When you're through changing, you're through.
Time is a great teacher, unfortunately it kills
all its pupils.
One can really forgive a man for being a fool
for an hour when there are so many who never stop being fools even for an
hour in their entire life.
Francisco de Quevedo Villegas (1580-1645) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francisco_de_Quevedo
One reason that I'm retiring tomorrow is that I did not want to become
one of these
"Hell No — He Won’t Go," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, May 4, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/05/04/maryland
I guess I'm retiring tomorrow in the nick of time
"Should You Be Fired for Using the Internet While at Work? Lines between professional and home lives start to blur," by Freeman Klopott, PC World via The Washington Post, May 2, 2006 --- Click Here
BlackBerry devices. Cell phones. Pagers. Wireless Internet access. Broadband at home.
The growing list of communications technologies that links workers to the workplace 24/7 increasingly is blurring the lines between work and home.
Employees surf the Web at work, checking the weather, making travel plans, and shopping. At home, many send e-mail, continue their work chores on the Internet, and otherwise stay connected with their professional lives.
While employers rarely discourage the extra work done at home, many want employees' attention focused on work while at the office.
In a recent decision , a New York City administrative law judge adds another angle to the debate between employers and employees over personal use of the Internet in the workplace. Ruling in the case of an employee who allegedly used the Internet for personal reasons during work hours, the judge, John B. Spooner, compared Internet use at work to reading a newspaper or making a telephone call. (Go here for more on the increased use of the Internet as a news source.)
"It should be observed," Spooner wrote, "that the Internet has become the modern equivalent of a telephone or a daily newspaper, providing a combination of communication and information that most employees use as frequently in their personal lives as for their work."
Spooner recommended that Toquir Choudhri, a 14-year veteran of the city Department of Education, receive the slightest reprimand for insubordination, even though supervisors wanted him fired for using the Internet for personal matters after he was told not to.
Lee Rainie of the Pew Internet and American Life Project says it "sounds like the judge was recognizing a reality for lots of workers."
Rainie says the "boundary between work and leisure, work and home, is becoming more permeable."
The New York administrative court's rulings serve as recommendations to city department heads who make a final decision. In fiscal year 2005, 99 percent of department heads agreed with the findings and altogether rejected just 16 percent of the recommendations.
Despite the mixing of work and personal time, employers fear the loss of salaried time from workers who are not devoting all their workplace time to, well, work.
Continued in article
But I eased by conscience with the following article:
"The New Rules Of Web Surfing," by Jason Fry, The Wall Street Journal, May 4, 2006 --- http://www.collegejournal.com/successwork/onjob/20060504-fry.html
It was the wrist slap that struck a blow for office workers everywhere: You may surf the Web -- provided, of course, that you also do your job.
That was the message from an administrative law judge forced to report on a petty spat between the New York City Education Department and a longtime employee. The employee was charged with disobeying a supervisor's order to stop using the Internet, and with insubordination in replying to a supervisor's explanation for what he was doing on the Net. Judge John B. Spooner sustained those charges, but recommended a reprimand -- which, he noted, was "the most minor penalty available under the Civil Service Law."
Continued in article
Remotely Accessing Your Campus Computing System
Windows XP Remote Desktop access to my campus PC cannot penetrate the Trinity University firewalls --- http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/tools/rdclientdl.mspx
Access Your Campus PC
For the past three years, I’ve used GoToMyPC to remotely operate my computer while off campus. GoToMyPC can penetrate the Trinity University firewalls. This worked pretty well and only cost me about $179 per year. Software installed on my campus computer allowed me to operate my campus computer from anywhere in the world via a browser on any PC or Mac. You may try this service free on a trial basis --- https://www.gotomypc.com/
Access Your Campus Network
The techies at Trinity have now installed a free alternative VPN from Cisco on my laptop computer --- http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/secursw/ps2308/index.html
Trinity University installed this for free, and I will not have to pay any annual fee.
When I double click on the Cisco VPN icon on my laptop and choose “Connect” and read in a password, my laptop acts like I’m on campus even though I’m many miles from campus. I can access all the Trinity TigerNet drives, including my two Web servers, my e-Mail exchange server, and my LAN drives. My laptop tunnels right into the Trinity system via the Internet. All communications are deeply encrypted. I can edit and save files on my servers as if I’m on campus. My laptop can be a Windows or Mac operating system laptop.
One drawback I can see relative to the GoToMyPC alternative is that my main operating computer no longer sits on campus and, therefore, is not protected by the heavy firewalls at Trinity. In other words, with GoToMyPC, I could surf the Internet remotely on my campus PC that hides behind Trinity University’s security walls. Now I must surf the Internet on my laptop PC off campus and will not have quite as much firewall protection (although I would never use any online computer without some firewall protection).
A second drawback is that I cannot tunnel into Trinity’s system from just any computer in the world via the Internet such as a lab computer on another college campus. I can only use a remote computer that has Cisco VPN installed by Trinity’s magical technicians who know the right installation secrets. Actually, the techies did give me an executable file so that I can easily install on other computers. But these must be computers to which I have administrative rights. This would not be the case on lab computers on another college campus or a public library.
A third drawback is that I’m used to using Windows software, particularly FrontPage, for writing HTM files and Internet Explorer for surfing the Web. With GoToMyPC I could access my Windows machine on campus and then operate my desktop Windows PC computer. With the Cisco VPN system I must use whatever software is on my remote computer. If it is a Mac, I must use Safari instead of Internet Explorer unless I operate Windows software on a Mac. In other words, I cannot use a Mac from a remote site to operate a Windows PC back on campus. I can, however, use my Windows laptop instead of a Mac if I want to run Windows programs.
The Cisco VPN is free to me and a bit faster. I do not have to have any computer on campus. Also, in retirement I can operate my campus email system and TigerNet files just as if I was on campus even though I will be 2,500 miles away in the mountains.
I thought you might like to know about these two powerful remote access alternatives. You should always make sure that any alternative you choose can tunnel through your campus firewalls. GoToMyPC worked for me in the past, but there is no assurance that GoToMyPC can penetrate every system. Most alternatives let you try for free.
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
Comedy Central Corners The Laughs Business, by Joe Fling,
The Wall Street Journal, May 8, 2006 ---
The Comedy Central home page (with links to video clips) --- http://www.comedycentral.com/
From The Washington Post on May 2, 2006
How many homemade videos does YouTube.com stock daily on its Web site?
Shadow Puppetry --- http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/shadowpuppets/artsedge.html
A Dancer’s Journal: Learning to Perform the Dances of Martha Graham --- http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/marthagraham/index.htm
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
Great Photography PowerPoint Show (turn up your speakers) --- Click Here
Classical Music from NPR
Jan Vogler and Mira Wang: A Musical Marriage --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5373721
War Protest That Sings: Neil Young's 'Living with War' --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5377060
Ralph Towner's Guitar Journey --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5386169
Hear a bagpipe medley in the Strathspeys & Reels genres played by Alasdair Gillies, bagpipes professor at Carnegie Mellon University.
