Tidbits on March 9, 2006
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

Bob Jensen's various threads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm
       (Also scroll down to the table at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ )

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/.

Internet News (The News Show) --- http://www.thenewsshow.tv/daily/

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

25 Hottest Urban Legends (hoaxes) --- http://www.snopes.com/info/top25uls.asp 
Hoax Busters --- http://hoaxbusters.ciac.org/ 
Stay up on the latest and the oldest hoaxes --- http://www.snopes.com/

Most Popular eBusiness Sites 2006 - 2007 --- http://www.webtrafficstation.com/directory/
WebbieWorld Picks --- http://www.webbieworld.com/default.asp

Bob Jensen's home page is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/


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

"Video Guide: Securing Your Wireless Network," by Brian Krebs, The Washington Post, March 9, 2006 --- Click Here

From CBS: A Tear Jerker Video About Autism --- http://www.collegehumor.com/movies/1667265/

Controversial video initially aired in the Arab media by Al Jazeera ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2006/tidbits060306.htm#Video

Flash presentation of Cezanne Studio --- http://www.atelier-cezanne.com/anglais/renseignements-animations.htm

Jay Leno video clips --- http://www.nbc.com/The_Tonight_Show_with_Jay_Leno/

David Letterman Video Clips --- http://www.cbs.com/latenight/lateshow/

Saturday Night Live Video Clips --- http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live//

Jon Stewart's Daily Show ---  http://www.comedycentral.com/shows/the_daily_show/index.jhtml

Comedy Central --- http://www.comedycentral.com/

Ordering a Pizza from Big Sister --- http://www.adcritic.com/interactive/assets/aclu-pizza/


Free music downloads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm

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

From NPR
Oscar-Nominated Scores: 'Pride and Prejudice' --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5245902

My Cup Has Overflowed --- http://jbreck.com/sendingallmylove.html 

My Time on Earth --- http://www.goodolddogs.com/mytime.html 

Chicken Bawk ---  Chicken-Bawk.wav

 


Photographs and Art

Metropolitan Museum of Art --- http://www.metmuseum.org/home.asp

National Gallery of Victoria --- http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/

Pbase Galleries --- http://www.pbase.com/pitsaman/my_favorites

No it's not an oxymoron
Arkansas Arts Center ---  http://www.arkarts.com

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec --- http://www.lautrec.info/

From the Australian National University:  Art & Architecture mainly from the Mediterranean Basin, Japan and now India --- http://rubens.anu.edu.au/

Flash presentation of Cezanne Studio --- http://www.atelier-cezanne.com/anglais/renseignements-animations.htm

Encyclopedia Britannica's Guide to Normandy in 1944 --- http://search.eb.com/dday

From the University of California - Berkeley
Louise Bourgeois Exhibition --- http://www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/exhibits/bourgeois/

Lost Liners: The Golden Days of Ocean Travel --- http://www.lostliners.com/

Sonja Mueller:  Panaramic forest (move your mouse) --- http://www.sonjamueller.org/

Wiggly (gif) Photographs --- http://www.well.com/user/jimg/stereo/stereo_list.html

 


Online Books, Poems, References, and Other Literature
In the past I've provided links to various types electronic literature available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

Web Resources in Economics --- http://www.helsinki.fi/WebEc/WebEc.html

Historical Information Resources --- http://www.refdesk.com/facthist.html

A Study In Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) --- Click Here  

History: 1901 to World War II --- http://www.fsmitha.com/h2/

dMarie Time Capsule --- http://www.dmarie.com/timecap/step1.asp

Quick Page - this button will automatically generate a Time Capsule page for you. - OR -

Advanced Page - this button will lead you through a "wizard" that allows you to select specific headlines, birthdays, songs, TV shows, toys, and books for the selected date. You can edit the information, or even add your own information to the final page!

Lewis Carroll Homepage --- http://www.lewiscarroll.org/carroll.html

FreeNet Pages Poetry --- http://www.freenetpages.co.uk/hp/freeman/

Robert Frost's Lesser Known Poems ---http://frost.freehosting.net/ 

The Call of the Wild  by Jack London (1876-1916) --- Click Here

History of Politics Outloud (audio) --- http://www.hpol.org/

Historical Atlas of the Twentieth Century --- http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/20centry.htm

The Library Thing: Catalog Your Books Online --- http://www.librarything.com/

Fiction Press --- http://www.fictionpress.com/





Yesterday I had an opportunity to speak with Nobel Laureate Dr. Reinhard Selten, and I asked him what advice he would give to PhD students. He encourages students to be "courageous," and to resist the temptation to pursue the kinds of incremental research that lead to quick publication but lack impact and staying power.
Mark Nissen in a message forwarded by Bill McCarthy at Michigan State University
Jensen Comment
This speaks in favor of the initiative being considered at the University of Michigan to extend time-to-tenure from seven years to ten years.

Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_David_Thoreau

It seems that Mr. Cheney sent the State of Texas a check for $7.00 for a hunting license.
The State returned the check, saying that no license is needed in Texas to shoot a lawyer!

Author Unknown

The only statistics you can trust are those you falsified yourself.
Winston Churchill (1874-1965) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winston_Churchill

The world will be in the hands of Islam over the next few years.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran, Itar-Tess, March 3, 2006  ---
http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=4003896&PageNum=0
Jensen Comment: He's probably correct if anything's left of it.

The historian will tell your what happened. The novelist will tell you what it felt like.
E.L. Doctrow, Time Magazine, March 6, 2006, Page 6.

We're all lifted up by the community of us. Even in competition.
E.L. Doctrow, Time Magazine, March 6, 2006, Page 6.

Ending one strange political saga by starting another, the clerk of New Orleans Criminal District Court, Kimberly Williamson Butler, surrendered herself to an irate criminal court judge Friday morning after a week of ignoring court orders and arrest warrants, and then walked outside the courthouse to announce her candidacy for mayor.
Brian Thevenot, Times Picayune, March 4, 2006 --- Click Here
Jensen Comment: I suspect this is one of the reasons for calling New Orleans the "Big Easy." A criminal record is almost a prerequisite for public office in Louisiana unless you never got caught.  Released inmates have to find work somewhere. Why not work for the city or the state?

The saying 'Getting there is half the fun' became obsolete with the advent of commercial airlines.
Henry J. Tillman

I feel about airplanes the way I feel about diets. It seems to me they are wonderful things for other people to go on.
Jean Kerr

If you want to remain on this detail, get your ass over here and grab those bags.
Hillary Clinton (To an Secret Service agent who wanted to keep his hands free in case of a security threat.) ---
http://shop.wnd.com/store/item.asp?ITEM_ID=1830 

The tiny Rufous hummingbird is able to recall where and when it last dined on the sweet nectar of flowers, according to new research, proving bird brains are smarter than first thought.
Yahoo News, March 7, 2006 --- Click Here
Jensen Comment
So what's the big deal. I can do the same thing.




Some Good News and Bad News About Heaven

Dual Covenant Theology: Thanks to the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio Jews Can Now Get Into Heaven
An evangelical pastor and an Orthodox rabbi, both from Texas, have apparently persuaded leading Baptist preacher Jerry Falwell that Jews can get to heaven without being converted to Christianity. Televangelist John Hagee and Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg, whose Cornerstone Church and Rodfei Sholom congregations are based in San Antonio, told The Jerusalem Post that Falwell had adopted Hagee's innovative belief in what Christians refer to as "dual covenant" theology.

Ilan Chaim, Jerusalem Post, March 1, 2006 --- Click Here
Jensen Comment:  This news release actually ended up giving Jews temporary false hopes.

Late Breaking Good News and Bad News About Heaven

New "Scientific Evidence" allegedly "proves" that heaven truly exists
. . . a new documentary, "The Evidence for Heaven," available exclusively through WND's ShopNetDaily online store, offers scientific evidence for the afterlife.
"New scientific evidence heaven really exists:  Blockbuster DVD includes astounding back-from-dead testimonials,"  WorldDailyNet, March 2, 2006 --- http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=49060
Jensen Comment
Some of us will be down where there are more barbeque events. We will, however, wave up to you folks drifting about overhead while nibbling on cold manna.

Really bad news for Jews now that it's a scientific fact that heaven does exist
Reverend Falwell denies that he ever once agreed that Jews can get into heaven

Evangelist Jerry Falwell has a beef with the Jerusalem Post after the newspaper published an article suggesting he's changed his beliefs about salvation, now thinking Jews can get to heaven without becoming Christians first. "Televangelist John Hagee and Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg, whose Cornerstone Church and Rodfei Sholom congregations are based in San Antonio, told the Jerusalem Post that Falwell had adopted Hagee's innovative belief in what Christians refer to as 'dual covenant' theology. This creed, which runs counter to mainstream evangelism, maintains that the Jewish people have a special relationship to God through the revelation at Sinai and therefore do not need 'to go through Christ or the Cross' to get to heaven."
"Falwell: Jerusalem Post 'fabricated' story on me Newspaper claimed Christian evangelist had new tune on how Jews get to heaven," WorldDailyNet, March 1, 2006 --- http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=49063

While I am a strong supporter of the State of Israel and dearly love the Jewish people and believe them to be the chosen people of God, I continue to stand on the foundational biblical principle that all people — Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, Jews, Muslims, etc. — must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ in order to enter heaven. Dr. Hagee called me today and said he never made these statements to the Jerusalem Post or to anyone else. He assured me that he would immediately contact the Jerusalem Post and request a correction. Before today, I had never heard of Rabbi Aryeh Scheinberg or had any communications with him. I therefore am at a total loss as to why he would make such statements about me to the Post, if in fact he did.
"A GRACIOUS CORRECTION OF THE JERUSALEM POST," Jerry Falwell Ministries, March 2, 2006 --- http://www.falwell.com/?a=p&content=1141242068

Pastors John Hagee and Jerry Falwell have both denied a report in The Jerusalem Post earlier this week that they embrace the "dual covenant" theology, which holds that Jews are saved through a special relationship with God and so need not become Christians to get to heaven.
"Hagee, Falwell deny endorsing 'dual covenant'," Jerusalem Post, March 2, 2006 --- http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1139395523403&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Jensen Comment
Just goes to show you what might happen to evangelism if just anybody can pass through the Pearly Gates. Authorities are moving quickly to  Plains, Georgia to have Jimmy Carter settle this matter once and for all ---
Click Here

Seriously, one question that evangelists like Falwell and Hagee do not treat well is the afterlife fate of people who had absolutely no opportunity whatsoever to make a choice to accept the Christian belief, including tiny children who die prematurely or people in villages where no Christian missionary ever set foot into. Then there are brain-damaged mental defectives who became serial rapists, serial murderers, and Chancellor of the Third Reich.  What happens to them? God actually did not give any two people exactly the same circumstances in life. Some had no chance whatsoever to get into heaven under evangelist dogma. If God makes an exception for them then the only humans at risk are sane adults who had an opportunity to be Christian and failed the test. Gee thanks! From a long run perspective, a lot can be said for dying young or being totally insane. I think I'm beginning to sound like Woody Allen.

