Tidbits on May 2, 2005
Jensen at Trinity
Fraud Updates ---
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
here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter --- Search
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
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) ---
Last Week’s English Department Meeting ---
This site has some great multimedia programming:
Dancing Bush: Forget the politics,
just have some fun ---
(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
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 ---
"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
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
Free assessment on weight loss ---
Or you can submit your health questions to
A guide to some of the newest medical research and recommendations ---
Health & Medicine From US News ---
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 ---
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
"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 ---
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
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 ---
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
Scott Jaschik, "Auburn President’s Permanent No Comment," Inside Higher Ed,
May 2, 2005 ---
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
(whose activities are visible on a
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 ---
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 ---
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
April 28, 2005 email message from James L. Morrison
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
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
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
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
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
"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
"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
am including this in the blog not because it is new per
se, but because
if all of the environmental costs and benefits were
included, the world would be a better place.
so interesting and thought provoking
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!
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,
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 ---
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
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 ---
Jensen Comment: Japan, like the U.S. and Europe is doomed by entitlements.
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 ---
You can lead a horse to water Judge Olszewski, but you can't make him
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 ---
From the Washington Post on April 27,
What are 14 states and a U.S. Congressman trying to ban on the Internet?
Alcohol and cigarette sales
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 ---
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 ---
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 ---
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 ---
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 ---
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
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
Fraud Updates ---
For earlier editions of New
s go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
Archives of Tidbits: Tidbits Directory --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter --- Search
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
H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-999-7347 Fax:
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