Photographs and Art
Rainbow in Missouri --- http://www.missouriskies.org/rainbow/february_rainbow_2006.html
Tate Online (over 65,000 works, including a glossary) --- http://www.tate.org.uk/
Resources for the Study of Art History --- http://witcombe.sbc.edu/ARTHLinks2.html
Chernobyl Legacy --- http://www.magnuminmotion.com/essay_chernobyl/
Web Galleries (wild life) --- http://www.birdsbykim.com/gallery.htm
Kings Galleries --- http://www.kingsgalleries.com/1024x768/orignals/alexeiking/index.htm
Ernesto Arrisueño's Magic of Realism --- http://www.magicofrealism.com/about.htm
Juan Bautistanieto Photographs --- http://www.juanbautistanieto.com/obra.php
Terj Adler Mork Paintings --- http://terjeadlermork.com/paintings/
David Kroll Oils (still life) --- http://www.davidkroll.com/D03.htm
Holocaust Survivors --- http://www.holocaustsurvivors.org/
Zade Mack Virtual Gallery --- http://www.zademack.com/
Collette Calascione Paintings --- http://calascione.com/
David Reeves Watercolof --- http://www.davidreeves.ca/Watercolour/
Art Challenge Paintings of the Month --- http://www.artchallenge.com/galleries/artists/prudnikoff.html
Electronic Stores in Japan --- http://blog.wired.com/akihabara/
Gear to Carry on Trips ---
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
Boston Public Library
100 Most Influential Books of the Century Booklists for Adults ---
Imperial History (British Empire) --- http://www.britishempire.co.uk/resource/imperialhistory.htm
British Civil Wars 1638-1660 --- http://www.british-civil-wars.co.uk/
A Tale of Benjamin Franklin's Family A Tale of Benjamin Franklin's Family --- http://www.ushistory.org/franklin/temple/single.htm
John Keats Selected Poetry --- http://englishhistory.net/keats/poetry.html
Poetry Slam --- http://live-poetry-slam.group.stumbleupon.com/forum/12400/
A variety of free technical textbooks (many in science, computing, and engineering) --- http://www.e-dsp.com/free-ebooks/
Ted Hughes Poems (includes poems for children) --- http://www.earth-moon.org/
Poetry as News --- http://www.citylights.com/poetrynews.html
An Inland Voyage by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) --- Click Here
The Hound Of The Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) --- Click Here
Dombey and Son by Charles
Dickens (1812-1870) ---
Never diminish with the setting sun
Nor rest like tired eyes
But turn on into tomorrow
And twist in with hints of sorrow
The mad writers must coincide
Never or always stoking the fire
Burning now for eternity
Lighting the page in front of thee
Author Unknown, Poetry Slam --- http://live-poetry-slam.group.stumbleupon.com/forum/12400/
And the Moral is this: Be it madam or miss
To whom you have something to say,
You are only absurd when you get in the curd
But you're rude when you get in the whey.
Guy Wetmore Carryl (1873-1904). THE EMBARRASSING EPISODE OF LITTLE MISS MUFFET --- http://www.poetry-archive.com/c/the_embarrassing_episode_of_little_miss_muffet.html
No they whisper, You own nothing,
You were a visitor, time after time
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaim
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way.
Margaret Atwood, Easting Fire, Poetry Archive --- http://www.poetryarchive.org/poetryarchive/singlePoem.do?poemId=100
"Those with insight," the Iranian tells Mr.
Bush, "can already hear the sounds of the shattering and fall of the
ideology and thoughts of the liberal democratic systems. We increasingly see
that people around the world are flocking toward a main focal point--that is
the Almighty God. . . . My question for you [Mr. Bush] is, 'Do you not want
to join them?' " Loopy as this sounds, it should be of some comfort to those
on the American left who believe Mr. Bush is already a theocrat. But
consider some of Mr. Ahmadinejad's other weird diplomatic and historical
insights . . . What's wholly absent, however, is any indication that he is
prepared to moderate his positions as a way of meeting the U.S. or U.N. half
way. As a psychological comparison, the Unabomber's manifesto comes to mind.
"Crazy Mahmoud Would you buy a "grand bargain" from this man?" The Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2006 --- http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110008355
With a birth rate of only 1.3 children per woman,
way below the "replacement level" of 2.1, in only 12 generations there won't be
any Germans left.
Silvan Koch-Mehrin, "A Dying Nation's Schizophrenia," The Wall Street Journal, May 8, 2006 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114703851794146086.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep
The more things a man is ashamed of, the more
respectable he is.
George Bernard Shaw as quoted by Mark Shapiro at http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-05-03-06.htm
People in the computer industry use the word
"user", which to them means "idiot".
People who want to share their religious
views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.
The badness of a movie is directly
proportional to the number of helicopters in it.
There comes a time when you should stop
expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time
is age 11.
They can hold all the peace talks they want,
but there will never be peace in the Middle East. Billions of years from
now, when Earth is hurtling toward the Sun and there is nothing left
alive on the planet except a few microorganisms, the microorganisms
living in the Middle East will be bitter enemies.
Thus the metric system did not really catch
on in the States, unless you count the increasing popularity of the
When trouble arises and things look bad,
there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing
to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy.
Years ago, Mattel did come out with a
'Stubble Barbie' model, but it was a big bust. (Of course ALL Barbies
have big busts, but that is not my point.)
Your friends love you anyway.
Dave Barry \
If you don't go to somebody's funeral they
won't come to yours.
Life has been a futile pursuit, and wandering -
a great deal of talk without meaning.
Ingmar Bergman, The Seventh Seal
Great Minds in Management: The Process of Theory Development --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen//theory/00overview/GreatMinds.htm
In April 2006 I commenced reading a heavy book entitled Great Minds in Management: The Process of Theory Development, Edited by Ken G. Smith and Michael A. Hitt (Oxford Press, 2006).
The essays are somewhat personalized in terms of how theory development is perceived by each author and how these perceptions changed over time.
In Tidbits I will share some of the key quotations as I proceed through this book. The book is somewhat heavy going, so it will take some time to add selected quotations to the list of quotations at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen//theory/00overview/GreatMinds.htm
Managerial and Organizational Cognition: Islands of Coherence
ANNE S. HUFF
PG. #332 HUFF The foundation for understanding managerial and organizational cognition (MOC) was laid in the 1980s. The Thinking Organization (1986), edited by Sims and Gioia, was an important early landmark that showed how management scholars were applying a cognitive perspective to a broad range of management subjects. I wanted the book I edited, Mapping Strategic Thought (1990), to be the next major landmark. It provides a hierarchy for organizing work in the field, and ties that organizing framework to a set of available methodologies. Key concepts from this book and other work I did in the "golden era" of MOC research are summarized in the first part of this chapter. The second part describes how I moved from thinking about cognition as the central aspect of strategic decision making to making cognition the anchor of a broader attempt to understand strategic action. This transition is part of a general shift in strategy and organization theory toward dynamic models. I suggest that we could be entering a new era of enthusiasm for cognitive research because of the requirements of these models.
My research interests and objectives have been informed by others' work, and I am particularly aware of the influence of people at the University of Illinois, one of the important centers of cognitive research (in management and in other fields) in the 1980s. It is not possible to describe MOC in detail in this chapter, but it is interesting to relate a brief summary of MOC to descriptions of scholarly development from the philosophy of science, which I do toward the end of the chapter. That leads to some advice for readers in the conclusion.
PG. #345 & 346 HUFF 16.4
LINK TO PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE
The editors of this book ask that authors relate their own theory building efforts to accounts from the philosophy of science. I have been particularly influenced by the work of Thomas Kuhn (1970). It seems obvious to me that Kuhn's emphasis on a "paradigm" as an organizing collection of shared assumptions and practices was strongly influenced by emerging cognitive science. Furthermore, I believe widespread references to Kuhn in management studies are due at least in part to familiarity with the idea of schematic frameworks.
Most of the observations in this chapter can be put into a Kuhnian framework: Cognitive science as a field was developing a strong paradigm around schema theory in the 1970s. Work in MOC drew on this source, but was developing its own interests and methods as a subfield in the subsequent decades. The MOC division in the Academy of Management provided an important forum for regular interaction, and usefully promoted both methodological and theoretical discussions. Similar but distinctive meetings were being held in Europe, with enough international travel to enrich the worldwide gene pool of research ideas.
