Tidbits on May 2, 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:  Cast Your Fate to the Wind (turn your speakers up) --- http://www.jessiesweb.com/wind.htm

Last Week’s English Department Meeting --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/04/27/galef4

This site has some great multimedia programming:
Dancing Bush:  Forget the politics, just have some fun --- http://www.starterupsteve.com/swf/dancingbush.html
(Don't forget to click the Music button)

Do you want to find out the age of a friend or colleague?  You want to quickly find out that person's phone number, satellite photo of her/his house, map, and some other personal information go to http://www.zabasearch.com/
Yes Grandma Dunbar, I learned when you were born (you're really not a very old granny).  I also found that you are in the database both for Connecticut and for your old address in Iowa City.

I also found other women named Amy Dunbar around the country.  If you want to assume some other Amy Dunbar’s identity, it’s pretty easy to find what to claim as your new address and phone number without having to change your name.  With a little effort you might even to be able to charge some other Amy Dunbar with some of your purchases.

You might have to pay extra for an unlisted phone number.

That's Zaba as in ZabaSearch.com, a so-called people search site that allows you to quickly track down the whereabouts of just about anyone, free of charge. There are already numerous people search resources online, varying widely in reliability and fees. (There's also an interesting story about the people behind ZabaSearch and the notorious mass suicide in Southern California involving the Heaven's Gate cult. But we'll get back to that.) What makes ZabaSearch great is that, at no cost, it quickly and comprehensively places a remarkable amount of data about people right at your fingertips. What makes ZabaSearch frightening is that, at no cost, it quickly and comprehensively places a remarkable amount of data about people right at your fingertips. "It's extremely troubling," said Gail Hillebrand, a staff attorney with Consumers Union in San Francisco.
David Lazarus, "It's impressive, scary to see what a Zaba search can do ," San Francisco Chronicle, April 15, 2005 --- http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/04/15/BUG3JC8U341.DTL

"Pick your battles with Internet privacy," by Tom Merritt, c|net, April 26, 2005 ---

ZabaSearch is not the risk you're looking for Having your address out in the world doesn't immediately mean the men in the black helicopters will land on your roof tomorrow. But neither does not having your address listed in ZabaSearch mean you're protected from all the crazies. We humans tend to overlook real safety risks in favor of the more shocking ones--hence the popularity of Fox TV.

If you really want ZabaSearch to exclude you, the company provides an e-mail address where you can request to be removed. Ironically, though, you need to provide a lot of private information in order to be removed, which seems sort of shady. The site staff did not respond to my attempt to contact them to discuss that. However, it's understandable that you'd need some verification from someone before you remove their private information from public view. Otherwise you might violate an individual's right to publicity.

If you really want to expunge your address and phone number from the Web, though, you need to go to the sources. Many, many places have your information and make it available to the public for free or even for a small charge.

Do a quick search on Google, and you'll find a few million directories for finding people. Many of these draw from the same database, and often it's the public telephone directory. If you want out, call your local phone company and make sure you're unlisted in all directories, for both phone number and address. You might have to change your number, though, since those older records will keep showing up.

You also need to be careful when you fill out forms--both governmental and otherwise. If there's a privacy box and you didn't check it, your information may go public. Did you allow the post office to alert people to your change of address? Then don't be surprised to find your address in a public database. There are also public records, such as property records, that are public and will stay public.

The real breaches you never think of But while you're trying to track down every scrap of info on yourself and wipe it from the public eye, keep a few of these situations in mind. Do you ever give out your address or credit card number over the phone? How about in restaurants? Do you ever give your credit card to a stranger who then disappears into a back room for several minutes, totally unobserved by you? Is that safe?

What about contests? Ever enter one at your local grocery store or mall? Have you ever given out your phone number out loud walking down the street while talking on a cell phone?

The list could go on, but you get the picture. Somehow, when computers and the Internet are involved, the dangers become magically bigger and more evil. Not that you shouldn't take absolute care on the Web, especially with your financial info; you should. But a search engine with public records is hardly the huge monster it's been portrayed to be. It's not even the top priority for fighting identity theft. If you want to know the nuts and bolts of identity theft and what's being done about it, read Rob Vamosi's Security Watch.