March 2, 2006 reply from a Jewish friend who is also an accounting professor

This little tempest isn't sitting so great with the JPost readers.  One writes (in talkback to the article for which you provide the url:
2. Explain 24 gates and 24 elders
David - Israel
03/02/2006 16:02

Falwell should read his N. Testament. Revelations where John sees 24 elders before the throne representing 12 tribes of Israel and 12 Apostles. Hmmmm, no replacement theology there. And the new J-town has 24 gates; twelve for the tribes and 12 Apostles. Hmmmmm. Sounds like God can dual anything He wants. And who said you can't meet Jesus and receive your faith in Jesus after your dead? N. Test verses make case for that. And every knee shall bow and every tongue confess. I don't know how you force someone to do that? Sorry Christians God is up to something far greater than just saving you. Far greater.

So Bob, I guess my day is still OK?
Eric

Bob Jensen's "Glimpse of Heaven" --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/max01.htm
 


To save your soul the easiest thing to do is find a squirrel (turn your speakers up)
Mississippi Squirrel Revival
--- http://mywebpages.comcast.net/singingman7777/MSR2.htm

If the above squirrel solution fails, put your immortal soul up for sale on eBay

"On eBay, an Atheist Puts His Own Soul On the Auction Block: The Winning Bidder Offers An Unusual Deal: Visit Churches and Critique," by Suzanne Sataline, March 9, 2006; Page A1 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114186959700393279.html?mod=todays_us_page_one

A few weeks ago, Hemant Mehta posted an unusual item for sale on eBay: a chance to save his soul.

The DePaul University graduate student promised the winner that for each $10 of the final bid, he would attend an hour of church services. The 23-year-old Mr. Mehta is an atheist, but he says he suspected he had been missing out on something.

"Perhaps being around a group of people who will show me 'the way' could do what no one else has done before," Mr. Mehta wrote in his eBay sales pitch. "This is possibly the best chance anyone has of changing me."

Evangelists bid, eager to save a sinner. Atheists bid, hoping to keep Mr. Mehta in their fold. When the auction stopped on Feb. 3 after 41 bids, the buyer was Jim Henderson, a former evangelical minister from Seattle, whose $504 bid prevailed.

Mr. Henderson wasn't looking for a convert. He wanted Mr. Mehta to embark with him on an eccentric experiment in spiritual bridge-building.

The 58-year-old Mr. Henderson has written a book for a Random House imprint and is currently a house painter. He runs off-the-map.org, a Web site whose professed mission is "Helping Christians be normal." Mr. Henderson is part of a small but growing branch of the evangelical world that disagrees with the majority's conservative political agenda, and wants the religion to be more inclusive and help the disadvantaged.

Continued in article

 


Sign that the end-times are drawing near
New Book About How Christians Think the End is Near Because of Radio Frequency Chips

Katherine Albrecht is on a mission from God. The influential consumer advocate has written a new book warning her fellow Christians that radio frequency identification may evolve to become the "mark of the beast" -- meaning the technology is a sign that the end-times are drawing near. "My goal as a Christian (is) to sound the alarm," said Albrecht, in a conversation over tea at a high-end grocery store. Albrecht hopes her new book, The Spychips Threat: Why Christians Should Resist RFID and Electronic Surveillance, will be embraced by the millions of Americans (59 percent of them, according to a 2002 Time/CNN poll) who share her belief that the Book of Revelation in the Bible forecasts events that are yet to come.
Mark Baard, "RFID: Sign of the (End) Times?" Wired News, March 2, 2006 --- http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,70308-0.html?tw=wn_index_1


"The Da Vinci Hoax:  A Tour de Distortion," Charles Colson, Break Point, March 7, 2006 --- Click Here

G. K. Chesterton famously said something to this effect: When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing—they believe in anything. A good example of this is Umberto Eco’s novel Foucault’s Pendulum, in which a group of friends program a computer to “write” a book about secret hidden knowledge. Titled The Plan, the book is the result of random links between things like Kabbalah, Rosicrucianism, the Knights Templar, and other crackpot ideas. While The Plan was intended as a prank, other people take it seriously, with tragic results.

Well, Foucault’s Pendulum shows us how gullible unbelieving people are. And this is particularly so in our postmodern age when truth doesn’t matter. This phenomenon partly explains the remarkable success of The Da Vinci Code. Like Eco’s novel, it’s about a heretofore hidden knowledge that promises to let us in on the “true” history of Christianity.

Author Dan Brown gives us a Jesus who neither died on the cross nor rose from the dead. Instead, He married Mary Magdalene and had children by her. This “sacred blood line” is the treasure safeguarded by groups like the Knights Templar and the Masons. And the Catholic Church, in a desperate attempt to cover up this secret, murders those who threaten to expose it.

Devotees of The Da Vinci Code—like the fictional fans in Foucault’s Pendulum—have trouble distinguishing fact from fiction. They visit places mentioned in the novel, and “Da Vinci Tours” are a booming business. With the upcoming film, interest in The Da Vinci Code will explode. Christians need to seize this teaching opportunity, preparing ourselves to answer questions readers are asking.

The first is: Are the historical events portrayed in Brown’s story true? Brown claims to have done extensive historical research and gives his readers no reason to doubt the novel’s accuracy. Since the average person knows almost nothing about Christian history, they’re vulnerable. For example, when Brown says that Knights Templar were put to death by the Catholic Church because they knew the “true story” about Jesus, people have no basis to question it, never having heard of the Knights Templar. Or when Brown says that at the Council of Nicea, the Vatican consolidated its power, most people are unaware that the Vatican didn’t even exist in A.D. 325.

It is our job to expose the falsehoods. We can learn to answer Brown’s lies with the truth by reading books like Darrell Bock’s Breaking the Da Vinci Code and Erwin Lutzer’s The Da Vinci Deception.

People flock to stories like The Da Vinci Code in part because all humans are searching for the secret knowledge that answers the mysteries of life. And when The Da Vinci Code debuts in May, millions more Americans will get a condensed tour de distortion. Knowing our neighbors will see this film, churches ought to begin to get ready now—preparing to answer questions about it and to tell our neighbors that there is no secret knowledge about God. It’s all in the Bible and all true.

The good news is that The Da Vinci Code readers and viewers are seeking answers to the central questions of life. The challenge is for us to supply the true answers.


Controversial Jesus-Pig Cartoon at the University of Saskatchewan
A newspaper cartoon targeting religion has once again sprung into the spotlight -- this time in a two-frame jab at Christianity in the University of Saskatchewan student newspaper, the Sheaf. The newspaper is issuing a mea culpa after a cartoon depicting Jesus performing a sex act on a capitalist pig was published in Thursday's edition of the Sheaf.
"Cartoon spurs anger U of S student newspaper apologizes for 'mistake'," The StarPhoenix, March 7, 2006 --- Click Here
 


Muslims may "give their souls" by signing up at the Iranian martyrdom suicide site
The Iranian reformist Internet daily Rooz reported on March 2, 2006 that "the Iranian martyrdom-seeking [i.e. suicide] forces have launched a website, http://www.esteshhad.com  , called 'To Die as a Martyr,' [1] and have declared an alert among the Iranian martyrdom-seeking forces." The following are excerpts from the Rooz report: [2] "Thousands of Young Martyrdom-Seeking Iranians are Counting the Minutes Until They Can Give Their Souls"
"Iran's Martyr Recruitment Website," FrontPageMagazine, March 8, 2006 --- http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=21558
Jensen Comment
I cannot get the http://www.esteshhad.com site to work. It could be that Iran has either moved the site or shut it down due to its discovery by the Western media. Or it could be an elaborate hoax.
 




Question
What's the surest way to stop repeat offenders from more purse snatching?

"Chinese city will execute purse thieves," The London Times, March 5, 2006 ---
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0%2C%2C2089-2070005%2C00.html


Free Citizen Information Center --- http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/
This site has a lot of consumer information and steers you through government bureaucracy.


From the Federal Trade Commission
American's Top 10 Dot Cons --- http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/edcams/dotcon/

Link to Internet Auctions Link to International Modem Dialing
Link to Internet Access Services Link to Credit Card Fraud
Link to Web Cramming Link to Multilevel Marketing/Pyramids
Link to Travel and Vacation Link to Business Opporunities
Link to Investments Link to Health Care Products and Services

Bob Jensen's threads on consumer and credit card frauds are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm

 


A Surprising Clue to Parkinson's
Existing research already suggests that the biggest clumps, known as inclusions, are helpful. Cells that form clumps of the mutant Huntington protein, for example, survive longer than clump-free cells. Now MIT scientists have discovered a compound that increases clumps in cell models of Huntington's and Parkinson's disease and makes the cells healthier. Scientists aren't sure how the compound works, but they think it might be helping cells get rid of toxic forms of the proteins floating around in the cell by isolating them into clumps.
Emily Singer, "A Surprising Clue to Parkinson's:  Drugs that boost the protein clumping that occurs during neurodegenerative disease could provide a new route to treatment," MIT's Technology Review, March 7, 2006 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/BioTech/wtr_16517,259,p1.html


U.N. Report: Jews are Terrorists, Not Palestinians
Jewish settlers are terrorizing Palestinians with impunity, attacking children on their way to school and destroying farmers' trees and crops, a U.N. expert on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict said in a report. John Dugard, a South African lawyer, called the withdrawal of Israeli troops and settlers from the Gaza Strip last summer a positive step. But the Jewish state effectively controls Gaza through targeted killings and sonic booms from warplanes flying over the region, Dugard said in a report prepared ahead of next week's annual meeting of the 53-member U.N. Human Rights Commission.
"U.N. Report: Jews are Terrorists, Not Palestinians," NewsMax, March 8, 2006 --- http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/3/8/91958.shtml?s=ic


Sigh! When I think of all those "spring breaks" I spent studying in the library in my college days (no kidding)
The American Medical Association is warning girls not to go wild during spring break. All but confirming what goes on in those "Girls Gone Wild" videos, 83 percent of college women and graduates surveyed by the AMA said spring break involves heavier-than-usual drinking, and 74 percent said the break results in increased sexual activity. The women's answers were based both on firsthand experience and the experiences of friends and acquaintances.
"Girls Gone Wild? Spring Breakers Admit More Sex, Drinking AMA Warns Women Of Health Risks," ClickOnDetroit, March 8, 2006 --- http://www.clickondetroit.com/health/7808929/detail.html

In “The Pill,” a record banned by many radio stations in its day, she (Loretta Lynn) captured perfectly the power of birth control to let women love without the passion-dowsing fear of pregnancy: “The feelin’ good comes easy now since I’ve got the pill!”
Loretta Lynn Home Page --- http://www.lorettalynn.com/bio/
Jensen Comment
Don't take this as a commentary against birth control. I'm all for birth control and abortion rights. I'm not in favor of promiscuous and drunken spring breaks. I applaud my students who will be in the Trinity University Library next week.


Do you want to Captivate for your students?

March 6, 2006 message from Tamara Rabinovich [TRabinovich@BENTLEY.EDU]

Snagit is super for creating still images, which allows you, in particular, capturing different areas of your computer screen. Camtasia is a great product for producing videos. Captivate is even a better Macromedia (currently Adobe) product to quickly create great educational videos. Try it and you will love it.

Tamara Rabinovich
Research and Learning Technologies Consultant
Bentley College
Academic Technology Center
168 Adamian Academic Center
175 Forest St. Waltham, MA 02452

March 6, 2006 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Tamara,

Thank you for the information about Captivate.

