was thinking that $500 is appropriate but  am interested in knowing what other companies are doing.  

Juanita--I believe Arthur Andersen's Knowledge Space (www.knowledgespace.com)  has a big collection of suggested policies and procedures for a lot of things. It costs, but you can get a 30-day free membership.

Ed Scribner 
Department of Accounting & Business Computer Systems 
MSC 3DH New Mexico State University 
PO Box 30001, Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001


From PC Week Online http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/stories/news/0,4153,2349498,00.html 
The PowWow web site is at http://www.powwow.com/ 

Companies looking to improve internal communications with tools such as IM without sending traffic outside the firewalls may find what they need in PowWow for Private Networks from Tribal Voice Inc.

In tests, PC Week Labs found PowWow for Private Networks' instant messaging functionality a welcome alternative to the haphazard practice of letting employees use outside IM clients, such as America Online Inc.'s AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Inc.'s Yahoo Messenger or Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Messenger. The product is in its first version.

Priced at $3,995 for one server and as many as 25 clients, PowWow for Private Networks is the only product we've seen that bundles a number of online community features into one inexpensive, easy-to-administer package. Features include message boards, voice chat, whiteboards and guest books. Comprehensive customization options such as profanity filters let managers deploy community-building tools that reflect corporate culture.


Thank you Florida Gulf Coast University for this is a great web site for business and economic research  http://library.fgcu.edu/Subjects/Business/bushome.htm 

Business Guides

Banking Business Ethics Business Law Business Planning Company Information
Economic Indicators Finance & Stocks Industry Information International Business Market Research
Small Business Statistics Tax Research

Internet Guides

Accounting and Financial Organizations Annual Reports Business News Services Business Research Tools
Business Search Engines Business School Libraries Commercial Web Sites of Business Interest Discussion Groups and Listservs
Exchange Rates Internet Business Libraries Jobs Online SIC & NAICS Codes
Smart Business Super Sites Working Papers Yellow Pages & Directories

 


On October 17, 1999 the Digital Duo on PBS television had a good update show on wireless technology.  The web link is at http://www.digitalduo.com/218_dig.html .

In an earlier show, we reviewed the Palm VII, a handheld organizer that can send and receive wireless e-mail and do some modest Web surfing. There were major e-mail problems and Web limitations, in addition to the non-starter pricing scheme.

But there's definitely something neat about wireless connections, as millions of cell phone and pager users will tell you. It's also great surfing the Web without a wire. If you're stuck in a boring meeting, you can check your e-mail and the news while you pretend to take notes. More and more ways of getting online without the line have been introduced, though none of them are perfect.

Wireless suffers from the same problems as cell phones—i.e. expensive service plans, spotty service, and wildly expensive roaming programs. But there are some bright spots, and things are likely to get better. A number of different products are available, each with its own set of limitations and advantages.

There are two basic types of wireless hardware: handheld devices and those that work with a computer. There are also two basic types of networks. One is the nationwide paging network, which the handhelds typically use. The second is called CDPD, which stands for Cellular Digital Packet Data—which, of course, works with the analog cellular phone network (Don't ask). It's also known as Wireless IP, for Internet Protocol. The good news is that it's available pretty much throughout the country, except for some places like Atlanta and Los Angeles.

CDPD claims a data rate of 19.2 kilobits per second, but in reality, you get maybe 10 or 11. Not bad for e-mail, but you'll definitely want to turn off graphics in your browser or you'll be forced to watch the pictures ooze down the screen.

Wireless service packages vary widely, including unlimited service for between $40 and $60 a month. But as is the case with cell phones, you've got to read the contracts carefully, because you could get stuck with a stiff per-kilobit fee when you roam.

A PC card modem from Sierra Wireless goes for about $350 from some of the service providers. It comes with software that works with standard Windows laptops and Steve's favorite whipping boy, Windows CE models. Steve tried this unit—in a real Windows machine, thank you—and was pleasantly surprised how well it worked. You get an always-on connection to the Web, and it doesn't use up much battery life. About the only drawback is that slow data rate.

We haven't tried a similar card from Novatel Wireless, but it's about $100 cheaper.

Novatel also makes a CDPD modem, called Minstrel, that costs about $350, and clips onto the bottom of a Palm III, so it becomes a Palm VII-like device, but about twice as thick and heavy. It works pretty well with standard third-party Palm e-mail and Web software. The major drawback is that slow data rate again, and surfing the Web on a teeny screen is no picnic. But for some people it's worth a look.

