Tidbits on July 18, 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/

Security threats and hoaxes --- http://www.trinity.edu/its/virus/


Music: Senator Clinton's new presidential campaign video: 
She's ready --- http://www.michaelhodges.com/stuff/funny/2008cc1.swf

Train of Life (Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline) ---  
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/singingman7/TOL.htm
  




This free site explains which seats to book and which to avoid on 23 airlines. The site shows seat maps according to plane, detailing seat pitch and legroom, location of bulkheads, and exit rows.

Forwarded by Paula
SeatGuru.com --- http://www.seatguru.com/
Jensen Comment:  I guess I'd sit on the floor if the plane's going to arrive on time where I want to land.
 


UN News Centre: The Middle East ---
http://www.un.org/apps/news/infocusRel.asp?infocusID=70&Body=Palestin&Body1=


Deliberately targeting children on a street corner in Iraq is not popular among people of any religious faith
Squandered Sympathy http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20050714/ts_nm/muslims_binladen_dc 
"Support for Osama bin Laden and suicide bombings have fallen sharply in much of the Muslim world, according to a multicountry poll released on Thursday," Reuters reports. The Pew Research Center
http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?ReportID=248  survey covered Morocco, Pakistan, Turkey, Indonesia, Jordan and Lebanon, and only in Jordan had sympathy for bin Laden increased since 2003.
From Opinion Journal on July 15, 2005

In Morocco, 26 percent of the public now say they have a lot or some confidence in bin Laden, down from 49 percent in a similar poll two years ago.

In Lebanon, where both Muslims and Christians took part in the survey, only 2 percent expressed some confidence in the Saudi-born al Qaeda leader, down from 14 percent in 2003.

In Turkey, bin Laden's support has fallen to 7 percent from 15 percent in the past two years. In Indonesia, it has dropped to 35 percent from 58 percent.


Jihad Made In Europe
When we consider the [Islamic] movements that embrace violence, we can see that they are not expressions of an outburst in the West of the [Israeli-Palestinian] conflict in the Middle East. Most of the young Muslims radicalize in the West: They are "born-again Muslims." It's here that they are Islamicized. Almost all separate from their families and many have marriages with non-Muslims. Their dispute with the world isn't imported from the Middle East: It is truly modern, aimed against American imperialism, capitalism, etc. In other words, they occupy the same space that the proletarian left had thirty years ago, that Action Directe had twenty years ago. . . . They exist in a militant reality abandoned by the extreme left, where the young live only to destroy the system. . . . [This radicalization] isn't at all the consequence of a "clash of civilizations," that is to say, the importation of intellectual frameworks coming from the Middle East. This militant evolution is happening, in situ, on our territory. It partakes henceforth of the internal history of the West.
French scholar Olivier Roy as quoted by Reuel Marc Gerecht, "Jihad Made In Europe," Weekly Standard, July 25, 2005 --- http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/005/836esgwz.asp?pg=1


Schools Not Hard Enough:  Why doesn't this come as a surprise?
A large majority of high school students say their class work is not very difficult, and almost two-thirds say they would work harder if courses were more demanding or interesting, according to an online nationwide survey of teenagers conducted by the National Governors Association.
Michael Janofsky, "Students Say High Schools Let Them Down," The New York Times, July 17, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/16/education/16STUDENTS.html


Good Idea:  ICE your mobile phone address book
Forwarded on July 15, 2005 by Scott Bonacker, CPA [lister@BONACKERS.COM]

East Anglian Ambulance Service has launched a national 'In case of Emergency (ICE)' campaign.

The idea is that you store the word 'ICE' in your mobile phone address book, and against it enter the number of the person you would want to be contacted In Case of Emergency.

In an emergency situation ambulance and hospital staff will then be able to quickly find out who your next of kin are and be able to contact them. It's so simple that everyone can do it. Please do.

Please also forward this to everybody in your address book, it won't take too many 'forwards' before everybody will know about this. For more than one contact name ICE1, ICE2, ICE3 etc.

Jensen Stupid Comment:  Nothing is said about no ice "straight up."


