Tidbits on September 26, 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/

25 Hottest Urban Legends (hoaxes) --- http://www.snopes.com/info/top25uls.asp 


Music:

In the past I've provided links to various types of music available free on the Web. 
This weekend I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm

Inspirational and Patriotic Music --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm#Inspirational
Romantic Music --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm#Romantic
Country and Western --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm#Country

1950s-60s Juke Box Tunes --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm#JukeBox
Humor Music --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm#Humor

Banjo, Fiddle, Bluegrass, and American Folk Music --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm#AmericanFolk
Foreign Folk Music and Other Music From Foreign Lands --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm#AmericanFolk

Jazz and Blues --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm#Classical
Classical Music Christmas and Other Seasonal Music --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm#Holiday

Imagine All the People --- http://www.jessiesweb.com/imagine.htm
If the sound does not commence after 30 seconds, scroll to the bottom of the page and turn it on.

Bruce Cockburn's What is the Soul of a Man? --- http://cockburnproject.net/flash.html
If the sound does not commence after 30 seconds, scroll to the bottom of the page and turn it on.

NPR Live Concert Series 'Higher Ground,' a Show for Hurricane Relief ---
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4837922
There is a lot of recorded music available here.

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

Colleges pay a flat sum for unlimited online music
Those colleges enroll more than 670,000 students — and many other institutions are expected to join the list soon. The idea of offering these deals, pioneered at Pennsylvania State University, is to pay a flat sum for unlimited online music. The motivation is simple: Colleges are tired of being caught in the middle as the music industry tries to crack down on students who engage in illegal file sharing, frequently involving college networks. The report on how colleges are responding was prepared by the Joint Committee of the Higher Education and Entertainment Communities, which is led by Graham Spanier, president of Penn State, and Cary Sherman, president of the Recording Industry Association of America.
Scott Jaschik, "The Spread of Legal Online Music," Inside Higher Ed, September 22, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/09/22/filesharing

 

Photographs

World Peace of the Year Photo Contests ---
http://www.worldpressphoto.nl/index.php?option=com_photogallery&task=blogsection&id=15&Itemid=115&ba

Pictures of China High Rise Buildings (This is how I remember it in Taiwan and Hong Kong) --- http://www.photomichaelwolf.com/hongkongarchitecture/

 




Did you know that your recorded television shows may self destruct: 
You'll never be able to show them to your grandchildren 
But then why would you ever want to watch them your self or with anybody else?

From The Washington Post on September 23, 2005
TiVo's latest software upgrade gives broadcasters the ability to erase recorded material after a certain date. What shows recently sparked online complaints after users discovered they were marked for deletion?

A. "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost"
B. "King of the Hill" and "The Simpsons"
C. "Joey" and "ER"
D. "Reba" and "Smallville"


Jensen Comment:  If you really want to record it and keep it, I think you should just put the new-style TV camcorders in front of the TV on a timer.

Breakthrough in Camcorder Technology
P.S. David Pogue is one of the leading experts in technology

"Aha! Video Straight to a Computer," by David Pogue, The New York Times, September 22, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/22/technology/circuits/22pogue.html

EVERY now and then, humanity wakes up, looks at itself in the mirror and realizes that it's been wasting a lot of effort doing things the old way just for the sake of tradition. From the caveman who first put a bunch of rolling logs under something heavy, to the genius who packed four times more orange juice onto a truck by condensing it first, history is filled with "Aha!" moments that propel society forward.

. . .

The result of this brainstorm was the new Everio G series: tiny, lightweight, reasonably priced camcorders that contain iPod-type miniature hard drives. There are four models in all, ranging from the GZ-MG20 to the GZ-MG50. The differences are the prices ($750 to $800 online), light sensitivity, hard drive capacity (20 or 30 gigabytes), zoom lens power (15X or 25X), and the resolution of the low-quality still photos (0.3 megapixel or 1.3). Not one of them uses a tape or DVD.

The hard drive holds five or seven hours of video at top quality - easily a vacation's worth. The 2.5-inch screen displays each shot as a thumbnail image (or as an entry in a chronological list), so you can jump directly to anything filmed without having to rewind or fast-forward. You can assemble up to 99 video playlists on this screen, too (selected scenes that play back in a certain order). And who among us hasn't, at one point or another, accidentally recorded over something important on a videotape? (Oh, sorry - touchy subject.) On a hard-drive camcorder, that is impossible.

UNLIKE JVC's Everio MC200 camcorders, which feature lower-capacity, removable hard drive cards, the Everio G's drive is permanent and built in. (It's mounted on gel supports for shock resistance, and uses a laptop-style motion sensor to protect the drive from sudden jolts.) Once it fills up, that's it; the camcorder is out of commission until some hard drive space is emptied.

You can do that by deleting some scenes, using the thumbnail table of contents view. You can play the video back on a TV (both RCA-type and S-video jacks are built right into the camera), while recording it with a VCR or set-top DVD recorder, then delete the originals.

But you're really supposed to transfer the video directly to a computer, edit it, and maybe burn it to a DVD. When you get right down to it, this camcorder doesn't make much sense for people who don't ordinarily edit their own video on a computer

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's helpers in video technology are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HelpersVideos.htm



New Services Give You Reliable Ways to Keep All You Files Updated

September 23, 2005 message from Amy Dunbar [Amy.Dunbar@BUSINESS.UCONN.EDU]

On September 1, Mossberg’s Personal Technology column, “New Services Give You Reliable Ways to Keep All You Files Updated,” talked about three products. Two of them looked promising to me.

Has anyone used either BeInSync http://www.beinsync.com/index.php?rfrid=aw_dp_beinsync 

or FolderShare?

http://www.foldershare.com 

Either service looks much easier than using HandyBackup software to synchronize all my school-computer files to an Iogear Ion drive and resynchronizing when I get home to home computer.

Any comments?

Amy Dunbar
University of Connecticut School of Business Accounting Department
2100 Hillside Road, Unit 1041 Storrs, CT 06269-1041

September 24, 2005 reply from Scott Bonacker [lister@BONACKERS.COM]

I've been using PowerSync from linkpro.com for several years to maintain a synchronised backup on an external USB hard drive. The only compromise I've had to make is because of the way that Windows handles daylight savings time. I turned off the automatic change feature in windows, and have to check the system clock periodically to make sure it doesn't try to drop/add an hour. Otherwise I am forced to totally renew all backup files twice a year when the time changes.