Another handheld device is the BlackBerry, from RIM, which stands for Research in Motion. The BlackBerry looks like an oversized pager with a built-in minuscule QWERTY keyboard that's surprisingly good. You can send and receive e-mail over the air, and the unit will buzz you when new messages come in. Like Palms, the BlackBerry has a built-in contact and schedule organizer.

Also like the Palm VII, the BlackBerry uses a paging network, which is even slower than CDPD, but unlike the Palm, its wireless service plan gives you unlimited messaging for a flat fee—in this case $40 a month. It also uses your regular e-mail account, but it works best if your company is running Microsoft Exchange servers. You can use it without Exchange, but it's a pain.

RIM's Model 950 is a two-way pager that can also do e-mail. But to get unlimited service, you have to pay $100 a month on top of the $350 or so for the device. Their 850 model, can be set up for two-way paging or e-mail only, but not both at once. There are ways to get Web browsers for these, though you probably won't be happy with them. And though the keyboards are fine, the little screens are pretty bad.

The trick with these services is to find an unlimited-usage plan so you don't get a bill that shocks you. That's not the case with the Motorola PageWriter from SkyTel. It uses national paging networks, and after your first 10,000 characters a month for $25, it charges a penny a character. Use this frequently and we see bankruptcy in your future.

A cheaper deal is the Ricochet modem from Metricom, which attaches to your laptop. It costs about $300, but unlimited service is only $30 a month. It doesn't use CDPD or a page network, but a special network all its own. For now it's limited to about 28 kilobits per second. An upgrade to 128Kbps has been promised for a while, as has service to a lot more markets.

Before you sign up for any of these products, make sure you understand what you'll be paying for service. Also, understand how e-mail will work, because some of these systems give you access to the Web without an address, which makes it hard to send mail through your regular provider. Others make you use a special address, which means you can't get your mail from your usual address unless you can forward it.

We left out at least one wireless data device, and that's the cell phone. There are already phones that can get and send e-mail, but that's only the beginning. You can buy phones today that connect to your PC with a simple cable, and some of these include mini-Web browsers. The problems are, as with everything cellular, where can you get the service, and how much will it cost? Again, there are service gaps and ways to pay far too much.

Providers like AirTouch, Bell Atlantic and Sprint have introduced CDMA Wireless Data. If you have the right phone, you can plug it into your computer and surf the Web—if you're on the right system and in the right place. But for now, coverage is limited. GSM providers like VoiceStream already offer a similar service with GSM phones; but GSM still has big gaps in its national network—like Chicago.

How you pay for these services remains a question—even some of their Web sites don't tell you how they work. But one thing is likely: sooner or later you'll want to go wireless and you'll find the right way to do it.


In the Digital Duo show mentioned above, there was also a segment on printing U.S. Postage online.  The general conclusion was that this is very convenient for small business but probably a bit pricey for most individuals.  The two options are linked below:

E-stamp  http://www.e-stamp.com/ 

Stamps.com at http://www.stamps.com/ 


Another PBS special --- American Photography: A Century of Images http://www.pbs.org/ktca/americanphotography /


The AccountingWEB Newswire - Issue 13 October 15, 1999 http://www.accountingweb.com 
In the headlines this week: 

1. SEC's Levitt Blasts Auditor's Role 
2. AICPA Issues New Standard For Audit Committee Reporting 
3. IRS Raises Mileage Rate 
4. E&Y Markets Operational Risk Management Software 
5. Consulting .com's Proliferating Across The Internet 
6. Strategies To Increase Public Relations Efforts 
7. Download This Computer Usage Policy 
8. A College Experience -- Going Once, Going Twice, Sold! 
9. Internet Tip: Run a Client Business Plan By This Expert System


AccountingStudents Newsletter: October 12, 1999 http://www.accountingstudents.com 

IN THIS ISSUE: 

1. Tips For Telephone Interviews 
2. Jennifer Terami: FBI Agent 
3. Site of the Week: Real World University 
4. Strapped for Cash? Win 1,000! 
5. Survey Results: Has Your State Introduced the 150-Hour Law? 
6. Ten Things to Consider While Job Searching 
7. Tip of the Week: College Survival How-tos