Two-inch satellite receiver you can carry with you on the go
RaySat has developed a two-inch receiver: a flat antenna that receives satellite television broadcasts and provides Internet access from a vehicle -- a car, RV, train, or airplane. For the hardware, consumers can expect to pay $2,000 for TV reception and an additional $1,500 for Internet connectivity. Users who already have satellite TV service in the home will pay only a modest amount to add mobile service. Audiovox, a publicly traded mobile media manufacturer and owner of the Jensen brand, has signed on to resell RaySat's line of on-the-go antennas.
"Info on the Go," Jon Burke, MIT's Technology Review, July 13, 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/07/wo/wo_071305burke.asp?trk=nl


Slingbox brings television into your PC
On July 7, 2005 in The Wall Street Journal, Walt Mossberg answers a question about Slingbox as follows --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,mossberg_mailbox,00.html

Q: Last week, you reviewed and recommended a product called Slingbox that allows you to view the TV signals coming into your home on a Windows PC anywhere in the world. Does the Slingbox record these TV shows for you?

A: No. The Slingbox, which costs $250 at Best Buy and CompUSA, doesn't have a hard disk or any recording capability. It merely takes all the programming you would normally get if you were sitting in front of your home TV and pumps it out over the Internet to any Internet-connected Windows PC anywhere that is running the company's software. All you have to do is log into your home Slingbox remotely using the unique ID number of the box and a password you establish when you install the box at home.

Also see http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/08/AR2005070801412.html?referrer=email


Want both a friend and security in Washington DC?  Get a dog
Sniffing the air for hints of bombs, though, remains an elusive holy grail. "Detecting explosives is not an easy thing," said David Danley, a retired Army colonel and head of defense programs at Combimatrix Corp., a small biotechnology company near Seattle.
Paul Elia
s and Brian Bergstein, "Dogs, People Still Best 'Gadgets' in Securing Mass Transit," MIT's Technology Review, July 13, 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/07/ap/ap_071305.asp?trk=nl


Dell's laser printer for under $100
But earlier this month when one of H-P's competitors, Dell Computer, introduced a laser printer for just $99 -- the least expensive on the market -- my assistant Katie Boehret and I started to recall the pluses of laser printing, and we wanted to test it. Instead of watching yet another document inching bit by bit out of an inkjet printer, we were eager to see a laser-printed page with crisp, well-defined text, spill out into the output tray in one sudden moment.
Walter Mossberg, "The $99 Laser Printer: Home Options Get Closer to Office Quality," The Wall Street Journal,  July 13, 2005; Page D1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,the_mossberg_solution,00.html


A new illustration of spurious correlation
"Drink More, Earn More (& Give More)," by Arthur C. Brooks, The Wall Street Journal, July 13, 2005; Page A14 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112121945045684152,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep

W.C. Fields once recommended, "Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite and furthermore always carry a small snake." Traditionally, practical rationales for drinking were unconvincing, at best. More recently, however, alcohol's reputation has improved as new benefits from drinking have come to light. Best known are the studies showing the health benefits of moderate alcohol use. It is now so well established that it is almost a cliché that red wine lowers the risk of heart disease. A new study by researchers at the National Cancer Institute also claims that drinkers may have a lower risk of lymphoma than nondrinkers.

Economists assert that benefits from alcohol are also financial, showing that moderate drinking is associated with higher earnings. If two workers are identical in education, age, and other characteristics except that the first has a couple of beers each night after work while the second is a teetotaler, the first will tend to enjoy a "drinker's bonus" in the range of 10% to 25% higher wages. (Don't get carried away with this information, though. Research also shows that beyond about two drinks per day, wages start to fall.)

Continued in the article


Bye bye Folkhemme
Mr. Rojas contends that Folkhemmet is a model for a bygone era, brought low by the Swedish economic crisis of the early '90s. Only the privatization of public services and a ceiling on public spending since those days has kept the Swedish economy afloat. That is, what success Sweden has enjoyed in the past decade has come from the progressive abandonment of the old model.
"The Outdated 'Swedish Model'." The Wall Street Journal, July 15, 2005 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112137695324786074,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep


A more extreme bifurcation in the U.S.
In 1979-2000, the real income of the poorest fifth of American households rose by 6.4%, while that of the top fifth rose by 70% (and of the top 1% by 184%). As of 2001, that top 1% nabbed a fifth of America's personal income and controlled a third of its net worth. Again, this would not necessarily be a cause for worry, as long as it was possible for people to work their way up and down the ladder. Yet various studies also indicate that social mobility has weakened; indeed by some measures it may be worse than it is in crusty old Europe. America fixed its class problem in the Gilded Age by becoming more meritocratic: money was poured into education, and ladders were created for young bright children to ease past the robber barons' doltish offspring. America's “problem” nowadays—and it is really a triumph—is that this meritocracy is working almost too well. Put crudely, educated people are marrying each other and pouring money into their children's education to make sure they go to the same universities. That helps explain why American universities are so much better than their peers; but only one in 30 students at the most selective ones come from the poorest quarter of households.