One thing I like about Snagit is that it will capture a paused video image in a paused media player such as the Windows Media Player. Paintshop Pro's capture utility will not capture such a video image.

One thing I don't like about Camtasia is that it will not capture a video/audio clip in a media player. Will Captivate let you save clips of video along with the audio running in a Media Player on your computer screen?

Bob Jensen

March 7, 2006 reply from

Hi Bob,

Neither Camtasia nor Captivate is meant to be used to capture a streaming video file (video and audio). In Captivate you can import video into your program; it gets converted to .swf I believe (uses a flash wrapper). Whether the embedded video is editable after you do this - I'm not sure. Or you can put in a link that will allow streaming video to be played in the captivate program from a server. Since Captivate actually is capturing single slides, it may be possible to capture a streaming file but it would probably be jerky. Never thought of doing this.

The newest version of Camtasia, however, WILL let you capture embedded video, including the audio. My colleague experimented with this today and it was a success.

Sincerely,

Tamara

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

Sine if Bob Jensen's Camtasia videos are listed at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/


Fraud at Harvard
In a legal settlement reached last summer, Harvard agreed to pay $26.5 million

Questions
Did fraud by a Harvard professor ultimately sink its President Summers?

"Did an Exposé Help Sink Harvard's President?" by Sara Ivry, The New York Times, February 27, 2006 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/27/business/media/27mclintick.html

"I was surprised that he was gone by February of '06," said Mr. McClintick, and "that it happened as rapidly as it did."

"How Harvard Lost Russia" was published in the January issue of Institutional Investor magazine, a subscription-only publication, about a month and a half before Dr. Summers's resignation, which he announced last Tuesday. The move came just two weeks after a Feb. 7 meeting when the president was challenged on several issues, including his reaction to events described in Mr. McClintick's article.

In roughly 18,500 words, (22,007 including sidebars), Mr. McClintick chronicled financial improprieties by those in charge of Harvard's Russia project, including Andrei Shleifer, a professor of economics who is a friend and protégé of Dr. Summers's, and Jonathan Hay, a Harvard-trained lawyer. The two men were accused of making personal investments in Russia at a time when they were working under contract to establish capitalism in the former Soviet nation.

Their behavior led the United States government to file civil charges against Harvard, Mr. Shleifer and Mr. Hay for fraud, breach of contract and making false claims. In a settlement reached last summer, Harvard agreed to pay $26.5 million. Mr. Hay was ordered to pay a fine based on his future earnings and Mr. Shleifer agreed to pay $2 million, though none of the parties admitted wrongdoing. Mr. Shleifer has not been subjected to any disciplinary action from Harvard.

Some Harvard watchers attribute that to Dr. Summers's influence, though he formally recused himself from the matter, and they see the entire affair, assiduously detailed by Mr. McClintick, as an indelible stain on Harvard's reputation.

Mr. McClintick, 65, a 1962 graduate of Harvard, is a former reporter for The Wall Street Journal and the author of several books, including "Indecent Exposure," which investigated financial scandal at Columbia Pictures. That book was a finalist for the National Book Award and helped solidify Mr. McClintick's reputation as a meticulous investigator.

Continued in article

Update on March 8, 2006|
Harvard University's faculty-ethics board is investigating Andrei Shleifer, a star in its economics department star who was caught up along with the school in a scandal that involved investing in Russia, according to a person familiar with the matter. Prof. Shleifer and Harvard last year paid nearly $30 million to settle a civil suit brought by the U.S. government alleging that Prof. Shleifer violated federal conflict-of-interest rules by investing in Russia. The case dates back a decade when Mr. Shleifer headed a U.S.-government-funded Harvard project to help Russia develop financial markets
John Hechinger, "Harvard Investigates Conduct Of a Star Economics Professor," The Wall Street Journal, March 8, 2006; Page A6

Bob Jensen's threads on the Harvard fracture are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2006/tidbits060227.htm#Harvard

Bob Jensen's updates on fraud are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm


What about your secret, hush-hush, Bankruptcy Risk Score that you don't even know about?

Thanks to new laws, you can find out your FICO credit score. But lenders are increasingly using a secret credit score on you that is their secret alone.
While most people are aware that their credit score can have a large impact on their financial lives, there is another score that the credit bureaus keep that most people are not aware of - your Bankruptcy Risk Score Your credit score is made up mostly of your history of obtaining credit and paying off debt. This score helps determine what type of interest rate you receive on credit cards or loans that you apply for. Most people assume that it is this score alone is used by the financial institutions considering whether or not to give you a loan. The truth is that a bankruptcy risk score is now being used more and more when lending institutions are looking at a person's credit history. The bankruptcy risk score has been around for about 20 years, but has been kept fairly hush - hush. It measures how likely a person is to file bankruptcy and uses information that makes it more specific than a credit risk score. The bankruptcy risk score is exclusively for lenders provided by the credit reporting agencies. This bankruptcy score is supposedly a complex mix of your credit score plus your spending habits. The credit agencies and those that use this report (and have contributed to creating it) don't want to reveal the model because they spend a lot of time and money developing it and if they explain it, they are giving away part of it's value. Therefore little is said about this report (and why you have never likely heard of it before). You may be able to learn a bit more about it in the near future. Experian is considering making its bankruptcy risk score available to consumers. This is after they revealed a study last July which ranked the states that had consumers who were most likely to file for bankruptcy within the next year.
"Bankruptcy Risk Score - The Hidden Credit Score ," Jeffrey Administrator, February 21, 2006 --- http://www.savingadvice.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15148

Bob Jensen's threads on credit ratings and FICO scores are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#FICO


The likelihood of suffering medical depression seems to be increased among smokers,
   especially those who smoke heavily, study findings suggest.
Researchers in Norway who followed a population-based group of adults for 11 years found that those who smoked were more likely than non-smokers to become depressed, and the risk climbed in tandem with the number of cigarettes smokers puffed each day. Heavy smokers -- those who burned through more than 20 cigarettes a day -- were four times more likely than people who'd never smoked to develop depression. A number of factors the researchers considered -- including physical health, exercise and stressful life events -- failed to explain the link between smoking and later depression. This suggests, they say, that smoking may directly contribute to the development of the mood disorder. For instance, nicotine may over time change brain levels of the emotion-related chemical serotonin, which appears to be reduced in people with depression, the study's lead author, Dr. Ole Klungsoyr, told Reuters Health.
Amy Norton, "Smoking tied to risk of depression," Yahoo News, March 3, 2006 --- http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060303/hl_nm/smoking_depression_dc


Updates from WebMD (Note that for some people, coffee increases heart risks)


Question
Will the President of Case Western University encounter the same fate as Larry Summers?
The big difference is that Harvard did not suffer from deficits and red ink!

Upon taking office, he has pushed hard to attract more top students (spending too much to do so, according to faculty critics) and emphasized a commitment to undergraduate education through a program called the Seminar Approach to General Education and Scholarship, or SAGES. The program replaces many general education lecture courses that students would normally take as freshmen or sophomores with interdisciplinary seminars, all led by faculty members. Professors have mixed views on the ideas behind SAGES, but many who like the concept say that the president didn’t adequately involve them before he turned a pilot project into a full-scale, expensive commitment. The bottom line, according to professors, is that the president’s plans weren’t designed or executed well and are leaving the university drowning in red ink. In his e-mail to faculty members this week, Hundert acknowledged a need to cut $17 million to balance this year’s budget, as well as a $40 million “recurring deficit” at the university.
Scott Jaschik, "Revolt at Case Western," Inside Higher Ed, March 2, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/03/02/case

For an update see http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/03/03/case
 


"Army 8, Yale 0," The Wall Street Journal, March 7, 2006; Page A12 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114170224821491140.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep

"Slapped by the Supremes," Inside Higher Ed, March 7, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/03/07/supreme


ACLU views on the Supreme Court's agenda
The Court already has on its docket a series of important civil liberties cases involving abortion, free speech, the free exercise of religion, search and seizure, the right to die, military recruiting on university campuses, and disability rights.

ACLU --- http://www.aclu.org/scotus/index.html

We disagree with the Court’s decision today in Rumsfeld v. FAIR. Universities should not be punished by the loss of their federal funding merely because they apply the same non-discrimination policies to the military that they apply to every other employer that seeks to recruit on campus.
ACLU --- http://www.aclu.org/scotus/2005/rumsfeldv.fair041152/24377prs20060306.html

The American Civil Liberties Union today expressed disappointment over a Supreme Court ruling that upholds a federal law requiring colleges to allow military recruiters on campus or else lose out on federal funding. The ACLU filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, Rumsfeld v. FAIR, arguing that it is unconstitutional for Congress to force law schools that object to discrimination against gay people to give the military access to their recruitment programs.

The following quote can be attributed to ACLU Legal Director Steven R. Shapiro.

“We disagree with the Court’s decision today in Rumsfeld v. FAIR. Universities should not be punished by the loss of their federal funding merely because they apply the same non-discrimination policies to the military that they apply to every other employer that seeks to recruit on campus.”

“At the same time, the unanimity of today’s decision strongly suggests that the Court did not think it was changing any existing constitutional rules. Certainly, nothing in today’s decision endorses the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy or any other form of discrimination against gay people.”


Questions
Wasn't Warren Buffet supposed to be infallible?
How did he lose billions?
Warren Buffett, the second-richest man in America, is $1.8 billion poorer this year due to bad bets - also losing billions for his loyal following. The 75 year-old "Oracle of Omaha," considered by some as the world's greatest investor, has suffered an embarrassing 2.36 percent loss in returns on his huge Berkshire Hathaway empire in the past year. The pricey shares skidded from their peak last December of $91,200 apiece to $87,490 yesterday. That represents a drop of nearly $4.7 billion in just three months for his shareholders.
Paul Tharp, "WARREN BUFFETTED FOR $1.8B IN '05," New York Post, March 4, 2006 --- http://www.nypost.com/business/64599.htm


What are some of the real benefits of research?
Academic research is often big business these days. But the Association of University Technology Managers wants the world to know that it’s about helping people, too. The group released a collection of its version of heart-warming academic research stories, in the hope that people will see it isn’t all about money or esoteric discipline specific pursuits. “This is an initiative to build a better understanding of the results of academic research,” said W. Mark Crowell, past president of AUTM and associate vice chancellor for economic development and technology transfer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The “ Better World Reportis basically a book of short stories from the blockbuster discovery genre.
David Epstein, "Money Isn’t Everything," Inside Higher Ed, March 6, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/03/06/technology

 

A rain forest in Iowa? Give us a break
Despite an initial $10 million donation by Mr. Townsend and his Iowa Center for Health in a Loving Democracy (Child) Institute, what is now called the Environmental Project bounced around the state for years without gaining much traction, let alone financial backing. That all changed in 2003, however, when Chuck Grassley, Republican chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and a self-described "fiscal conservative," tagged a massive energy bill with a $50 million earmark to bring Mr. Townsend's dream here to Coralville, a thriving Eastern Iowa community near the University of Iowa and the Iowa 80 Truckstop (aka "The World's Largest Truckstop").
Michael Judge, "The Incredible Shrinking Rain Forest The strange odyssey of Sen. Grassley's earmark," The Wall Street Journal, March 9, 2006 --- http://www.opinionjournal.com/cc/?id=110008064
 