It has been a lifesaver several times. All of the dynamic data files are backed up regularly, and all of the information I need to restore the applications is maintained on a daily basis.

Scott Bonacker

September 25, 2005 reply from Mike Groomer [mikegroomer@INSIGHTBB.COM]

Amy,

I use a portable 2.5" USB 2.0 HD -- 40GB. I have had this physical drive in three different containers. This HD contains all file types.
Essentially, I port the HD between the office and home and sometimes take it on the road with me. The current container is both USB and Firewire capable. I back up this HD to the desktop at home and my laptop using a program called ViceVersa. Prior to going on a road trip, I will back the HD to the laptop and reverse the process when I get home. I find this approach works for me and have been doing this for the last five years.
Essentially all my files are in one place (the portable HD) and for the most part don't have to worry about version control.

Mike

Jensen Comment:
And if you want to see Amy's new grandchild go to
http://www.business.uconn.edu/users/adunbar/family_site/html/maddy-mae2.htm


Pepper Pad:  First Look: Wireless Internet Media Player
My dissatisfaction started soon after I powered up the Pepper Pad. From a cold boot, this "instant-on" device takes nearly 2 minutes to get up and running. You can then put the unit in a sleep mode for faster subsequent startups, but the battery continues to drain. And I was surprised by the battery's short life span: During my informal tests, the unit lasted less than 2 hours on a full charge. The Pepper Pad's SVGA (800-by-600 resolution) LCD screen provides a bright but just less-than-crisp display of text, photos, and videos. MP3 music sounded decent from the front-mounted stereo speakers. Video playback was even, and videos saved to the hard drive played smoothly, without any fluttering. Pepper's preloaded software includes a Mozilla-based browser, a game pack, an Internet radio player, an MP3 music player, and AOL instant messaging. You can buy Pepper-specific apps from the company's online store (but you cannot run other Linux or Windows apps Considering that there are more powerful (and more versatile) notebook computers available for the same or a lower price, I can't recommend this first iteration of the Pepper Pad. 
Michael Lasky, "First Look: Wireless Internet Media Player--Too Little, Too Late, The Washington Post, September 23, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/PepperPad


Warnings when you are checking to see if all or parts of a student's paper are plagiarized: 
It is best to first get implied consent from students to store their papers on your computer

September 22, 2005 message from Dr. Jagdish Pathak [jagdish@UWINDSOR.CA]

My University has a licence to use this plagiarism check software. I have made use of this on regular basis within the policy laid down in course outline beforehand. We also have developed an academic integrity committee at University level with student reps in membership. I represent Business School and we have made AI policy as an integral part of senate bye-laws for future legal repercussions. My experience of catching cases of plagiarism has been extremely successful. However, you will have to seek 'informed consent' of the students concerned that work submitted by them may be placed for turnitin check and if any one refuses to do so will have to be provided some other mean of assessment or else. Our policy is made after reviewing many policies in Canadian and US Schools and the related case laws.

It will be interesting to place some of the research papers received for review to such test for your own satisfaction as turnitin database has grown manyfold by now.

It is OK if you do not allow this software (Turnitin) to store your student paper in database for ethical purposes BUT this practice also restricts you in many ways. For example, if this paper is resubmitted by some other student after some time lag, you may assess it unknowingly for a different student and turnitin will once again give you same result what it gave in case of first time submission! (which'll be a real unethical case in fact.) Secondly, some topics of papers may fit well with more than two courses like 'ethical practices' fit well in accounting, management, marketing and even MIS area. If a paper on this topic is submitted in one term to accounting area, next term to management area, and further next term to marketing area by the same student who knows full well that his/her paper is not in turnitin database. What is the remedy left to a faculty in such instance?

Whereas, by permitting your paper in database, you or the author of the paper gets ethical advantages. Turnitin NEVER permits any one to see your paper without explicit permission from you. Turnitin will simply tell that while issuing report that certain percentages are copied from such and such paper submitted to such and such school. If instructor desires to know the contents of that turnitin cited paper, he/she will have to send a mail through turnitin to the original author of paper and who may or may not permit you to look at the contents of the paper.

I have had a case where a student in EDP Auditing distance course submitted a case study which was found to have been copied verbatim (97%) from one MS dissertation of Mid-West technical university of US. I wanted to double check the output of turnitin by looking at the contents of the dissertation, and therefore sent an e-mail through turnitin to the original author of dissertation who replied to me in next 15 minutes in affirmative and also wondered that her family has originally come from Windsor only, though some years back!

Jagdish Pathak, PhD Guest Editor- Managerial Auditing Journal (Special Issue) Associate Professor of Accounting & Systems Accounting & Finance Area Odette School of Business University of Windsor 401 Sunset Windsor, N9B 3P4, ON Canada

Voice: 519.253.3000 Ext3131 FAX: 519.973.7073 |
e-Mail: jagdish@uwindsor.ca 
Cyber Home: http://www.jagdishpathak.com

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


Unusual jigsaw puzzle forwarded by Barb Hessel

I love to send unusual sites and this is one.
Barb

Not your usual jigsaw puzzle! This is so neat!

http://www.brl.ntt.co.jp/people/hara/fly.swf 


Question
What may be a leading cause of the rise in obesity among teens?

Answer
Excess body fat in teens -- even those who aren't overweight -- seems to be linked to less-elastic blood vessels, a condition that can mean future cardiovascular disease, researchers say in a study. The findings underscore the dangers of the obesity epidemic, even in youngsters. An estimated 30% of schoolchildren are believed to be overweight. "The message about this is that it's yet another reason to be concerned about the rise in overweight and obesity among young people," said Peter Whincup, lead author of the study and professor of cardiovascular epidemiology at St. George's Hospital Medical School in London.
"Teens' Fat Linked to Blood Vessels," The Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2005; Page D3 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112734090049947854,00.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal 


Question
How can you really, really erase your hard drive?