"The missing rungs in the ladder:  America has a small problem with class—and a bigger one in its schools," The Economist, July 14, 2005 --- http://www.economist.com/opinion/displayStory.cfm?story_id=4174181


Retirement Guide
In BusinessWeek's Annual Retirement Guide, we help you think through these issues. We've tested new money-management services that will help you invest and spend wisely. We've looked at immediate annuities, which can be a good way to make sure you don't run out of money. We've also identified several great mutual funds, any of which can make a worthwhile addition to your portfolio.
"Taking The Longer View:   Here's BusinessWeek's annual guide to help you get the most out of your retirement," Business Week, July 25, 2005 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_30/b3944401.htm?campaign_id=nws_insdr_jul15&link_position=link1
Jensen Comment:  Bob Jensen recommends Vanguard advice and Vanguard funds --- http://www.vanguard.com/VGApp/hnw/content/Home/Portal.jsp
Vanguard is very ethical and very low cost when it comes to mutual funds.


A thorn by any other name is still a thorn
"The BBC has re-edited some of its coverage of the London Underground and bus bombings to avoid labeling the perpetrators as 'terrorists,' " London's Daily Telegraph reports:

Early reporting of the attacks on the BBC's website spoke of terrorists but the same coverage was changed to describe the attackers simply as "bombers."

The BBC's guidelines state that its credibility is undermined by the "careless use of words which carry emotional or value judgments."

Consequently, "the word 'terrorist' itself can be a barrier rather than an aid to understanding" and its use should be "avoided," the guidelines say.

"BBC No Evil" ---  http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/07/12/nbbc12.xml 


Identity theft warning forwarded on July 13, 2005 by James P. Borden [jborden119@comcast.net]

Bob,

Thought you might find this useful.

Best regards,

Jim Borden Villanova University

-------- Original Message -------- Subject: [IP] identity Thieves Employ High-Tech Tactics Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2005 10:42:29 -0400 From: David Farber <dave@farber.net> Reply-To: dave@farber.net To: <ip@v2.listbox.com>

-----Original Message----- From: "EEkid@aol.com"<EEkid@aol.com> Sent: 13/07/05 7:56:00 AM To: "dave@farber.net"<dave@farber.net> Subject: Identity Thieves Employ High-Tech Tactics

Identity Thieves Employ High-Tech Tactics Aleksandra Todorova SmartMoney.com THANKS TO TECHNOLOGY advances, identity thieves no longer need to dumpster-dive in search of your private information. Now, sensitive data can easily land in their hands while you're shopping, browsing the Internet or simply visiting your dentist. Here are five of the latest high-tech forms of identity theft, according to Truecredit, a unit of credit-reporting bureau TransUnion, along with ways consumers can protect themselves. 1. Pharming. You've probably heard of "phishing," a form of identity theft where fake emails are sent out, asking you to urgently update your bank account or credit-card information, which is then sent to identity thieves. Now phishing has evolved into "pharming," where thieves create fake Web sites similar to the Web sites of banks or credit-card companies. When consumers who don't know the difference try to log in, their account information is sent along to the thieves.

These Web sites get traffic through phishing, explains Nicole Lowe, credit education specialist at Truecredit.com, or with the help of computer viruses that automatically redirect traffic from specific Web addresses, such as those for banks, credit-card companies or shopping Web sites.

1.  To avoid pharming, look out for anything strange or new in the site's Web address, or URL, Lowe recommends. You can also browse the Web site in depth. The crooks likely haven't recreated all its layers.

2. Gas stations. Every time you swipe your credit or debit card at the gas pump, your information is sent via satellite to your bank for verification. According to Truecredit, identity thieves have now invented a way to hijack that information by modifying the program that carries out the data transfer so that your credit-card number is sent to them at the same time it's sent to your bank. While there isn't a way to detect when your data are being stolen, Lowe recommends using only credit cards at the pump as a precaution. With debit or check cards, it takes a while for fraudulent purchases to be credited back into your checking account, while credit-card companies will remove any disputed charges from your account immediately.

3. International skimming. According to Truecredit, skimming occurs when your credit card is run through a small reader, similar to those used in grocery stores, which captures your card information for future use by identity thieves. This form of fraud is common in the service industry here in the U.S., and anywhere abroad. Be on the lookout when paying with a credit card in a restaurant that you're not familiar with, Lowe recommends. If you don't feel comfortable letting your card out of sight, use cash or walk over to the cash register to pay your bill.