When half the students get A grades, how can we tell which of the A students are best?
In the cat-and-mouse maneuvering over admission to prestigious colleges and universities, thousands of high schools have simply stopped providing that information, concluding it could harm the chances of their very good, but not best, students. Canny college officials, in turn, have found a tactical way to respond. Using broad data that high schools often provide, like a distribution of grade averages for an entire senior class, they essentially recreate an applicant's class rank. The process has left them exasperated. "If we're looking at your son or daughter and you want us to know that they are among the best in their school, without a rank we don't necessarily know that," said Jim Bock, dean of admissions and financial aid at Swarthmore College.
Alan Finder, "Schools Avoid Class Ranking, Vexing Colleges," The New York Times, March 5, 2006 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/05/education/05rank.html

Bob Jensen's threads on grade inflation and assessment are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#GradeInflation



There was a rumor that natural blondes were going extinct. Actually they're just being reincarnated.
A team of American-led divers has discovered a new crustacean in the South Pacific that resembles a lobster and is covered with what looks like silky, blond fur, French researchers said Tuesday. Scientists said the animal, which they named Kiwa hirsuta, was so distinct from other species that they created a new family and genus for it. The divers found the animal in waters 7,540 feet deep at a site 900 miles south of Easter Island last year, according to Michel Segonzac of the French Institute for Sea Exploration.
"New Animal Resembling Furry Lobster Found," Yahoo News, March 7, 2006 --- http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060308/ap_on_sc/france_new_crustacean

Natural blondes are going extinct. It's a published fact!
Suppose this study had actually been reported a leading accounting research journal such as The Accounting Review.
Keep in mind that leading accounting research journals do not publish replication studies.
As a result few accounting researchers conduct replication studies since they cannot be published.
The logical deduction becomes that accountants would forever think that natural blondes are going extinct.

I guess you can say that The Washington Post had a "bad hair day."
From the WSJ Opinion Journal on March 6, 2006

"Media outlets around the world, from CBS, ABC and CNN to the British tabloids" all fell for a hoax--a fake study from the World Health Organization claiming blondes are going extinct.

The Washington Post reported http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A30318-2002Oct1.html
(Actually I think the story was removed by The Washington Post for good reason.)

"The decline and fall of the blonde is most likely being caused by bottle blondes, who researchers believe are more attractive to men than true blondes," said CBS "Early Show" co-host Gretchen Carlson.

"There's a study from the World Health Organization--this is for real--that says that blondes are an endangered species," Charlie Gibson said on "Good Morning America," prompting Diane Sawyer to say she's "going the way of the snail darter." . . .

"We've certainly never conducted any research into the subject," WHO spokeswoman Rebecca Harding said yesterday from Geneva. "It's been impossible to find out where it came from. It just seems like it was a hoax."

The health group traced the story to an account Thursday on a German wire service, which in turn was based on a two-year-old article in the German women's magazine Allegra, which cited a WHO anthropologist. Harding could find no record of such a man working for the WHO.

Hey, if you're a journalist, we've got a great human-interest story for you: Did you hear about the blonde who invented the solar flashlight? --- http://www.zelo.com/blonde/no_brains.asp

Now you see how ridiculous the accounting journal policy of not publishing replications becomes. Hopefully this published story in a leading U.S. newspaper (I mean The Washington Post that broke the Watergate scandal) the next time you read the findings in a leading accounting research journal.

Bob Jensen's threads on research replication are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen//theory/00overview/theory01.htm#Relication

This is replication doing its job
Purdue University is investigating “extremely serious” concerns about the research of Rusi Taleyarkhan, a professor of nuclear engineering who has published articles saying that he had produced nuclear fusion in a tabletop experiment, The New York Times reported. While the research was published in Science in 2002, the findings have faced increasing skepticism because other scientists have been unable to replicate them. Taleyarkhan did not respond to inquiries from The Times about the investigation.
Inside Higher Ed, March 08, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/index.php/news/2006/03/08/qt
The New York Times March 9 report is at http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/08/science/08fusion.html?_r=1&oref=slogin 

March 7, 2006 reply from David Fordham, James Madison University [fordhadr@JMU.EDU]

Bob Jensen responded: "Do you think these hoaxes are all being planted by the Bush Administration just to embarrass the administration's media nemesis? If not, maybe Julie Nixon decided to wait until March 6, 2006 to get even."

Bob, I don't believe they are planted. i believe the media cultivates them on purpose. They graft, they propagate, they harvest, and cook and serve, because it helps readership. Your liberal quotations of media reports are examples of how sensation sells.

I think the same of the media that you think of corporate executives and independent auditors when it comes to fraudulent financial reporting. And for exactly the same reasons.

Both of these fields (public accounting and news-reporting) are assumed by the public to be operating in the best interest of the public. Both are assumed by the general public to be reporting objective facts, clearly and concisely, with minimum of bias, error, and falsehood.

Your posts on financial reporting scandals point out that in many cases, the public's assumptions are false when it comes to auditors and corporate executives. My posts point out that in many cases, the public's assumptions are false when it comes to so-called news media.

That you and I both bemoan the "increase" in this environment is much more a factor of you and I getting old than it is any real increase in the environment. Fraud and false reporting has been with us since the beginning (read the account of the Serpent in the Garden of Eden in Genesis - - even if you don't accept the Bible as factual, it makes a good point about the origins of fraud and false assertions and reporting!)

I have personal knowledge of a few inaccurate accounting reports. But I also have knowledge of some very accurate accounting reports. By contrast, I've not yet, not YET in my life, ever personally experienced a situation and then read a factual account of the experience in a news outlet that didn't have some aspect(s) incorrect, and in some cases, out and out falsehoods were injected mainly for the purposes of enhancing the "shock" appeal, the "entertainment" appeal, or some other greedy purpose of the news outlet, traceable directly to the profit motive or reputation motive or both.

If accountants had the track record of media journalists when it comes to accuracy and reliability of reporting, there'd be more CPA's in jail than Carter has pills. It is my experience that fraudulent financial reporting is not the rule but the exception, where my experience is that false news reports ARE the rule and not the exception. The public is hoodwinked, either way, but I believe the ramifications of false news reporting is the more harmful of the two, and certainly is the more ubiquitous.

Planted? I'm not sure. Cultivated, watered, and fertilized? Yep. For Sure.

David

March 7, 2006 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi David,

You wrote "It is my experience that fraudulent financial reporting is not the rule but the exception, where my experience is that false news reports ARE the rule and not the exception."

Increasingly, I am concerned about "stretched financial reporting" being the rule rather than the exception, especially for giant clients. In many ways Enron was guilty of stretch accounting as much as outright fraudulent reporting. I think the problem increases with the size of the client. The auditing firm can afford play hard ball with small and medium clients. Playing hard ball with a giant client is tantamount to suicide. Thus we have "stretch accounting."

Jason Williams in a recent Glass Lewis report entitled “The Hocus Pocus of Hedge Accounting” reports on 40 companies that revised their financial statements due to suspected willful violations of FAS 133. FAS 133 is a prize because companies and their auditors can always claim ignorance or error in applying such an impossibly complex standard. But Williams (a financial analyst) suggests that the violations, like your media violations, are in many cases intentional. He states: “Some companies with the blessing of their auditors have improperly applied the rules governing accounting for financial instruments and derivatives ... “ (Page 2)

The problem is simple enough. Executives either want to smooth earnings to please risk-averse investors or these executives want to pad their bonuses. As far as the auditor is concerned, there's too much fixed cost to recover and too much revenue dependence to buck a giant client (rhymes) at the local office level.

Bob Jensen

Questions
Will our economy go Fannie up?
Are auditors ever going to be really independent when clients are too huge to give up?


The auditors (this time not Arthur Andersen) failed to stand up to the management or didn't understand what was happening.
Peter J. Wallison, "$1.5 Trillion of Debt," The Wall Street Journal, March 7, 2006; Page A12 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114170333345991166.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep

The Rudman Report on Fannie Mae recites facts eerily similar to what we now know about Enron. According to the report, the CFO of Fannie misled the board (and possibly the CEO) about the financial position of the company. The CEO, head of the corporate governance committee of the powerful Business Roundtable, regularly misled Wall Street and the board, but may not have understood the accounting. The auditors (this time not Arthur Andersen) failed to stand up to the management or didn't understand what was happening. The board, primarily made up of independent directors, and the audit committee, made up entirely of independent directors, were unable to penetrate the scam and remained clueless as earnings were manipulated. In Fannie's case there was also a regulator, but the regulator did not begin to look into any problems until it had been surprised by similar wrongdoing at Fannie's smaller sibling, Freddie Mac.

What we should learn from this -- much of which occurred after the adoption of Sarbanes-Oxley -- is that a board made up primarily of independent directors, an audit committee made up entirely of independent directors, a Big Four accounting firm alerted to the dangers of accounting fraud, and a regulator that claimed to be fully on top of what was happening, could not prevent senior management from fudging the accounting and misleading the board and investors. No surprise there. Many observers were saying, both before and after the enactment of SOX, that a management determined to defraud or mislead could evade the scrutiny of all the gatekeepers.

This has important implications for the legislation now before Congress to reform the regulation of Fannie and Freddie and limit the size of their portfolios. Since dishonesty and incompetence are an unavoidable fact of life, and gatekeepers are unreliable, investors must protect themselves by diversifying their investments. But there is good reason to believe that diversification would not be available if dishonesty or incompetence at Fannie or Freddie in the future resulted in the collapse or financial incapacity of either.

Fannie and Freddie are not ordinary companies. They have almost $1.5 trillion of debt outstanding, which they borrowed to buy and carry portfolios of mortgages and mortgage-backed securities; these portfolios expose both companies to enormous interest-rate and prepayment risk. To hedge this risk, Fannie and Freddie are parties to derivatives transactions with notional values in the trillions, in which the counterparties are some of the largest financial institutions; any failure of Fannie or Freddie to meet its obligations would expose these institutions to substantial losses. Fannie and Freddie debt is also held widely by banks and other financial institutions, in some cases accounting for more than 100% of their capital; a decline in the value of that debt would seriously weaken these organizations and reduce their capacity to lend.

Finally, both companies are central to the real-estate financing market. If either of them could not function normally, that market -- amounting to almost a third of the economy -- would freeze up. As Alan Greenspan has pointed out for years, the risks inherent in the portfolios carried by Fannie and Freddie add up to huge systemic risk -- the danger that a failure at either company will spread to the economy as a whole.

So here is the key difference between Enron and either Fannie or Freddie. Dishonesty or incompetence in Enron's management hurt shareholders and employees, both of whom could have protected themselves through diversification of investments. Dishonesty or incompetence in Fannie's or Freddie's managements could throw the economy into chaos, and from that catastrophe diversification provides no shelter. Faith in boards, audit committees, auditors and even regulators has been shown to be misplaced. Sure, Congress would likely come in and bail them out -- but immediately, without extended debate, and with trillions of taxpayer dollars potentially at risk? Not a chance. And the damage in the meantime would be devastating.

As reform legislation languishes in the Senate, Congress should consider the lessons of Enron, Fannie and Freddie: Despite our best efforts, error and fraud will occur. That's why it's important to make sure -- by reducing the size of Fannie and Freddie's portfolios -- that no future management failure at either company will threaten the stability of the economy.