My mapping book was an attempt to contribute to theoretic arguments in this field as well as codify tools and methods. The book was strengthened by knowledge of and discussion of research activities at the University of Illinois, especially in the business school, but also in psychology and other fields. Other strong centers for cognitive research, especially at New York University, Penn State, Cranfield University, Bath, and Strathclyde provided other hospitable climates.
Although all of this is compatible with Kuhn's account of
paradigmatic science, the historical development of MOC also refutes some
aspects of his account. In particular, the development of theory has been
less coherent than a reading of Kuhn might suggest. Many opportunities for
sustained conversation, even in the areas of environmental interpretation
and competitor analysis where work has been most concentrated, have not
fully developed. In part this seems to be due to a strong desire for
independence, which decreases desirable cross-citation, and lures many
individuals into new directions before they fully develop their current
projects. Cumulative activity also seems to be weakened by journals that
encourage claims of independent discovery. But neither of these seem to be
In 1990 there were roughly 50 people (all physicists) on the Web.
"Today, the online audience in the US represents less than a quarter of Internet users across the globe, versus 10 years ago when it accounted for two-thirds of the global audience," said Peter Daboll, president and chief executive of comScore Media Metrix.
"694 million people online worldwide: survey," PhysOrg, May 5, 2006 --- http://physorg.com/news65976817.html
Jensen's "Tips" on Web Page Design
May 2, 2006 message from XXXXX
I've just hired someone to design a website for me. She insisted on asking me questions -- all kinds of questions she seemed to think were necessary; silly questions for which I had no answer: "What do you want your site to look like? What would you like it to feel like? What do you want to say?" You know....questions I thought she should instinctively know. But, since neither of us seemed to know what I wanted I did a search and was fortunate to find your super site. It was enormously helpful and for that, I thank you. I don't think I'll tell my website designer about you, though. I want her to believe the ideas I present are all mine.
Keep up the great work. I have no doubt you have helped countless other helpless, technologically and idea challenged mortals.
May 2, 2006 reply from Bob Jensen
My concern has always been content rather than design. People generally find you via search crawlers such as Google that search content rather than design.
My opening page is relatively short although some of my main content documents are very long (without graphics or multimedia). People often ask why some of these documents are so long. The reason for this is so that it is more efficient to do word searches via an Internet browser such as Internet Explorer. Examples of long documents are as follows:
In fact my default opening page is rather unimpressive without music or graphics. This is on purpose. Users who are still on dial-up Internet (without broadband) access must download multimedia pages very, very slowly. I try to accommodate them by not having a fancy multimedia opening page.
The most important things are content and efficient linkages to your content documents.
Consultants cannot help you much with content. They tend to create fancy, slow loading pages.
Best of luck in designing your own Website.
I hadn't thought of this Webpage design to attract students
How to Attract Viewers to Your Blog: Go Topless (not recommended for most males however)
A lecturer at the University of Southern California said she started a blog because her students wanted “more of me after our class time has ended,” she wrote. And they got it. Diana Blaine, who lectures on feminist theory, recently linked her blog to an online photo album that has topless photos of her near a painting of a topless woman, and at Burning Man, an annual weeklong festival in Nevada where clothing is optional. After a student who has made a habit of criticizing Blaine on his blog, “ Cardinal Martini,” linked to the photos, an NBC station in Los Angeles reported that the pictures are “causing concern,” bringing Blaine even more exposure.
David Epstein, "Overexposed?" Inside Higher Ed, May 10, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/05/10/usc
Beware of the So-Called Investor Education Programs (especially beware of infomercials)
"I don't see frankly much out there that really
does the job, and that's partially because investors are their own worst
enemy," says former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt. "They refuse to invest
skeptically, and are too easily seduced by all the purveyors of financial
products that prey upon their worst instincts."
"Investor Education 101: How to Avoid Scams: Outreach Programs Target Most-Vulnerable Americans, But Success Is Hard to Assess," By Lynn Cowan, The Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2006; Page D3 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114713241888747241.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal
An onslaught of investor education is being unleashed, thanks to an ever-growing stockpile of money set aside for this purpose by regulators.
Senior-citizen investors being preyed upon? The nonprofit Investor Protection Trust is financing a Florida state program that teaches retirees to identify and report suspected scams.
Military families feeling pressured into buying unnecessary financial products? The National Association of Securities Dealers' Investor Education Foundation has launched a specialized Web site: saveandinvest.org.
Auto workers receiving lump-sum retirement buyouts in coming months? There is a new Securities and Exchange Commission publication that warns that they could be prime targets for fraud.
There seems to be no end to the list of publications, public-service announcements and seminars being funded in the wake of a landmark settlement in 2003 between regulators and Wall Street over stock analysts' conflicts of interest. The settlement provided $80 million in investor-education funds, and regulators add to that amount every year with more penalties for new securities-industry transgressions.
Unfortunately, there's also a seemingly infinite trove of outright hucksters and smooth marketing materials bombarding investors every day, say regulators and observers. And no one knows how effective investor-education programs are in combating them.
"I don't see frankly much out there that really does the job, and that's partially because investors are their own worst enemy," says former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt. "They refuse to invest skeptically, and are too easily seduced by all the purveyors of financial products that prey upon their worst instincts."
There's also little information available about what kinds of programs really work to educate and protect investors. Regulators and investor-education specialists say they are working hard to expand their materials beyond brochures with basic information to encompass interactive games for students, television programs and in-person seminars.
But regulators add that they are also fighting against strong forces in their battle to educate and protect investors from scam artists, their own emotions and a legacy of conflicts of interest in the brokerage industry.
Scam artists are the most easily identified investor-protection issue: Often organized in pyramid, or "Ponzi," structures, the schemes promise outsized returns and can exist for years before collapsing. Investor-protection programs can easily focus on warning about this kind of threat because it has some obvious hallmarks.
Regulators' second villain is trickier: investors' own inertia and greed. Getting most people in the U.S. to learn the basics of a careful investing strategy is akin to asking them to read a legal footnote, but there is no shortage of people willing to sign up for the chance to earn 130% on ersatz securities.
Possibly the most innovative investor-education program in existence today targets investors who are drawn to these get-rich-quick scams. The SEC runs several Web sites that pose as can't-fail investment schemes. One, growthventure.com, outlines the business dealings of a fake construction-supply company, Growth Venture, which invites viewers to invest and receive returns of 350% a year. Anyone falling for the bait is linked to an SEC page that gently chides them and describes how to avoid scams.
But such educational tools aren't as easy to construct for one of the thorniest issues facing investor-education programs: teaching people about protecting themselves in daily interactions with the legitimate brokerage industry.
Although larger Ponzi scams, such as the Financial Advisory Consultants bust in California in 2004, are headlined for bilking investors out of as much as $300 million, industry wide brokerage scandals involving well-known firms have surpassed $1 billion apiece. From Prudential Securities' abusive sales of limited partnerships in the early 1990s to the conflicts of interest in analyst research in the late 1990s, major Wall Street firms appear to be struggling with improper systematic conduct every decade.
Yet investor educators often express concern about finding the right balance between warning investors and condemning a highly regulated industry that provides legitimate advice and services.
Continued in article
Also be careful what mutual fund or brokerage firm you deal with. My advice is to avoid high-commission brokerage firms. My advice is to also compare the mutual fund expense rates with benchmark rates of Vangaard and Fidelity.
Bob Jensen's threads on scams are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm
Check the fraud rates of firms of better known firms. For example do a search on "Merrill" at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm
Bob Jensen's investment helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#Finance
In High Schools, Technical Schools, and Colleges: Online Enrollment is Skyrocketing
"Degrees@StateU.edu: Online University Enrollment Soars as Quality
Improves; Tuition Funds Other Projects," by Daniel Golden, The Wall
Street Journal, May 9, 2006; Page B1 ---
While overall higher-education enrollment in the U.S. is virtually stagnant, online enrollment is skyrocketing, and the recent repeal of a federal rule requiring colleges to provide at least half of their instruction on campus will boost it more. By early 2008, one out of 10 college students will be enrolled in an online degree program, Boston-based market research firm Eduventures estimated last year.
