Tidbits on April 27, 2005
Bob Jensen at Trinity University 

Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 
Archives of Tidbits: Tidbits Directory --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm

Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter --- Search Site.
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron" enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and other universities is at http://www.searchedu.com/.

Bob Jensen's home page is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/

Campaign for Trinity University --- http://www.trinity.edu/departments/public_relations/case_statement/index.htm 

Music:  Games People Play (especially these days) Turn up your speakers --- http://www.jessiesweb.com/house.htm

Who says you can't write poems while wearing a green eyeshade?   Neal Hannon who is better known as one of the XBRL  accounting experts.  But he also writes poetry.  To read some of Neal's poems, go to his poetry blog at  http://lifepoems.goldbambooblog.com/
You can read more about Neal Hannon at http://barney.hartford.edu/faculty_details.php?first=Neal&last=Hannon

How good are newer cell phones that automatically convert speech into text?
Phone makers have tried to solve this (cell phone text entry) problem by squeezing little keyboards into the bodies of some phones. But these keyboards usually make phones bigger and bulkier than normal, and often show up only on costlier models, like the Treo or BlackBerry. This week, my assistant Katie Boehret and I tested a new phone that attempts to solve the text-entry problem in a novel way that doesn't involve typing, and can be used on a small, inexpensive phone with just a numerical keypad. This new phone lets you dictate your text messages by just speaking into the phone. The Samsung p207, $79.99 with a two-year contract from Cingular Wireless, has built-in "speech-to-text" technology: It turns what you say into text on the screen. This technology, called VoiceMode, was created by a small Massachusetts company called VoiceSignal Technologies Inc. If it works properly, VoiceMode should make composing a text message as simple as dictating a voice-mail message. Unfortunately, it doesn't work very well. In our tests, the system made so many errors requiring tedious corrections that it might have been faster for us to peck out our messages the old-fashioned way -- especially if we used the abbreviations and shorthand phrases so common among text-messaging fans.
Walter Mossberg, "A Phone That Takes Dictation: Testing Voice-to-Text Function," The Wall Street Journal, April 27, 2005; Page D4 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111454952602617503,00.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal
Bob Jensen's threads on speech recognition are at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen/245glosf.htm#Speech1

Astounding new hope for treatment of Alzheimer's disease
The first attempt at gene therapy for Alzheimer's Disease patients has appeared to significantly delay worsening of the disease in a few people who have tested it so far. According to scientists on Sunday, far more research is needed to see if the experimental treatment - which requires a form of brain surgery - really helps. But if the approach pans out, researchers say, delivering protective substances, called growth factors, into a diseased brain holds the potential to rescue some dying brain cells.
"Gene therapy cure for Alzheimer's?" Aljazeera, April 25, 2005 ---

On the leading edge of biology and economics:  The economics of brains
The hope seems to be that biological research will finally help economists make sense of irrationality

The idea that understanding the brain can inform economics is controversial but not new; for 20 years, behavioral economists have argued that psychology should have a greater influence on the development of economic models. What is new is the use of technology: economists, like other researchers, now have at their disposal powerful tools for observing the brain at work. The most popular tool, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), has been around since the late 1980s; but only in the past few years has it been used to study decision-making, which is the crux of economic theory. The result is the emerging field of “neuroeconomics.” A flurry of recent papers in scientific and economic journals—reviewed in the Journal of Economic Literature by Caltech economics professor Colin Camerer and colleagues—shows how researchers are using the neural basis of decision-making to develop new economic models. At the January meeting of the American Economic Association, the world’s largest economics conference, the neuroeconomics sessions were reportedly standing room only. The hope seems to be that biological research will finally help economists make sense of irrationality. Take recent brain-imaging experiments by Princeton University psychologist Samuel McClure. In the journal Science, ­McClure and colleagues report that when subjects choose short-term monetary rewards, different regions of the brain are active than when they choose long-term ones. People don’t “discount” future rewards according to a simple scheme, as many economists have suggested. It seems the brain actually makes short-term and long-term forecasts in different ways. The challenge for economists lies in translating this sort of scientific insight into, say, predictive models of how people plan purchases or make retirement fund decisions.
Gregory T. Huang, "The Economics of Brains," MIT's Technology Review, May 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/05/issue/review_brains.asp?trk=nl

Beware of Counterfeit U.S. Postal Money Orders
In the last six months, the F.B.I. and postal inspectors say, international forgers - mostly in Nigeria, but also in Ghana and Eastern Europe - appear to have turned new attention to the United States postal money order. More than 3,700 counterfeit postal money orders were intercepted from October to December, exceeding the total for the previous 12 months, according to postal inspectors. Moreover, 160 arrests have been made in the United States since October in cases where people have been suspected of knowingly receiving fraudulent postal money orders or trying to cash them, Paul Krenn, a spokesman for the United States Postal Inspection Service, said.
Tom Zeller Jr., "Authorities Note Surge in Online Fraud Involving Money Orders," The New York Times, April 26, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/26/business/26forgery.html?
Bob Jensen's threads on consumer fraud are at http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/26/business/26forgery.html?