Mr. Wallison is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

Bob Jensen's threads on Fannie Mae are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/caseans/000index.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on professionalism of auditors are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud001.htm#Professionalism


Question
Do you want to install SiteAdvisor or don't you know at this point in time?

"SiteAdvisor Adds Search Safety," by Brian Krebs, The Washington Post, February 28, 2006 --- Click Here

Since its inception, Security Fix has warned Microsoft Windows users to be extremely wary of clicking on Web links that arrive via instant messenger or e-mail, as these are the most common ways that malware spreads online today. But the sad truth is that for many Internet users, clicking on unfamiliar links that turn up in Google, MSN or Yahoo search results frequently expose users to security risks.

For the past few weeks I've been surfing the Web with the help of the beta version of a browser add-on called SiteAdvisor, a tool that offers users a fair amount of information about the relative safety and security of sites that show up in Internet searches. As I played around with this program, it became clear that this is a tool that not only allows users to make informed security decisions about a site before they click on a search result link, but it also holds the potential to fuel a more informed public dialogue about the often murky relationship between Fortune 500 companies and the spyware and adware industry.

But more on the Fortune 500 stuff later. SiteAdvisor is a browser add-on for Firefox or Internet Explorer that tries to interpret the relative safety of clicking on Web search results. With SiteAdvisor installed, each listing is accompanied by a small color-coded icon that indicates whether the software developers have received any reports of scammy, spammy or outright malicious activity emanating from the site.

The software gets its intel from a proprietary "spidering" technology that crawls around the Web much the same way as search engines do. The company's spiders browse sites with the equivalent of an unpatched version of IE to see if sites try to use any security exploits to install spyware or adware on a visitor's machine.

"Our attitude is, if a site gives you an exploit with an older version of IE, it's probably not one you want to visit with a newer version," said Chris Dixon, one of SiteAdvisor's co-founders.

If you use IE and try to visit any site that the program has seen using security vulnerabilites to install software, the program immediately redirects you to a SiteAdvisor page offering more information on the threat posed by the site (users can still chose to visit the site if they so wish after the initial warning). All such sites will earn a big red "X" next to their search listing, as will others that threaten to bombard suscribers with junk e-mail or have questionable relationships with third-party advertisers or shady Web sites.

Hover over the red "X" with your mouse arrow and a small window appears urging you to exercise "extreme caution" in visiting the site. If you then visit the site, a red dialogue box emerges that offers a brief description of why SiteAdvisor doesn't like it.

Continued in article

"'X' Marks the Spyware A startup offers Internet users simple warnings about a website's potential for spyware and spam," by David Talbot , MIT's Technology Review, March 1, 2006 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/InfoTech/wtr_16443,308,p1.html

Spyware has emerged as the bane of the Internet -- and finding solutions represents a growing obsession of Web users and the industry that serves them. The newest entrant in the counteroffensive launches today: Boston-based startup SiteAdvisor is releasing software that warns a user about potential spyware and spam hazards.

The spyware and malware problem is enormous. According to a recent Pew Internet & American Life Project, the computers of roughly 59 million Americans are infected with spyware. And home computer users spent around $3.5 billion in 2003-04 to fix the problems, according to a recent Consumer Reports investigation. Infected machines often slow down dramatically and begin generating error messages, and some types of spyware code can steal passwords and other personal information.

While many established software products remove known spyware, the warnings and advisories generated by SiteAdvisor are meant to keep users' computers from getting infected in the first place. So far, the company says it has collected data on two million websites. While this is a fraction of all websites, the company says those it rates make up 95 percent of all online traffic.

 

SiteAdvisor's Web-crawling technology checks whether sites offer programs for downloading, whether those programs carry spyware-like software, and whether entering an e-mail address in signup forms will generate spam. The company stores the accumulated knowledge in its databases, adds more information from website owners and users, and offers the warnings via a browser plug-in for Internet Explorer or Firefox.

[Click here to view samples of warnings --- http://www.technologyreview.com/InfoTech/wtr_16443,308,p1.html# ]

The SiteAdvisor home page is at http://www.siteadvisor.com/

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


State Business Tax Climate Index Rankings by State, 2006 --- http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/show/1371.html

Business Tax Climate Index --- http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/topic/90.html


Fearing your student evaluations, how much time and trouble should you devote to email questions from your students?
For junior faculty members, the barrage of e-mail has brought new tension into their work lives, some say, as they struggle with how to respond. Their tenure prospects, they realize, may rest in part on student evaluations of their accessibility. The stakes are different for professors today than they were even a decade ago, said Patricia Ewick, chairwoman of the sociology department at Clark University in Massachusetts, explaining that "students are constantly asked to fill out evaluations of individual faculty." Students also frequently post their own evaluations on Web sites like www.ratemyprofessors.com  and describe their impressions of their professors on blogs.
Jonathan D. Glater, "To: Professor@University.edu Subject: Why It's All About Me," The New York Times, February 21, 2006 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/21/education/21professors.html

Bob Jensen's threads on controversies over student evaluations are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#GradeInflation

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side of education technology ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm


"Will Home Robots Ever Clean Up? Helen Greiner of iRobot talks about how the company's Roomba vacuum cleaner succeeded -- and why they don't have competitors," by Wade Roush, MIT's Technology Review, March 3, 2006 ---  http://www.technologyreview.com/BizTech/wtr_16503,309,p1.html


"The Art of Building a Robot to Love," by Henry Fountain, The New York Times, March 5, 2006 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/05/weekinreview/05robots.html 
 


Robotic 'pack mule' displays stunning reflexes
A nimble, four-legged robot is so surefooted it can recover its balance even after being given a hefty kick. The machine, which moves like a cross between a goat and a pantomime horse, is being developed as a robotic pack mule for the US military. BigDog is described by its developers Boston Dynamics as “the most advanced quadruped robot on Earth”. The company have released a new video of the robot negotiating steep slopes, crossing rocky ground and dealing with the sharp kick. View the impressive clip here (28MB Windows media file). “Internal force sensors detect the ground variations and compensate for them,” says company president and project manager Marc Raibert. “And BigDog's active balance allows it to maintain stability when we disturb it." This active balance is maintained by four legs, each with three joints powered by actuators and a fourth "springy" joint. All the joints are controlled by an onboard PC processor.
"Robotic 'pack mule' displays stunning reflexes," New Scientist, March 3, 2006 --- http://www.newscientist.com/channel/mech-tech/dn8802.html
Jensen Comment
Do you suppose a Democratic Party donkey version with a controllable mouth is being developed to replace Howard Dean?


Website that allows ex-wives to dish out dirt on their exes
They form Britain's least wanted list: an online database of men that womankind has declared are to be avoided at all costs. Cads, lotharios and bedhopping chancers all take their place on a new website set up by cheated partners intent on sending out a warning to women around the world.

Jonathan Thompson, "Caution: Don't date... him:  Two-timed women have hit back with a website that dishes the dirt on their exes," The Independent, March 5, 2006 --- http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article349327.ece


Question
On our way to having one telephone company once again. Can you guess its name?
The difference is that phone rates will not be regulated.

AT&T Corp. (read that SBC)  is planning to acquire BellSouth Corp., according to several people familiar with the negotiations who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the talks. A merger of two of the four remaining Bell phone companies would represent a huge step toward recreating the monopoly that existed in the phone business before the old AT&T was broken up in 1984. The companies are expected to announce a deal as early as Monday.
Ken Belson, "AT&T Is Said to Be Near Deal for BellSouth," The New York Times, March 5, 2006 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/05/business/05deal.html

Jensen Comment
I forgot my cell phone on a recent flight. It was a surprise that the pay phones in the San Antonio Airport now let you phone anywhere in the United States for $0.50 with unlimited time. I guess this is one of the positive side effects competing in the era of cell phones that eliminated most pay phone calls. But I rarely trust monopolies and am said to see these mergers being allowed by our ineffectual trust busters in Washington DC.


Is Canada's national health plan doomed?
Canada's government-run national health system, often held before Americans as a model method of delivering medical care, has been gradually falling to pieces in recent years, and last week it received what many fear will prove the knock-out blow. That blow came from Alberta where the provincial Conservative government of Premier Ralph Klein is defying federal laws intended to safeguard the system against private medical practice. Klein unveiled a plan to institute a controversial "two-tier system" in his province – meaning two levels of medical care, one run by the government and delivered without fee, the other delivered privately with a fee attached.
Ted Byfield, "The beginning of the end of socialist health care?" WorldNetDaily, March 4, 2006 --- http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=49102


"Email Etiquette an Oxymoron? Perhaps Not," by Sanford Pinsker, The Irascible Professor, March 1, 2006 --- http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-03-01-06.htm

It is no secret that technology has had its impact on teaching, but it is also no secret that there are times when the "impact" is unwelcome, if not downright unpleasant. I am referring to the habit, by now well established, in which students email their professors at the click of a mouse -- and then expect the professor to respond in a heartbeat. No request is too outlandish, as a recent article in the New York Times demonstrated: One first-year student emailed a calculus professor asking "If I should buy a binder or a subject notebook?"; another explained that she was late for Monday's class because she "was recovering from drinking too much at a wild weekend party." The war stories rattled on and on as the article explored the ways in which student e-mail have made professors not only "approachable" but also "on call" 24/7.

Untenured professors have good reason to worry if students perceive them as not responding swiftly enough -- no matter how inappropriate or downright outlandish student requests might be. After all, most students fill out evaluation forms at the end of the semester and woe to the professor who is perceived as dragging his or her heels when replying to student email. As a person who was once chided for not returning student papers promptly -- this, long before email became a fact of academic life -- I was glad that there was room on the form for the student to explain that he expected his paper returned at the end of the class in which he had turned it in. That, for him, defined "promptly," and I didn't meet his definition.

No doubt every professor who skimmed the New York Times article had an example or two drawn from personal experience. I am hardly an exception. I remember, for example, the first-year student who email me -- this, before our first meeting -- that she was a member of the field hockey team and that she would be leaving class early on a number of occasions (they were listed) and missing class altogether for away games. No doubt she thought this was thoughtful of her and only thought otherwise when I informed her that, at the college she was now attending, academic work took precedence over athletics, and that we ought to discuss the matter further in my office. I am happy to report that my reply got her thinking but unhappy to report that her "solution" to the problem was "make-up classes," ones I'd teach her privately during moments when she wasn't chasing a ball with a stick.

Ironically enough, the last email I received from a student had to do with the grade he got on a term paper (B-) that was headed “A Grave Injustice.” I resisted the opportunity to tell him that, if this was the largest 'grave injustice ' the world handed him, he was a fortunate young man indeed. Instead, I began with the formulaic, "I'm sorry you're upset but. . ." and went on to explain that it is my job to assign grades and that is what I'd done, to the best of my ability, in his case -- as my typed, half-page comments made clear. My point in relaying this exasperating tale is to remind professors not to get exasperated themselves. Volleying emails back and back is, well, unseemly, something that immature students do but that professional teachers don't.

My hunch is that the student email problem will only get worse. That's why it will, I believe, become crucial to establish an email policy -- call them guidelines, rules of etiquette, whatever you will -- and add it to course syllabi. I was hardly alone in making it clear on my syllabi that "Adults do not like to be called after 10 PM" (some prefer 7), and if I were still teaching I would add email to the mix.