Internet Essentials '99 Newsletter for the financial 
professional http://www.tiac.net/users/nhannon/news.html   
Here are this week's topics:
	1.  Taiwanese Quake Could mean higher PC Prices
	2.  Speaking of Going Wireless....
	3.  Free Voicemail and Voice-to-email?  Available from eFax
	4.  Visitalk.com:  Putting Voice to Work on the Net
	5.  ExpertCentral.com:  Real Experts, Real Answers
	6.  STOP Thief!  That Free PC Costs Too Much
	7.  IBM's Ten Success Factors for e-business
	8.  All-In-One PC for $799
	9.  AOL Hit by Password-Stealing Program
	10. Send Instant Messages to Cell Phones and Pagers? 


And that's the way it was on October 19, 1999. 

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

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

 

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October 12, 1999


Two messages from my good friend Denny Beresford.  Denny is the former Chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board.  He is now an accounting professor at the University of Georgia.  His new duties entail teaching accounting asynchronously across the Internet in a specially-designed MBA program for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) employees.  You can read about this PwC program at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm#ErnstandYoung 


Message 2

Bob,

While I'm thinking of it, another item you may want to mention in your New Bookmarks in the next few weeks is the FEI position paper for the Public Oversight Board's study of Audit Effectiveness. I know that you often refer to Phil Livingston's weekly FEI Express messages. In the next one or two he will no doubt refer to the position paper, which is being prepared for Phil to testify at a POB hearing tomorrow.

The position paper describes the state of the auditing profession from the perspective of its principal customer - financial executives. It is constructively critical of several things, particularly the loss of status of the audit function within major accounting firms. Also, they express regret about the firms' inability to make accounting decisions in the field vs. referring everything to the national office or SEC.

I am a member of FEI's Committee on Corporate Reporting so I had an opportunity to see the position paper as it was developed and even made a few modest suggestions for its content. For all of those accounting programs that focus mainly on turning out graduates to work in public accounting and take the CPA exam (like UGA), I think the FEI position paper will be very informative.

Denny

Jensen Note 1:  You can read "SEC's Levitt Sharply Attacks Auditors' Role," in The Wall Street Journal, October 8, 1999, pg. A6.  Among other things, Arthur Levitt "suggested the need for a new self-regulatory organization to better police auditors."

Jensen Note 2:  In a message this week, Phil Livington indicated that the FEI position paper referred to above will be out on Thursday of this week.


Message 1

Bob,

I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your weekly bookmarks messages. While I am almost exclusively a "lurker" for the Barry Rice information exchange and other technology information, it is extremely interesting and useful to receive this information. This afternoon I'm finally going to have an opportunity to talk (briefly) to my accounting department colleagues about how I'm using technology in my PwC MBA class and how I've started transferring some of the same techniques to my on campus MBA class. In that regard, I plan to mention the item from this week's bookmarks about the UCLA survey that indicated most professors are stressed out about technology. My greater concern is that too many professors are not stressed out enough - they've kept their heads in the sand and assume that the old way is fine or even better.

Keep up the good work. You are having a tremendous impact - much more than almost all of the limited appeal articles in our "leading research journals".

Denny Beresford


This is from a former student assistant when I was at the University of Maine (Thanks Jean).  You can read about RJ Interactive products at http://www.rj-int.com/ 

Colleagues,
 I just finished using Financial Accounting 2000 by RJ Campbell in my "Computers & Systems for Accounting" course and was very pleased with the results. Students really liked the product and I found it easy to require as an outside project. The students needed a brief review of financial accounting (taken earlier) before plunging into computerized accounting systems. It works well for this purpose! 

Professor Jean Gutmann, School of Business [gutmann@USM.MAINE.EDU], School of Business Department of Accounting, University of Southern Maine 207-780-4183 fax: 207-780-4662


Bob Blystone sent this tip to look at http://www.versity.com/For those of you who think that lecture notes are not available as long as instructors do not post them on the web, you had better think twice.

Lecture Notes 
Top quality lecture notes for over 3,500 classes on 88 campuses.

Knowledge Center
Receive information compiled on over 30,000 different topics in over 150 popular disciplines.

My Community
Interact with classmates and students nationwide studying the same courses as you.

My Versity 
Customize your own site with your classes, study buddies and more! 