Tune into technology:  Watch for this Digital Duo show that's happily returning to PBS
Happily, the departure was temporary. Tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. the program, renamed "PC World's Digital Duo," returns to KCTS with the first of 26 gadget-packed half-hour episodes and a dynamic new co-host, former Seattle Weekly technology columnist Angela Gunn. Already the show has been picked up in public-TV markets covering more than 60 percent of the U.S. population.
Paul Andrews, "New "Digital Duo" is dynamic blend of fun, credibility," Seattle Times, April 25, 2005 --- http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2002251914_paul25.html
Jensen Comment:  I always liked the Digital Duo better than Computer Chronicles when both were carried (usually back-to-back) on PBS stations.  The Digital Duo was never afraid to point out the bad and absolutely stupid features of new hardware and software.  They definitely took a customer's perspective, whereas Computer Chronicles generally was on the side of the vendor, although Computer Chronicles was better about having the vendors demo new products.  I video taped many of both shows and it's fun to go back and watch the struggle we used to have with almost every product when technology was new and often did not work.  Times are better today in spite of the dark cloud of security that moved in during the later years.


What's this... Amazon has FREE MUSIC DOWNLOADS!!! Wow! Double Wow! And to top it off, many of the DRM-free music tracks are from popular artists, including music not available on their CDs. I'm not sure how recently this new Amazon section was made available, but it appears that they still have some link bugs to work out.

Side note: If you want to sidestep Amazon's deep linking, Jesse Andrews created an Amazon Music Helper script -- based on mozdev.org's Greasemonkey Firefox plug-in -- that converts Amazon's MP3 links into direct download links (via Waxy).
Alexander Grundner, "Amazon Now Offering Free Music Downloads,"  http://www.ehomeupgrade.com/entry/848/amazon_now_offering
Jensen Comment:  Grundner makes this sound a whole lot better than it is up to this point in time.  A lot of the promised free stuff just isn't available, at least not yet.

Outstanding new healthy eating site from the U.S. Department of Agriculture
The federal government deserves praise for launching an appetizing Web site to guide Americans toward healthier eating habits. As for the unwired half of America? Let them eat cake.

Robert MacMillan, "You Are What You Click," Washington Post, April 20, 2005 ---

The great USDA site is at http://mypyramid.gov/

One size doesn't fit all. MyPyramid Plan can help you choose the foods and amounts that are right for you. For a quick estimate of what and how much you need to eat, enter your age, sex, and activity level in the MyPyramid Plan box.

For a detailed assessment of your food intake and physical activity level, click on MyPyramid Tracker.

Use the advice "Inside MyPyramid" to help you
  • Make smart choices from every food group,
  • Find your balance between food and physical activity, and
  • Get the most nutrition out of your calories.

Digital tests of personality:  A Myers-Briggs for the digital age.
In a recent Random Access, I referenced a study that concluded you can tell a lot about someone's personality by analyzing the playlists on his or her iPod. Not long after that, I found myself standing at a red light in midtown Manhattan noticing that nearly everyone around me had white wires winding from their ears into their pockets. It was then that it occurred to me that the study was right. I was looking at little white devices that held the key to what makes these people click. And that is where the iPod goes beyond cool and into profound. It's a less accurate -- but more interesting -- tool for psychological analysis -- a Myers-Briggs for the digital age.
Robert MacMillen, "Test Your Personality, Digitally," Washington Post, April 18, 2005 --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A62545-2005Apr18.html?referrer=email

Botnets and phishing on your computer at this very moment:  Link forwarded by Jagdish Gangolly
Know your Enemy: Tracking Botnets:  Using honeynets to learn more about Bots --- http://www.honeynet.org/papers/bots/
The Honeynet Project & Research Alliance http://www.honeynet.org 
Last Modified: 13 March 2005

Honeypots are a well known technique for discovering the tools, tactics, and motives of attackers. In this paper we look at a special kind of threat: the individuals and organizations who run botnets. A botnet is a network of compromised machines that can be remotely controlled by an attacker. Due to their immense size (tens of thousands of systems can be linked together), they pose a severe threat to the community. With the help of honeynets we can observe the people who run botnets - a task that is difficult using other techniques. Due to the wealth of data logged, it is possible to reconstruct the actions of attackers, the tools they use, and study them in detail. In this paper we take a closer look at botnets, common attack techniques, and the individuals involved.

You can read more about bots at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen/245glosf.htm#Bot1

New AAUP survey on faculty salaries
The AAUP’s survey on faculty salaries — released every spring — also includes institution-by-institution breakdowns that are widely compared by faculty members. At the bottom of this article are lists of the best paying private universities (Rockefeller University is on top); public universities (University of California at Los Angeles); liberal arts colleges (Wellesley) and community colleges (Westchester Community College). AAUP officials caution, however, against reading too much into individual comparisons. The cost of living varies widely in the United States, and many colleges have large gaps in what they pay faculty members in certain disciplines, so the averages tell only part of the story . . . The complete AAUP report and more information about the salary survey are available on the association’s Web site.  The AAUP survey does not provide breakdowns by discipline, but a recent study by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources found that the highest average salaries were in law, engineering and business.  Scott Jaschik, "Pay for Professors," Inside Higher Ed, April 25, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/careers/2005/04/25/pay

Average Salaries at Doctoral Institutions, 2004-5
Rank Public Private
Professor $97,948 $127,214
Associate $68,576   $82,456
Assistant $58,310   $70,640
Instructor $39,398   $44,380
Lecturer $46,007   $52,601