Further, I would discourage students from emailing me drafts of papers not only the night before they are due, but also two or three nights before they are due. My policy, one that usually worked well, was to inform students that, under normal circumstances, I would be happy to comment on a one-page summary that included a working title, abstract, and up to three paragraphs -- if the single page document were turned in a week before the paper itself was due. "Unusual cases" (papers with grades below a C-) were dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes I would require that the paper be rewritten after an office conference, sometimes I would ask that a draft of the next paper be submitted at a mutually agreeable time.

Moreover, I think my etiquette rules would vary depending on the class. First-year students are often nervous Nellies; they want to do well but they lack confidence, sometime for good reason. My advice would be to cut them some slack, at the same time that you make it clear, in class, that some behavior is cheesy rather than classy. Because I'm something of a ham, I'd ham it up from time to time in my first-year seminar with tales, some real, some just made up, about what I called "students from hell." Everybody laughed but got the point about what not to do. If I were still teaching, I'd probably borrow the example about the student who emailed about what binder to buy.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side of education technology are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm


Question
Is your church or favorite charity violating its tax exempt status?

Among the prohibited activities, the examiners found that charities and churches had distributed printed material supporting a preferred candidate and assembled improper voter guides or candidate ratings. Religious leaders had used the pulpit to endorse or oppose a particular candidate, and some groups had shown preferential treatment to candidates by letting them speak at functions. Other charities and churches had made improper cash contributions to a candidate's political campaign. The IRS said the cases covered "the full spectrum" of political viewpoints.
"IRS Finds Charities Overstep Into Politics," SmartPros, February 28, 2006 --- http://accounting.smartpros.com/x51953.xml

Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm


Yet another example of how to lie with statistics

"WEA 'Take the Lead' Campaign Misleads," by Marsha Richards, Evergreen Freedom Foundation, February 24, 2006 --- http://www.effwa.org/main/article.php?article_id=1452&number=56 

The Washington Education Association (WEA) is running radio and television ads decrying the fact that our state is 46th in the nation for class size, and 42nd in the nation for per-pupil spending. The ads, part of a campaign dubbed “Take the Lead,” are meant to generate sympathy for increased education spending.

Unfortunately, they’re misleading. And shallow.

A moment’s consideration of the facts shows us the WEA’s campaign is without substance. Consider the facts behind two of the union’s claims (which are featured in television ads this week):

1. Washington ranks 46th in the nation in class size. Rankings are interesting, but they’re meaningless without baselines. Ranking “high” or “low” doesn’t answer the real question: What is Washington’s average class size? The WEA’s own national affiliate admits that “no state-by-state actual class size information exists.”

What we do know is that our state legislature allocates funding to pay for a student/teacher ratio of 18.8 to one. And according to the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the state employs 55.7 K-12 classroom teachers for every 1,000 students, which means there is one teacher for every 18 students.

Many teachers will tell you their classes are larger than 18 or 19 students. Yet the WEA doesn’t seem interested in figuring out why this is and where current dollars are going.

Further, while class sizes are certainly important, they are only meaningful in context with the factors that matter most in student learning: quality and experience of the teacher, curriculum, school leadership, classroom discipline, and parental involvement. Some teachers can handle larger classes without difficulty; some subjects require more intensive interaction than others; some students learn with more ease than others. Class sizes should be determined by local teachers and administrators, not mandated at the state level.

2. Washington ranks 42nd in the nation in education spending. Again, rankings are interesting, but they don’t tell us much without baselines. The important questions are: How much is Washington spending per-pupil, and how much is enough?

According to the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Washington spent an average of $10,103 per K-12 student last year. That’s a lot of money. Is it enough to do the job? It’s hard to answer that question without meaningful performance audits of our K-12 schools, but it’s interesting to note that it rivals the tuition at some of our state’s elite private schools.

It is well documented that higher education spending doesn’t necessarily mean higher student achievement. Washington, D.C. spends more than any state, yet has the lowest student test scores. Utah spends less than most states, yet has some of the highest student test scores.

It costs money to provide a quality education, but how you spend that money is just as important as how much.


There is no "one size fits all" savings prescription to acquire this nest egg. You need to consider age, wealth, projected employment income and other personal factors to establish a reasonable range for what you can save before retirement.

"Getting Real About Retirement:  Why using historical stock returns to project your nest egg's growth may give you false confidence," by Alfred Rappaport, The Wall Street Journal, February 27, 2006; Page R2 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114070958262981402.html?mod=todays_us_the_journal_report

The final critical factor affecting the success of your retirement plan is the investment return from now until you hang up your work clothes. Many investors and financial advisors favor a simple approach to forecasting future returns, taking the average 10.4% compounded annual return for large-company U. S. stocks over the past eight decades. There are five reasons why this is a bad idea:

• The return is not inflation-adjusted.

• Future returns are likely to be lower than past returns.

• The return ignores expenses.

• The return ignores taxes.

• Most investors do not reinvest all of their dividends.

Bob Jensen's investment helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#Finance


Largest crater discovered in Sahara
Researchers from Boston University have discovered the remnants of the largest crater of the Great Sahara of North Africa, which may have been formed by a meteorite impact tens of millions of years ago. Dr. Farouk El-Baz made the discovery while studying satellite images of the Western Desert of Egypt with his colleague, Dr. Eman Ghoneim, at BU's Center for Remote Sensing. The double-ringed crater – which has an outer rim surrounding an inner ring – is approximately 31 kilometers in diameter. Prior to the latest finding, the Sahara's biggest known crater, in Chad, measured just over 12 kilometers. According to El-Baz, the Center's director, the crater’s vast area suggests the location may have been hit by a meteorite the entire size of the famous Meteor (Barringer) Crater in Arizona which is 1.2 kilometers wide. El-Baz named his find “Kebira,” which means “large” in Arabic and also relates to the crater’s physical location on the northern tip of the Gilf Kebir region in southwestern Egypt. The reason why a crater this big had never been found before is something the scientists are speculating.
"Largest crater discovered in Sahara," PhysOrg, March 5, 2006 --- http://www.physorg.com/news11417.html


Does Cleveland police logo contain image of pig?
See MSNBC, February 27, 2006 --- http://msnbc.msn.com/id/11595799/


"Google's Latest Bundle of Goodies Is Worth Opening," by Rob Pegoraro, The Washington Post, February 27, 2006 --- Click Here

The Pack ( http://pack.google.com/ ) consists of five Google programs (Google Earth, Google Desktop, the Picasa photo organizer, the Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer and the new Google Pack Screensaver), a version of Mozilla Firefox with the Google Toolbar built in, the Ad-Aware SE Personal spyware remover, a copy of Symantec's Norton AntiVirus 2005 SE that includes six months of updates and Adobe Reader 7. You can also remove any of these components or add any of four optional ingredients -- the Google Talk and Trillian instant messengers, RealPlayer and a gallery of art images to use as desktop backgrounds or screensaver images -- before beginning the download.

(The presence of so much Googleware should explain why the Mountain View, Calif., company isn't doing this just out of charity; a Google Pack user will never be far from links to Google sites and services.)

Continued in article


It's a little like encouraging burglars so security guards have more opportunities
"The job of security companies is to make the Apple platform look insecure," said Enderle. "They're now convinced that Apple is their next big revenue opportunity." According to Enderle, that's what's behind recent security alerts and warnings, first for a pair of worms -- which Apple argued weren't worms at all -- then for an unpatched vulnerability that could let attackers hijack Macs. "I'm not implying that there is collusion between security companies and hackers," said Enderle, "but security companies only make money if there are security exposures." But he did claim that there was a connection between vulnerability disclosures and exploits, that the cause of the second was actually the first.
Greg Keizer, "Analyst Dings Security Vendors For Exploiting Apple Flaws:  Rob Enderle is convinced that security companies see Apple as their next big revenue opportunity," InformationWeek, February 27, 2006 --- http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=181400660

Meanwhile, analyst Rob Enderle--one of the IT industry's chief pot stirrers--asserts that the security vendor community is, in effect, feeding itself with all the warnings it issues, Apple merely being the latest example. "By telling people about an exposure, you're telling someone else how to [exploit] it. I think security companies should spend more time catching criminals than telling them how to become one," the ever-provocative Enderle says. His view is, in turn, dismissed by Gartner security expert John Pescatore as so much old news. But if security vendors didn't derive at least some benefit from all the publicity surrounding vulnerabilities, they'd be far less proactive in dishing out the information, advice, and expertise every time a new one comes to light.
Tom Smith, "Apple, Security, And Disturbing Questions," InformationWeek Daily Newsletter, March 1, 2006

"Is OS X Truly Vulnerable? Only one of three recent concerns about the security of Apple's operating system is worth worrying about," by Daniel Turner, MIT's Technology Review, March 1, 2006 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/InfoTech/wtr_16444,300,p1.html



The Wall Street Journal Flashback, February 28, 1949
A nickel an hour. That's about the average wage boost industrial workers will get this spring. The administration sees an increase as necessary to keep purchasing power up, but is concerned about inflation and layoffs if pay rises too sharply.
 


A Quantum Encryption Breakthrough
Researchers at the University of Toronto have shown, in a study published in the February 24 issue of Physical Review Letters, that one of the present liabilities of quantum cryptography can be turned into an advantage. Using "quantum decoys," Professor Hoi-Kwong Lo and his team are increasing the distance that quantum-encrypted data can be sent over fiber-optic cable. Quantum cryptography uses particles of light called photons to create and send keys used for coding and decoding messages. A photon can transmit bits of a key by representing a 1 or 0, depending on a property called polarization. The sender of this key (physicists call her "Alice") transmits a string of randomly polarized single photons to the recipient ("Bob"), who collects each photon, one at a time.
Kate Greene, "A Quantum Encryption Breakthrough:  This new technique dupes eavesdroppers," MIT's Technology Review, March 3, 2006 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/InfoTech/wtr_16505,300,p1.html 
 

Practical Fuel-Cell Vehicles
The future of fuel-cell vehicles is already happening in an unlikely proving ground: forklifts used in warehouses. Several manufacturers are testing forklifts powered by a combination of fuel cells and batteries -- and finding that these hybrids perform far better than the lead-acid battery systems now typically used. In some situations, in fact, they could pay for themselves in cost savings and added productivity within two or three years. The adoption of the technology points to a promising hybrid strategy for finally making fuel cells economically practical for all sorts of vehicles. While researchers have speculated for years that hydrogen fuel cells could power clean, electric vehicles, cutting emissions and decreasing our dependence on oil, manufacturing fuel cells big enough to power a car is prohibitively expensive -- one of the main reasons they are not yet in widespread use. But by relying on batteries or ultracapacitors to deliver peak power loads, such as for acceleration, fuel cells can be sized as much as four times smaller, slashing manufacturing costs and helping to bring fuel cell-powered vehicles to market.
Kevin Bullis, "Practical Fuel-Cell Vehicles:  Hybrid vehicles operating in an unusual environment are lifting the prospects of fuel cells,"  MIT's Technology Review, March 3, 2006 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/BizTech/wtr_16504,296,p1.html


