Tidbits on June 24, 2005
Bob Jensen at Trinity University
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Security threats and hoaxes ---
Music: Sugar Shack ---
Train of Life
(Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline)
The press does not want to inform the
reader but to persuade him he's being informed.
Citigroup's criminal behavior is so
far-flung and ambidextrous it seems to be part of the profit structure.
Don't worry about the world coming to
an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia.
Charles M. Schulz
What banks are not telling us following the hacking of 50
million credit card numbers
Consumer advocates said credit card customers have
been denied crucial information in the wake of a recent data breach, as some
major banks are declining to tell cardholders whether their account may have
been accessed by hackers . . . Within 24 hours of last week's news of the
breach, a new version of an Internet scam was circulating on the Web. In an
e-mail forged to look as if it had come from MasterCard, recipients were urged
to log in to a counterfeited MasterCard site and enter their account
Mike Musgrove, "Cardholders Kept in Dark After Breach Some Banks
Decline to Tell Customers Whether Accounts Were Compromised," The Washington
Post, June 23, 2005 ---
Jensen Comment: I changed all of the account numbers on my credit cards.
I suggest that you do the same.
Consumer Health Websites
"Consumer Reports WebWatch, an arm of the Consumers Union publishing empire, has
begun rating the 20 most-trafficked health information Web sites. The ratings --
posted on a new early release Web site,
http://www.healthratings.org / , that was
undergoing evident birthing pains last week-- were produced in collaboration
with the Health Improvement Institute (HII), a Bethesda-based nonprofit."
Leslie Walker, "Consumer Health Websites," The Washington Post,
June 21, 2005 ---
This is a good article
Arthritis is crippling more people, but there are nine key ways to beat the pain
June 23, 2005 message from Richard Campbell
I thought the following multimedia presentation may
be of interest to many on the list - The presentation itself was created
using Articulate's Presenter.
Richard J. Campbell
Bob Jensen's threads on education technology tools are at
MSN Search introduces Spoof, a tool to
let you create funny search results about a friend, family member, or co-worker.
When you're done, you can send the page to the target or anyone else you think
might get a laugh out of it. ---
Your phone company is lobbying to prevent competition
SBC Communications Inc., the dominant phone company in
Texas, and other big phone companies say that cities should not be allowed to
subsidize high-speed Internet connections -- even in areas where the companies
don't yet offer the service. Since January, lawmakers in at least 14 states and
the U.S. Congress have introduced bills to restrict local governments' ability
to fill the gap.
Jesse Crucker and Li Yuan, "Phone Giants Are Lobbying Hard To Block Towns'
Wireless Plans: As Cities Try to Build Networks, SBC and Other Companies
Say It's Unfair Competition," The Wall Street Journal, June 23,
2005; Page A1 ---
A poem by Mary Fister for those who must endure long and formal faculty
I have to disagree with John Wilson on this one
In what may be the worst decision for college student
rights in the history of the federal judiciary, the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the Seventh Circuit this week turned back the clock a half-century and
reinstated the old discredited doctrines of in loco parentis and administrative
authoritarianism. In Hosty v. Carter, the Seventh Circuit ruled by a 7-4
majority that administrators at public colleges have total control over
subsidized student newspapers. But the scope of the decision is breathtaking,
since the reasoning of the case applies to any student organization receiving
student fees. Student newspapers, speakers and even campus protests could now be
subject to the whim of administrative approval.
John K. Wilson, "The Case of the Censored Newspaper," Inside Higher Ed,
June 24, 2005 ---
Jensen Comment: I have to disagree to John Wilson on this one.
Students sometimes become overzealous and cause embarrassments that spill over
to the entire college community such as the doctoring of a photograph of in the
student newspaper at Middlebury College that made one of the Middlebury's
invited speakers look like Adolph Hitler. There are also issues of
slander, obscenity, and political/religious insensitivity that can run totally
out of control. Owners of newspapers like the New York Times and
Washington Post have censorship controls. Why shouldn't colleges be
afforded the same controls? The Los Angeles Times recently experimented
with an uncensored Wiki blog that lasted only two days because it became
obscene. Censorship versus academic freedom is not a black and white issue
due to risks of slander and obscenity.
ATM Fees Keep Moving Higher
Not only are banks charging their own customers more if
they use another bank's ATMs, but they're also charging higher fees for other
banks' customers who use their machines. This spring, the average fee a bank
charges a customer for using another bank's ATM hit a record $1.35, up from
$1.29 last fall, according to Bankrate.com's Checking Account Pricing Study.
Meanwhile, the average costs that ATM owners are charging noncustomers who use
their machines -- also known as "surcharges" or "foreign ATM fees" -- rose to
$1.40 from $1.37.