When traveling abroad, use only one credit card so it's easier to detect any fraudulent charges. 4. Keystroke catchers. These small devices are attached to the cable that connects your keyboard to your computer and can be bought online for a little over $100. The "catcher" resembles a standard connector, but contains a memory chip that records everything you type. It's typically used in public places where computers are available, such as libraries, Internet cafes and college computer labs. To protect yourself when using a public computer, never shop online, check your bank account, pay bills or enter your credit-card information. 5. Database theft. Chances are, your personal information is part of numerous databases, including those at your dentist and doctor's offices, your college or university admissions office, your mortgage and insurance companies, even your local Blockbuster. While there's little you can do about the way those companies safeguard your information, you can try limiting their access to sensitive data, such as your Social Security number, says Lowe. Your cable company and DVD rental store, for example, have no need to know your Social Security number and should agree to an alternative, such as the last few digits of your driver's license number. _http://biz.yahoo.com/special/survive05_article1.html_ ( http://biz.yahoo.com/special/survive05_article1.html )

Bob Jensen's threads on computing and networking security are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce/000start.htm#SpecialSection


Students and other faculty might be able to read your email
Forwarded by Amy Dunbar on July 14, 1005

Just a reminder that personal email written on university-owned property may be publicly available. The following Chronicle of Higher Education article caught my attention this morning.

"Upset after the department voted narrowly against hiring his wife, Alexei Kojevnikov, a historian of science, got hold of records and e-mail messages of his dean, his department chairman, and four of his colleagues. The hundreds of pages of correspondence and notes include salary offers to outside professors, opinions about job candidates' qualifications, and records of tenure decisions and spousal hires. The documents even refer to one administrator's cancer diagnosis.

How did he manage to find such sensitive information? He simply asked for it.

Like most states, Georgia has an open-records law, or "sunshine law," which allows anyone to receive copies of records created by public employees, including faculty members at public universities. Though many states prevent the disclosure of personnel records, Georgia is not among them."

http://chronicle.com/prm/weekly/v51/i45/45a02001.htm

July 15, 2005 reply from David Fordham, James Madison University [fordhadr@JMU.EDU]

A big thank you to Amy for providing the seed for this discussion, and thanks to Bob, Jagdish, Pat, Paul, Len, Charlie, Denise, and anyone else I've overlooked for all your contributions. While others may patiently "put up with" these lengthy exchanges, I find them a very refreshing mental sabbatical. I need to thank Barry for facilitating these communications.

And lest I be misunderstood, I must note that I still live in the good ol' U.S.A.

I agree that democracy, albeit the most inefficient form of government there is, still beats the alternatives in most other respects.

I only wish the court system had some additional checks and balances, and that our population had the courage to tackle the problems with it to make it even better in serving the public. Several of the founding fathers, including Madison and Adams (Sam) expressed the fear that the judiciary was the Achilles Heel of the new government, because of the lack of checks and balances. They expressed the fear that a judiciary could run amuck because of its lack of accountability to the people.

While having indepedence from the public has some advantages, it also prevents the system from being answerable to that public. As has been said about many things, "its strength is its biggest weakness".

And I repeat that I am basing my opinions on personal experience, not media hype. I fully recognize the bias of the media reports, for the media is in the business of selling their product, not providing a public service as some naive citizens might be misled into believing.

While I openly criticize the activities of big banks, credit card companies, insurance conglomerates, telecommunications giants, the media, lawyers, (and willingly let Bob criticize corporate governors) for acting counter to the best interest of the public, we must remember that they are all in it for the money. Misguided and counterproductive as some of their efforts may be, the bottom line is they are all trying to make money.

The government, however, I believe should be serving the people rather than their own pecuniary interests. This is why I find the judiciary's control by the legal profession so disappointing, and more disappointing is the lack of outrage by the public over this, especially when the public is so quick to express outrage at malfeasance by corporate governors, accountants, and the others when THEY get caught acting counter to the public good.

But as Will Rogers is reported to have said, "Individuals are smart, it is the public that's crazy."

Again, I've enjoyed the posts.