Public schools are driving much of the growth. Overcoming skepticism among some faculty members, state universities are capitalizing on their traditional advantages -- quality education at affordable prices -- to attract a nontraditional student body: online learners who often live out of state. What's more, the online programs generate millions of dollars that can be ploughed back into university operations.
At UMass, online enrollment has quadrupled to 9,200 students since 2001. Most are working adults between the ages of 25 and 50, and 30% are from out of state, compared with 20% of on-campus students. UMass's online applicants undergo the same admissions review as candidates for on-campus slots and can choose among 61 programs, ranging from a master's degree in business to certificates in gerontology and casino management.
Tuition is slightly higher than on-campus students pay, because Web-based courses aren't state subsidized, enabling the online program to net a projected $10 million this year for other university endeavors. For instance, online students pay $670 a credit toward a professional master's degree in business administration, compared with $540-$600 for on-campus students. Still, UMass's online program is a bargain compared with some for-profit ones: Ms. Patel says she has paid $18,000 in tuition for two years at UMass, while her brother paid Phoenix $24,000 over a similar period.
"Public universities are moving into the online environment extremely rapidly," says Gary Miller, associate vice president for outreach at Pennsylvania State University, which has 5,691 students taking online courses, up 18% from the prior fiscal year. "It's part of our mission as a land grant university of reaching out to people. The question in our case wasn't 'Should we do this?' but 'How do we do it right?' "
Continued in article
From the University of Wisconsin
Distance Education Clearinghouse --- http://www.uwex.edu/disted/home.html
The Distance Education Clearinghouse is a comprehensive and widely recognized Web site bringing together distance education information from Wisconsin, national, and international sources. New information and resources are being added to the Distance Education Clearinghouse on a continual basis.
The Clearinghouse is managed and maintained by the University of Wisconsin-Extension, in cooperation with its partners and other University of Wisconsin institutions.
This site has glossaries and many links to other distance education sites.
Bob Jensen's listing of online training and education alternatives are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm
Diploma Mills: Beware of training and education snake oil claims on television
"Who Needs a Four-Year College?" by Sanford Pinsker, The Irascible Professor, May 11, 2006 --- http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-05-11-06.htm
- I also learned about
an institution that doesn't show up in
US News & World Report's annual rankings of the nation's colleges.
Why so? Because
Keiser College and a growing number of other vocational training schools
not only operate under the radar but also just beyond the law. What
they promise, in television ads that regularly interrupted "Law &
Order," is a chance to get a high paying job -- as a medical coding and
billing specialist, a fingerprint analyst, or a nurse's aide -- all in
eight months or less.
Each of the ads featured satisfied graduates who looked into the camera and got right down to business. "I didn't want to waste four years in college. So, I enrolled in Keiser College and four months later, I graduated as a billing and coding specialist. Keiser College even helped me land my dream job. They could do the same for you." At that point, the camera pans to a bank of telephone operators as an 866 number flashes across the screen.
What's wrong with this picture? Well, for one thing, I had world-class trouble with the medical billing and coding person at the hospital when I tried to get myself discharged. I would not have been surprised if this person was a recent graduate of Keiser College's accelerated medical billing and coding program. But more importantly, proprietary for-profit institutions that promise to change lives in a matter of a few months rank with the television ads that show people who have lost 60, 70, or 80 pounds -- all without changing their diets or exercising.
In short, the claims of Keiser College and its cousins often are so much snake oil. The sad part is that they fleece the very people who can least afford it -- or they fleece a government that does not seem to know the difference between a real college and those that offer questionable vocational programs.
Continued in article
Bob Jensen's threads on diploma mill frauds are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#DiplomaMill
What is the highest salary (possibly?) ever paid to a college president?
Boston University announced Tuesday that John
Silber, the former president, received $6.1 million in compensation during
fiscal 2005, most of it in deferred compensation earned previously. Boston
University must report the income to state and federal officials. Past
information about Silber’s compensation — he was for years among the best
paid employees in academe — has prompted criticism of the university.
Inside Higher Ed, May 10, 2006
Morgan Stanley Hit for Millions and Billions in Civil Suits
"Morgan Stanley Settles Email Case for $15 Million," by Judith Burns,
Susanne Craig, and Jed Horowitz, The Wall Street Journal, May 11,
2006; Page C3 ---
Morgan Stanley agreed to pay $15 million to settle a civil lawsuit with the Securities and Exchange Commission over failure to produce tens of thousands of emails during probes of conflicts of interest among Wall Street analysts and other issues between late 2000 and mid-2005.
New York-based Morgan Stanley neither admitted nor denied the SEC's charges, which have been previously reported by The Wall Street Journal. The SEC said $5 million of the fine will go to the New York Stock Exchange and the NASD, formerly the National Association of Securities Dealers, to settle separate related proceedings.
A Morgan spokesman said the firm is glad the matter is behind it. The firm continues to negotiate with regulators about failure to produce emails in probes of its retail brokerage unit.
It is appealing a much larger headache: Last May the firm was ordered to pay billionaire financier Ronald Perelman $1.45 billion over a lawsuit that, in the end, focused largely on the firm's inability to produce documents. In that case, the judge concluded that in many instances Morgan Stanley's actions "were done knowingly, deliberately and in bad faith." The firm is appealing the verdict. Oral arguments for the appeal are scheduled for June 28 in state court in West Palm Beach, Fla.
According to the SEC, Morgan Stanley failed to "diligently search" for backup tapes containing emails until 2005 and couldn't produce some emails because the company overwrote backup tapes. In addition, the SEC said Morgan made "numerous misstatements" about its email retention. The SEC charged the company with failing to provide records and documents in a timely manner, as required by U.S. securities laws.
According to the SEC complaint, it received an anonymous tip in the fall of 2004 that Morgan Stanley had destroyed some electronic documents and failed to produce others.
Morgan Stanley and nine other firms agreed in 2003 to pay $1.4 billion as part of a so-called global settlement over charges that they issued biased research to win investment banking business.
The fine won't reopen the global settlement, according to people familiar with the matter, and isn't likely to help the hundreds of investors who failed in their attempt to win damages against the firm, in part because Morgan Stanley was unable to produce emails.
The SEC also said Morgan Stanley was lax in searching for and delivering emails during its investigations of Wall Street's distribution of hot initial public offerings during the dot-com boom. Morgan Stanley paid $40 million in 2005 to settle SEC allegations of improper IPO allocation practices.
Continued in article
Bob Jensen's "Rotten to the Core" threads are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm
Updates from WebMD --- http://www.webmd.com/
Latest Headlines on May 9, 2006
Latest Headlines on May 11, 2006
"A Clue to Living Longer According to a study with mice, restricting calories may boost longevity -- by altering growth hormone and insulin," by Courtney Humphries," MIT's Technology Review, May 11, 2006 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?id=16826&ch=biotech
Scientists have long known that a very low-calorie diet can increase life span in organisms as diverse as yeast, flies and mice. One of the most puzzling questions in aging research, however, is how it works. If they can figure out the molecular processes underlying the boost in longevity, scientists think they might be able to harness the life-extending benefits without restricting diet.
A new study offers evidence that a decline in growth hormone and a corresponding boost in sensitivity to insulin may be the reason why mice live longer when they eat less -- and that those two hormones may be critically important in controlling aging and longevity.