You can search for colleges and universities by state.  For example, I clicked on Texas and found no links to Trinity University (now I'm feeling even more insignificant in life.)  However, there were Texas links to the following schools 

Texas A&M University College Station (71 classes to choose from!)
Texas Tech University Help us choose what courses you want notes for!
University of Texas Austin (83 classes to choose from!)

There are accounting course lecture notes in addition to the lecture notes for many other disciplines.


John Roberts responded as follows with respect to the above link:

We have always had professional note takers who took notes and then sold
them at the copy centers, etc.  It only follows that this would start
appearing on the Web. The below was posted  by Edupage on October 8, 1999:
COLLEGES HITTING LOW NOTES
Two University of California schools, UC-Berkeley and UCLA, are
threatening to take legal action against online companies who
hire students to take notes and post them on the company's Web
site for the use of other students. However, Hugh Buckingham, a
professor at Louisiana State University, says that notes have
long been commercially available to students and questions the
ability to control class-notes proliferation on the unregulated
Web. Still, college administrators and professors question the
legal and ethical grounds of the practice. Mike Smith,
UC-Berkeley attorney, claims the sale of class notes is a
commercial use of the notes and thus a violation of school rules.
Craig Green, cofounder of Study24-7.com, one such note-posting
company, responds that there is nothing illegal about his
company's service and warns that the "traditional
brick-and-mortar universities are going to have to change as a
result of this technology revolution." (Wired News 10/06/99)

John C. Roberts, Jr. [roberts_j@POPMAIL.FIRN.EDU]


Frontline: Secrets of the SAT test http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/sats/ 


Not-for-Profit Accounting

Cougar Mountain Software has a fund accounting package, and a demo is available for download on their website. QuickBooks will work within limitations such as 1) separate funds have to be kept in separate databases if that is important because while QuickBooks does classes/departments it doesn't do funds, and 2) other than account titles and intelligent use of sub-account assignments to get meaningful group totals QuickBooks doesn't give you much control over financial statement layout, especially terminology. Terminology can be a problem for a relatively inexperienced user that keeps getting thrown off by difference between the words that QuickBooks prints on a statement and how the accounts are actually used in the records.

Scott Bonacker, CPA McCullough, Officer & Company, LLC Springfield, Missouri moccpa.com


KWorld Knowledge Sharing Environment from the KPMG:
I noticed a KWorld press release in  Information Week, September 27, 1999, pp. 53-54. (although the main Information Week articles are online, I don't think this advertising section is available online.  There is an older press release about KWorld at http://www.kpmg.net/library/99/june/story1%5Fb6%5Fkvdm.asp 

BOSTON, May 27 – KPMG International, the accounting, tax and consulting firm, has unveiled an advanced global knowledge management system at a meeting of the firm's chief knowledge officers. KWorld, an online messaging, collaboration, and knowledge sharing platform, is the first system of its kind built entirely from standard Microsoft components based on Microsoft Windows NT Server, including Microsoft Exchange, Site Server, and Microsoft Office, Outlook and Internet Explorer.

A year in the making, the KWorld environment is being rolled out on 9 June to KPMG's four largest national practices – the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands. KWorld will then be deployed quickly in Canada, Australia, Sweden and Switzerland, followed by all remaining KPMG practices.

Paul Reilly, KPMG International chief executive officer, sees KWorld as the product and catalyst of the firm's globalization strategy, its commitment to serve primarily global clients, and dissolve barriers across practices and borders. "Our international executive team acknowledged last year that we needed to create a single, dynamic and universally accessible knowledge environment," Reilly says. "With the launch of KWorld, we will leverage the intellectual capital of everyone in KPMG and enable our practitioners to better serve our clients locally and globally." The firm is committed to investing approximately one percent of its US$10 billion in revenues in knowledge management.

Spearheading KWorld is international chief knowledge officer Michael J. Turillo, who formally opened the firm's Boston-based Global Knowledge Exchange, headquarters for the firm's knowledge management organization, Web development, and research strategies. "KWorld will become KPMG's digital nervous system, to use the Microsoft concept. It is also our own best evidence that KPMG grasps the urgency and opportunity of knowledge management."

As reported by Microsoft, KPMG is one of only five organizations to embark on its fast-track program to fully exploit the power of the Web browser, integrate Microsoft based messaging, collaboration and knowledge-sharing applications, and push current Web technology to the limit.