Why did the rich Mughals, Aztecs and Incas evolve into poor civilizations today?
Mr. Acemoglu is the recipient of the American Economic Association's John Bates Clark medal, given every two years to the nation's best economist under the age of 40. Mr. Acemoglu, 37 years old, is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The medal has been a good predictor of future Nobel prize winners -- of the 29 economists who have won the award since 1947, 11 went on to win Nobel awards later in life, including Paul Samuelson, Milton Friedman and Joseph Stiglitz. With a detailed eye on long stretches of economic history, Mr. Acemoglu has written several papers arguing that a nation's political and social institutions play the key role in guiding its economic destiny. In one paper he detailed how civilizations that were rich compared with the rest of the world in 1500 -- such as the Mughals, Aztecs and Incas -- evolved into poor countries today, a point that contradicts the idea that geography is destiny. Instead, he says, differing political institutions set up by colonial powers in places like North America, South America and Africa, set the very different economic courses traveled by countries in these regions.
Jon E. Hilsenrath, "MIT's Acemoglu Wins a Top Medal In Economics," The Wall Street Journal,  April 25, 2005; Page A2 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111438454919215501,00.html?mod=todays_us_page_one

Princeton University alumni protest a pending faculty appointment.
Word that he is up for a job at Princeton has led some alumni there to urge the university not to hire him. The controversy comes at a time when Princeton is also receiving pressure over the tenure bid of a junior professor who studies the Middle East and is seen as taking positions more sympathetic to the West than do many scholars in the field. On Friday, The Daily Princetonian reported that alumni are contacting the university to oppose Khalidi’s candidacy for an endowed chair at the university. The newspaper quoted Arlene Pedovitch, interim director of the Center for Jewish Life at Princeton, as saying “Some Princeton alumni are very concerned about the possibility of Princeton University hiring an individual who has a political agenda rather than a scholarly approach to history.”
"Middle East Wars Hit Princeton," Inside Higher Ed, April 25, 2005 ---
Scott Jaschick, http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/04/25/princeton

The union acted on the request of Palestinian academics
Britain’s primary faculty union, the Association of University Teachers, announced a boycott Friday of two Israeli universities: Haifa University and Bar-Ilan University, Reuters reported. The union acted on the request of Palestinian academics, and the action was promptly criticized by Jewish students and faculty members in Britain.
Inside Higher Ed, April 25, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/04/25/qt  

Professors claim that attacks on them in the U.S. were deliberately orchestrated by government of Israel
According to Massad, Columbia's Middle East studies classes are threatened by a vast right-wing campaign cleverly “engineered to cancel out” freedom of thought. Moreover, at the center of recent attacks on those who disagree with U.S. and Israeli foreign policies lies not a concern for truth or classroom decorum and balance, but academic freedom—“and specifically scholarship on Palestine.” These witch hunters, Massad says, want us to “live the life of servitude to the state power, as technocrats and as ideologues.” Academic freedom for Massad is being able to freedom to teach without challenge that “Established scholarship enumerates all [Israel's] racist flaws and institutional racist practices” which he says render the Jewish state “a racist state by law.” But any disagreement, Massad says, can be safely discarded as Zionist ideology, part of the conspiracy “propped up by the likes of Campus-Watch, the David Project, and the ADL [Anti-Defamation League],” who “make it...their business to attack scholarly criticisms of Israeli policy.” Failing to discard studies by “Israel's apologists” amounts to “shutting down the educational process in favor of religious theories of creationism.” Evidently America can learn from Palestinian society’s principled anti-racism and passion for historical truth. Tariq Ali then spoke and took the conspiracy mania fully over the edge. He sees “what is taking place on the campuses as part of the larger and wider project which was initiated by the Sharon government, soon before they went into Jenin [in March 2002] in the big attempt to crush the intifada.” The decision to persecute the poor academics “was made in Israel,” then “circulated” to Israeli embassies, which somehow made it happen worldwide. The Elders of Zion must be working overtime.
Alyssa A. Lappen, "Columbia's Anti-Jewish Conspiracy Theorist," FrontPageMagazine, April 25, 2005 --- http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=17808

"David Horowitz’s War on Rational Discourse," by Graham Larkin, Inside Higher Ed, April 25, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/04/25/larkin
Graham Larkin is a humanities fellow at Stanford University, where he teaches in the Department of Art and Art History.

It has been heartening to witness the recent runaway success of Princeton emeritus Harry G. Frankfurt’s latest book, On Bullshit. First published as an essay in 1988, Frankfurt’s splendid study is largely an effort to distinguish between lies and bullshit. A liar, Frankfurt notes, acknowledges truth-systems yet tries to pass off information that is not true. “Someone who lies and someone who tells the truth,” he tells us, “are playing on opposite sides, so to speak, in the same game.” The bullshitter, by contrast, fails to really acknowledge the validity of any truth-claims or truth-systems.

The author concludes that “the fact about himself that the liar hides is that he is attempting to lead us away from a correct apprehension of reality; we are not to know that he wants us to believe something he supposes to be false. The fact about himself that the bullshitter hides, on the other hand, is that the truth-values of his statements are of no central interest to him; what we are not to understand is that his intention is neither to report the truth nor to conceal it.”

When applying Frankfurt’s useful distinction, we need, at the very least, to recognize that if something about a particular piece of bullshit happens to be true this does not make it any less bullshit, and that lies and bullshit are by no means mutually exclusive.

Enter L.A. tabloid editor David Horowitz, liar extraordinaire and author of the incomparable bullshitting manual The Art of Political War and Other Radical Pursuits (Spence Publishing, 2000). This book, much applauded by Karl Rove, promulgates a political endgame in which brute force triumphs over any notions of intelligence, truth or fair play. The author contends that “[y]ou cannot cripple an opponent by outwitting him in a political debate. You can only do it by following Lenin’s injunction: ‘In political conflicts, the goal is not to refute your opponent’s argument, but to wipe him from the face of the earth.’ ”
Continued in the article

Is this academic freedom in action?  Is there any basis for trying to convince students that the  New World Order (that Evil Empire with George Bush and Israel at the helm) really has plans in place to "depopulate the earth" with weapons of mass destruction? 