The study opens up new questions about the role of growth hormone in aging. In humans, growth-hormone levels decline with age, and artificial growth hormone has been touted as an anti-aging drug. But at least in mice, high levels of growth hormone reduce life span, says Andrzej Bartke, a physiologist at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, who led the study. And these results suggest that lowering growth hormone in mice can mimic the benefits of calorie restriction without the diet.
Within the last few years, biologists have found that mutating certain genes in lower organisms can make them live longer. These discoveries helped fuel the idea that life span is directly controlled by a genetic program in the body -- a program that scientists may be able to manipulate. But, so far, none of these genes have explained the remarkable effects of calorie restriction.
The current study, published in the May 16 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examined a line of mice who was resistant to growth hormone, which promotes childhood growth and has several other functions in the body. These mice, who are smaller than normal, lack the growth hormone receptor, a molecule that sits at the surface of cells and binds to growth hormone circulating in the blood. Without the receptor, the body's tissues are deaf to the hormone's signal.
Scientists have previously shown that caloric restriction can increase life span in mice by 25 to 30 percent. In the new study, the researchers found that mutant mice, which lack the growth hormone receptor, live just as long as caloric-restricted mice -- even though they ate a normal amount of food. The results suggest that lack of growth hormone triggers a molecular reaction similar to caloric restriction.
Continued in article
Dangers of Binge
Drinking in College
A 2005 study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found 1,700 college students from age 18 to 24 die every year, either from alcohol poisoning or alcohol-related injuries. Another 599,000 students are unintentionally injured while intoxicated and 696,000 are assaulted by fellow students who were also drinking.
A 2004 University of California at San Francisco study found that "heavy" social drinking (as few as three drinks a day) can lead to brain damage.
"Cocktail hour cure for heavy drinking," PhysOrg, May 8, 2006 --- http://www.physorg.com/news66323020.html
Learning Biofeedback May Help Older Women Cope With Urge Incontinence
A new study shows that older women with overactive bladders (urge incontinenceincontinence) benefited from learning biofeedback techniques. The benefits were strongest in women who had a history of depressiondepression, according to the study, which was presented in Chicago at the American Geriatrics Society's annual meeting. Biofeedback uses measuring devices to help people become aware of and learn to control certain bodily functions. Some people with overactive bladder use biofeedback to gain control of their bladder and muscles used in urination.
Miranda Hitti, "Learning Biofeedback May Help Older Women Cope With Urge Incontinence," WebMD, May 8, 2006 --- http://www.webmd.com/content/article/121/114482
Q & A: Your Questions on Migraine --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5381403
Eat a Banana Monyana
Forwarded by Top Banana Dick Haar
Bananas Containing three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber, a banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes. But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.
According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.
Forget the pills -- eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.
High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.
This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect way to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.
200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.
High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.
One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.
Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.
Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.
Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.
Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.
Overweight and at work?
Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.
The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.
Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD):
Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.
Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.
Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.
According to research in "The New England Journal of Medicine," eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!
So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrates, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin An and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around. So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, "A banana a day keeps the doctor away!"
Study Finds Few Therapies Work Well on Hot Flashes
For women who want a drug to ease menopausal hot flashes but do not want to take hormones, certain antidepressants and other medicines may help, researchers are reporting. But those medicines have side effects, little is known about whether it is safe to take them for a long time and they do not work as well as hormones. Given the drawbacks, the nonhormonal drugs "are not optimal choices for most women," according to an article being published today in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Denise Grady, "Study Finds Few Therapies Work Well on Hot Flashes," The New York Times, May 3, 2006 ---
"Scientists Discover Gene Linked to Higher Rates of Prostate Cancer," by Nicholas Wade, The New York Times, May 8, 2006 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/08/health/menshealth/08prostate.html
A team of scientists says it has detected a variant gene associated with prostate cancer, a finding that may make possible a diagnostic test to help decide which patients are the best candidates for aggressive treatment.
The discovery, by DeCode Genetics, a gene-finding company in Iceland, may also help explain why African-Americans, in whom the variant is more common, have a greater incidence of the disease.
Prostate cancer is a common disease with many causes, both genetic and environmental. Detection of the underlying genes is difficult because each seems to have only a small effect on the risk of getting the disease. Several candidate genes have been identified in one family or population but have generally not been confirmed by researchers trying to replicate the finding in other populations.
Continued in article
Iowa State University to Have the Most Realistic Virtual Reality Room
in the World
More than $4 million in equipment upgrades will shine 100 million pixels on Iowa State University’s six-sided virtual reality room. That’s twice the number of pixels lighting up any virtual reality room in the world and 16 times the pixels now projected on Iowa State’s C6, a 10-foot by 10-foot virtual reality room that surrounds users with computer-generated 3-D images. That means the C6 will produce virtual reality at the world’s highest resolution.
"Iowa State To Have The Most Realistic Virtual Reality Room in the World," PhysOrg, May 9, 2006 --- http://physorg.com/news66397184.html
Harvard Professors Accused of Poor Scholarship by a Leading Professor of International Affairs
The essay fails not because of anti-Semitism but
because of shoddy scholarship. They wanted to prove a thesis and proceeded
to cherry-pick history, wrench quotes out of context, simplify complicated
historical processes, ignore alternative arguments and transform half-truths
into facts, then connected those facts in highly controversial ways. It is
their poor scholarship that has left them vulnerable to charges that their
essay resembles foul-smelling tracts, including "The Protocols of the Elders
of Zion." Mearsheimer and Walt hoped to trigger a debate about U.S. support
for Israel. A fine motive. But we do not need a debate that sinks to the
level of "The Israel Lobby." Let the debate happen. But, please, let it be
"Michael Barnett: 'Israel Lobby' argument is unsupported: No, its authors are not closet anti-Semites. But they twisted facts and cherry-picked history," by Michael Barnett, Minneapolis Star Tribune, May 8, 2006 --- http://www.startribune.com/562/story/415215.html
Molly Ivins' defense of John Mearsheimer and Steven Walt's controversial essay, "The Israel Lobby," is nearly as distorting of their argument as their argument is of the causes and consequences of U.S. support for Israel. If, as she suggests, these two distinguished professors had limited themselves to the claim that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) attempts to influence U.S. foreign policy, and at times does so quite successfully, or that we need a debate about whether unqualified support for Israel hurts American interests, there would be little controversy.
Many, including myself, have long championed a two-state solution, have opposed AIPAC's stance on a variety of issues, and have advocated that the United States use its considerable leverage to pressure Israel to abide by its agreements with the Palestinians. However, their essay "The Israel Lobby" and their longer unpublished piece are rife with highly questionable and noxious assertions.
Their fundamental claim is that the "Israel Lobby" distorts American foreign policy. In their view, U.S. support for Israel does not make moral, political, or strategic sense; Israel's behavior does not deserve American support because it is a serial and mass violator of human rights; support for Israel harms U.S. influence in the region and is a primary cause of Islamic terrorism and instability.
Why does the United States act in a way so contrary to its basic national interests? The Israel Lobby (they do capitalize it), which for them is Public Enemy No. 1. Who is the Israel Lobby? It is not limited to AIPAC, as Ivins suggests. Mearsheimer and Walt offer a long list of members, including the Christian Right. Yet they focus on Jewish organizations, Jewish public intellectuals and Jewish public officials.
At various times the authors accuse these actors of various offenses, including a most explosive charge: that they care more for Israeli interests than they do American interests. In their effort to give credence to their claims, Mearsheimer and Walt reference various events, including the U.S. invasion of Iraq. They suggest that Jews in the Bush administration and Jewish organizations on the outside pushed, pressured and conned the Bush administration into undertaking an action that would help no one but Israel.