Don't help the hype This brings me back to the frantic e-mail messages I got this week. ZabaSearch expertly played on the overreaction people have to Internet privacy concerns. A little-known start-up with no business base suddenly has nationwide name recognition and a chance to make some money when it starts charging for the information it found free elsewhere.

There's no fault in that. Good for them. But maybe the next time you're about to light your hair on fire over privacy, think about whether you're raising the alarm or helping with marketing. Maybe put it to the waiter test. Is it riskier than eating out? If not, just step away from the keyboard. It's going to be OK.

May 2, 2005 reply from Jim McKinney [jim@MCKINNEYCPA.COM]

I find this databases very scary and dangerous. My wife holds a governmental position that can expose our family to physical threats from criminals and terrorists. Our phone number has been unlisted for over ten years as a result. Yet anyone, including bad guys, can look her address up and find our phone number. In addition what purpose other than identity theft does it help to know the month of birth? I routinely give the wrong birth month and year now days. This is a case where the government needs to step in.

Do you have questions about Medicare?  You can ask your questions live on Tuesday, May 3, 2005 at http://my.webmd.com/content/chat_schedules/5/107561.htm?z=1727_00000_2002_hv_06

Free assessment on weight loss ---

Or you can submit your health questions to http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7640113/site/newsweek/

A guide to some of the newest medical research and recommendations --- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7639798/site/newsweek/

Health & Medicine From US News --- http://www.usnews.com/usnews/home.htm

Health & Medicine
The world of Chef Jorge
The daunting task of making New York City's school lunches healthful and appealing

Neural Net Predictions of Execution:  Alas!  If only investment forecasting could be so simple and accurate
What the software - known as an artificial neural network - managed to do was to predict with more than 90 percent accuracy who would be executed. The implication, says Dee Wood Harper, one of the researchers and a professor of criminal justice at Loyola University in New Orleans, is that "if this mindless software can determine who is going to die and who is not going to die, then there's some arbitrariness here in the [United States justice] system." The neural network, which learns by constantly scanning the data for patterns, was given 1,000 cases from 1973 to 2000 where the outcome was known. Once trained on that information, it was fed another 300 cases but without the outcome included. That's when its prediction proved highly accurate. What some observers find alarming about the outcome is that the 19 points of data supplied on each death-row inmate contained no details of the case. Only facts such as age, race, sex, and marital status were included, along with the date and type of offense.
Susan Llewelyn Leach, "Using software to model death row outcomes," The Christian Science Monitor, April 27, 2005 --- http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0427/p17s01-usju.html

Lousy Chardonnay:  Might as well be Ripple
But year after year, we have raised our alarms about inexpensive Chardonnay at a higher and higher pitch. After a tasting in 2000, we warned that Chardonnay was becoming predictable, boring and often unpleasant. "A lot of people are paying good money for bad wine," we wrote then. Trying again a year later, we were even more concerned. After some quick calculations, we wrote, only half-jokingly, "Americans wasted $1.58 billion on substandard Chardonnay last year." Earlier this year, we conducted a tasting of inexpensive Australian Chardonnay and were disappointed by what we found. Is America doing better?
"When Cheap Chardonnay Is No Bargain:  In Under-$20 U.S. Versions, Too Much Oak, Few Gems; The 'Antique-Store' Odor," The Wall Street Journal, April 29, 2005; Page W8 ---

Alleged Errors of Evolutionary Psychology
But as Prof. Buller, a professor of philosophy at Northern Illinois University, dug deeper, he concluded that the claims of evo psych are "wrong in almost every detail" because the data underlying them are deeply flawed. His book "Adapting Minds," from MIT Press, is the most persuasive critique of evo psych I have encountered. Take the stepfather claim. The evolutionary reasoning is this: A Stone Age man who focused his care and support on his biological children, rather than kids his mate had from an earlier liaison, would do better by evolution's scorecard (how many descendants he left) than a man who cared for his stepchildren. With this mindset, a stepfather is far more likely to abuse his stepchildren. One textbook asserts that kids living with a parent and a stepparent are some 40 times as likely to be abused as those living with biological parents. But that's not what the data say, Prof. Buller finds. First, reports that a child living in a family with a stepfather was abused rarely say who the abuser was. Some children are abused by their biological mother, so blaming all stepchild abuse on the stepfather distorts reality. Also, a child's bruises or broken bones are more likely to be called abuse when a stepfather is in the home, and more likely to be called accidental when a biological father is, so data showing a higher incidence of abuse in homes with a stepfather are again biased. "There is no substantial difference between the rates of severe violence committed by genetic parents and by stepparents," Prof. Buller concludes.
Sharon Begley, "Evolutionary Psych May Not Help Explain Our Behavior After All," The Wall Street Journal, April 29, 2005 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111472626574220079,00.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace

Moving Ahead at Grinnell:  Liberal arts colleges are engaging in soul searching
In the ever competitive world of higher education, liberal arts colleges have plenty of burdens. They compete with top universities for the best students and faculty members, but lack the research grants or graduate students that help many a university keep things running. In this environment, a number of liberal arts colleges are engaging in soul searching. Being places that value thoughtful (and sometimes prolonged) discussion, the process isn’t speedy. Grinnell College — a leading liberal arts institution — ended such a process this weekend when its Board of Trustees signed off on a strategic plan that took three years and numerous committees to develop. Last month, the faculty of the Iowa institution approved the plan.The plan combines some ambitious plans to promote the values of liberal arts (these parts of the plan were developed by and are popular with professors) and some ambitious plans to protect the college’s endowment (these parts of the plan are tolerated by professors — or at least by most of them).Among the features are a plan to create an annual retreat for sophomores to focus on the liberal arts, the hiring of faculty members to promote interdisciplinary work, and an effort to rely less on the endowment and merit aid — while growing slightly in size from 1,400 to 1,500 undergraduates.
Scott Jaschik, "Moving Ahead at Grinnell," Inside Higher Ed, May 2, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/05/02/grinnell

Mum's the word says Auburn University's President
Many college presidents consider reporters a necessary nuisance in a democracy. Auburn University’s interim president, Ed Richardson, isn’t so sure about the necessary part. He sent a memo to Auburn faculty members and administrators last week telling them that he will no longer speak with Jack Stripling, who covers higher education for the local newspaper, The Opelika-Auburn News. “I acknowledge that the News’ coverage of Auburn has included positive stories about students, research and events. In my view though, the News has pitted our constituencies against one another in print and has been especially dismissive of positive steps this university has taken with regard to its governing board,” Richardson wrote in the memo. “I have been dealing with journalists for decades,” Richardson continued. “While I expect skepticism and hard questions from reporters, I also expect fairness and responsibility. I have not seen that fairness in the News’ coverage of Auburn governance.”
Scott Jaschik, "Auburn President’s Permanent No Comment," Inside Higher Ed, May 2, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/05/02/auburn

Anti-Military Occupation at U. of Hawaii
About 50 student protesters have been occupying the president’s office at the University of Hawaii since Thursday, demanding that the interim president call off plans for a new research center affiliated with the Navy. The protesters (whose activities are visible on a Web cam) object to the center because some of the research that would take place there would be classified. University officials, after first saying that the protesters could stay, have now threatened to have them arrested, possibly as early as today, if they do not leave.
Scott Jaschik, "Anti-Military Occupation at U. of Hawaii," Inside Higher Ed, May 2, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/05/02/hawaii

Teenage girls like to blog provocatively
Soon after, Marcy went to the middle school and talked with its technology coordinator, Mary Ellen Handy, who volunteers with WiredSafety.org. Handy discovered that about one-third of her 250 students have Internet blogs -- and only about 5 percent of the parents know about it. "The girls are all made up to look seductive....Parents have no clue this is going on," she said. "You think your kid is safe because they are in your house in their own bedroom. Who can hurt them when you are guarding the front door? But (the Internet) is a bigger opening than the front door."
Bob Sullivan, "Kids, blogs and too much information Children reveal more online than parents know," MSNBC, April 29, 2005 --- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7668788/

Ministers should learn that it is much more acceptable if attribution of source material is given up front
Glenn Wagner was a successful mega-church pastor in Charlotte, N.C., until one of his elders heard a sermon on the radio that was identical to one he had heard from the pulpit. Mr. Wagner confessed that he had been preaching other people's sermons off and on for two years, including some he broadcast on Christian radio. He resigned from his ministry last fall. A similar case occurred after members of the National City Christian Church in Washington, D.C., found on the internet sermons that Alvin O'Neal, moderator of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and a celebrated preacher in that denomination, had preached. Mr. O'Neal apologized for his actions and remains in his ministry. A number of lesser-known ministers across the country have also been caught stealing sermons. Sometimes it makes the newspapers, but other times congregations or denominations handle the matter quietly.
Gene Edward Veith, "Word for word RELIGION: More and more pastors lift entire sermons off the internet—but is the practice always wrong?" World Magazine, April 22, 2005 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm

April 28, 2005 email message from James L. Morrison [morrison@unc.edu]
I am delighted to announce that The Technology Source (TS) archives will be available to the Internet community courtesy of the UNC School of Public Health Executive Master's Programs in Health Policy and Administration, which has funded the reprogramming of TS content on UNC's ibiblio server. As you may know, ibiblio is billed as "the public's library and digital archive," and is one of the largest conservatories of freely available information on the Internet (see the "About" page at http://www.ibiblio.org/about.html  ) . . . We have a draft template of the archives posted on ibiblio at www.technologysource.org  and hope to have the reprogrammed ejournal, complete with search engine and "read related" features, available mid-summer at this address. I was deeply touched by the 400 plus letters I received in response to my announcement that the Michigan Virtual University (MVU) was no longer able to host the TS archives. I was unable to respond to every letter, but please know that all were appreciated. Also know that MVU has posted a pointer from the www.ts.mivu.org  address to the ibiblio site, so the some 13,000 or so web sites that had links to TS are no longer broken links.
Jensen Comment:  Since the demise of the IAT, Jim has kept The Technology Source going until it hit a funding crisis this year.  The Technology Source is mostly devoted to articles and commentaries about technology in education and is headquartered at the University of North Carolina.

From Jim Mahar's great blog on April 27, 2005 --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/

The World Bank (at least since 1991) has used NPV and IRR to study the environmental impact of its decisions. While finding the true cost and benefit of environmental questions is notoriously difficult, it is something that must be done.

From "A Review of the Valuation of Environmental Costs and Benefits in World Bank Projects" by Silva and Pagiola. (Take a look at the boxes for nice summaries!)
"If a project activity causes environmental damage, that damage needs to be included in the economic analysis of the project together with the activity�s benefits and any other damages. To do otherwise would be to make the activity appear artificially more attractive than it is. Likewise, if additional costs are incurred to avoid such damage, those costs need to be included in the project costs considered in the economic analysis."
From the Economist article:
"The turning point for this way of looking at things was in 1997. In that year, the city government of New York realised that changing agricultural practices meant it would need to act to preserve the quality of the city's drinking water. One way to have done this would have been to install new water-filtration plants, but that would have cost $4 billion-6 billion up front, together with annual running costs of $250m. Instead, the government is paying to preserve the rural nature of the Catskill Mountains from which New York gets most of its water. It is spending $250m on buying land to prevent development, and paying farmers $100m a year to minimise water pollution."
Actually I am including this in the blog not because it is new per se, but because
  1. it is so interesting and thought provoking
  2. it could be used to motivate those who are less inclined towards finance to see the importance of NPV and IRR calculations--indeed I plan on using it in my Finance 301 class in the fall!
  3. if all of the environmental costs and benefits were included, the world would be a better place.

The new 64-bit Windows will do multimedia better, but will it ever be as good as a Mac or as secure as a Mac?
To keep consumers satisfied in the meantime, Gates said a new version of Windows, called ''Windows XP Professional x64 Edition," will begin shipping next month that can crunch more information at one time, handling 64 bits of data compared with 32 bits in the previous generation.
"A sneak peek at beefed-up Windows Microsoft looks to fill gap until new version's launch," Boston Globe, April 26, 2005 --- http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2005/04/26/a_sneak_peek_at_beefed_up_windows/

Also see http://www.adtmag.com/article.asp?id=11024

The answer is that Windows will probably never be as good as the Mac operating system.  My computer science friends say that it is built on a wrong design from the start.