Jane Christensen is an outspoken professor with little backing for her outrageous claims:  Should her university allow her to preach these things her courses as part of the curriculum plan? 
"Web site stirs up criticism," by Natalie Jordan, Rocky Mount Telegram, April 23, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/ChristensenApril23

Tom Betts, chairman of N.C. Wesleyan's board of trustees, said he thinks the material on the Web site is offensive, but defended the professor's right to display it.

"I find what's on her Web site to be distasteful and despicable, and I disagree with everything on it. In the most polite of terms, it is disgraceful," Betts said. "However, this is America, and academic freedom and free speech is what sets us apart from the rest of the world. And I believe and hope most people will see this Web site for what it is — the opinions of a very, very far left person. And any sensible person would see this as a joke — a very bad joke.

"Everyone has an opinion, and hearing all sides and drawing one's own conclusions is what college is about. And the last thing we need to do is tell somebody how to think. That's why we have elections."

Megalinks in Political Science, by Jane T. Christensen Associate Professor of Political Science North Carolina Wesleyan College --- http://faculty.ncwc.edu/Jchristensen/


Mossad Planning Another Attack in US
(With Weapons of Mass Destruction) 

Israelis Planning Targetted Kills in US 

US Arms Israel with NUKES

POL 495 9/11
The Road to Tyranny
This is the course the neo-nazis love to hate.
Online version will be available to everyone in the country in spring 2006.
See you there!

She and Robert W. Jensen  and Ward Churchill sound a lot alike with their "Evil Empire" rants --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/hypocrisyEvilEmpire.htm

What is global warming? Is it real or theoretical?
Elizabeth Kolbert travelled from Alaska to Greenland, visiting the laboratories of top scientists to get to the heart of the debate over global warming. In this week’s magazine, she publishes the first of a three-part series on climate change, which she discusses here with Amy Davidson.
"What is global warming? Is it real, or theoretical?" The New Yorker, April 18, 2005 --- http://www.newyorker.com/online/content/articles/050425on_onlineonly01

Vanishing glaciers: Antarctica's big melt ---

What’s the state of open-access science publishing today?
Depending on who’s counting, 95 percent of research papers in the life sciences are still locked up by the big commercial publishers—Elsevier, Springer, and the rest. It’s ludicrous at a time when the Internet has pushed the actual cost of distributing a research paper close to zero . . . Scientific publishing is a $10 billion global business, growing 10 percent a year. They’re not going to let go without a fight. The Association of American Publishers has hired [former congressperson] Pat Schroeder as its president and chief lobbyist—the queen of darkness. They went up to Capitol Hill and said we were socializing scientific publishing. NIH knows where its purse strings are.
Spencer Reiss, "Science Wants to Be Free," MIT's Technology Magazine, May 2006 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/05/issue/forward_science.asp?trk=nl
Jensen Comment:  We looked for the enemy and according to Pogo "he is us."  In an instant scientific papers could be posted free to everybody at Web sites, and scientific associations could set up refereeing processes that work much like the way refereeing works to day.  In fact the refereeing process itself could even become more open and subject the research findings to a broader audience of critics.  The problem is that reputations, tenure, and performance rewards are currently built upon the "elitist rankings" of journals where professors publish.  The enemy is the system itself that cannot break the bindings of tradition.

Bob Jensen's threads on the pricing frauds of those "queens of darkness" are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#ScholarlyJournals

Over 140 colleges have some type of "student managed fund" in finance that allows students to manage a small portion of their college's endowment fund.  Trinity University has such a program under the direction of Phil Cooley.  Penn State, however, has taken this idea to a whole new level by forming a company called the Nittany Lion Fund that competes with Wall Street in attracting outside investors.
Investors have placed more than $2.2 million into the hands of students at Pennsylvania State University's Smeal College of Business in University Park.  The Nitany Lion Fund, an investment portfolio designed to achieve long-term captial growth for investors is structured as a limited liability company with investor dollars.  The investment strategy is focused on undervalued companies with a minimum market capitalization of $800 million.
BizEd from the AACSB, May/June 2005, Page 16.

Here's a most laudable way to teach investing to children:  Grandparents might consider this as a model
If business schools want to encourage more minorities to enter business careers, they might take note of the Ariel Community Academy, a unique program designed by Ariel Capital Management.  Through a partnership between Ariel and the Chicago-based investment firm John Nuveen & Company, the Academy grants each incomeing first-grade class at the William Shakespeare Elementary School an investment portfolio of $20,000.  The two companies then help the children follow that money in the stock market through their eighth-grade graduation.  (The accumulated wealth then goes toward their college education.)
"The littlest Investors," BizED
from the AACSB, May/June 2005, Page 20.