There are good reasons, then, why many are alarmed by their essay. Some have reacted by attacking Mearsheimer and Walt, charging them with being (closet) anti-Semites. I have known both for years, exchanged views with them on their essay, and wholly reject such accusations. But this does not mean that those who are critical of and even outraged by the essay are trying to stifle debate (as Ivins suggests), any more than anyone who is critical of Israel is anti-Semitic.
The essay fails not because of anti-Semitism but because of shoddy scholarship. They wanted to prove a thesis and proceeded to cherry-pick history, wrench quotes out of context, simplify complicated historical processes, ignore alternative arguments and transform half-truths into facts, then connected those facts in highly controversial ways. It is their poor scholarship that has left them vulnerable to charges that their essay resembles foul-smelling tracts, including "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion." Mearsheimer and Walt hoped to trigger a debate about U.S. support for Israel. A fine motive. But we do not need a debate that sinks to the level of "The Israel Lobby." Let the debate happen. But, please, let it be informed.
Michael Barnett is Stassen chair of International Affairs at the University of Minnesota.
From the Opinion Journal on May 8, 2006
John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, authors of a notorious anti-Israel screed, have responded to some of their critics. In a piece published in the London Review of Books (and reprinted on the moonbat site Counterpunch.org), they answer various letters to the editor of the London Review. We'll just look at the paragraph responding to the argument we made http://www.opinionjournal.com/best/?id=110008117 in detail back in March:
*** QUOTE ***
At least two of the letters complain that we "catalogue Israel's moral flaws," while paying little attention to the shortcomings of other states. We focused on Israeli behaviour, not because we have any animus towards Israel, but because the United States gives it such high levels of material and diplomatic support. Our aim was to determine whether Israel merits this special treatment either because it is a unique strategic asset or because it behaves better than other countries do. We argued that neither argument is convincing: Israel's strategic value has declined since the end of the Cold War and Israel does not behave significantly better than most other states.
*** END QUOTE ***
This is as intellectually dishonest as their original paper. In the first place, they did not claim merely that "Israel does not behave significantly better than most other states," but that "neither strategic nor moral arguments can account for America's support for Israel."
Furthermore, they fail to support even the more modest claim they now make. One cannot show that "Israel does not behave significantly better than most other states" merely by cataloguing Israel's real and alleged faults. One must compare them to those of other states--which Mearsheimer and Walt did not do, surely because they realized that an honest accounting would show that Israel in fact behaves far better than its adversaries.
David Horowitz Accused of Poor Scholarship
From the moment in February that David
Horowitz’s new book appeared, scholars have been poking at it, identifying
errors and what they consider to be distortions (even as Horowitz was
praised by many conservative talk show hosts, who have helped him boost
sales). Today, a coalition of academic and civil liberties groups is
more detailed analysis of
Horowitz book, The Professors: The 101 Most
Dangerous Academics in America. In
“Facts Count,” the debunking document being released today, Horowitz’s book
is slammed as “sloppy in the extreme.” The analysis also says that the
details included in the book suggest that Horowitz is not concerned with the
students he says he is trying to protect, but is actually trying to punish
professors whose views he doesn’t like.
"Fact-Checking David Horowitz," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, May 9, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/05/09/report
Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm
"Classified MoD report reveals the secrets behind UFOs," PhysOrg, May 8, 2006 --- http://www.physorg.com/news66281961.html
The four year study, codenamed Project Condign, says that unexplained UFO sightings are caused by 'plasmas', which create false memories of alien experiences and burn the skin. The report says these plasmas are rare and are created by 'more than one set of weather and electrically charged conditions'. Another of the causes may be 'by meteor re-entry, the meteors neither burning up completely nor impacting as meteorites but forming buoyant plasmas'
The report states that plasmas have been proven to cause responses in the temporal lobe of the human brain, and claims that this may cause observers to suffer extended memory retention and repeat experience which may be 'a key factor in influencing the more extreme reports... [which] are clearly believed by the 'victims'.' It also says that radiated effects from these plasmas can in rare instances be enough to scorch the skin.
The report refers to UFOs as Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs) and asserts that they pose little or no danger to aircraft unless violent manoeuvres are undertaken to either chase or avoid them. However, it does say that they have caused fatalities in other countries where aircraft have deliberately chased the UAP.
Continued in article
Of Penises and Pesticides: Were males "bigger and better" in the old days?
"Of Penises and Pesticides: Are synthetic chemicals responsible for male shortcomings?" by Ronald Bailey, Reason Magazine, May 5, 2006 --- http://www.reason.com/rb/rb050506.shtml
"Pesticides May Affect Penis Size, " runs the headline in the London Free Press. The first paragraph alarmingly reports that "A renowned U.S. scientist who has documented fertility and sex changes—including decreasing penis size—due to environmental contamination says he wouldn't apply pesticides on his own lawn."
Whose sexual organs was the renowned scientist talking about? Alligator penises. Specifically, the penises of some American alligators that grew up in Florida's most polluted lake. In 1980 a massive industrial pesticide spill drained into Lake Apopka, contaminating it with high levels of pesticides with anti-androgenic activity. The toxins clearly had deleterious effects on wildlife. The renowned scientist cited in the article is University of Florida researcher Louis Guillette, who also apparently asserted, "This is important because it is not just an alligator story. It is not just a lake story. We know there has been a dramatic increase in penile and genital abnormalities in baby boys."
One sometimes gets the impression from some scientists and activists that pesticides are just pure evil developed by wicked corporations for the purpose of poisoning people, not substances devised to protect crops or eradicate disease-carrying vermin. In any case, since it turns out that activists were wrong when they claimed that pesticides were causing a cancer epidemic, then surely the chemicals must be doing something else vile. How about hitting men where it really hurts? That'll get their attention!
But is it true there has been a "dramatic increase" in penile abnormalities? The evidence is equivocal. A major scientific review in 2005 found that male congenital anomalies had increased from 7 per 1000 in 1988 to 8.3 per 1000 in 2000. Interestingly, the same study found that the higher a family's socio-economic status, the higher the risk that a boy would be born with penile abnormalities. Another study found higher than expected rates of male genital deformities among newborns in some parts of the Netherlands. Specifically, researchers found a correlation between a father's exposure to pesticides and the probability of cryptorchidism (failure of one or both of the testicles to descend into the scrotum) in his newborn son. There was no correlation between paternal and maternal pesticide exposure and the incidence of hypospadias (a genital defect in which the urethra opens on the underside of the penis rather than at the end).
Continued in article
Pesticide-free "organic" foods may not be what they're to be
"Farmers Say Mega-Dairies Milk the Organic System," by Jeff Brady, NPR, May 7, 2006 --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5389487
The organic food business has grown from a health-conscious movement to a multi-billion dollar business. Americans now spend $2 billion on organic milk alone.
For milk to be labeled organic, the USDA says that cows must be raised on pesticide-free feed, without hormones. But it doesn't regulate how much time the cows must spend out in pasture.
As organic mega-dairies with thousands of cows sprout up across the country, small-dairy farmers complain that some so-called "organic" cows don't get enough meadow time. They say the huge dairy operations are taking advantage of the system at the expense of the smaller farms that built the organic movement into a lucrative industry.
If you're looking for a new bride, here's the "World's Largest Matrimonial Service" --- http://www.shaadi.com/
Also see "Multicultural Parody Along The Information Highway," by Frank Ahrens, The Washington Post, April 30, 2006 --- Click Here
Hate Groups on the Internet
Hate groups around the world, including Islamic militants, often use Internet servers based in the United States to send propaganda and instructions to followers, according to a report released Thursday by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. In its eighth annual report on Internet hate speech, the Wiesenthal Center said it had logged some 6,000 Web sites in the past year used by racists and bigots to incite violence.