And for Jagdish, I agree with most of your most recent post, but I will again admit that I have been soured by the abuses engendered by "human rights" to the point where I don't support them as passionately as you do. Human rights has become another name for selfishness in those parts of the world where "satisfactory" human rights have been operative for more than a few years. By 'satisfactory', I mean where sufficient human rights have been in place to facilitate an operative and enjoyable society (such as can be found in much of western Europe, North America, Japan, Australia, and other "stereotypical civilized" areas, no insult intended to other locales). Sure, some human rights improvement can always take place, but by and large, George B. Shaw's comment applies, "how ironic that a statue representing liberty should be given ... to the Americans, who are suffering from too much of it."

Those places which do not enjoy a working, progressing, and most important, *enjoyable* society are the ones who need reminding of human rights (and sometimes some military reminding is required, as recent world events demonstrate).

But in the already-societized areas, once a threshhold is reached, continued emphasis on human rights tends to escalate into an entitlement mentality which then evolves into socialism (witness some European countries plight as described by Bob) ... or else the tendency is to abuse the rights to the point of rewarding individual selfishness above the good of the society at large.

I currently live in a society which has enjoyed passable human rights for a while (I agree more with Bill Cosby's assessment than Al Sharpton's) and see the abuses making my (and lots of others') life miserable, rewarding a small number of individuals to the detriment of a large number of individuals. And now I am speaking out about the abuses. In my vocalizations, it sounds as if I'm anti-human rights, when in reality, I'm against carrying the rights to the point where they begin affecting society detrimentally (adding more cost than they add benefit at the macro level -- examples are HIPPA, ADA, political correctness, etc.)

Being an accountant by experience, I tend to weigh benefits against cost, and have little use for low-benefit high-cost efforts. Over the last decade or two, I've watched as more and more high-cost, low-benefit changes are mandated in the name of "human rights", and the cost to society far outweighs the benefits to society -- the benefit accruing to the tiny minority who enjoyed the "rights" being far outweighed by the high cost to all the others.

It is this high-cost low-benefit at the macro level which leads me to have no desire to see the Universal Declaration applied any further to the society in which I currently reside.

David Fordham


Forwarded by Ed Scribner

Financially Sophisticated Board Members Aren't Necessarily Good for the Company
After boards of directors were blamed by many for not nipping the Enron, WorldCom and other corporate scandals in the bud, new rules were set up requiring that at least one member of a board's audit committee be financially sophisticated. "The idea was that somehow this would make the board better able to monitor and detect potential fraud," says Wharton finance professor Geoffrey Tate. Yet in a new research paper titled, "The Impact of Boards with Financial Expertise on Corporate Policies," Tate and two co-authors study the role of company directors who are commercial or investment bankers and conclude that "financial experts on corporate boards do not necessarily improve shareholder value."
http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/1243.cfm

 


Message from Bea Caraway on July 13, 2005
Journey of Mankind:  The Peopling of the World

Here it is, the website on human migration.

http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/journey/ 


Another possible "journey" for mankind
If stem cells ever show promise in treating diseases of the human brain, any potential therapy would need to be tested in animals. But putting human brain stem cells into monkeys or apes could raise awkward ethical dilemmas, like the possibility of generating a humanlike mind in a chimpanzee's body.
Nicholas Wade, "Ethicists Offer Advice for Testing Human Brain Cells in Primates," The New York Times, July 17, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/15/science/15stem.html

An end to wishful thinking
Those who believe that taking cholesterol-lowering drugs will reduce their risk for Alzheimer's disease may want to reconsider. A large study published yesterday in Archives of Neurology found no proof that the drugs affected the risk of developing dementia from any cause - Alzheimer's, vascular dementia or the two combined.
Nicholas Bakalar, "Cholesterol Drugs Show No Effect on Dementia Risk," The New York Times, July  12, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/12/health/12stat.html


Undercover Freshman
So Nathan, an anthropologist who has previously devoted her scholarship to research on a village in a developing country, decided to apply her discipline on her own campus, a public university. Nathan applied as a freshman (submitting only her high school transcript to show her academic credentials), moved into a dorm, enrolled in courses, shared beers and gossip with her fellow students, and took careful notes throughout. The result is My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student, which is about to be released by Cornell University Press. Nathan is a pseudonym and she does not identify her university or any students by name because she doesn’t want to violate the privacy of those who confided in her. In the book, and in an interview, Nathan discussed the unusual ethical issues she faced, the joys and hazards of dorm life and what she learned about higher education by spending a year on the other side of the power divide.
Scott Jaschik, "Undercover Freshman," Inside Higher Ed, July 13, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/07/13/frosh
Jensen Comment:  Any professor contemplating similar methodology should first clear the research with the university's Committee on Research of Human Subjects or its equivalent.  College councilors replied by stating the are no new findings in this study.