African American women must fix behavior or risk death from AIDS
Nearly three-quarters of America's new cases of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, are African-American women. Black women between 25 and 44 are 13 times more likely to die of the disease than white women of the same age. It is one of the most underreported news stories of this new decade, and sadly, more women will die before we pay attention. Black women and their sexuality are the focus of Wyatt's research since she conducted the first study of black women's sexuality in 1980. A professor and associate director of the AIDS Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles, she included 4,000-5,000 women ages 18-80 in her research for "Stolen Women: Reclaiming Our Sexuality, Taking Back Our Lives" (Wiley, $12.95).
Rochelle Riley, "Black women must fix behavior or risk death from AIDS," Jewish World Review, April 22, 2005 --- http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0405/riley041805.php3 

A Group at Princeton Where 'No' Means 'Entirely No'
Yet another alternate sexual lifestyle is being promoted by a group of Princeton undergraduates: one of chastity and abstinence outside of marriage. Members of the Anscombe Society maintain that campus life has become so drenched in sexuality, from the flavored condoms handed out by a resident adviser to the social pressure of the hook-up scene, that Princeton needs a voice arguing for traditional sexual values. Traditional, at least, from the days before their parents went to college.
Iver Peterson, "A Group at Princeton Where 'No' Means 'Entirely No'," The New York Times, April 18, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/PrincetonApril18 

A good friend is someone from whom we do not keep secrets, and who nevertheless appreciates us.
León Daudí

Originality is undetected plagiarism.
William R. Inge

Free electronic version of The Art of Writing ---

Free electronic version of Tom Sawyer --- http://www.wordtheque.com/pls/wordtc/new_wordtheque.w6_start.doc?code=11291&lang=EN

Other free electronic books --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm#ElectronicBooks

It pays to play fair and provide great and creative service
Google Profits Up 477% ---

eBay Inc.'s profit to jump 28 percent ---

Yahoo Inc. and Intel Corp. both reported strong first quarter earnings ---

Any idea how many great IT companies are rooted in some way in Stanford University?
I don't know the answer, but they include Intel (e.g., Ted Hoff), Cisco, HP, Yahoo, and Google.  There are others that I can't think of off the top of my head.

Tidbit from the Washington Post on April 22, 2005
Cisco was founded in December 1984 in Menlo Park, California, by a small group of technologists from Stanford University. In what year did it pass $1 billion in annual revenue?

B. 1990
C. 1994
D. 1999

New hope for many blind people
Stanford physicists and eye doctors have teamed up to design a retinal prosthesis system that could someday bring artificial vision to those blinded by retinal degeneration.
From the Stanford University alumni newsletter on Aprill 22, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/StafordApril22

How to turn past crimes into current cash:  Hop from town to town with a scarlet letter on your chest
Ohio Town Trying To Raise $20,000 LOVELAND, Ohio -- Sheriff Department Web sites let Ohioans pinpoint exact locations where sexual offenders are living in relation to their homes. One Ohio community is taking a unique approach to making their neighborhood safer, NBC 4 reported. Residents in Loveland said they wanted safer streets and were willing to take matters into their own hands to get a sexual offender out of their neighborhood. They were willing to pay to make him go away. Residents in the upscale Cincinnati suburb are pooling their money to pay a sex offender nearly $20,000 to move.
"Community Willing To Pay Sex Offender To Go Away," NBC Columbus, April 21, 2005 --- http://www.nbc4i.com/news/4403347/detail.html

When she's pretending to be on her cell phone, she simply doesn't want to listen to you
You know all those annoying people who talk into their cell phones as if you weren't standing right next to them? It turns out that many of them aren't really talking to anybody. The New York Times recently described research at Rutgers University as well as the Ethics and Public Policy Center that found that a great number of cell phone users are faking it. A number of people make fake phone calls on their cell phones just for the benefit of those around them. Someone who's late for work may enter the office talking to "an important client" to cover her tardiness. Others pretend they get a call when they don't want to talk to someone who's standing right in front of them. Not surprisingly, some of those big deals you hear people negotiate on the phone are just done to impress those within earshot. Men will pretend to be on a call as they walk over to hit on a woman. Women will pretend to be on a call to avoid getting hit on by men.
"Faking It," CBS News, April 20, 2005 --- http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/04/20/opinion/garver/main689651.shtml

China Risks Creating Its Own Worst Nightmare:  Bush presidency has neglected the great strategic challenge of the future
China's violent verbal assault on Japan does not spin out of the past but out of the future. Complaints about war crimes and history books are so many fig leaves. The driving force in this dangerous dispute is power politics in Asia. The anger the two nations display as they demand apologies that neither will make is a clear expression of the rebalancing of power throughout Asia that is occurring as China ascends, Japan responds and India shrewdly reaps benefits from the clash of the two other Asian titans. Tomorrow is suddenly now. Sustained mutterings from policy pundits that the Bush presidency has neglected the great strategic challenge of the future -- power relationships in Asia -- are made flesh by the accelerating triangular competition for global influence.
Jim Hoagland, "China Risks Creating Its Own Worst Nightmare," Washington Post, April 21, 2005 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111403346851312480,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep

Good Samaritans beware
A 24-year-old Macomb County woman has been charged with filing a false police report for reporting that she was raped after getting a flat tire on Interstate 696 in suburban Detroit . . .  Police say Zerzycki told them on April 6 that she got a flat tire driving east about 1 a.m. on I-696. She said a man changed the flat, then raped her in her car. She later admitted it did not happen, police say.
"Woman accused of lying in I-696 rape claim," Mlive.com, April 22, 2005 