Jane J. Kim, "ATM Fees Keep Moving Higher: Banks Increase Charges To
Capture Revenue Lost As Credit-Card Use Rises," The Wall Street Journal,
June 23, 2005; Page D2 ---
New survey reveals salaries for Management Accountants rising
Top management accountants and finance professionals
pulled ahead of public accountants in both average salary and total compensation
in 2004 as the new auditing requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act took effect.
Public accounting, which held the top spot in 2003, fell to 6th place last year
with management accountants and finance professionals rising to first and second
place, according to the findings of the 16th annual salary survey conducted by
the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). Salaries and compensation were
found to be higher for professionals holding a Certified Management Accountant
(CMA) credential only ($97,908), than for those with a Certified Public
Accountant credential ($93,104) alone. Professionals holding both certifications
had the highest earnings of all ($105,155), and those with neither certification
had the lowest ($79,763).
Andrew Priest, "New Survey reveals salaries for Management Accountants Rising,"
AccountingEducation.com, June 18, 2005 ---
Note the the link to the IMA site is incorrect in the above article. The
correct link is
Bob Jensen's threads on careers are at
Best product designs according to Business Week ---
Many of the winning
entries from this year's competition for Industrial Design
Excellence Awards spring from a close observation of the
These products have personality and listen to
what users want
Design can provide a tactical advantage by
delivering a powerful brand message
Creative destruction can transform markets,
from footwear to musical instruments
Good design can also be an image enhancer and
bring new life to existing brands
Coming up with signature looks has worked
wonders for countries throughout the region
The Continent is pulling ahead by virtue of
elegance and elan (?)
Catalyst Award Winners
Fine design, dandy sales: These products get
the prize for also adding to the bottom line
Trivia (well maybe not so trivial) from The Washington
Post on June 21, 2005
IBM just opened its fifth software
development center in India and announced plans to hire 1,000 programmers for
the new center by the end of 2005. How many people does the company currently
employ in India at its four other centers?
Apple Computer Inc.'s CEO Steve
Jobs says which college class helped him set Macintosh apart from competitors?
MIT's DSpace Explained
In 1978, Loren Kohnfelder invented digital certificates
while working on his MIT undergraduate thesis. Today, digital certificates are
widely used to distribute the public keys that are the basis of the Internet's
encryption system. This is important stuff! But when I tried to find an online
copy of Kohnfelder's 1978 manuscript, I came up blank. According to the MIT
Libraries' catalog, there were just two copies in the system: a microfiche
somewhere in Barker Engineering Library, and a "noncirculating" copy in the
Institute Archives . . . DSpace is a long-term, searchable digital archive. It
creates unchanging URLs for stored materials and automatically backs up one
institution's archives to another's. Today, DSpace is being used by 79
institutions, with more on the way. But as my little story about Kohnfelder's
thesis demonstrates, archiving data is only half the problem. In order to be
useful, archives must also enable researchers to find what they are looking for.
Sending e-mail to the author worked for me, but it's not a good solution for the
masses. Long-term funding is another problem that DSpace needs to solve. "The
libraries are seeking ways of stabilizing support for DSpace to make it easier
to sustain as it gets bigger over time," says MacKenzie Smith, the Libraries'
associate director for technology. Today, development on the DSpace system is
funded by short-term grants. That's great for doing research, but it's not a
good model for a facility that's destined to be the long-term memory of the
Institute's research output. Says Smith: "We need to know how to support an
operation like this in very lean times."
Simson Garfinkel, "MIT's DSpace Explained," MIT's Technology Review, July
Bob Jensen's threads on "OKI, DSpace, and SAKAI" are at
Investing and borrowing news and
Blogosphere from Yahoo Finance ---
For professors who abuse classrooms for personal viewpoints
David Horowitz isn’t mentioned by name in a two-page
statement being released today by 26 higher education organizations. But the
statement, on “academic rights and responsibilities,” is a response to
Horowitz’s “Academic Bill of Rights,” which many professors view as an assault
on their rights. Organizers of the statement being issued today say that it was
an effort to state publicly that academe is not monolithic ideologically and
that colleges can — without the government — deal with professors (a distinct
few, according to most academic leaders) who punish students for their views.
Organizers hoped the statement would deflate the movement in state legislatures
and Congress to enact the Academic Bill of Rights. Horowitz called the statement
“a major victory” for his campaign and said that it opened up the possibility
that he would work directly with colleges on remaining differences of opinion,
rather than seeking legislation.
Scott Jaschik, "Detente With David Horowitz," Inside Higher Ed, June 23,
"Locating Bourdieu," by Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed, June 23, 2005
He was especially sharp (some thought
brutal) in analyzing the French academic world. At the same
time, he did very well in that system; very well indeed. He
was critical of the way some scholars used expertise in one
field to leverage themselves into positions of influence
having no connection with their training or particular field
of confidence. It could make him sound like a scold. At the
same time, it often felt like Bourdieu might be criticizing
his own temptation to become an oracle.