Historians Beware:  Keeper of Expired Web Pages Is Sued Because Archive Was Used in Another Suit
In preparing the case, representatives of Earley Follmer used the Wayback Machine to turn up old Web pages - some dating to 1999 - originally posted by the plaintiff, Healthcare Advocates of Philadelphia. Last week Healthcare Advocates sued both the Harding Earley firm and the Internet Archive, saying the access to its old Web pages, stored in the Internet Archive's database, was unauthorized and illegal.
Tom Zeller, "Keeper of Expired Web Pages Is Sued Because Archive Was Used in Another Suit," The New York Times, July 13, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/13/technology/13suit.html?

July 13, 2005 message from Jim Borden

Bob,

I believe you have referenced the Internet Archive/WayBack Machine before, I find it to be both a useful and fun web site. For example, if you go to
http://web.archive.org/web/19961017235908/ http://www2.yahoo.com/  ,you can see what Yahoo's home page looked like almost nine years ago. Or, you can even find your web site from about 8-9 years ago at http://web.archive.org/web/19980122041526/www.trinity.edu/~rjensen/

Now it looks like the WayBack Machine could be facing some problems.

Best regards,

Jim


Recollections of AT&T as a monopoly:  Proposal to break the Big Four Bads into a set of Baby Bads
Yet the potential consequences of not prosecuting the firm (KPMG)  are also unpalatable. Even if individual former partners are indicted, a decision not to pursue the firm might be interpreted as a declaration of immunity. It could send a signal to the big four that it is worth taking the sort of risks that KPMG seems to have taken in the late 1990s when it decided to market the tax avoidance schemes now at issue. One solution would be to break the big four into the slightly smaller six, seven or eight. Yet such a course would reverse a decade of consolidation that was generally beneficial for global clients. It would also be almost impossible to achieve, given the big four's network structure.
Denny Beresford forwarded this link at
http://news.ft.com/cms/s/917a6332-f33a-11d9-843f-00000e2511c8,ft_acl=,s01=2.html

July 14, 2005 reply from Jagdish gangolly@infotoc.com

Bob,

Fascinating!

Healthcare seems to want to eat the cake and have it too.

Law of property seems to be a fairly well understood area when the property is physical. When it is not, specially in the cyberworld case, it seems to be floundering. For many years I have wrestled with simple questions that defy answers. Who owns the financial statements? who "owns" the assertions therein? If the companies producing them own both or either, what rights do they have?... Probably good topics for research in my retirement. Such research would probably be considered navel-gazing by most standards-consumptive accounting departments.

While one can think of metaphors for information as property, the law has not been very responsive to the needs of society (as is to be expected, legislatures have been too special-interest ridden in passing draconian laws relating to copyrights, patents, and such other "intellectual" property). I do not expect the situation to improve untill the present generally pencil-and-legal-size-paper wielding bars and benches are slowly replaced by IT savvy folks (remember the judge in the Microsoft anti-trust case who considered, on demonstration that IE icon can be dropped from the screen, that IE can be easily dropped from the MS Windows?).

Legal concepts such as prescriptive easements (aka squatters' rights minus title) long entrenched in law of property and not seen in case of cyber property, as far as I know.

Jagdish


National Geographic News http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/


Home Owners Increasingly Betting on Interest-Only Loans
Scott Horsley, NPR, July 12, 2005 --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4749061
Hopefully many potential borrowers will heed Scott Horsley's warnings and think twice about such loans.

Also see http://www.mtgprofessor.com/A - Interest Only/misperceptions_about_interest-only_loans.htm

Bob Jensen's helpers for investors are at


Fair value accounting politics in the revised IAS 39

From Paul Pacter's IAS Plus on July 13, 2005 --- http://www.iasplus.com/index.htm

 
The European Commission has published Frequently Asked Questions – IAS 39 Fair Value Option (FVO) (PDF 94k), providing the Commission's views on the following questions:
  • Why did the Commission carve out the full fair value option in the original IAS 39 standard?
  • Do prudential supervisors support IAS 39 FVO as published by the IASB?
  • When will the Commission to adopt the amended standard for the IAS 39 FVO?
  • Will companies be able to apply the amended standard for their 2005 financial statements?
  • Does the amended standard for IAS 39 FVO meet the EU endorsement criteria?
  • What about the relationship between the fair valuation of own liabilities under the amended IAS 39 FVO standard and under Article 42(a) of the Fourth Company Law Directive?
  • Will the Commission now propose amending Article 42(a) of the Fourth Company Directive?
  • What about the remaining IAS 39 carve-out relating to certain hedge accounting provisions?