Be careful about the content of any email message sent on your company's computer
Trespass lawsuits stemming from unsolicited, anonymous e-mail are not viable claims under California law, some First Amendment experts say. But businesses still file such actions, largely to determine the authors’ identities via subpoenas to Internet service providers. "They are a ruse to unmask somebody voicing an opinion they don’t agree with," says Megan E. Gray, a Washington, D.C., lawyer. "They have no intention of taking [these cases] to trial." Shearman & Sterling sees things differently. Last month, the law firm filed a trespass and breach of contract action in San Francisco Superior Court involving an e-mail sent to a staff manager’s Shearman.com account. The communication forwarded a post about the manager from Craigslist.org, an online community billboard. The writing, since removed, was posted on the site’s "rants and raves" section. Filed as a "Jane Doe" action, the lawsuit alleges the sender is a current or recent Shearman employee who was under contract to use the firm’s computers only for legitimate business purposes. "The e-mail was hateful and racist, and sending it was a verbal assault of one of our staff members," says Shearman partner Stephen D. Hibbard, who filed the lawsuit March 25. Shearman & Sterling LLP v. Jane Doe 1, CGC-05-439829.
Stephanie Francis Ward, "LAW FIRM FILES A COMPLAINT FOR ‘HATEFUL’ E-MAIL:  Some First Amendment Experts Find Such Claims Not Viable," ABA Journal, April 22, 2005 --- http://www.abanet.org/journal/ereport/a22craig.html

Equitable trial: E&Y fights for its future
In one of the biggest court cases in British accounting history, Ernst & Young battles it out with life assurance firm, Equitable Life, at London's High Court. At stake? The future of the Big Four firm. Equitable Life's £2bn lawsuit against Ernst & Young, its former auditors, kicked off on Monday 11 April, 2005. Equitable is suing E&Y for alleged negligence in the overseeing of its accounts in the late 1990s. As well as explaining their cases in court, both parties submitted written explanations of their case. Here, you can read Equitable's claim against the Big Four firm, and E&Y's furious response.
"Equitable trial: E&Y fights for its future," Financial Director, April 26, 2005 --- http://www.financialdirector.co.uk/specials/1140053
Bob Jensen's threads on the legal woes of E&Y --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud001.htm#Ernst

Large CPA firms are in a settlement mood
Deloitte & Touche LLP is expected to announce today it will pay a $50 million fine to settle Securities and Exchange Commission civil charges that it failed to prevent massive fraud at cable company Adelphia Communications Corp. In another case, the now-largely defunct accounting firm Arthur Andersen LLP agreed to a $65 million settlement in a class-action suit by investors in WorldCom Inc. over losses from stocks and bonds of the once-highflying telecommunications company now known as MCI Inc. These follow a $22.4 million settlement the SEC reached last week with KPMG LLP related to its audits of Xerox Corp. from 1997 through 2000, and a $48 million settlement by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP last month to end class-action litigation over its audit of Safety-Kleen Corp., an industrial-waste-services company that filed for bankruptcy-court protection in 2000.
Diya Gullapalli, "Deloitte to Be Latest to Settle In Accounting Scandals," The Wall Street Journal, April 26, 2005; Page A3 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111444033641815994,00.html?mod=todays_us_page_one
There are of course other suits that are not settled. 
Bob Jensen's threads on the legal woes of large auditing firms are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud001.htm#others

Adelphia Communications Corp. agreed to a $715 million settlement
Adelphia Communications Corp. agreed to a $715 million settlement with the U.S. Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission to resolve claims stemming from the corporate looting and accounting-fraud scandal that toppled the country's fifth-largest cable-television operator.
Peter Grant and Deborah Solomon," "Adelphia to Pay $715 Million In 3-Way Settlement," The Wall Street Journal,  April 26, 2005, Page A3 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111445555592816193,00.html?mod=todays_us_page_one

But $715 only goes a small way in replacing the billions lost by creditors and stockholders
The family that founded the Adelphia Communications Corporation, the big cable operator, will forfeit almost its entire fortune
(I think about $1.5 billion) to the company to pay for a $715 million fund to compensate investors who lost money when the company collapsed, the government said yesterday.
Geraldine Fabrikant, "Rigas Family to Cede Assets to Adelphia," The New York Times, April 26, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/26/business/media/26settle.html

Bob Jensen's updates on fraud are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

EU and U.S. Agree to Align Corporate-Accounting Rules
Friday's accord broke through the acrimony of the past few years between the U.S. and EU on financial regulation. The EU has been upset about its companies having to respect tough U.S. corporate-governance rules under the Sarbanes-Oxley reforms, and the U.S. has criticized Europe for being slack in its willingness to fight terror financing and other issues.
John W. Miller, "EU and U.S. Agree to Align Corporate-Accounting Rules," The Wall Street Journal, April 25, 2005; Page C4 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111416154591914343,00.html?mod=todays_us_money_and_investing

“1. Derivatives; 2. Derivatives; and 3. Derivatives!”
Dennis Beresford quoting the Director of the SEC back in about 1993 when asked what the three major issues were that the FASB should be working on for a new accounting standard (which ultimately became FAS 133).

Accounting for Derivative Financial Instruments is the Big Dispute in Accounting Rule Harmonization
The S.E.C. said it expected about 300 companies, primarily European, to file annual reports in 2006 that use international standards, which are now required in Australia and in the European Union. While Australian companies must follow all international rules, the European Commission gave European companies permission to opt out of complying with major parts of a rule concerning derivative securities. Donald T. Nicolaisen, the S.E.C.'s chief accountant, said on Friday that the S.E.C. would require any company that opted out to disclose what its results would have been under the full rule. And, he added, if the opt-out were still in force by the time the S.E.C. accepted international standards, "my guess is we would require a reconciliation" before would accepting such a company's filing. The S.E.C.'s road map was laid out last week in an article by Mr. Nicolaisen in the Journal of International Law and Business from Northwestern University. He said in the article that both American and international accounting rules "have their place in U.S. capital markets" and that efforts toward convergence of the rules should be encouraged.
Floyd Norris, "Europe Welcomes Accounting Plan; U.S. Remains a Bit Wary," The New York Times, April 22, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/23/business/worldbusiness/23account.html?