Answer

"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Hard Drive," by Walter Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2005; Page B8 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112734821839648054,00.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace 

Q: I am giving my PC to my sister and I would like to completely erase my files from the hard drive. How can I do this?

A: What you need to do is wipe out the files in a way that is more thorough than merely deleting them in the standard manner. This process is often called "wiping" files, and makes the files impossible, or at least very difficult, to recover. It works by overwriting the portion of the hard disk formerly occupied by a file's data with nonsense characters.

You could format the disk, but that also would wipe out the operating system, which would require your sister to buy and install a new copy. So you need a program that wipes out only the folders and files you target. On an Apple Macintosh, this capability is built in. You just move the files to the trash and then select "Secure Empty Trash" instead of the usual "Empty Trash" command.

On Windows, you need add-on software. There are many programs that do this, but one that I have tested and can recommend is Window Washer, which is available at webroot.com for $30. You can find others by doing a Web search for "file wipe" or by doing a similar search at download.com.


How Informative are Analyst Recommendations and Insider Trades?
A new academic study fills that void - and concludes that when insiders and analysts directly disagree, the insiders are usually right. The study was written by three finance professors: James Hsieh of George Mason University and Lilian Ng and Qinghai Wang, both of the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. It has been circulating in academic circles over the past year; a copy is at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=687584 
Mark Hulbert, "The Analysts vs. the Insiders," The New York Times, September 25, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/25/business/yourmoney/25stra.html

"How Informative are Analyst Recommendations and Insider Trades?"
JIM HSIEH George Mason University
LILIAN K. NG University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee - School of Business Administration
QINGHAI WANG University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee - School of Business Administration
Link --- http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=687584

Abstract:
This study jointly evaluates the informativeness of insider trades and analyst recommendations. We show that the two activities often generate contradictory signals. Insiders in aggregate buy more shares when their firm's stock is unfavorably recommended or downgraded by analysts than when it is favorably recommended or upgraded. This result is robust to various controls such as varying degrees of analyst coverage, firm size, book-to-market ratios, and stock price momentum. We find that analyst recommendations affect insider trading decisions, but not vice versa. Our further analysis shows that insider trading is informative when signaling positive information, and analyst recommendations are informative when conveying negative information. The overall results imply that corporate insiders and financial analysts do not substitute each other's informational role in the financial market.


Ten Things You Didn't Know About the World Bank & Debt Issues --- http://snipurl.com/DebtRelief10Things

What are the 18 poorest nations that will have their World Bank debt dropped?
Finance ministers from around the world reached agreement on Saturday on a plan to wipe out as much as $55 billion in debt owed by impoverished countries. The deal still needs to win support from the major shareholders of the World Bank, which would forgive a large portion of the outstanding loans, but American and European officials said they were confident the plan would win approval on Sunday. The agreement, which will initially affect about 18 countries, came after two years of grinding debate between the United States, Japan, Britain and most of the wealthy nations in Europe.
Edmund L. Andrews, "Deal Is Reached to Drop Debt of 18 Poor Nations," The New York Times, September 25, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/25/politics/25imf.html


The Bank has been at the forefront of debt relief initiatives for years. It therefore welcomes the recent proposal by leaders of the eight richest industrialized countries, the G8, to cancel the debt of 18 of the poorest countries in the world. It is another positive step in providing the financing poor countries need if they are to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), an international set of development targets to be reached by the year 2015. The Bank has provided debt relief to low-income countries through the joint World Bank and IMF Debt Initiative for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC Initiative) which started in 1996. Two thirds of Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs, 28 countries) are receiving debt relief which will amount to US$56 billion over time. The World Bank’s contribution to the HIPC Initiative for the 28 countries approved so far is expected to be about US$14 billion over time.
World Bank Debt Relief --- http://snipurl.com/Sept2005DebtRelief


An ancient manuscript gives up its secrets
Last spring, researchers from a Baltimore museum traveled to Palo Alto with three pages of a 1,000-year-old goatskin manuscript in a sealed container the size of a cigar box. For five days in May, Uwe Bergmann, a physicist at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, and his team painstakingly X-rayed the fragile leaves of a palimpsest believed to include the oldest known writings of Archimedes.
"When Archimedes Met the Synchrotron X-rays help decipher an ancient manuscript," Stanford Magazine, September/October 2005 --- http://www.stanfordalumni.org/news/magazine/2005/sepoct/farm/news/manuscript.html


Question
What's the most booming business in the world?

Answer
"Dutch Court Fight Lays Bare Reality Of Kidnap Industry:  Mr. Erkel's Two-Year Ordeal Ended in Ransom Payment Despite the Usual Denials A Mysterious Intermediary," by Andrew Higgins and Alan Cullison, The Wall Street Journal,  September 22, 2005; Page A1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112735374607948223,00.html?mod=todays_us_page_one

From Iraq to Chechnya to China, the kidnap industry is booming. According to companies that offer ransom insurance and groups that track the problem, kidnapping generates hundreds of millions of dollars a year, enriching criminal gangs and helping fuel armed insurgencies. In almost all cases, for fear of encouraging the practice, governments and companies that pay ransoms deny cooperating with kidnap groups.

In Mr. Erkel's case, this script has unraveled. In an unusually public spat, the Dutch Foreign Ministry has gone to court in Geneva to try and force the Swiss branch of Médecins Sans Frontières, or MSF, to pay back the money it says was used to purchase Mr. Erkel's freedom -- plus 9.2% interest. Documents in that case, which was filed in June 2004, plus numerous interviews in Europe and Russia, lift the veil on the kinds of shadowy negotiations often held between kidnappers, intermediaries and victims' governments, employers and families.

European countries, in particular, often bend their no-ransom pledges, according to many people who work in this field. A string of French and Italian hostages were freed in Iraq earlier this year and few experts believe government denials that ransoms were paid. The U.S. government sticks to its stated policy of not paying. American companies and individuals, however, often cough up through intermediaries hired by insurance companies, says Greg Bangs, a specialist in kidnap and ransom policies for Chubb & Son, an insurance company.