Bob Jensen's threads and tutorials on FAS 133 and IAS 39 are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/caseans/000index.htm

 


Progress and Problems for Female Historians
By many measures, history is a discipline in which women have made notable progress in the last generation.In 1979, women made up only 16 percent of new history Ph.D.’s, and in the 20 years that followed, that percentage rose to 40. But a new American Historical Association report notes the many ways in which progress has been limited. The report was prepared by Elizabeth Lunbeck, a Princeton historian, and mixes a review of data with surveys of women in the field.Both the data and the survey point to lingering problems. For instance, statistics show that by 1988, 39 percent of assistant professors of history were women. But by 1999, only 18 percent of full professors of history were women.
Scott Jaschik, "Progress and Problems for Female Historians," Inside Higher Ed, July 14, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/07/14/women

Blackbaud developed The Financial Edge(tm)
Financial accounting software does not generally work well for nonprofit fund-accounting organizations. That's why Blackbaud developed The Financial Edge(tm) - the most flexible and adaptive financial management solution available, made to fit the unique needs of nonprofit CFOs.
http://www.as411.com/DomBanAd.nsf/WebAdClick_2?OpenAgent&ad=BLACKBAUD-LNK1&adloc=WNLNK

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting software are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#AccountingSoftware


Update on Nanotechnology
Skeptics call nanotech a great collection of small markets with no killer app. That's probably true in the short term, but even three years out, some of the things we'll see will be monumentally world changing. Is the federal National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) helping things along? One of the industry's ongoing problems is the gap between basic and applied research. People call it "the valley of death"--too big or long-range for the VCs to handle, too applied for academics. NNI should be a helpful bridge.
Spencer Reice, "Can Small Be Big Again?" MIT's Technology Review, August 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/08/issue/forward_small.asp?trk=nl

Bob Jensen's threads on nanotechnology and ubiquitous computing are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ubiquit.htm


New models upon the developing nations
Now comes the real test: can Bhutan and the king's enlightened framework withstand the messy business of democracy and development, and the problems that tend to follow? "With China, India, and Nepal sitting on its borders," says Stephen Cohen, a senior fellow at the Washington, DC, policy think tank the Brookings Institution who specializes in south-Asia security matters, "and donor nations in the West constantly pushing new models upon the developing nations they fund, anything can happen." But if Bhutan can prove that democracy, social equality, sustainable development, environmental protection, and limited technology are compatible with Buddhism and 21st-century modernization, it will be an interesting example for other poor nations who want modern technology and economies--but who want them on their own terms.
Stephan Herrera, "Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise?" MIT's Technology Review, August 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/08/issue/feature_wise.asp?trk=nl


Online Recreation Versus Addiction
The Web largely remains a place to have fun and enjoy personal pursuits. The Pew Internet and American Life Project estimates that 70 million U.S. adults are online on a given day. Activities formerly done offline, such as checking the news and weather, are now done online by nearly twice as many people as in 2000. The market for paid content continues to expand, with sites collecting $1.8 billion in revenue in 2004. Dating sites account for more revenue than any other type of site. Entertainment sites, such as music- and movie-downloading destinations, rank second despite 90 percent revenue growth in 2004. But these market figures exclude two significant sources of online revenue: pornography and gambling sites. While the nature of the sites' content makes accurate estimates of their traffic and revenues difficult, Nielsen/NetRatings monitored site visits among a panel of surfers and found that during April alone, 24 percent visited porn sites and 18 percent visited gambling sites. It's no wonder, then, that there are an estimated two million pornographic sites on the Web today and that the online gambling market is expected to hit $24 billion by 2010.
Maryann Jones Thompson, "Online Recreation," MIT's Technology Review, August 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/08/issue/datamine.asp?trk=nl  


Landmark Exposure Draft containing joint proposals to improve and align accounting for business combinations

"IASB and FASB Publish First Major Exposure Draft Standard," AccountingWeb, July 11, 2005 --- http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=101084

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), based in London, and the US Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) have announced publication of an Exposure Draft containing joint proposals to improve and align accounting for business combinations. The proposed standard would replace IASB’s International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 3, Business Combinations and the FASB’s Statement 141, Business Combinations.