Information Week's rankings of "500 Leading IT Innovators" can be found in a book-length special feature in Information Week, September 27, 1999, pp. 83-343.  The online version is at http://www.informationweek.com/754/99iw500.htm.  You can download the list in PDF format.

What is even more interesting are the "Innovations on the Horizon" in pp. 332-339.  Some things mentioned are merely wish-list items (e.g., inexpensive, unlimited bandwidth) and others are products that are available at the moment that will become much better and pervasive (e.g., wireless communications).  Probably the most important things on the horizon are "neural search engines --- intelligent tools that can parse human requests and refine them into meaningful queries ..." (pg. 337).


A Phoenix-based startup wants to take instant messaging from a text-only medium into a speech-driven environment http://www.pcweek.com/a/pcwt9908053/1017518/ 

Key to the service is visitalk.com's LDAP 3-compliant directory, which serves as an Internet white pages. Each subscriber receives a PCN (permanent communications number), a 12-digit ID that enables users to conduct point-to-point phone calls and send or retrieve voice mail. With H.323-compliant client software such as Microsoft Corp.'s NetMeeting or White Pine Software's CU-SeeMe, subscribers also can conduct videoconferences.

The service lets users store as many as 10 voice mails. A premium version supports unlimited voice mails, along with instant messaging -- through which users can communicate via voice or text - and realChat options for one-on-one or group discussions. After a 60-day free trial, the premium services will be priced at less than $5 a month.


All-In-One Messaging http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/stories/news/0,4153,2342639,00.html 


Where will the web head next?  See Eric Lundquist's article at http://www.zdnet.com/pcweek/stories/columns/0,4351,2345765,00.html 

John Chambers, Cisco's CEO, thinks big. Although his sincerity appears syrupy at times, Chambers remains the most articulate of the high-tech execs trying to explain what the Web and the Internet are all about. Gates has his "business at the speed of thought" (say what?), McNealy has his one-liners, and Gerstner doesn't seem to have all that much to say in public. Chambers has a lot to say, and in an interview at last week's Wall Street Journal Technology Summit, his responses ranged from the next big business thing on the Internet to ending world poverty using the Web. As I said, he thinks big.

"Virtual factories and virtual closings," Chambers responded, when asked about the next big business opportunities on the Internet. Although the word "virtual," along with the small "e" and the concept of a paradigm shift, should be given a dignified burial and never used again, the ideas behind them are substantial. The virtual factory uses the Web to tie together suppliers, production facilities and shipping to provide an overview of what's coming in the door, what's being worked on and what's leaving the shipping docks. Sounds a bit like ERP that works.

The virtual closing (for readers who, like me, are accounting-challenged) allows you to know the financial health of a company at the close of each business day. This idea has a rich heritage in every failed attempt to scale the accounting Everest, but the Web has a promise of being able to handle disparate systems and levels of security that have tripped up other attempts at answering a simple business question, "Did we earn any money today?" on a real-time, daily basis. Chambers says Cisco is almost there now. That's one I'd like to see.


From Intel "How Microprocessors Work" (Intel should know!)  http://www.intel.com/education/mpuworks/ 


InfoQuote's Claim for Information Technology Products --- "More Products, More Resellers" http://www.iwinfolink.com/infoquote.htm 


Animated site from Encyclopedia Britannica on how clocks work  http://www.britannica.com/clockworks/ 


Comments on SFAS 133

Executives from Union Carbide gave what I later summarized (at the Chicago conference) as an Infomercial for SFAS 133 and the FASB. In this period of time when most corporations and CPA firms feel like the Brooklyn Museum of Art should replace the elephant dung with strewn pages of SFAS 133, it was nice to see major corporation (Union Carbide) executives become poster boys for SFAS 133 and exude positive attitudes toward biting the bullet for their impending adoption of SFAS 133. Sure its painful for Union Carbide to send lawyers and accountants to their plants around the world (Canada, South America, Asia, Europe, etc.) and read the many contracts in search of embedded derivatives and problems of hedge effectiveness. But Union Carbide is proving that it can be done with a positive and carefully planned strategy.

What I found most significant is that Union Carbide is doing exactly what the FASB intended in Paragraph 241 where it is stated that "The Board believes that accounting requirements should be neutral and should not encourage or discourage the use of particular types of contracts." Union Carbide is not changing its hedging and other contracting policies and strategies because of SFAS 133. It is now trying to account for these policies and strategies under rules of SFAS 133. This is not the case for all companies according to other presenters at the World Research Group conference in Chicago. In some of those companies, SFAS 133 is not a neutral document on economic decisions.