The practice is buoyed by the tangled relationships in many parts of the world between kidnap gangs and the local law-enforcement agencies ostensibly charged with capturing them. In June, the Kremlin-backed president of Chechnya, Alu Alkhanov, told reporters that Russian forces were responsible for as much as 10% of the reported kidnappings in the region -- though he said the practice was legal because they were detaining suspected insurgents. Human-rights groups say families often pay Russian troops to secure the release of an arrested relative. The local police chief investigating the Erkel case says a portion of ransom payments often ends up in the pockets of security officials.

Continued in article

Sixty Minutes (CBS on 9/25/2005) ran a module where a kidnap victim had to live blindfolded in a basement room with up to nine other people for ten months.  All were blindfolded in an concrete room below ground that was only eleven feed long and eight feet wide.  It had no plumbing or fresh air.  He was eventually rescued.


Question
What is another booming business in the world?
I think I'm just blogging on the wrong topics!

Answer
Blog network pioneers keep their finances close to the chest, but salary information for scribes behind hit sites like Gizmodo, Fleshbot and Gawker is starting to trickle out. Time to quit your day job and blog for a living?

"Can Bloggers Strike It Rich?" by Adam L. Penenberg, Wired News, September 22, 2005 --- http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,68934,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_1

When it comes to the profit potential of blogs, Nick Denton, founder of Gawker Media, calls himself a skeptic.

It's a surprisingly pessimistic perspective coming from the Brit who has launched a network of 13 theme blogs -- including Fleshbot (porn), Gawker and Defamer (gossip), Gizmodo (gadgets) and Wonkette (politics). His most popular properties (Defamer, Gizmodo and Gawker) report between 4 million and 6 million visits per month and millions more pageviews, he and his top talent have been featured in articles in the ink-and-pulp press (Wired, The New York Times Magazine) and Denton rarely misses an opportunity to trumpet ads on his sites for blue-chip companies like Absolut, Audi, Sony, Nike, Viacom, Disney and Condé Nast.


What is a booming business on the Gulf Coast, albeit not for all companies?
Mr. Garrett's complaints are being echoed by a growing number of minority business owners across the Gulf Coast who say they're being shut out of the first wave of Katrina-related contracts. They blame longstanding ties between federal and state officials and white-owned companies, as well as Bush administration moves that eased affirmative-action rules for new contracts as long as a state of emergency exists. The critics say they are particularly concerned by provisions of the federal Katrina relief funds that temporarily waive a requirement that federal contractors provide written affirmative action plans and that double the size of the contracts that can be awarded without giving special opportunities to the economically disadvantaged.
Yochi J. Dreazen and Jeff D. Opdyke,
"Minorities Say Katrina Work Flows to Others," The Wall Street Journal,  September 23, 2005; Page B1 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112743429825649371,00.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace
Jensen Comment:  I have this feeling that the problem gets worse when Louisiana politicians and bureaucrats let contracts. 


Art detective exposes hidden images to fuel Da Vinci Code conspiracies
Amid the obsessive scholars and scheming prelates who inhabit Dan Brown's global blockbuster, The Da Vinci Code, there is a real person. Maurizio Seracini works in a high-ceilinged, colourfully frescoed palazzo just across the river from the Uffizi gallery in Florence. His premises are packed with machines that look as if they belong in a hospital or laboratory. Brown calls him an "art diagnostician", which is not a bad description for someone who probes paintings with state-of-the-art-technology, often to advise museums, dealers and collectors on their restoration.
John Hooper, "Art detective exposes hidden images to fuel Da Vinci Code conspiracies," Guardian, September 20, 2005 --- http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/news/story/0,11711,1573915,00.html


Why do I feel good about this Microsoft failure?
A study conducted earlier this year concluded that more consumers found MSN's search results to be less relevant to their queries following the switchover, say people familiar with the matter. Meantime, MSN executives say they have been surprised at how quickly Google has increased the average ad revenue it generates for each consumer search. Within the MSN unit, Microsoft is pushing hard to increase the relevance of the results it returns to users. And it is planning an ambitious marketing campaign to bolster the MSN brand against Google, which commands the leading share of search queries despite buying almost no advertising.
Kevin J. Delaney and Robert A Guth, "New Search Engine From Microsoft Gets Cool Welcome," The Wall Street Journal,  September 22, 2005; Page B1 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112735486532848253,00.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace

Keynote is not so keynoting
According to The Wall Street Journal, Keynote, at the request of Microsoft, withheld a consumer survey that would have shown the software maker's MSN search engine slipping. The study, according to the newspaper, found that based on its ability to find relevant results, MSN fell to No. 5 from No. 3.
Antone Gonsalves, "Search Engines Missing The High Road," InternetWeek Newsletter, September 23, 2005


New from Wharton: 
Around the World on $48 (or So): How High Can Discount Airlines Fly?

As two more major U.S. airlines, Delta and Northwest, file for bankruptcy protection, it's the discount carriers that appear to be winning the battle for America's skies. But it's not only in the U.S. that discounters are giving the more established carriers a run for their money. Discounters are taking off in Mexico, India, China, Europe and points in between. What kind of competition do these discounters face, from the majors and from each other? And what obstacles, especially in countries like China, are governments and regulators putting in their way?
"Around the World on $48 (or So): How High Can Discount Airlines Fly?" Knowledge@Wharton, September 22, 2005 --- http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/index.cfm?fa=viewArticle&id=1286


New from Wharton: 
A Month after Katrina: Lessons from Leadership Failures

Hurricane Katrina not only devastated the city of New Orleans and much of the Gulf Coast of the U.S., it initiated a bitter debate about the leadership -- or lack thereof -- exhibited by government officials before, during and after the storm. Called into question have been the actions of an array of leaders: President Bush, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and former Federal Emergency Management Agency director Michael Brown. To identify some of the leadership challenges raised by the New Orleans disaster, Knowledge@Wharton interviewed two Wharton faculty members and a former Wharton vice dean who is now dean of the business school at Arizona State University.
"A Month after Katrina: Lessons from Leadership Failures " Knowledge@Wharton, September 22, 2005 --- http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/index.cfm?fa=viewArticle&id=1289


New from Wharton: 
From Pro Footballer to Businessman: You're a Rookie All Over Again