Sir David Tweedie, IASB Chairman and Bob Herz, FASB Chairman, emphasized the value of a single standard to users and preparers of financial statements of companies around the world as it improves comparability of financial information. "Development of a single standard demonstrates the ability of the IASB and the FASB to work together,” Tweedie continued.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory.htm


Enron Former Executive Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy
The guilty plea in Houston federal court yesterday by Christopher Calger, a 39-year-old former vice president in Enron's North American unit, involved a 2000 transaction known as Coyote Springs II in which the company sold some energy assets, including a turbine, to another company. In his guilty plea, Mr. Calger said that he and "others engaged in a scheme to recognize earnings prematurely and improperly" with the help of a private partnership, known as LJM2 that was run and partly owned by Enron's then-chief financial officer, Andrew Fastow. To avoid problems with Enron's outside auditors, company officials were "improperly hiding LJM2's participation in this transaction," according to Mr. Calger's plea.
John Emshjwiller, "Enron Former Executive Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy," The Wall Street Journal, July 15, 2005; Page B2 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112139210586786521,00.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace


The U.S. Injustice System:  Now for years of appeals
Former WorldCom Chief Executive Bernard Ebbers was handed a 25-year prison term Wednesday for directing the biggest accounting fraud in corporate history, leaving thousands of investors empty-handed. CNBC and other news organizations originally reported the sentence as between 30 years and life in prison. However, Ebbers’ attorneys were allowed to speak before the final sentence was handed down and the judge ultimately decided to render a final, 25-year verdict.
"Ebbers sentenced to 25 years in prison Ex-WorldCom CEO guilty of directing biggest accounting fraud," MSNBC, July 13, 2005 --- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8474930/

Fox News (FNC) haters aren't going to like the scorecard
The Scoreboard: Monday, July 11 Total viewers: Total day: FNC: 1,037,000 / CNN: 450,000 / HLN: 209,000 / MSNBC: 194,000 / CNBC: 144,000 Primetime: FNC: 2,355,000 / CNN: 763,000 / HLN: 344,000 / MSNBC: 323,000 / CNBC: 145,000 25-54 demographic: Total day: FNC: 265,000 / CNN: 141,000 / HLN: 81,000 / MSNBC: 72,000 / CNBC: 49,000 Primetime: FNC: 506,000 / CNN: 192,000 / HLN: 101,000 / MSNBC: 124,000 / CNBC: 82,000 The hourlies: 7pm: Shep: 1,494,000 / Cooper: 521,000 / Showbiz: 88,000 / Hardball: 278,000 8pm: O'Reilly: 2,666,000 / Zahn: 565,000 / Grace: 458,000 / Countdown: 299,000 / CNBC: 191,000...
Cable News Ratings Monday July 11th (1 Foxnews = 3.1 CNN = 7.3 MSNBC Media Bistro ^ | 7/13/05 | Brian Stelter
--- http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1441978/posts




Forwarded by Dick Haar

LETTERS DEAR ABBY ADMITTED SHE WAS AT A LOSS TO ANSWER:

Dear Abby, A couple of women moved in across the hall from me. One is a middle-aged gym teacher and the other is a social worker in her mid twenties. These two women go everywhere together and I've never seen a man go into or leave their apartment. Do you think they could be Lebanese?

Dear Abby, What can I do about all the Sex, Nudity, Fowl Language and Violence On My VCR?

Dear Abby, I have a man I can't trust. He cheats so much, I'm not even sure the baby I'm carrying is his.

Dear Abby, I am a twenty-three year old liberated woman who has been on the pill for two years. It's getting expensive and I think my boy friend should share half the cost, but I don't know him well enough to discuss money with him.

Dear Abby, I've suspected that my husband has been fooling around, and when confronted with the evidence, he denied everything and said it would never happen again.

Dear Abby, Our son writes that he is taking Judo. Why would a boy who was raised in a good Christian home turn against his own?

Dear Abby, I joined the Navy to see the world. I seen it. Now how do I get out?

Dear Abby, My forty year old son has been paying a psychiatrist $50.00 an hour every week for two and a half years. He must be crazy.

Dear Abby, I was married to Bill for three months and I didn't know he drank until one night he came home sober.

Dear Abby, My mother is mean and short tempered. I think she is going through mental pause.

Dear Abby, You told some woman whose husband had lost all interest in sex to send him to a doctor. Well, my husband lost all interest in sex and he is a doctor. Now what do I do?

 


Lance Armstrong is bicycling in France while leaving his former wife at recycling in the U.S.




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