Microsoft Comes Under Fire for Reversal on Gay Rights Bill
The Microsoft Corporation, at the forefront of corporate gay rights for decades, is coming under fire from gay rights groups, politicians and its own employees for withdrawing its support for a state bill that would have barred discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.  Many of the critics accused the company of bowing to pressure from a prominent evangelical church in Redmond, Wash., located a few blocks from Microsoft's sprawling headquarters. The bill, or similar versions of it, has been introduced repeatedly over three decades; it failed by one vote Thursday in the State Senate. Gay rights advocates denounced Microsoft, which had supported the bill for the last two years, for abandoning their cause. Blogs and online chat rooms were buzzing on Thursday with accusations that the company, which has offered benefits to same-sex partners for years, had given in to the Christian right.
Sarah Kershaw, "Microsoft Comes Under Fire for Reversal on Gay Rights Bill," The New York Times, April 22, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/22/national/22gay.html

Religious Tolerance or Lack Thereof at the Air Force Academy
According to recent news reports, the U.S. Air Force Academy, which is just now recovering from one series of scandals involving harassment (and worse) directed at female cadets and another involving underage drinking, now finds itself embroiled in yet another case of questionable behavior. In the last few years there have been some 55 complaints of religious bias at the Academy. Johnny Whitaker, an Academy spokesperson said that some of the complaints involved religious slurs, while others involved proselytizing in inappropriate places. He went on to say that "there have been cases of maliciousness, mean-spiritedness and attacking or baiting someone over religion." And, last year the Air Force Academy football coach, Fisher DeBerry, was called to task for promoting Christianity to his players with a locker room banner that included the lines "I am a Christian first and last.... I am a member of Team Jesus Christ." DeBerry removed the banner, but is considering continuing team prayers after football games next season -- but this time without reference to a specific religion.
Mark H. Shapiro, "Tolerance or Lack Thereof at the Air Force Academy," The Irascible Professor, April 22, 2005 --- http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-04-22-05.htm

Finger finding woman is fingered by police
The woman who claimed she found a finger in her bowl of Wendy's chili last month has been arrested, the latest twist in a bizarre case about how the 1 1/2-inch finger tip ended up in a bowl of fast food. Anna Ayala was taken into custody late Thursday at her Las Vegas home. She was arrested on a warrant alleging grand larceny and attempted grand larceny, Las Vegas Police Sgt. Chris Jones said. Authorities said would not provide further details until a news conference Friday afternoon in San Jose, Calif. -- the city where Ayala claimed she bit down on the finger in a mouthful of her steamy stew.
"Woman in Wendy's Finger Case Is Arrested," The New York Times, April 22, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/national/AP-Wendys-Finger.html

Could you give up television and movies?
But it seems like the right book to be reading now, during national TV Turnoff Week. Not because the unnamed European professor in Toussaint’s book is an example of what happens to someone who succumbs to the tube. Quite the contrary: Television is a book about how pride in not watching can render you even more obsessed. The narrator (sounding a little like Trilling) announces that he seldom turned the box on: “Apart from major sporting events, which I always watched with pleasure, and of course the news and the occasional election-night special, I never watched much of anything on television.” He says he avoided seeing movies there, for the same reason he never read books in Braille. “Although I never tried it,” he continues, “I was always quite sure I could give up watching television anytime, just like that, without suffering in the least, without suffering the slightest ill effect — in short, that there was no way I could be considered dependent.”
Scott McLemee, "The Plug-In Drug," Inside Higher Ed, April 26, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/04/26/mclemee 

Reporter asked to resign from The New York Times after article about fraternities
The Los Angeles Times asked embattled staff writer Eric Slater for his resignation Monday following an investigation into his story about Chico's Greek system, the reporter said. The request came from Times Managing Editor Dean Baquet and others during a Monday morning meeting, Slater told the Enterprise-Record. Slater declined to comment on the specifics of the Times' request or his response, but did say he has retained the services of a wrongful-termination attorney.
Melissa Daugherty, "Reporter asked to leave Times," ChicoER, April 19, 2005 ---

Duke and Pace researchers shed light on corporate tax shelters
A study by researchers from Duke University and Pace University found that use of corporate tax shelters not only allows organizations to avoid billions of dollars in annual tax payments, it may also help companies artificially enhance their attractiveness to investors by reducing levels of debt. The study also explores some commonly used tax shelters and the characteristics of firms that have employed these shelters. Finance professors John R. Graham of Duke's Fuqua School of Business and Alan L. Tucker of Pace's Lubin School of Business collected the largest known sample of tax shelters utilized by corporations during the past 25 years.
"Duke and Pace researchers shed light on corporate tax shelters," Lubin, December 22, 2004 --- http://snipurl.com/DukePace

Bob Jensen's threads on taxation are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm#010304Taxation