Hall of Fame footballer Ronnie Lott is sitting in front of a classroom, lecturing a small group of fellow players about the importance of learning the playbook. But the playbook that he is discussing has nothing to do with running and tackling. Lott is counseling a group of current and former NFL players on making the transition from pro football to business. It's part of a year-long executive education program called "Entrepreneurial Management: Transitioning with Success," organized by the Wharton Sports Business Initiative and sponsored by the NFL and the NFL Players Association. Lott's talk is one of the follow-up sessions that are a key part of the program, which focuses on everything from financial analysis and entrepreneurship to real estate development and stock market investing.
"From Pro Footballer to Businessman: You're a Rookie All Over Again," Knowledge@Wharton, September 22, 2005 --- http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/index.cfm?fa=viewArticle&id=1290


SmartPros has some good summaries of recent top selling books (longer reviews are available for a fee)

Here are three summaries on some of this year's bestsellers:
 
  The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century
  Why Some Companies Emerge Stronger and Better From a Crisis
  The New Workforce: Five Sweeping Trends That Will Shape Your Company's Future

From the Scout Report on September 23, 2005

The Kaiser Family Foundation: Medicare and Medicaid at 40 [Real Player, pdf] http://www.kff.org/medicaid/40years.cfm 

The Medicare and Medicaid health programs are two of the most influential government policies. Signed into law forty years ago, they have continued to provide medical protection to a wide range of people in American society. To celebrate and document the achievements of this program, the Kaiser Family Foundation has created this site, which contains a number of helpful materials, including a retrospective video, a timeline of key developments in the history of Medicare and Medicaid, and some key statistics on the program. The site also provides access to a number of crucial articles from the journal Health Affairs. Some of these pieces include “Medicare, Medicaid, And Health Care Quality” by William L. Roper and “What Does It Take To Run Medicare and Medicaid?” by Nancy-Ann DeParle.


Trust for America’s Health [pdf] http://healthyamericans.org/ 

With a genuine and informed concern for the American populace, the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that is “dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority.” By assembling a team of topical experts and policy analysts, they have been able to offer broad appraisals of the various public health issues (and potential crises) that are affecting the country. Their website provides the web-browsing public ample access to the wide range of material they have generated through their work. The “Current Reports” area on the homepage contains such timely reports as “How Obesity Policies are Failing in America 2005” and “Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities:The Search for Causes and Cures”. Another very helpful feature is the “Your State’s Health” section. Here, visitors can click on any state they might be interested in and receive some brief statistics on such areas as the percentage of adults with asthma or the percentage of obese adults. Additionally, visitors can learn about each state’s cancer tracking mechanisms and bioterrorism preparedness.


Informed Public Perceptions of Nanotechnology and Trust in Government [pdf] http://www.wilsoncenter.org/news/docs/macoubriereport.pdf 

Public perception and understanding of science and technology can be a difficult and daunting subject. This latest report from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, authored by Dr. Jane Macoubrie, explores public attitudes toward the growing field of nanotechnology. In its 31- pages, the report reveals that the public is interested in the potential advances afforded by this technology, which exploits the unique behavior of materials and devices when engineered at a scale of roughly between one and one hundred nanometers. The report also shows that people are concerned about the general lack of consumer awareness of the field and the potential lack of government oversight of this rapidly emerging technology. As David Rejeski, the director of the Project on Emerging Technologies commented recently, “The kinds of safety measures and disclosure the public wants make sense in terms of both long-term corporate strategy and good public policy”.


A Portrait of the Visual Arts: Meeting the Challenges Of A New Era [pdf] http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2005/RAND_MG290.pdf 

The world of the visual arts is, at times, a chaotic one. There are a myriad of different institutions attempting to garner the attention of experts in the field, the general public, and various philanthropic organizations. It can be a complex landscape, but this latest report from the RAND organization goes a long way to document the many challenges that the visual arts community faces. While some pundits have described a largely positive portrait of the visual arts, this 152-page report released in August 2005, offers a bit of a more critical perspective on the current situation. Among its many findings, the report notes that the growth in overall museum attendance in recent years is primarily a product of population growth and higher education levels, rather than a result of museums' attempts to broaden the diversity of their audience. The report also suggests that the majority of the art museums around the country will need to ask a number of key questions, including what their primary goal is and how will they measure their success.

 


White collar crime punishments are a joke even if whistle blowing does make them less funny
The main whistle-blower in the accounting fraud at HealthSouth Corp. received the longest sentence so far in the case, while another former executive received probation. U.S. District Judge Robert Propst sentenced former Chief Financial Officer Weston Smith, 45 years old, to 27 months in prison, one year of probation and ordered him to pay $1.5 million in forfeited assets. He pleaded guilty in March 2003 to conspiracy, fraud and violating the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate-reporting law. Assistant U.S. Attorney James Ingram, who asked the judge for a five-year sentence, said Mr. Smith was the first person to reveal a $2.7 billion fraud at the Birmingham, Ala., rehabilitation and medical-services chain and would deserve an even longer sentence had he not come forward when he did.
"HealthSouth Ex-Finance Chief Is Given 27-Month Prison Term," The Wall Street Journal, September 23, 2005; Page C3 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112741852577848939,00.html?mod=todays_us_money_and_investing

Bob Jensen's threads on HealthSouth and Ernst & Young are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud001.htm#Ernst

It pays to be an accounting cheat because you don't have to return your bonus that you got by cheating
Hundreds of companies have restated earnings in recent years - 414 in 2004 alone, according to a recent study by the Huron Consulting Group. And in many cases, the revisions came in the wake of discoveries of questionable accounting or other possible wrongdoing that meant the numbers leading to bonuses were inaccurate. But a review of restatements by large corporations shows that companies very, very rarely - as in almost never - get that money back. The list of restatements was compiled for Sunday Business by Glass Lewis & Company, a research firm based in San Francisco.
Jonathan D. Glater, "Sorry, I'm Keeping the Bonus Anyway," The New York Times, March 13, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/13/business/yourmoney/13restate.html