Mind-reading machine knows what you see
It is possible to read someone’s mind by remotely measuring their brain activity, researchers have shown. The technique can even extract information from subjects that they are not aware of themselves. So far, it has only been used to identify visual patterns a subject can see or has chosen to focus on. But the researchers speculate the approach might be extended to probe a person’s awareness, focus of attention, memory and movement intention. In the meantime, it could help doctors work out if patients apparently in a coma are actually conscious. Scientists have already trained monkeys to move a robotic arm with the power of thought and to recreate scenes moving in front of cats by recording information directly from the feline’s neurons (New Scientist print edition, 2 October 1999). But these processes involve implanting electrodes into their brains to hook them up to a computer.
"Mind-reading machine knows what you see," New Scientist, April 25, 2005 ---

The steady disinvestment in higher education by the states
Public colleges and universities, which enroll 77 percent of all students in higher education, drew more than half of their operating support from taxpayer sources in the 1980s; today money from state coffers provides about 30 percent of funding. At some of the nation's most prominent public universities, such as the University of Virginia and the University of Colorado, state funding contributes less than 10 percent of university operating support. This steady disinvestment in higher education by the states does not seem to reflect a clear public policy decision to reduce higher education opportunities. It indicates instead structural problems in state budgets and budgeting practices. Indeed, the criticism of higher education for "exorbitant" tuition increases demonstrates a continuing belief by legislators that access to higher education is more essential than ever, both for individuals and for the state's economic future, and that somehow universities should find a way to maintain access despite the steady erosion of funding. In response to criticism from state legislatures, and from the U.S. Congress as well, public universities have been extraordinarily diligent and creative in diversifying their revenue sources: today, no single revenue source dominates—as mentioned, state funds provide 30 percent, tuition supplies about 20 percent, and gifts, grants, and contracts (mostly for research) constitute 50 percent or more. In effect, state taxpayers have become minority shareholders in their public colleges and universities . . . My own view is that the higher education universe is converging towards a new model, the "public purpose university," defined not by the old concepts of ownership and control (public vs. private) but by the particular public goals it has elected to serve. No longer can we expect Clark Kerr's multiversity to be all things to all people. The core public purposes of higher education must be collectively achieved (if they can be sustained at all) through specialization and allocation of resources across all higher education institutions. In this new model, both research and teaching missions will become more focused, and more collaborative activity will occur between and among "public" and "private" institutions, coordinated by statewide university systems.
Katharine Lyall, president emerita of the University of Wisconsin System, "A Call for the Miracle Model," Carnegie Perspectives, The Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching, April 2005 --- http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/perspectives/perspectives2005.April.htm

If we digitized all the words ever spoken by human beings, how much capacity would we need to house them in one database?

Go to the link suggested by Amy Dunbar at http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid5_gci944596,00.html

Japan Is Running Out of Time
Given the daunting fiscal deficit and rapidly ageing society, Japan is running out of time. A truly reformist leader can not just leave decisions to the next generation. Mr. Koizumi and his team are still the best bet to get the job done, but they owe it to the Japanese people to create the foundation for a brighter future.
Jesper Koll, "Japan Is Running Out of Time," The Wall Street Journal, April 26, 2005 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111446439694916359,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep
Jensen Comment:  Japan, like the U.S. and Europe is doomed by entitlements.  See http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/entitlements.htm

From bottled water, hypocrisy springs
Oh, please, spare me your clean-living, pore-hydrating, toxin-flushing aria about why you cannot put down your water bottle! Go ahead and guzzle if you must. But did you realize that every time you buy a plastic bottle of what is likely to be simply overpriced tap water, you are actually committing an eco-sin that, ironically, will end up polluting the very spring water you so venerate? You are. Here's the deal: Every day millions of Americans buy bottled water instead of turning on the tap. Water isn't bad for you (unless you drink too much of it while exercising, dilute your blood and die, as doctors are starting to warn). But anyway, usually water is fine. What is NOT fine is what those water bottles are doing to the environment. For every ad showing a sun-dappled brook (or sweaty hunk) there is a water bottle lying in a landfill, leaching toxic chemicals and guaranteeing us toxic brooks (and hunks) for years. "Unfortunately, millions of plastic bottles are being landfilled every year and many of them are from the fast proliferation of bottled water," says Mark Izeman, a senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council. "These bottles break down and seep chemicals. Leaching landfills are one of the largest sources of contaminated underground water."
Lenore Skenazy, "From bottled water, hypocrisy springs," Jewish World Review, April 27, 2005 --- http://jewishworldreview.com/0405/skenazy042705.php3