You can read more about SFAS 133 at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/acct5341/speakers/133glosf.htm 


I am really not forwarding Jim White's message to brag.  My purpose is to stress the importance of sharing on the web.  His message stresses the importance of such sharing.  I realize that there are abuses by some users in purloining what professors make available on the web, and you can read about the dark side at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99.htm#DarkSide 

For a look at the positive side, read Jim White's message:

Bob, Just a couple of comments:

First, I thoroughly enjoy the information you share with all of us in the electronic community. I am currently a Master's student who has finished all of his coursework except for my Thesis. This has been quite a learning experience for me, since my undergraduate degree came in 1973. Because of this pursuit, I have discovered the "mountains" of information shared (over the internet) by folks like yourself.

Because of the availability of information, I have been able to research material for my thesis to a greater extent than I would have had --- had I done something like this in 1973. The Internet is not the sole source of my information, but it has definitely added to the textbooks and periodical sources I am currently using. Accolades to all of you who share your knowledge. Additionally, I plan to fully credit anyone's work that I use in my research - so when I read the part of your recent newsletter dealing with the plagiarism of instructor's class notes (and the possible consequences to those of us who enjoy and learn from the "free" information) I thought I would express my concern. (My concern is that individuals would pull their work from the net)

As I continue to "grow" (one can grow even though they are older) and learn - I hope this type of information stays available. The only profit some of use will get from this information will be the pleasure we will have in a "better understanding" of how things work.

Thanks
Jim White [jwhite@lowesfoods.com


The Plays of William Shakespeare http://www.theplays.org/ 


From the Scout Report

History of Influences in the Development of Intelligence Theory and Testing http://www.indiana.edu/~intell/index.html 

Developed by two professors of education at Indiana University, this Website gives a comprehensive overview of the field of intelligence theory and testing from Plato to the present day. Using an "interactive map," the site offers a timeline of the major figures in the field and their affiliations with one another. Users can click on names, time periods, or schools to access more in-depth information. The site's "Hot Topics" section is particularly interesting, giving substantial material relating to some of the most controversial issues in intelligence theory, including an extensive section-by-section summary of the bestseller _The Bell Curve_ and article-length rebuttals by scholars, including one by anthropologist Stephen Jay Gould.


Recall my discussion of electronic books at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99.htm#rocket 

I received the following message from Debra (Brown?) Messick. It may well be that Everybook will be the answer to many copyright concerns of authors. Given the new electronic book standards, it may well be that the library of the future will merely be an enormous database in which we can designate pointers (sometimes free and sometimes for a fee) for our own customized library table of books. At any time, we may then download at will from that table. My Rocket eBook now holds  approximately 100 books that I can download from my customized table of hundreds of pointers to books (most of which were free selections).

Dear Bob:

Thank you for your interest in the Everybook Dedicated ReaderTM (EB).

We will be offering two models of the EB: · A Professional model with a screen dimension of approximately 8-1/2" x 11" and · A Personal model with a screen dimension of approximately 6" x 9".

The EB Professional model is anticipated to be in full production in June of 2000. It will sell for approximately US $1,600. plus tax, shipping and handling. The EB has the potential to pay for itself over time because of the projected discounts the owner will receive on every book title purchased -- 25-40% off list. The more books you buy, the more quickly the EB pays for itself and then starts saving you money.

Some of the features of this model include: · Two screens-each with an approximate dimension of 8-1/2" x 11" · 24-bit color screens · A rendered image of approximately 300+dpi · Two full page touch screens for easy navigation · Full annotation capabilities (highlighting, margin notes, full-page notes) and search features (hypertext) · Digital audio · Digital video · Phone line, Internet access to browse and purchase (no PC needed) · Removable storage card (different size options) which hold up to 500,000 pages · Discounted book prices enabling the owner of an EB to make back their investment over time.

The Professional model is designed to optimally display professional trade journals, manuals and reference libraries as well as college textbooks. In addition, all artwork, complex schematic drawings, charts and tables are displayed in their original format and context.

Our second model, the Personal EB Dedicated Reader is anticipated to be available in late 2000. It will have virtually the same functionality of the Professional model, but will have two smaller screens - each with an approximate dimension of 6" x 9" - that almost meet in the center so that the book can be opened flat and read as one single screen. This allows the user to read reference-sized material in its original format one page at a time.