This is absolutely unfair!  If a CEO loots his/her company, the company pays insurance for all legal costs of the CEO even if he's convicted of looting the company that pays the insurance premiums.
A company that insured Tyco International Ltd. executives must pay legal bills for former Chief Executive L. Dennis Kozlowski, who is on trial on corporate-looting charges, an appeals court said. In a 5-0 ruling, the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division left open the possibility that Federal Insurance Co., a Chubb Corp. subsidiary, could later recover some of the costs from Mr. Kozlowski. A lower court judge had ruled that Federal Insurance, which provided liability coverage to Tyco, was required to pay Mr. Kozlowski's legal bills . . . Mr. Kozlowski and Mark H. Swartz, Tyco's former chief financial officer, are accused of stealing $170 million from the conglomerate by hiding unauthorized pay and bonuses and by abusing loan programs. They also are accused of making $430 million by inflating the value of Tyco stock by lying about the company's finances. Their retrial in Manhattan's State Supreme Court on charges of grand larceny, falsifying business records and violating state business laws is ending its second month. Their first trial ended in a mistrial in April.
Associated Press, "Insurer to Pay Kozlowski's Costs," The Wall Street Journal, March 24, 2005; Page C3 --http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111161345997387951,00.html?mod=todays_us_money_and_investing

Bob Jensen's threads on how white collar crime pays even if you get caught. http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudConclusion.htm#CrimePays
For example Andy Fastow stole over $60 million from Enron and was required to pay back less than $30 million.  Where will the remainder be when he emerges a free man in a few years?


Effects and Unintended Consequences of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on Corporate Boards
JAMES S. LINCK University of Georgia - Department of Banking and Finance JEFFRY M. NETTER University of Georgia - Department of Banking and Finance TINA YANG University of Georgia - Department of Banking and Finance
SSRN http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=687496

In response to the high-profile scandals like Enron and WorldCom, President Bush signed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) into law on July 30, 2002. The Act represents the most sweeping overhaul of the securities law since the Great Depression and brings significant changes to corporate governance and boards of directors. Using a sample of nearly 7,000 public firms, we study the impact of SOX on corporate boards. We find that board independence - characterized as the percentage of non-employee directors (outsiders) on the board, the percentage of firms with a majority of outsiders on the board, and the percentage of firms with separate CEO and Chairman - increases significantly after the passage of SOX. Firms increase board independence by adding non-executive directors rather than removing executive directors, resulting in larger boards. Further, board changes are most significant for firms that are targeted by SOX and for firms with large managerial ownership. In addition, director turnover and replacement increases significantly after the passage of SOX. Executive directors are less likely to be added to the board in the post-SOX period than in the pre-SOX period, while non-executive directors are more likely to receive the nomination. Finally, we provide preliminary evidence of some of the effects of Section 404, specifically increased numbers of committees and committee meetings. There is also strong evidence that SOX has imposed disproportionate burdens on small firms. For example, small firms paid $5.91 to non-employee directors on every $1,000 in sales in the pre-SOX period, which increased to $9.76 on every $1000 in sales in the post-SOX period. In contrast, large firms incurred 13 cents in director cash compensation per $1,000 in sales in the Pre-SOX period, which increased only to 15 cents in the Post-SOX period.


I'm assigning this as an introduction to XBRL:  A good non-technical book white paper on XBRL
"Business Case for XBRL" --- http://www.xbrl.org/us/us/BusinessCaseForXBRL.pdf

Then I will assign selected references from http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/XBRLandOLAP.htm#TimelineXBRL


"The Peter Principle in Academe," by Margaret Gutman Klosko, Inside Higher Ed, September 21, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/workplace/2005/09/21/klosko

Those who leave faculty appointments to write mystery novels, travelogues, self-help books, and biographies are usually not seen again in the academy. Some make a lot of money, and some, very little. But they all own themselves, and although the work is hard, they can sleep late in the morning. They are not promoted, and when they fail, they only make their families, cashiers, and waiters miserable. Still they disappear without a trace like everyone else.

On the other hand, those who go into academic associations, government, or, as in our case, academic administration, choosing steady income and health and retirement benefits, either gather moss in middle management jobs, or rise to higher levels of the administrative ladder — directorships, deanships, vice presidencies, presidencies, etc. In all sectors of the economy, as the Peter Principle describes, administrators typically rise to their levels of incompetence, and then fail — quietly usually, but sometimes in magnificent blazes of failure.

As you read this, academic administrator, you may be rising, stagnating, or failing in your career. Whichever stage you are in, if you are an executive academic administrator, you probably are reporting to someone who is in the process of failing. (This corresponds to the existential truism that everyone alive is dying.) If your boss is in the terminal stages of failure, and s/he is after your hide, your life may seem to you to be unbearable. It should not be, for there are ways of understanding your situation and your boss’s situation that can give you a more serene and humane outlook on the pain your supervisor is inflicting on you, as well as a glimpse at your own future.

I offer words of enlightenment, which, I hope, will help you safeguard your heart and your job, no matter how temporarily.

Continued in article


Student governments of Emory and Washington University declare war on one another

"Student Government or Student Humor?" by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, September 21, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/09/21/emory

What with the lingering U.S. presence in Iraq, the devastation of Katrina, and the uncertain economy, it’s no surprise that some students feel troubled.

The student government at Emory University is trying a novel approach to helping students: declaring “war” on Washington University in St. Louis. At Wash U., however, students appear to have other concerns and most of them are ignoring the war, possibly forcing Emory combatants to take both sides in a war of insults.

Last weekend, graffiti, leaflets with insults, and toilet paper in trees appeared on both campuses. But sources familiar with the skirmishes said that Emory students staged not only the “attack” on Washington, but also the one at Emory, in hopes of riling students. Most Emory students have not fled to bomb shelters (or anywhere for that matter). But the president of the student government — a senior named Amrit P. Dhir — held an emergency meeting of the student government and announced that he was abolishing the legislative branch and replacing it with himself as “supreme leader.” The war declaration banned students from wearing Washington University clothing (unless it contained insults) and said that freedom of the press was “to be tolerated ... for now.”