Hawaiian Senators Block Genetic Modified Crops
State senators have advanced two bills putting limits on the genetic modification of taro and coffee, crops that are key to Hawaii's identity. The bills that passed out of a dual committee meeting Wednesday would ban until 2011 the field testing of strains of both plants that have been engineered or spliced with the genes of other organisms. The modified plants could, however, be grown in greenhouses. The taro bill also would place a five-year ban on genetically modifying Hawaiian varieties of the plant, whose roots are made into poi, one of the state's best-known foods. In Hawaiian folklore, taro is considered to be a sacred ancestor of Native Hawaiians, linking them to island soil.
"Hawaiian Bill: No GM Coffee Plantations Hawaii Senate lawmakers advance limits on genetic modification research," MIT's Technology Review, March 2, 2006 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/TR/wtr_16486,323,p1.html


Who’s Afraid of David Horowitz?
You would never know it from McLemee’s article, but The Professors is not about any threat from left-wing ideas as such. It is about the intellectual corruption of the university, and the intrusion of political agendas into the academic curriculum. I know this statement will come as a surprise to those familiar only with the attacks themselves, so here is what the book actually says: “This book is not intended as a text about left-wing bias in the university and does not propose that a leftwing perspective on academic faculties is a problem in itself. Every individual, whether conservative or liberal, has a perspective and therefore a bias. Professors have every right to interpret the subjects they teach according to their individual points of view. That is the essence of academic freedom. But they also have professional obligations as teachers, whose purpose is the instruction and education of students, not to impose their biases on their students as though they were scientific facts.”
"Who’s Afraid of David Horowitz?" by David Horowitz, Inside Higher Ed, February 27, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2006/02/27/horowitz

Bob Jensen's threads on The Professors by David Horowitz are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2006/tidbits060213.htm#Horowitz


February 27, 2006 message from Rohan Chambers [rchambers@CYBERVALE.COM]

Canadian University Bans Wireless Networking, Citing Health Concerns

The president of Lakehead University, in Ontario, says that he will not allow the institution to deploy a wireless network on the campus out of concern that the electromagnetic frequencies such systems emit could endanger students' health.

The president, Frederick F. Gilbert, became concerned about the health effects of wireless networks after reading studies done by scientists for the California Public Utilities Commission, said Marla Tomlinson, a spokeswoman at Lakehead, a 7,000-student institution in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The California scientists concluded that people exposed to electromagnetic wavelengths might be at risk of developing cancer and recommended further investigation.

Continued in the article…..

Source: http://chronicle.com/daily/2006/02/2006022402t.htm

February 27, 2005 reply from Robert Holmes, Glendale College [rcholmes@GLENDALE.CC.CA.US]

I am not a subscriber and was unable to read the article. Our son had leukemia in the early 1980's(he is currently OK and applying to PhD programs). The doctors did a lot of testing in our house and neighborhood for electro-magnetic waves including powerlines and electric blankets. The last I knew they determined that these waves were not a factor in causing cancers, either in our son or anyone else. I am interested in hearing about any new research. (We abandoned our electric blankets, just in case, and I still miss crawling into a warm bed.)


"How to Digitize a Million Books:  Needed: scanning software for 430 languages and a system to organize the next big leap in the information age," by Kate Greene, MIT's Technology Review, February 28, 2006 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/InfoTech/wtr_16434,300,p1.html

The Million Books Project at Carnegie Mellon University --- http://www.library.cmu.edu/Libraries/MBP_FAQ.html

As of November 2005 -

Google Book Search --- http://books.google.com 

Bob Jensen's links to electronic literature --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm 


Videos from Suicide Bombers
Suicide bomber videos: Footage of hate Farewell message: 'There is no blood better than the blood of Jews'

WorldNet Daily, March 2, 2006 --- http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=49085

People hate Israelis for a reason
Hany Abu-Assad, Israeli-born director of Oscar-nominated film ‘Paradise Now,’
YNetNews --- http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0%2C7340%2CL-3223216%2C00.html


From the University of Illinois Scholarly Communication Blog on February 28, 2006 --- http://www.library.uiuc.edu/blog/scholcomm/

Library Leaders Press Colleges to Archive Online Journals to Avoid Loss of Data

Some library leaders are urging colleges and academic libraries to take action to preserve online scholarly journals, saying they could vanish into oblivion should publishers go out of business or face other calamities. A group of librarians, college administrators, and scholars issued a public call to action on the issue in October, in a statement edited by Donald J. Waters, an official specializing in scholarly communications at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Association of College and Research Libraries endorsed the message this month. "Since most libraries do not actually own and store the content of the journals they license in electronic form, new models for preservation must be developed," association officials said in a statement. "Scholars may face serious loss of access to published research if libraries do not adopt effective electronic-journal-preservation strategies." http://www.diglib.org/pubs/waters051015.htm Unlike print journals, which libraries own and can keep forever, electronic journals are provided to libraries under a kind of lease. Libraries pay for the privilege of having access to the journals online. But many libraries fear they will not be able to retrieve back issues should that access abruptly end -- if, for example, a publisher goes bankrupt. This is of special concern now that libraries are increasingly relying on electronic journals. The association says it supports allowing libraries to operate their own electronic archives or to form a collective with other libraries to preserve electronic journals. The archive would be made available to scholars only when the publisher could no longer provide access to the journals, or if the materials were no longer protected by copyright. Chronicle of Higher Education 2/24/06 http://chronicle.com/daily/2006/02/2006022401t.htm .

 


Rare 'masterpiece' now available in English after 300 years, James Ussher's legendary 'Annals of the World' --- http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=43781


Liberwocky: What Liberals Say and What They Really Mean  --- http://shop.wnd.com/store/item.asp?ITEM_ID=1600


Dutch Schools Strip Nobel Laureate's Name
Dutch universities have stripped a late Nobel chemistry laureate of honors, citing new evidence that he collaborated with the Nazis to oust Jews from academic positions. The information about Dutch-born Peter Debye, who won the Nobel in 1936, emerged a month ago in a book, "Albert Einstein in the Netherlands." The book, by Berlin-based author Sybe I. Rispens, cited letters Einstein wrote to colleagues about his suspicions of Debye when the Dutchman moved to the United States in 1940, where he lived until his death in 1966.
Aruthur Max, "Dutch Schools Strip Nobel Laureate's Name," Yahoo News, March 3, 2006 --- http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060303/ap_on_re_eu/netherlands_laureate_disgraced


William J. Clinton Presidential Center --- http://www.clintonfoundation.org


If this passes, Ohio may no longer be the swing state in national elections
If a Youngstown lawmaker's proposal becomes Ohio law, Republicans would be barred from being adoptive parents. State Sen. Robert Hagan sent out e-mails to fellow lawmakers late Wednesday night, stating that he intends to ``introduce legislation in the near future that would ban households with one or more Republican voters from adopting children or acting as foster parents.''
Carl Chancellor, "Plan would bar Ohio adoptions by GOP," Beacon Journal, February 24, 2006 --- http://www.ohio.com/mld/beaconjournal/13950130.htm


How many U.S. households are still not online?
Nevertheless, while many of us have embraced the Web, hoping that it's making our lives easier, there's a significant number of U.S. households that are not online—39 million, according to researcher Parks Associates. Not only do these homes not have Web connections, but only 2 percent of the people living in them plan to subscribe to an Internet service this year. As a result, it appears the nation has stalled in terms of Internet penetration in the home. Now I could do a lot of hand wringing and argue for getting these people online as soon as possible, but the truth is I don't care. If these people are happy without blogs, portals, search engines and iTunes, then I say stay away.
Antone Gonsalves, InternetWeek Newsletter, February 26, 2006


From The Washington Post on March 6, 2006

What airline plans to offer XM satellite radio service on board its flights?

A. American
B. Frontier
C. JetBlue
D. United

Jensen Question
When will the airlines ever learn that what we really want for our money is a a good routing schedule, on-time arrival, and joy over the luggage service. Why should we pay for frills that don't really matter?


From the Scout Report on March 3, 2006

Two on Teaching in Community Colleges
The Center for Teaching Excellence [pdf] http://www.lansing.cc.mi.us/cte/
Del Mar College-Teaching and Learning Center [Real Player] http://www.delmar.edu/tlc/home.html 

A number of colleges and universities have excellent sites dedicated to helping professors and other educators learn more about effective teaching methods. In recent years, more than a few community colleges have also adopted such techniques, creating a plethora of websites geared towards assisting educators. The first site profiled is from the Lansing Community College’s Center For Teaching Excellence. From their page, visitors can take a look through a number of useful documents, such as “Classroom Strategies for Fostering Student Retention” and “Essays on Teaching Excellence.” The site also contains their biannual newsletter, “Spotlight on Faculty”, which features a number of teaching tips and techniques developed by faculty at the college. The second site will take users to the Teaching and Learning Center at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas. Here visitors can find helpful “technology tips” designed for incorporating technology into the classroom, and a number of podcasts of interest. These podcasts deal with a number of themes, ranging from mental health crises on campus to resource challenges facing community colleges. [KMG]


National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy [pdf] http://www.ncsall.net/ 

Located at Harvard University, The National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL) draws on numerous scholars and experts to investigate the practice of educational programs around the country that serve adults with limited literacy and English language skills. Their various outreach efforts include disseminating their research findings through journals and policy reports, along with the leadership provided by their Connecting Practice, Policy, and Research initiative. The “Research” section of the site is a good place to start, as users can learn about their most recent research projects and also read publications authored by researchers working at NCSALL. Beyond this section, visitors will also appreciate the “Publications” area, which includes research briefs, reports, and selections from their occasional papers series. One highlight here is the “Focus on Basics” quarterly publication, which presents best practices and current research on adult learning and literacy. Visitors can view the current issue, and also scan through the archives, which date back to 1997. [KMG]


The Future of Children [pdf] --- http://www.futureofchildren.org 

There are a number of fine journals that deal with policies oriented toward children in the United States, and The Future of Children is certainly one of the best. The journal is a publication of The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and The Brookings Institution. On this site, visitors can read the current issue of the journal, and also browse their previous issues dating back to 1991. Each issue has a general theme, and past years have featured issues dealing with adoption, health insurance for children, caring for infants and toddlers, and domestic violence. For visitors who may be pressed for time, each issue contains an executive summary and article summaries. Additionally, users may also wish to sign up to receive their free e-mail newsletter. [KMG]


Craigslist Accused of Violating the Fair Housing Act Craigslist Is Accused of Bias In Housing Ads [Free Registration Required]
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/23/business/media/23adco.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin 

Craigslist Disputes “Fair” Housing Lawsuit http://www.craigslist.org/about/fair.housing.html 

Free classified ads not working well for newspapers http://www.editorsweblog.org/news/2006/02/free_classified_ads_not_working_well_for.php#more 

Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc. v. Craigslist, Inc. [pdf] http://law.marquette.edu/goldman/chicagocraigslistcomplaint.pdf 

Stanford Law Review: In Search of Fair Housing In Cyberspace: The Implications of the Communications Decency Act for Fair Housing on the Internet [Word] http://www.clccrul.org/FHAandtheCDA.doc 

Stanford Center for Internet and Society [pdf] http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/


"IBM's Chip-Shrinking Secret:  New tricks with light and lenses could produce the smallest microprocessors -- without revamping the industry," by Kate Greene, MIT's Technology Review, February 27, 2006 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/BizTech/wtr_16425,295,p1.html


Langa Letter:
Another Hidden Gem: The Windows Disk Management Too
l:  Create, delete, and format partitions; change drive letter assignments and paths; help set up disk mirroring and RAID; and more--all with this free Windows tool
by Fred Langa, InformationWeek, February 27, 2006 ---
http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=180207718

Windows' Disk Management Tool
You can access the Disk Management tool easily from any Admin-level account. Click "Start/Control Panel/Performance" and "Maintenance/Administrative Tools/Computer Management." When the Computer Management interface opens, look in the left-hand pane under "Storage" and click on "Disk Management." You should see something like what was shown earlier in screen 2, although the details for your system will, of course, be different.