The most important advantages that Everybook has to offer are:

1. The Everybook Dedicated ReaderTM is the world's first true electronic book. The EB's full-page, two-screen display is 24-bit color and 300+dpi rendered resolution. The other eBooks are really tablets since they offer only one small screen, gray-scale, 72-105 dpi, and very limited storage capacity. You can store up to 200 fully illustrated reference books or 2,000 novels on each of the EB's removable storage cards and no PC is needed for downloading. There are no monthly fees or minimum purchases required.

2. The EB is the only eBook that supports PDF, the publishing industry's standard. The others, which use HTML, cannot display high-resolution photos, illustrations, charts, formulas, etc. With the EB, publishers need not pay to have books converted, since 90% of them already format their publications in PDF.

3. We are not striving to sell the EB to the "gadget" market. Our first model is geared toward professionals such as scientists, medical professionals, pharmacists, lawyers, engineers, architects, salespeople, business-to-business applications, and the military.

4. College students will be able to buy or lease an EB from their college bookstores. The EBs will come fully loaded with their textbooks, course packs, and required reading.

Nothing will ever truly replace the traditional book. Instead, we see the EB as the natural extension of the book, because it replicates all the things we love about books while adding mass storage, portability of your entire collection, frequent updating of information, and 24-hour-a-day access to the Everybook Store where you can browse, purchase, and download publications instantly. Book sales--and the number of titles available--will increase because titles will no longer go out of print or require a large market in order to make them profitable.

We have found wide acceptance of the EB because of its familiar dual-page layout, full-color images, and high-resolution display of page layouts in their original format. Publishers find that we understand their requirements and they appreciate the fact that we are the only eBook manufacturer that supports the PDF file format. We are not forcing a computer-based paradigm on them; instead, we studied their needs and built an electronic book system around them.

An estimated 90% of publishers have been electronically formatting their books in Adobe System's PDF file format for the production of traditional books. This makes PDF the de facto publishing industry standard for electronic books. Using PDF gives us access to the 10 to 15 years' worth of printed publications and eliminates the cost of conversion. We offer publishers a no-risk, low-cost distribution of their publications, with secure copyright protection, and sales incomes 60-90 days faster than current standards.

We plan to sell EBs directly from our web site, through professional associations, college bookstores, and through licensing agreements with entities such as corporations and the military.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to write.

Regards, Debra G. Messick 
Sales Consultant
http://www.everybook.net/ 
717-939-3995 ext. 101


TheReadersVine (book recommendations, reviews,  and more)  http://www.thereadersvine.com/ 


Yawn ---- mug shots of the famous and infamous   http://www.mugshots.org/ 


Historical Photographs  by Alfred Stieglitz  (1864-1946)  http://www.nga.gov/feature/stieglitz/asmain.htm 

Good Art --- Hyde Collection Art Museum  http://www.hydeartmuseum.org/ 

Bad Art http://www.davidbowie.com/sensation/   (I empathize with the TV commentator who said "If I can do it, its not art."


American Museum of Natural History http://www.amnh.org/naturalhistory/ 


The following links were provided in "Smart Stops on the Web" in the Journal of Accountancy, October 1999, pg. 12.

Avoid Tax Traps http://www.assetprotectioncorp.com

The Long Link of the Law http://www.nolo.com

Technology for Auditors http://www.itaudit.org

Information for Expatriates http://www.expatexchange.com

Government Links http://www.lib.lsu.edu/gov/fedgov.html

The One-Stop Career Shop http://www.careers.yahoo.com

 EMPLOYEE LEASING RESOURCES:


October 8th edition of the Internet Essentials '99 Newsletter for the financial professional.

http://www.tiac.net/users/nhannon/news.html

Here are this week's topics:

1. Build Your Own Web Radio Station 
2. Mac Lovers Rejoice; New Operating System and New Multi-media Software 
3. Q-Pass:  Point, Click, Purchase Convenience 
4. Clickmarks, a Free Bookmark Maintenance System 
5. Vstore.com; Build your own Virtual Store on the Web 
6. Don't Try This at Home; AllAdvantage Update
 7. KPMG-Cisco Alliance to add 4,000 Network Integrators


AccountingWeb headlines this week:    http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?ap=1&id=7206&d=101 