"Report: Web Is a "Cornerstone" for Hate Groups: According to this watchdog group, purveyors of bile and violence often prefer U.S. Internet servers," MIT's Technology Review, May 5, 2006 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?id=16785
Researchers in Australia say if you want to persuade anyone to agree with your line of thinking, serving coffee to that person may help. I wonder if Starbucks funded this study.
"Study says coffee helps in persuasion," PhysOrg, May 2, 2006 --- http://www.physorg.com/news65712252.html
I wonder if the researchers thought to test double martinis for the same purposes. You know the old saying: "Coffee might help, but liquor's quicker."
"It Pays To Read License Agreements," by Larry Magid, PC Pitstop --- http://www.pcpitstop.com/spycheck/eula.asp
Law Library of Congress --- http://www.loc.gov/law/public/law.html
Lobbying (Searchable) Database --- http://www.opensecrets.org/lobbyists/index.asp
North Korea is trying to weaponize the bird flu virus
LONDON – The pariah state of North Korea is trying to weaponize the bird flu virus, making it the ideal threat for al-Qaida, the British intelligence agency MI6 has learned. The Bush administration has given briefings classified "Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information" to members of Congress and the Senate on the threat. In aerosol form it would be undetectable at all border crossings and virologists at Porton Down – Britain's research center responsible for developing antidotes against biological attacks – fear that a genetically engineered version of the virus would be far more lethal than any current threat from the virus.
"North Korea trying to weaponize bird flu: Bio-warfare experts call it potentially 'greatest threat al-Qaida could unleash'," WorldNetDaily, May 8, 2006 --- http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=50093
Native Americans Are Suing for Billions of Dollars for Accounting Fraud and Mismanagement
"Counting Up What Indians Are Owed," SmartPros, May 8, 2006 --- http://accounting.smartpros.com/x52897.xml
What is ground zero for an accounting that will take seven years and cost $335 million owes its existence to a bitter class-action lawsuit brought against the Interior Department a decade ago. Still, it's only a short version of the historical accounting that Indians demanded but no longer want, because they do not think it can be done properly.
The Indians say the government mismanaged a trust in their names for 120 years and now owes them tens of billions of dollars.
The dispute dates to 1887, when Congress made the Interior Department the trustee for 145 million acres of Indian lands. Indians were supposed to benefit, but the government gave most of the land to white settlers.
Today, the department manages 10 million acres of trust land for individual Indians and 46 million acres for tribes. In 1996, the Indians sued to reconcile their historical accounts. The Indians, and Congress, demanded an audit. The Indians may be owed a century's worth of grazing rents, oil and gas royalties and timber sales from the land, plus interest.
Both the Indians and the Interior Department agree $13 billion was collected between 1909 and 2001.
The Indians had claimed the unpaid interest could be more than $150 billion, but have offered to drop the whole thing if the government coughs up $27.5 billion. They would spread the money among individual Indian accountholders, about one-fifth of the 2.5 million Indians now living in the U.S., mainly in the West.
No way, the Bush administration replied, saying the government all along has forwarded most of the rents and royalties to tribes and individual Indians.
"It could be just $30 million that's owed to the Indians," said Ross Swimmer, the department's special trustee for Indians. He also is a member of Oklahoma's Cherokee Nation.
During a tour of the Kansas cave, Swimmer and other department officials were eager to show that many more Indian records exist than people realize. They also wanted to demonstrate their ability to check the accuracy of financial transactions with Indians.
"They're finally going to get their accounting," Swimmer said. "For once we've gotten something right for the Indians."
In an irony befitting an "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" legal war, the government is relying on the Indian-demanded accounting - actually, it's a statistical sampling - to come up with figures that Indians claim low-ball what they are owed.
"It's a number in the m's, not the b's," said Fritz Scheuren, who oversees the department's sampling. Scheuren was president of the American Statistical Association last year.
The Indians who sued say now that too many records have been destroyed to come up with an accurate figure. Before 1990, the Treasury Department routinely destroyed the Indian trust's canceled checks, and court documents attest to numerous destroyed records.
"The documents that the government has preserved are a fraction of those that have been lost and destroyed," said Dennis Gingold, a lawyer for the Indians. "Massive hard copy and electronic destruction ... make the accounting legally and factually impossible."
The Indians' biggest ally is U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth, a former Reagan administration official whose strongly worded rulings condemn the Interior Department.
After nine years presiding over the case, Lamberth concluded last July that the agency is a "pathetic outpost" that has bungled its fiduciary duty.
Continued in article
Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm
"A True eBay Crime Story," by Jen Shreve, Wired News, May
8, 2006 ---
It was the scandal that rocked the internet. A seemingly worthless painting sold on eBay in early 2000 for $135,805 -- all because buyers believed it might be the work of the 20th-century abstract painter Richard Diebenkorn.
Nor was the story behind the painting true.
In fact, Sacramento, California, lawyer Kenneth Walton had forged the suspiciously Diebenkorn-esque signature, which appeared in an auction photograph, and concocted the hokey yarn about finding it at a garage sale some years back. Some of the highest bids, it turned out, came not from serious art-buyers but from Walton's eBay business partner, Ken Fetterman.
Before long the tangle of deceits that led to the historic sale began to unravel on the front pages of newspapers around the country. Walton and another business partner, Scott Beach, pled guilty to federal felony charges. After three years as a fugitive, Fetterman was finally arrested while on his way to a Frisbee golf tournament in Kansas.
Walton tells his side of this true internet crime story in his new memoir, Fake: Forgery, Lies, & eBay. Wired News spoke to him about the book and his experiences as an online outlaw.
"Queens Man Fails to Deliver Spiderman Comics," 1010Wins, May 5, 2006 --- http://www.1010wins.com/pages/32516.php
A Queens man is being charged with selling $10,000 worth of Spiderman comics on Ebay to a Virginia resident -- then failing to deliver the goods.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown says Gabriel Mitchell, 20, of East Elmhurst is charged with grand larceny.
The DA says Mitchell posted the Spiderman collection for sale in February and a winning bid of $19,000 from Shawn Key of Manassas, Virginia was accepted. DA Brown says Mitchell e-mailed the buyer copies of the bar codes, supposedly taken from the comics -- and asked that the buyer send $10,000 for half of them and $200 for shipping.
After the buyer sent the money, he received a package containing blank papers.
The Virginia man complained to Ebay and the online auction called New York law enforcement.
Bob Jensen's threads on how to avoid fraud on eBay ---
One of the larger SEC civil penalties for accounting fraud
In one of the largest civil penalties the Securities and Exchange Commission has ever obtained against an individual in an accounting-fraud case, a federal judge has ordered Henry C. Yuen, former chief executive officer of Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc., to pay $22.3 million for his role in a fraud that led the company to overstate revenue by more than $225 million between 2000 and 2002. The ruling comes four years after the SEC launched its investigation of Gemstar, a once highflying Hollywood company that publishes TV Guide magazine and holds patents on technology used for cable- and satellite-television programming guides. Earlier this year following a three-week trial, U.S. District Judge Mariana Pfaelzer found Mr. Yuen liable for securities fraud, lying to auditors and falsifying Gemstar's books.
Jane Spencer and Kara Scannell, "Gemstar Ex-CEO Is Ordered To Pay $22.3 Million: Henry Yuen's Civil Penalty Is Among Largest Sought By SEC Against Individual," The Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2006; Page A3 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114713467418347300.html?mod=todays_us_page_one
The outside auditor was KPMG.
You can read more about KPMG at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud001.htm#KPMG
From the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania
"How New Accounting Rules Are Changing the Way CEOs Get Paid (Audio Available)," Knowledge@Wharton, May 3, 2006 --- http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/index.cfm?fa=viewArticle&id=1465
When a well-known compensation consulting firm predicted in early April that new accounting rules wouldn't have any impact on the use of options as compensation for corporate executives, Wharton accounting professor Mary Ellen Carter was ready to disagree. "That's just not true," she says. "Options will be cut and directors will be switching to restricted stock for executive compensation."