You can lead a horse to water Judge Olszewski, but you can't make him drink
A Luzerne County judge sentenced an 18-year-old man back to high school to earn his diploma. Raymond Michael Drexler, Mocanaqua, pleaded guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia before Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. on Tuesday. When Judge Olszewski inquired about his life status, Drexler said he quit high school after 11th grade to pursue employment with a utility company.  Drexler said he didn't get the job and didn't re-enroll at Greater Nanticoke Area to complete his senior year. "Maybe I should require you to go back to high school in order for you to graduate," Judge Olszewski said. "What's your position on that, Mr. Pendolphi?" Attorney Michael A. Pendolphi, who represented Drexler, said a high school diploma is better than a GED for acquiring employment.
Citizens Voice, April 27, 2005 ---

Black student charged with hate crimes that she claims weren't really intended to be hateful
Police officers in Bannockburn, Ill., have charged a black female student at Trinity International University with sending the threatening notes that led the institution to evacuate its minority students last week. The student will be charged with disorderly conduct and a hate crime. Her name has not been released. According to the police, the student confessed that she had sent the notes because she wanted to convince her parents that she should leave the university, which is located outside of Chicago. Law enforcement and Trinity International officials now believe that the university’s minority students were never in danger. The notes made specific threats of violence toward minority students and prompted the university to send all of its minority students to off-campus hotels. The evacuation attracted nationwide attention from the news media.
ith hate crimes which she says weren't intended to be hateful
Scott Jaschik, "Hoax at Trinity International," Inside Higher Ed, April 27, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/04/27/hoax

From the Washington Post on April 27, 2005
What are 14 states and a U.S. Congressman trying to ban on the Internet?

A. Alcohol and cigarette sales
B. Virtual hunting
C. Pornography
D. Blogging on political topics

How the computer was transforming American society
Greenspan will ever be associated with the bubble in high-tech stocks—first for warning, in 1996, that investors might be succumbing to “irrational exuberance,” and later, after stock prices had soared and investors truly had succumbed, for presiding over the collapse. Greenspan’s critics tend to focus on his enthusiasm for Silicon Valley before the crash; his defenders point out that, after all, the stock market has begun to recover. Both points are somewhat tangential to his real legacy. Greenspan’s primary interest was never the precise level of tech-stock prices: it was how the computer was transforming American society.
Roger Lowenstein, "How the Fed Learned to Love Technology," MIT's Technology Review, April 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/05/issue/review_fed.asp?trk=nl

Small Business Bets Big on Technology
Small businesses are living up to their reputation as engines of economic growth, a new study shows. In a survey to be released today by the Hewlett-Packard Company, 81 percent of 399 small businesses polled last month said they planned to increase their technology spending an average 20 percent in the next two to three years, and 68 percent said they would do so over the coming year. The dollars will go toward items like computer hardware and software, upgrading of company Web sites, online services and even Web logs, the respondents said.
Eve Tahnincioglu, "Small Business Bets Big on Technology, Study Says," The New York Times, April 27, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/27/business/27sbiz.html

Car Trouble: Should We Recall the U.S. Auto Industry?
When Wharton management professor John Paul MacDuffie is asked to explain why General Motors and Ford continue to take a drubbing from their competitors, he thinks for a moment and replies: "You can dig into the particulars around products and manufacturing processes for an explanation, but I guess the broad impression is the U.S. companies don't tend to be good learning organizations, which is something Toyota and Honda are superb at." Whatever the U.S. car companies have learned in the past year, they have learned it the hard way. Consider the opening sentence of GM's 2003 annual report, published 12 months ag "Here's what's new about GM's strategy this year: Nothing." That's the kind of bold statement that can cut two ways. GM intended it to convey the message that the world's largest automotive company was firing on all cylinders in its attempt to reverse its declining fortunes, and saw no reason to change. Twelve months later, though, the boast rings hollow. On April 19, General Motors posted a first-quarter loss of $1.1 billion, its worst result since 1992. Just two weeks earlier, on April 4, chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner had announced a management shake-up that gave Wagoner the additional title of head of the corporation's unprofitable North American unit, a post he had held before becoming chief executive. In addition, GM's European operations are losing money, the ratings service Moody's recently downgraded GM's debt to one step above junk status, huge pension and healthcare liabilities have saddled the company with seemingly intractable fixed costs, and its stock has lost one-third of its value since January 1.
"Car Trouble: Should We Recall the U.S. Auto Industry?" Knowledge@wharton,      

With a 12% unemployment rate and a sinking growth rate, Germany may lead Europe into a recession
Indeed, some economists say rates could remain as they are until 2006. The German government, meanwhile, seems at a loss for a quick fix. It has begun to overhaul the labor market, through a package of measures known as the Hartz reforms. Mr. Rürup said that if Germany had a more flexible labor market, it could create jobs with a lower growth rate. Critics say these measures, while helpful, are only a half step. They make it easier for employers to hire temporary workers and create entry-level jobs for people who have been out of work. But they do not attack the job-protection rules that make it hard to lay off workers. "They need to face down the unions," Mr. Mayer at Deutsche Bank said. "But they won't - neither the government nor the opposition."