1. AOL Releases Version 5.0 -- BUT WATCH OUT !!!!!! 
2. Consolidator Update: CBIZ Looking To Possibly Sell Itself? 
3. 401(k) Plan Administration Just Got EZ 
4. Microsoft To Offer Software For Rent 
5. Another Big Exec Lured Into The Internet
6. Adding "Stickiness" To Your Website To Increase Visits 
7. Take Control of Your Meetings 
8. Internet Taxation: Will We or Won't We? 
9. Internet Tip: Brush Up On Your Techno-Glossary


CNET.com --- an integrated source for computers and technology.

http://www.cnet.com/ 

http://www.news.com/ 

http://www.computers.com/ 

http://www.builder.com/ 

http://www.browsers.com/ 

http://www.gamecenter.com/ 

http://www.download.com/ 

http://www.shareware.com/ 

http://www.search.com/ 

http://www.shopper.com/ 



And that's the way it was on October 12, 1999. 

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

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

 

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October 5, 1999


Dave Feeney gave me permission to share the following message with other educators regarding Blackboard-based Faculty Development:

Dear Dr. Jensen,

My name is Dave Feeney. You may not remember me, but we met over lunch in Philadelphia with Dr. Eric Press. Since then, I have begun to work full time for the School of Business and Management here at Temple University.

I wanted to say "hello", and tell you that I feature your site in my Blackboard-based Faculty Development Course for FOX School Faculty:

http://courseinfo.temple.edu/courses/dfeeney_facdev/ 

You may visit my course as a Guest by clicking on the link above, then typing GUEST as your Username and Password.

Your Trinity site is a clickable link in External Links, inside the Faculty Websites folder.

"Guesting" will also enable you to see 6 of the 8 Course areas. Feel free to look around and explore how we are using Blackboard for faculty training.

I hope you're doing well. My new FOX SBM office is now next to the accounting department in Speakman Hall 300. Drs. Eric Press and Steve Fogg in Accounting send their best.

My best,

Dave Feeney Director, Digital Education FOX School of Business & Management 215-204-2727 DistanceEd@aol.com http://oll.temple.edu/davefeeney 

You can read more about Blackboard and other courseware authoring options at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/245soft1.htm and a shorter and somewhat more current version at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/290wp/290wp.htm 


One of the presenters at our World Research Group Conference in Chicago was a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP named Lee Dixon.  Lee had to borrow a laptop for his PowerPoint  presentation, because his laptop crashed when PwC performed a Y2K test.  That should be a warning to all of us to check our computers.  Some helpful links are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book99.htm#Y2K 


In addition to the Chicago and Washington DC conferences that I announced previously, I will be chairing a conference on SFAS 133 in New York City December 13-14.  The conference is called "Issues and Strategies for Financial Services Companies"  at the web site http://www.ibcusa.com/2489/ 
December 13-14, 1999 · Millennium Broadway Conference Center · New York, NY

Key Industry Speakers From:

BankBoston
Brown, Brothers Harriman & Co.
Chase Bank
Duff & Phelps
Kawaller & Co.
Lazard Asset Management
Lehman Brothers
PricewaterhouseCoopers
Principia Partners
RiskMetrics Group
Salomon Smith Barney
Smith Barney Capital Management
Trinity University
Tucker Anthony Cleary Gull


News from Roger:

News in the NYT of investment by Microsoft in a joint venture with MIT to develop educational technologies .. see http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/99/10/biztech/articles/05soft.html   In the item there is mention of possible joint developments with the National University of Singapore --- for details on IVLE (Integrated Virtual Learning Environment) at NUS, see http://www.cit.nus.edu.sg/ivle/ivle.htm 

Roger Debreceny, PhD, FCPA, CMA Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University, Room S3-B1-B61 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798 rogerd@netbox.com adebreceny@ntu.edu.sg http://www.ntu.edu.sg/home/adebreceny ICQ 22958324 Ph: +65 790 6049 Fax: +65 791 3697


Backup software http://www.zdnet.com/swlib/hotfiles/backup.html 


From Rich Meyer at Trinity University

A recent story from the Chronicle of Higher Education, October 1, 1999 issue, may be of interest to teaching faculty. "Putting Class Notes on the Web: Are Companies Stealing Lectures?" See:

http://chronicle.com/free/v46/i06/06a03101.htm