Let me explain what you're seeing in the screen shot: You can see my first hard drive-Disk 0-has seven partitions and six logical drives on it. The tiny 8 Mbyte first partition is for my boot manager, a tool that also gives me access to a self-contained imaging/backup function that runs outside of, and independently of, Windows. Because this partition is outside of Windows' control, Windows shows it as an "unknown partition." If you don't use a boot manager, your display won't show this kind of partition.

My normal C: system drive is a 9 Gbyte NTFS partition, sized because it fits conveniently on two DVDs for backup. Windows and my most important data files live there. The other partitions, D through H, are formatted in FAT32, which yields slightly faster access than NTFS, albeit with a slightly greater risk of data corruption or file errors. My less important files are on these partitions, and they're backed up at less-frequent intervals than my C: drive is. Because FAT32 is marginally faster than NTFS, I've also put XP's pagefile on one of the FAT32 partitions, D. (If you're curious about why I've set things up this way, there's a complete explanation here.)

In screen 2, also note that my system's two CD/DVD drives are shown. Although our focus today is hard-drive management, the Windows Disk Management tool does give you access to these removable drives as well. This can be very handy when or if, for instance, you need or want to change the drive letter assigned to a CD or DVD drive.

Although the Disk Management tool is useful for working on already installed disks, its best and main use is in adding a new second drive to a system, or temporarily adding a second drive as part of swapping out an older drive for a newer one.

The upper left portion of screen 3 shows what you see when you open Drive Management after adding a new, raw, unformatted hard drive to a system. (For clarity, I've resized the Drive Management window to hide the CD and DVD drive information because we won't be doing anything with them right now.)

Continued in article

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Fred Langa offers a comprehensive plan for keeping your PC in absolute top-notch condition.

Langa Letter: A Must-Have Repair And Recovery Tool
If you ever have to recover files from an unbootable drive or try to bring a dead PC back to life, here's a free, zero-footprint tool you shouldn't be without, Fred Langa says.


No Pro Bono:  Mother Rented Her Daughters to Pay for Legal Services
An alert hotel clerk helped police nab a fugitive lawyer facing charges that he paid for sex with two girls with the approval of their mother. Prosecutors said Colliton had in effect been renting the teenage girls from their 38-year-old mother. The lawyer started with a 15-year-old daughter in 2000 and continued until 2004, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said.
"Fugitive Lawyer Arrested on Child Sex Charges," Fox News, March 4, 2006 ---
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0%2C2933%2C186828%2C00.html


"Super Battery:  The M1 stomps all over today's cells," Wired News, March 2006 --- http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.03/start.html?pg=9

Rechargeable battery industry, dominated by Asian giants like Sanyo, Sony, and Toshiba, is worth more than $6 billion a year. A123 - whose inves­tors include Motorola, Qualcomm, and the Pentagon's VC arm, OnPoint Technologies - aims to radically expand that market, by both cutting the cords on conventional plug-in tools and home appliances and powering brawny electric versions of everything from lawn mowers to military surveillance drones.

A123's real target, however, is your car. Chiang says A123's cells could lighten a Toyota Prius' 100-pound battery by as much as 80 percent and help boost any hybrid's performance. The quick recharging time - the M1 takes five minutes to reach 90 percent capacity - plus high peak power also would be ideal for plug-in versions of gas-electric vehicles. With a bit more research, the world's roads may someday see fast, zero-carbon autos that zip past gas guzzlers and tank up from the grid faster than a rest-stop Starbucks can serve you a latte.

Continued in article




Forwarded by a good friend who is retired from the Army.

Ben Stein's Last Column

============================================

How Can Someone Who Lives in Insane Luxury Be a Star in Today's World?

As I begin to write this, I "slug" it, as we writers say, which means I put a heading on top of the document to identify it. This heading is "eonlineFINAL," and it gives me a shiver to write it. I have been doing this column for so long that I cannot even recall when I started. I loved writing this column so much for so long I came to believe it would never end.

It worked well for a long time, but gradually, my changing as a person and the world's change have overtaken it. On a small scale, Morton's, while better than ever, no longer attracts as many stars as it used to. It still brings in the rich people in droves and definitely some stars. I saw Samuel L. Jackson there a few days ago, and we had a nice visit, and right before that, I saw and had a splendid talk with Warren Beatty in an elevator, in which we agreed that Splendor in the Grass was a super movie. But Morton's is not the star galaxy it once was, though it probably will be again.

Beyond that, a bigger change has happened. I no longer think Hollywood stars are terribly important. They are uniformly pleasant, friendly people, and they treat me better than I deserve to be treated. But a man or woman who makes a huge wage for memorizing lines and reciting them in front of a camera is no longer my idea of a shining star we should all look up to.

How can a man or woman who makes an eight-figure wage and lives in insane luxury really be a star in today's world, if by a "star" we mean someone bright and powerful and attractive as a role model? Real stars are not riding around in the backs of limousines or in Porsches or getting trained in yoga or Pilates and eating only raw fruit while they have Vietnamese girls do their nails.

They can be interesting, nice people, but they are not heroes to me any longer. A real star is the soldier of the 4th Infantry Division who poked his head into a hole on a farm near Tikrit, Iraq. He could have been met by a bomb or a hail of AK-47 bullets. Instead, he faced an abject Saddam Hussein and the gratitude of all of the decent people of the world.

A real star is the U.S. soldier who was sent to disarm a bomb next to a road north of Baghdad. He approached it, and the bomb went off and killed him.

A real star, the kind who haunts my memory night and day, is the U.S. soldier in Baghdad who saw a little girl playing with a piece of unexploded ordnance on a street near where he was guarding a station. He pushed her aside and threw himself on it just as it exploded. He left a family desolate in California and a little girl alive in Baghdad.

The stars who deserve media attention are not the ones who have lavish weddings on TV but the ones who patrol the streets of Mosul even after two of their buddies were murdered and their bodies battered and stripped for the sin of trying to protect Iraqis from terrorists.

We put couples with incomes of $100 million a year on the covers of our magazines. The noncoms and officers who barely scrape by on military pay but stand on guard in Afghanistan and Iraq and on ships and in submarines and near the Arctic Circle are anonymous as they live and die.

I am no longer comfortable being a part of the system that has such poor values, and I do not want to perpetuate those values by pretending that who is eating at Morton's is a big subject.

There are plenty of other stars in the American firmament...the policemen and women who go off on patrol in South Central and have no idea if they will return alive; the orderlies and paramedics who bring in people who have been in terrible accidents and prepare them for surgery; the teachers and nurses who throw their whole spirits into caring for autistic children; the kind men and women who work in hospices and in cancer wards.

Think of each and every fireman who was running up the stairs at the World Trade Center as the towers began to collapse. Now you have my idea of a real hero.

I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters. This is my highest and best use as a human. I can put it another way. Years ago, I realized I could never be as great an actor as Olivier or as good a comic as Steve Martin...or Martin Mull or Fred Willard--or as good an economist as Samuelson or Friedman or as good a writer as Fitzgerald. Or even remotely close to any of them.

But I could be a devoted father to my son, husband to my wife and, above all, a good son to the parents who had done so much for me. This came to be my main task in life. I did it moderately well with my son, pretty well with my wife and well indeed with my parents (with my sister's help). I cared for and paid attention to them in their declining years. I stayed with my father as he got sick, went into extremis and then into a coma and then entered immortality with my sister and me reading him the Psalms.

This was the only point at which my life touched the lives of the soldiers in Iraq or the firefighters in New York. I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters and that it is my duty, in return for the lavish life God has devolved upon me, to help others He has placed in my path. This is my highest and best use as a human.

By Ben Stein

 




Forwarded by Auntie Bev

Those Grand Old Burma Shave Road Signs

Remember these? For those who never saw any of the Burma Shave signs, here is a quick lesson in our history of the1930's and '40's. Before there were interstates, when everyone drove the old 2 lane roads, Burma Shave signs would be posted all over the countryside in farmers' fields. They were small red signs with white letters. Five signs, about 100 feet apart, each containing 1 line of a 4 line couplet...... and the obligatory 5th sign advertising Burma Shave, a popular shaving cream. Here are more of the actual signs:



TRAINS DON'T WANDER
ALL OVER THE MAP
'CAUSE NOBODY SITS
IN THE ENGINEER'S LAP
Burma Shave


SHE KISSED THE HAIRBRUSH
BY MISTAKE
SHE THOUGHT IT WAS
HER HUSBAND JAKE
Burma Shave


DON'T LOSE YOUR HEAD
TO GAIN A MINUTE
YOU NEED YOUR HEAD
YOUR BRAINS ARE IN IT
Burma Shave


DROVE TOO LONG
DRIVER SNOOZING
WHAT HAPPENED
NEXT IS NOT AMUSING
Burma Shave


BROTHER SPEEDER
LET'S REHEARSE
ALL TOGETHER
GOOD MORNING, NURSE
Burma Shave

CAUTIOUS RIDER
TO HER RECKLESS DEAR
LET'S HAVE LESS BULL
AND MORE STEER
Burma Shave

SPEED WAS HIGH
WEATHER WAS NOT
TIRES WERE THIN
X MARKS THE SPOT
Burma Shave

THE MIDNIGHT RIDE
OF PAUL FOR BEER
LED TO A WARMER
HEMISPHERE
Burma Shave

AROUND THE CURVE
LICKETY-SPLIT
BEAUTIFUL CAR
WASN'T IT?
Burma Shave

NO MATTER THE PRICE
NO MATTER HOW NEW
THE BEST SAFETY DEVICE
IN THE CAR IS YOU
Burma Shave

A GUY WHO DRIVES
A CAR WIDE OPEN
IS NOT THINKIN'
HE'S JUST HOPIN'
Burma Shave

AT INTERSECTIONS
LOOK EACH WAY
A HARP SOUNDS NICE
BUT IT'S HARD TO PLAY
Burma Shave

BOTH HANDS ON THE WHEEL
EYES ON THE ROAD
THAT'S THE SKILLFUL
DRIVER'S CODE
Burma Shave

THE ONE WHO DRIVES
WHEN HE'S BEEN DRINKING
DEPENDS ON YOU
TO DO HIS THINKING
Burma Shave

CAR IN DITCH
DRIVER IN TREE
THE MOON WAS FULL
AND SO WAS HE.
Burma Shave

And my all time favorite:
PASSING SCHOOL ZONE
TAKE IT SLOW
LET OUR LITTLE
SHAVERS GROW
Burma Shave
 

Lecture at 3:00 a.m.

Being in no shape to drive, the man decided to leave his car at the side of the road and walk home. As he was walking unsteadily along, a policeman stopped him.

"Would you explain what you are doing here at 3 AM." the officer said.

"I'm heading to a lecture," he replied.

"Just who is going to give a lecture at this hour?" asked the cop.

"My wife, that's who!" mumbled the man.




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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
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