Continued in article


I volunteered for this (face) transplant:  I hope they remove extra chins
In the next few weeks, five men and seven women will secretly visit the Cleveland Clinic to interview for the chance to have a radical operation that's never been tried anywhere in the world. They will smile, raise their eyebrows, close their eyes, open their mouths. Dr. Maria Siemionow will study their cheekbones, lips and noses. She will ask what they hope to gain and what they most fear.
"Facing Up to Ultimate Transplant," Wired News, September 19, 2005 --- http://www.wired.com/news/medtech/0,1286,68907,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_7


This is a really big deal:  What's the latest in fighting restenosis?
Today, restenosis in coronary arteries afflicts less than 10 percent of patients thanks to the development of the drug-eluting stent (DES), which slowly releases a drug that inhibits the growth of scar tissue. Drug-eluting stents now command more than 90 percent of the $3 billion U.S. coronary-stent market, according to the Millennium Research Group. DESs have not been approved for peripheral arteries. Johnson & Johnson pioneered the new generation of stents, but the $50 billion company lost its dominant market position to a partnership between medical-device company Boston Scientific of Natick, MA, and Angiotech Pharmaceuticals of Vancouver, BC. The two companies signed a pact in 1997 that led to the development of Boston Scientific's Taxus stent, which was introduced in the U.S. in March 2004.
Jim Kling, "The Lucrative Elution," MIT's Technology Review, October 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/10/issue/brief_elution.asp?trk=nl


Why was this poor man ever jailed in the first place?  This was really, really stupid! 
Did Barney make the arrest in Mayberry?
The mother of a quadriplegic man who died while serving a 10-day jail sentence filed a lawsuit today against District of Columbia officials and Greater Southeast Community Hospital over the deficient care that led to her son’s death. Mary Scott, mother of Jonathan Magbie, joined the American Civil Liberties Union and local attorneys at a press conference on the courthouse steps this morning to announce the lawsuit. “My son died last year because doctors at the Jail and Greater Southeast Hospital completely ignored his medical needs,” said Scott. “Today, I am seeking justice for my son and my family. The wrongdoers must be held accountable for Jonathan’s death.”
"ACLU and Local Attorneys File Lawsuit Over Quadriplegic Left To Die At DC Jail," ACLU, September 20, 2005 --- http://www.aclu.org/


Many people have rushed to pronounce the Orange Revolution dead.
Opponents of Ukrainian democracy -- foremost in a Kremlin visibly nervous that this experiment might catch on in the neighborhood -- want to declare last year's political turnover a fatal mistake. The European Union for its part points to the troubles in Kiev to justify its preferred hands-off approach to Ukraine. To these doubters, Ukrainians can respond that democracies are seldom placid. The upheavals in the Berlin Republic this past week are a good reminder that open, competitive politics can be messy. But, as the recently freed peoples of the New Europe would rush to attest, it's better than the alternative. In Ukraine until recently, and in Germany two generations ago, and in Russia today, that alternative is authoritarianism. Ukraine's current crisis grew out of the Orange Revolution. It's not a betrayal of it.
"Orange Crushed," The Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2005 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112733645300747723,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep


Thanks David, but what if we look inside and find it empty?  I'm reminded of a senior professor years ago who served at a renowned accounting research university for six years in a city known for its winds.  His comment was:  "I looked into that black box and found that there was nothing inside?"

September 21, 2005 message from David Albrecht [albrecht@PROFALBRECHT.COM]

Elinor Mills, a writer for ZDNet news, has an interesting article out today. In it, she speculates about Google's apparent long-term strategy. It is found at: Google builds an empire to rival Microsoft http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9588_22-5875433-2.html?tag=st.next  
By Elinor Mills, CNET News.com Published on ZDNet News: September 21, 2005, 8:00 AM PT

To a certain extent, it builds one of her earlier articles: Google balances privacy, reach http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9588_22-5787483.html?tag=nl 
Elinor Mills, CNET News.com Pblished on ZDNet News: July 14, 2005, 4:00 AM PT

If one can dream about future Internet-based computing power while at the same time overlooking issues of privacy (the other David has written that there is no such practical thing as privacy), then today's article is certainly thought-provoking. In many ways, I look forward to the day when computing is no longer constrained by storing programs and data on either desktop or laptop.

As an aside, we wouldn't need Turnitin, because plagiarism detection would take place automatically, even as a person writes the first draft of a paper.

Education would be much different, I think, if everything ever done on a computer is stored forever in Google's data base. Since Google is thinking big, perhaps everything ever spoken into a phone or communicated via radio or television would also be so stored. If home conversations get recorded (a by-product of Internet-based home management applications), then everything except a person's innermost secret thoughts would get recorded and stored in a data base.

This would eventually lead professors to get to the stage where they finally can peer into the minds (virtual minds) of students to see what they truly think, to determine what the student knows today, to offer the chance for the student to learn something new, and then to assess the actual quality of the student's learning experience.

David Albrecht

 


Short Soaps, Three Stooges What's on cell phone TV and is it worth watching?
"Short Soaps, Three Stooges," The Wall Street Journal,  September 22, 2005; Page B1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112734855989648068,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep
Jensen Comment:  Then again, who's going to watch Gone With the Wind on a cell phone screen?


Trends in cell phone television
So far, companies are exploring three major business models, which offer subscriptions to pre-recorded video clips, live network television, or customized content prepared specifically for cell phones. Verizon is putting a big marketing push behind its video-clip subscription service, VCast. The service offers fare such as sports highlights, comedy shows, and CNN segments, along with various games, and is currently available in more than 60 metropolitan areas in the United States. Verizon offers the service within its high-speed EvDo wireless networks. To subscribe to VCast, Verizon users must first sign up for the company's EvDo service ($60 per month), then pay an additional $15 per month. The clips are downloaded at speeds typically around 500 kb/s-- less than half the speed of a home DSL modem, but almost ten times faster than existing cellular data networks.
Eric Hellweg, "TV to Go," MIT's Technology Review, September 23, 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/09/wo/wo_092305hellweg.asp?trk=nl


What is MIMO and how will it affect your life?
Still, each new generation of wireless gadgets gets better, generally cheaper, and seemingly more popular. Now an emerging wireless networking technology called MIMO promises real breakthroughs in speed, accessibility, and reliability. That has implications for today's corporate networks, home Wi-Fi networks, and cellular networks. MIMO stands for "multiple input, multiple output." Wi-Fi routers based on the technology use a series of radios in conjunction with several "smart" antennas to send and receive signals simultaneously. Handling multiple signals makes possible much stronger, more reliable, and faster transmissions--in theory. Consumers will see MIMO in a new class of wireless networking products categorized as "pre-n," after the nomenclature of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' 802.11 wireless Ethernet standards committee. The IEEE wireless standards with the broadest impact have been, in the order in which they reached market, 802.11b, 802.11a, and 802.11g.
Michael Fitzgerald, "Hearing Multiple Signals," MIT's Technology Review, October 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/10/issue/review_signal.asp?trk=nl