In the course of my own untutored
reading of Bourdieu over the years, there came a moment when
the complexity of his arguments and the aggressiveness of
his insights suddenly felt like manifestations of a
personality that was angry on the surface, and terribly
disappointed somewhere underneath. His tone registered an
acute (even an excruciating) ambivalence toward intellectual
life in general and the educational system in particular.
Stray references in his work
revealed glimpses of Bourdieu as a “scholarship boy” from a
family that was both rural and lower-middle class. You
learned that he had trained to be a philosopher in the best
school in the country. Yet there was also the element of
refusal in even his most theoretical work — an almost
indignant rejection of the role of Master Thinker (played to
perfection in his youth by Jean-Paul Sartre) in the name of
empirical sociological research.
There is now a fairly enormous
secondary literature on Bourdieu in English. Of the
half-dozen or so books on him that I’ve read in the past few
years, one has made an especially strong impression, Deborah
Reed-Danahay’s recent study
Locating Bourdieu (Indiana
University Press, 2005). Without reducing his work to
memoir, she nonetheless fleshes out the autobiographical
overtones of Bourdieu’s major concepts and research
projects. (My only complaint about the book is that it
wasn’t published 10 years ago: Although it is a monograph on
his work rather than an introductory survey, it would also
be a very good place for the new reader of Bourdieu to
Continued in article
From the Carnegie Foundation News and Announcements in June
Documentary Examines the Quality of Higher Education in
Declining by Degrees: Higher Education at Risk, a new
documentary produced by Carnegie visiting scholar John Merrow
premiers June 23 on PBS (check local listings). The documentary
follows 30 students and teachers, as it explores the road
between admissions and graduation—a route that is no longer
linear. Going beyond what Americans believe about the college
experience, Declining by Degrees exposes the
disappointment, disorientation and deflation that so many
college students feel, and the struggles they face, regardless
of the schools they choose to attend.
Degrees Web site »
Seek Simplicity .
. . and Distrust It
In a recent Education Week commentary,
Carnegie President Lee S. Shulman argues for "a
more evidence-based strategy for crafting our
education policies" while acknowledging that
this course "does not bypass the need for
interpretation and judgment."
Simplicity . . . and Distrust It."
The Risk Return Tradeoff in the Long-Run: 1836-2003
The risk–return tradeoff is fundamental to finance.
However, while many asset pricing models imply a positive relationship between
the risk premium on the market portfolio and the variance of its return,
previous studies find the empirical relationship is weak at best. In sharp
contrast, this study, demonstrates that the weak empirical relationship is an
artifact of the small sample nature of the available data, as an extremely large
number of time-series observations is required to precisely estimate this
relationship. To maximize the available time-series, I employ the nearly two
century history of US equity market returns from Schwert (1990), exploring the
empirical risk-return tradeoff for a variety of specifications that allow for
asymmetric volatility, regime-switching, and additional factors associated with
intertemporal (ICAPM) hedging demands. Similar to studies that use the more
recent US equity price history, conditional market volatility in the historical
data is persistent and displays strong asymmetric relationships to return
innovations. Further, the conditional correlation between stock and bond markets
is closely related to periods of documented financial crises. Finally, in
contrast to evidence based upon the recent US experience, the estimated
relationship between risk and return is positive and statistically significant
across every specification considered.
Christian T. Lundblad, "The Risk Return Tradeoff in the Long-Run: 1836-2003,"
SSRN Working Papers, October 2004 ---
Daniel Patrick Moynihan once called this "thievery"
Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan and South Carolina
Senator Jim DeMint are calling for legislation to bring an immediate halt to the
ongoing political raid on the surplus payroll taxes collected by Social
Security. Congress now spends that cash on current programs--from cotton
subsidies, to defense, to the Dr. Seuss Museum. Every day that Congress fails to
act, another $200 million is spent rather than being saved for future
retirement. Daniel Patrick Moynihan once called this "thievery," and if
corporate America were engaged in this type of accounting fraud Eliot Spitzer
would be hauling CEOs to jail.
"A Surplus Idea Congress should give workers back their extra Social Security
taxes," The Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2005 ---
Iron Mike has metal fatigue
Mike Tyson's role model Sonny Liston once said that
someday, "they will write a blues song just for fighters. It'll be with slow
guitar, soft trumpet, and a bell." Strum that guitar and ring that bell for Mr.
Tyson: His 20-year boxing career ended June 11, when he refused to come out for
the seventh round in his bout against journeyman Kevin McBride.
Gordon Marino, "Requiem for a Heavyweight," The Wall Street Journal, June
23, 2005; Page D8 ---
What is elastin?