Mark Landler, "Fears Mount That Germany Faces Recession," The New York Times, April 27, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/27/business/worldbusiness/27germany.html

And we thought everyone went to the library primarily to read
The Houston City Council has passed new regulations that allow librarians to kick out patrons whose "offensive bodily hygiene" is a nuisance to others.  Houston Mayor Bill White said there have been many complaints about abuse of library facilities. Critics say the regulations are aimed at keeping the homeless out of the libraries. New Rules Could Keep Homeless Out Of Libraries.  Houston City Council passed the regulations Wednesday, which some consider a veiled attempt at prohibiting homeless people from using the libraries.
"Houston Libraries Ban Bad Body Odor, Bathing," WFTV, April 28, 2005 --- http://www.wftv.com/news/4425183/detail.html

One book that won't be in any library:  What happened to free speech?
Apparently Apple, which has been cracking down on unauthorized publication of stories about the company and its products, didn't see it the same way. The computer firm has stopped selling all books published by John Wiley & Sons at its Apple retail stores in apparent retaliation. Last week, Young said he received a call from his publisher saying that Apple had objections to his new book, "iCon Steve Jobs: The Greatest Second Act in the History of Business," which is co-authored by William L. Simon and is scheduled to go on sale next month. Despite the publisher's offer to consider changes that the computer-maker may suggest, "Apple said the only thing to fix this book is not to publish it, " Young said.
Mathew Yi, "Apple yanks book on Jobs Company bans all of publisher's books because of the one," San Francisco Chronicle, April 27, 2005 ---

Two students suspended:  The Penis Monologues celebrate “V-Day”
The Vagina Monologues and schools across the nation celebrate “V-Day” (short for Vagina Day) every year. But when the College Republicans at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island rained on the celebrations of V-Day by inaugurating Penis Day and staging a satire called The Penis Monologues, the official reaction was horror. Two participating students, Monique Stuart and Andy Mainiero, have just received sharp letters of reprimand and have been placed on probation by the Office of Judicial Affairs. The costume of the P-Day “mascot” — a friendly looking “penis” named Testaclese, has been confiscated and is under lock and key in the office of the assistant dean of student affairs, John King.
"Why Can’t They “Just Get Along”?" National Review, April 29, 2005 --- http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/sommers200505020808.asp

Forwarded by Aaron Konstam

Notice from Microsoft:
It has come to our attention that a few copies of the Texas Edition of Windows 98 may have accidentally been shipped outside of Texas.  If you have one of the Texas Editions you may need some help understanding the commands.
The Texas Edition may be recognized by looking at the opening screen. It reads WINDERS 98 with a background picture of the Alamo superimposed on the Texas flag. It is shipped with a Leann Rimes screen saver.

Also note the "Recycle Bin" is labeled "Outhouse."
"My Computer" is called "This Infernal Contraption."
"Dialup Networking" is called "Good Ol' Boys."
"Control Panel" is known as "the Dashboard."
"Hard Drive" is referred to as "Wheel Drive."
"Floppies" are "Them Little Ol' Plastic Disc Thangs."
Other features: Instead of an "Error Message" you get a "Winder covered with a garbage bag and duct tape."
OK = ats aww-right.
Cancel = hail no.
Reset = aw shoot.
Yes = shore.
No = Naaaa.
Find = hunt-fer it.
Go to = over yonder.
Back = back yonder.
Help = hep me out here.
Stop = ternit off.
Start = crank it up.
Settings = sittins.
Programs = stuff that does stuff.
Documents = stuff I done done.
Also note that Winders 98 does not recognize capital letters or punctuation marks. We regret any inconvenience it may have caused if you received a copy of the Texas Edition. You may return it to Microsoft for a replacement version.

Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm
For earlier editions of New Bookmark s 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/


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