Learning now not to manage employees at Microsoft
It appears Microsoft is listening to its critics. The company has overhauled its business operations on the heels of media reports that its bureaucracy had led to a lot of unhappy employees. Indeed, the company has lost scores of workers, some to competitors, with executive Kai-Fu Lee's jump to Google causing the biggest stir.
InternetWeek Newsletter
on September 21, 2005


"Tenure, Turnover and the Quality of (K-12) Teaching," by Hal R. Varian, The New York Times, September 22, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/22/business/22scene.html

A National Bureau of Economic Research working paper by Eric Hanushek, John Kain, Daniel O'Brien and Steven Rivkin called "The Market for Teacher Quality" sheds some light on these contentious issues. (A summary of the paper and a link to the text are at www.nber.org/digest/aug05/w11154.html.)

. . .

From my reading of the paper, both effects appear important and there is no simple answer. The data do suggest, however, that teacher effectiveness is pretty clear by the end of the second year, so the information to make an informed decision is available at that time.

The authors also investigate the contentious issue of racial matching of students and teachers. Here they find strong evidence that minority teachers tend to be more effective with minority students. "Students who have had both a black and a white teacher perform better relative to classmates during the year in which they had a teacher of their own race," they said. Again, it is unclear whether this is because of a role model effect (students respond better to a teacher of their own race) or an empathy effect (teachers empathize better with students of their own race) or something else entirely.

The authors also look at teacher mobility. There is some evidence that teachers who quit teaching or switch schools tend to be below average in effectiveness. This is consistent with the survival-of-the-fittest model.

Continued in article


How time flies

The Wall Street Journal Flashback, September 21, 1990
The two German parliaments independently ratified the treaty that will officially unify their nations Oct. 3. The 1,000-page unification treaty details how all functions of the East German state will be united with those of West Germany.

I wonder if the victim's name is Humpty Dumpty
When police arrived Monday, Contreras Alvarez held out his wrists to police, said Mint Hill Police Chief Brian Barnhardt. Then he showed officer a torso on the bedroom floor. He later helped police find the dead man's head, legs and arms scattered across hundreds of feet in a wooded area behind the home, police said. Police did not release the name of the man killed because they were still trying to notify his family . . .
"N.C. roommate charged with murder after dismembered body found," News-Record.com, September 21, 2005 --- http://beta.news-record.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050921/NEWSREC0101/50921005


Iranian Authorities Torture Gay Youth --- http://gaypatriot.net/2005/09/20/iranian-authorities-torture-gay-youth


Links to Agatha Christie's books and movies --- http://christie.mysterynet.com//

The works and life of Samuel Dashiell Hammett --- http://www.transki.freeserve.co.uk/ 

Link forwarded by Richard Campbell

Black-Scholes Options Pricing: Creating (Interactive) Matrix Calculators with Xcelsius --- http://infommersion.com/Learning/nl_0905_art3.html

Bob Jensen's calculator bookmarks are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob3.htm#080512Calculators


Perhaps these pensions should not be included since these airlines are probably going to dump their pension obligations on the Federal Government anyway.

From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Week in Review on September 22, 2005

TITLE: Delta, Northwest Omit Pensions from Filings
REPORTER: Susan Carey and Evan Perez
DATE: Sep 16, 2005
PAGE: A3 LINK: http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112683441976042541,00.html 
TOPICS: Advanced Financial Accounting, Financial Accounting, Pension Accounting

SUMMARY: The article discusses pension funding requirements, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC), and legislative actions in detail.

QUESTIONS:
1.) What is the implication of the statement in the article title that these two airlines have omitted pension payments from bankruptcy court filings.

2.) What is an underfunded pension plan? What are possible different measures of a pension plan's funding level? Who establishes requirements for funding pension plans?

3.) What is the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC)?

4.) Why might U.S. Congress enact a law to delay requirements for funding company pension plans? In your answer, consider the plight of the PBGC as described in this article.

5.) Why are discount airlines better able to compete and remain profitable than are so-called legacy airlines?

Reviewed By: Judy Beckman, University of Rhode Island


Question
Have U.S. Post Offices stopped accepting dollar bills because of the wording on each bill reading "In God We Trust?'

Warning:  There are to be no pictures of money on Federal Property!
September 22, 2005 message from Will Christensen

. . . Post Offices in Texas were forced to remove posters which said “In God We Trust” from their lobbies. In response, a movement has been started to write “In God We Trust” on the back or front of the envelopes of the letters we mail.




Try not to let your mind wander...It is too small and fragile to be out by itself.
Unknown but perceptive author (forwarded by Dick Haar)


Forwarded by Paul Golliher

THE OIL SHORTAGE A lot of folks can't understand how we came to have an oil shortage here in America.

Well, there's a very simple answer.

Nobody bothered to check the oil. We just didn't know we were getting low.

The reason for that is purely geographical.

Our OIL is located in Alaska, California, Oklahoma and TEXAS.

Our DIPSTICKS are located in Washington DC




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

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

International Accounting News (including the U.S.)

AccountingEducation.com and Double Entries --- http://www.accountingeducation.com/
        Upcoming international accounting conferences --- http://www.accountingeducation.com/events/index.cfm
        Thousands of journal abstracts --- http://www.accountingeducation.com/journals/index.cfm
Deloitte's International Accounting News --- http://www.iasplus.com/index.htm
Association of International Accountants --- http://www.aia.org.uk/ 
WebCPA --- http://www.webcpa.com/
FASB --- http://www.fasb.org/
IASB --- http://www.fasb.org/
Others --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm

Gerald Trite's great set of links --- http://iago.stfx.ca/people/gtrites/Docs/bookmark.htm 

Richard Torian's Managerial Accounting Information Center --- http://www.informationforaccountants.com/ 

 

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