In the quest to replace failed or injured body parts,
fabricating them out of one of the most durable materials in the body -- elastin
-- makes a lot of sense. Today, Dr. Ken Gregory, director of the Oregon Medical
Laser Center at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, OR, is using
the material to engineer all kinds of quasi-natural structures: blood vessels,
patches for internal injuries, replacement ear drums, bladders, and more.
David Wolman, "Natural Healing," MIT's Technology Review, June 21, 2005
Taxes for online purchases will soon be "unavoidable"
Online shoppers could be forgiven
for overlooking a California court ruling last month that
might end the tax-free joyride they've been enjoying on the
information superhighway.The appeals court ruling said
megabookstore Borders Inc. had to pay $167,000 in
taxes that it owed based on Internet sales from 1998 and
1999. The reasons are complicated and experts disagree on
the results. Looking at the big picture, however, it appears
that somehow, sometime in the future, most people who buy
things online will pay taxes.
Robert MacMillan, "An Unavoidable Tax," The Washington
, June 20, 2005 ---
"In Defense of Steroids: Jose Canseco’s
surprisingly sensible case for juice," by Aaron Steinberg, Reason Magazine, June
On March 17,
former baseball star Jose Canseco told the House
Committee on Government Reform exactly what it wanted to
hear. The pressure to win, he said, drives pros to
steroids and subsequently pushes steroids on kids. “The
time has come,” he said, “to send a message to America,
especially the youth, that these actions, while
attractive at first, may tarnish and harm you later.”
That isn’t exactly the message he sent with his recent
pro-steroid tell-all, Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant
’Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big. And
while his new tune may sound more responsible to
legislators’ ears, it’s actually too bad that the former
A’s slugger turned his back on his own book. Beyond the
typical sports memoir material— Lamborghinis, encounters
with Madonna, growing up Latino in baseball—Canseco’s
book makes a rare and sustained argument in favor of
steroids (and substances often used in conjunction with
steroids, such as human growth hormone). Coming at a
time of full-blown moral panic, with grandstanding
senators trampling athletes’ privacy rights and the
media blaming steroids for everything from brain cancer
to suicide, Canseco’s position was a welcome one. It’s a
shame he didn’t have the guts to stick with it.
Firms Ranked on Ethical Behavior
Engine manufacturer Cummins Inc. topped Business Ethics
Magazine's annual survey of the "100 Best Corporate Citizens," a ranking of
leading ethical performers on the Russell 1000 Index of publicly listed U.S.
companies. The survey, published in the magazine's Spring 2005 edition, has
gained national recognition as an indicator of best practices in the area of
corporate social responsibility. Cited as a world leader in emissions
reductions, Columbus, Ind.-based Cummins has made the list for the past six
years. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. of Waterbury, Vt., received the
second-highest rating, hailed as "a pioneer in helping struggling coffee growers
by paying them fair trade prices." Property casualty insurers St. Paul Travelers
Companies was ranked third in recognition of its community service.
"Firms Ranked on Ethical Behavior," SmartPros, June 17, 2005 ---
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You must read the fine print!
Royally Screwed: I recall that the same thing happened when people signed
up for health club memberships and owed monthly payments on health clubs that no
With the lure of 30 to 60 percent savings, Vogan signed
up with New Jersey-based NorVergence Inc. and even insured the small red box as
required. He paid $435 a month to rent the box and an additional $13 for
services, including unlimited long distance.Last summer NorVergence filed for
bankruptcy, and customers like Vogan, who owns a home remodeling firm in Silver
Spring, found that their troubles went far beyond the loss of phone service.
They discovered they were obligated to keep paying rent on the boxes to third
parties, which had bought the rental contracts from NorVergence.
Dina ElBoghdady, "Promised Savings, They Rented the Boxes And Now They're Really
Paying for It: NorVergence Went Bankrupt; Customers Still Owe," The
Washington Post, June 20, 2005; Page D01 ---
Forwarded by Paula
The Pentagon announced today the formation of a new 500-man elite
fighting unit called the :
. S . REDNECK SPECIAL FORCES (USRSF).
These North Carolina, Kentucky, West Virginia, Mississippi, Missouri,
Arkansas, Alabama, Georgia, Texas and Tennessee boys will be dropped
into Iraq and
have been given only the following facts about Terrorists:
1. The season opened today.
2. There is no limit.
3. They taste just like chicken.
4. They don't like beer, pickups, country music or Jesus.
5. They are DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for the death of Dale Earnhardt.
This mess in Iraq should be over IN A WEEK.
Time waster ---
Fraud Updates ---
For earlier editions of New Bookmark
s go to
Archives of Tidbits: Tidbits Directory ---
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
Bob Jensen's home page
Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob) http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-999-7347 Fax:
210-999-8134 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org