Class-Rank Plan Faces Trouble in Texas
Critics say the influx of top-10-percent students at the University of Texas--and to a lesser extent, at Texas A&M University at College Station, the state's other flagship institution--risks crowding out other qualified students, especially graduates of academically competitive high schools who did not rank in the top of their class. They point to SAT scores for freshmen at the Austin campus as cause for alarm, noting that in both 2003 and 2004, students outside the top 10 percent outscored their higher-ranking classmates on the test. "There is great concern expressed to me by alumni about the dumbing down of the University of Texas," says State Sen. Jeff Wentworth, a San Antonio Republican who has introduced a bill to eliminate the law. But supporters of the class-rank plan say standardized exams are a poor predictor of college success. Top-10-percent students at UT-Austin have consistently outperformed their peers academically, they say, and their retention and graduation rates are higher as well.
Karen Fischer, "Class-Rank Plan Faces Trouble in Texas:  Lauded by Bush, gurantee of college admission (for the top 10% of each high school's graduates) is now being challenged," Chronicle of Higher Education, April 22, Page A25.

Can Black Studies Be Saved?
Shelby Steele, a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, takes an even more critical view.  To his mind, universities never had a legitimate reason for establishing black-studies programs."It was a bogus concept from the beginning because it was an idea grounded in politics, not in a particular methodology," he says.  "These programs are dying of their own inertia because they've had 30 or 40 years to show us a serious academic program, and they've failed."
Robin Wilson, "Can Black Studies Be Saved?," Chronicle of Higher Education, April 22, 2005, Page A9.

Decision due on whether government can seize Social Security benefits for delinquent student loans
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide whether the federal government should be permitted to seize a portion of the Social Security benefits of borrowers more than 10 years after they defaulted on their student loans. The court will try to adjudicate conflicting language between the Higher Education Act and a 1982 law on debt collection, with many millions of dollars in student loan debt at stake. In its term that begins next October, the court will review a July 2004 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Lockhart v. U.S. (04-881), a case that was brought in 2002 by a Washington State man named James Lockhart.
Doug Lederman, "Court to Rule on Delinquent Debt," Inside Higher Ed, April 26, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/04/26/default 

Flashback on a wonderful but failed effort
The Wall Street Journal, April 26, 1977
The government plans to switch highway speed-limit signs to the metric system in late 1978. Under the tentative highway administration plan, the federally mandated 55 miles-an-hour speed limit would be converted to 90 kilometers an hour on road signs.

From the Washington Post on April 19, 2005
Game Informer, a magazine covering the video game industry, has a circulation of just more than 2 million people. According to Advertising Age, it has more readers than all of the following publications except one. Which is it?

AARP Magazine
Entertainment Weekly
Martha Stewart Living
Rolling Stone

Lawyer-Accountant Porn Team:  Or is that the Briefs and Books team?
Criminal defense attorney Ronald S. Miller does more than file briefs he also takes them off.  Miller has spent days in front of a judge and nights in front of a camera as Don Hollywood, a porn star. His wife, a former accountant, is also a porn star. "My whole life, I've been one of those people who sees the wet paint sign and has to go up and touch it to see if it's wet," said the 56-year-old Miller. "I want to experience everything, try everything."
"L.A. Attorney Moonlights As a Porn Star," ABC News, April 21, 2005 --- http://abcnews.go.com/US/LegalCenter/wireStory?id=690122

Speaking of metaphors, the New York Press's Matt Taibbi--fleetingly notorious for a highly unfunny piece a few weeks back about the impending death of the pope--is back doing the one thing he does well--making fun of the New York Times' Thomas Friedman for his dreadful use of metaphors. From Taibbi's review of Friedman's new book, The World Is Flat.
Thomas Friedman does not get these things right even by accident. It's not that he occasionally screws up and fails to make his metaphors and images agree. It's that he always screws it up. He has an anti-ear, and it's absolutely infallible; he is a Joyce or a Flaubert in reverse, incapable of rendering even the smallest details without genius. The difference between Friedman and an ordinary bad writer is that an ordinary bad writer will, say, call some businessman a shark and have him say some tired, uninspired piece of dialogue: Friedman will have him spout it. And that's guaranteed, every single time. He never misses. . . . Predictably, Friedman spends the rest of his huge book piling one insane image on top of the other, so that by the end--and I'm not joking here--we are meant to understand that the flat world is a giant ice-cream sundae that is more beef than sizzle, in which everyone can fit his hose into his fire hydrant, and in which most but not all of us are covered with a mostly good special sauce.
Opinion Journal, April 21, 2005

Forwarded by Barb Hessel

01. A bicycle can't stand alone because it is two-tired.
02. What's the definition of a will? (It's a dead giveaway).
03. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
04. A backward poet writes inverse.
05. In democracy it's your vote that counts; In feudalism, it's your count that votes.
07. A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.
08. If you don't pay your exorcist you get repossessed.
09. With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.
10. Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you A-flat minor.
11. When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
12. The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.
13. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.
14. You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
15. Local Area Network in Australia: the LAN down under.
16. He often broke into song because he couldn't find the key.
17. Every calendar's days are numbered.
18. A lot of money is tainted. 'Taint yours and 'taint mine.
19. A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.
20. He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
21. A plateau is a high form of flattery.
22. The short fortuneteller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
23. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
24. When you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.
25. Those who jump off a Paris bridge are in Seine.
26. When an actress saw her first strands of gray hair she thought she'd dye.
27. Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.
28. Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.
29. Acupuncture is a jab well done.
30. Marathon runners with bad footwear suffer the agony of defeat.

No trees were killed in the sending of this message. However, a large
number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.





Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm
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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