Carter's response is the result of her research into the role of accounting in the design of CEO equity compensation, specifically as it relates to the use of options and restricted stock. Her study coincides with a ruling, implemented this year by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), requiring all firms to expense the value of employee stock options. Specifically, Carter looks at the accounting practices of 1,500 firms from 1995 to 2001, before many large companies began expensing stock options but during the years when the FASB began pushing the reform. Carter corroborates the findings of her study by examining changes in CEO compensation within firms that voluntarily began to expense options in 2002 and 2003.
In a new paper on this topic entitled, "The Role of Accounting in the Design of CEO Equity Compensation," Carter concludes that CEO compensation will change now that companies are required to subtract the expense of stock options from their earnings, just as they are required to account for salaries and other costs. And Carter predicts that as a result, firms will switch from options to restricted stock as a preferred compensation option.
"By eliminating the financial reporting benefits of stock options, firms expensing stock options no longer have an ability to avoid recording expenses with any form of equity compensation," writes Carter, who authored the study with Luann J. Lynch, a professor at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, and Wharton accounting professor Irem Tuna.
"We found that companies prior to the rule changes granted more options because of favorable financial reporting. Results suggest that favorable accounting treatment for stock options led to a higher use of options and lower use of restricted stock than would have been the case absent accounting considerations. Our findings confirm the role of accounting in equity compensation design."
Leveling the Playing Field
The timing of Carter's report could hardly be better.
This past year, a revised FASB rule took effect that requires companies to expense the value of stock options given to employees. Most public companies are required to expense options for fiscal years beginning after June 15, 2005. Since most companies operate on a calendar basis, this means expensing options by March 31, 2006. Known as SFAS 123(R), the new accounting standard was developed by the FASB to create a more level playing field when it came to management incentive compensation and its impact on a company's bottom line. Before SFAS 123(R), companies that gave out stock options did not have to report the "fair value of the option" -- i.e., did not have to claim the options as an expense, which in turn would result in a reduction in net income at the end of the fiscal year. However, companies that relied on cash bonuses or restricted stock for equity compensation have always had to report or "expense" the value amount, an accounting requirement that reduced corporate net income at year's end.
The FASB first proposed changing the accounting standard in 1991. At the time, the move was strenuously opposed, particularly by many hi-tech firms and start-up businesses that relied heavily on stock options as an incentive to recruit and motivate employees to work for companies that reported little or no income. As nearly everyone knows, stock options are perks given to employees that allow them to buy company stock in the future at a set price. If the stock rises before the options are exercised, the employee can buy the stock at the lower predetermined price, and then sell it at the higher price and quickly realize the difference.
During the dot-com boom, the use of stock options skyrocketed. According to the National Center for Employee Ownership, up to 10 million employees held stock options by 2002. "Stock options were always seen as an incentive, a way of tying employee or executive action and company performance to compensation," says Carter. "In other words, 'You will get something if you get the stock price to go up.' It was a way of aligning employees' and executives' interests with those of the shareholders."
But from the beginning, companies balked at putting a numerical value on options and expensing them, arguing that doing so would result in a negative impact on their stock price. After intense lobbying, the FASB backed off the proposal in the early 1990s, but issued a compromise, known then as SFAS 123: Companies had to disclose the use of stock options and their fair value in the footnotes of their financial reports or proxy statements.
Nearly 10 years later -- in the wake of the volatile post-Enron era, when improper and unethical accounting practices were widely exposed in one corporate scandal after another -- the FASB returned to the concept of expensing stock options. At the time, corporate institutions like Global Crossing and WorldCom, in addition to Enron, had became synonymous with corporate greed, and anyone who followed their downfalls quickly understood how company executives who held substantial stock options were motivated to artificially inflate stock prices for their own financial gain.
In an effort to distance themselves from companies that routinely "cooked the books," many corporations wanted to showcase their ethical financial practices. So they began to voluntarily expense options in their proxy statements, a step above and beyond the footnote citation already required by the FASB. In 2002, General Electric, Bank One Corp., Coca-Cola, The Washington Post Co., Procter & Gamble and General Motors announced that they would expense options, along with Amazon.com and Computer Associates. Some companies -- like Papa John's International, USA Interactive and Microsoft -- announced that they were doing away with options altogether.
Continued in article
Bob Jensen's threads on accounting for employee stock options are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory/sfas123/jensen01.htm
"Kosher Cures for the CIA," by Bret Stephens, The Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2006; Page A19 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114713479585547305.html?mod=todays_us_opinion
Morale at the agency is rock bottom, as is its reputation with the public. The director has been forced to resign. Relations with the politicos are under strain. There have been several high-profile operational fiascos, one of which nearly wrecked relations with a key Middle Eastern ally.
Porter Goss's CIA? Wrong. This was the Mossad, Israel's fabled spy agency, circa 1997. In September of that year, a botched Mossad attempt on the life of Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Amman, Jordan, forced an acute political crisis between the Jewish state and its Hashemite neighbor. Five months later, another Mossad agent was arrested while wiretapping a phone line in Bern. The agency's travails attracted wide notice: "Swiss Confirm New Fiasco by Agents for Israel," was how the New York Times covered the story.
Today, the Mossad is again at the top of its game. Among other coups, it is believed to have assassinated Hezbollah terror masters Ali Hussein Saleh in 2003 and Ghalib Awwali in 2004. So it's worth taking note of how the Mossad repaired its own house -- and of what two former Israeli spymasters have to say about how CIA Director nominee Michael Hayden might go about repairing his.
In a telephone interview, Efraim Halevy, Mossad chief from 1998 to 2002 and author of the memoir "Man in the Shadows," offers this advice. The new director "must first work quickly to repair the image of the organization by producing results. He must re-establish credibility at the political level, and this isn't going to be easy because political leaders will be wary of intelligence judgments. He must pass a message of confidence in and respect for the troops. He has to stand up for his people, and not take a back seat while someone else takes the rap. And he has to be creative and allow creativity and courage to show themselves."
Mr. Halevy knows whereof he speaks. "I entered my job in a crisis situation," he recalls. Not long into his tenure, a Turkish newspaper claimed -- falsely, according to Mr. Halevy -- that the Mossad had been involved in the capture of Abdullah Ocalan, the Kurdish leader of the terrorist PKK. The report, which put Israelis at risk of PKK reprisals, had to be discredited in a way that would be believed. Rather than issue a public denial, Mr. Halevy circulated a memo within the Mossad disavowing any link to the Ocalan operation. The memo then "leaked," achieving the desired impression.
There are lessons here for Gen. Hayden, starting with the fact that it helps to run an organization where leaks, when they happen, are authorized and purposeful. In recent years, the CIA has lost that ability, in part because of a deep-seated ideological animus to the Bush administration (witness the careers of anti-Bush partisans Valerie Plame, Paul Pillar, Michael Scheuer and Mary McCarthy), but also, it seems, as payback from careerists who felt rudely handled by Mr. Goss. If you want to plug leaks -- and manage change -- try getting the troops on board.
On the whole, however, Mr. Halevy is fairly sanguine about CIA prospects. "I think the quality of the intelligence is very high," he says. Mr. Halevy has interacted with the CIA for nearly four decades, during which he "has not seen a decline" in the caliber of its work. It isn't clear if he's only being polite.
Continued in article
A Helper Site for Starting a New Business --- http://www.startupnation.com/index.asp
If you are looking for expert advice on all aspects of starting a business and turning it into a successful company, and want to have fun along the way, you've come to the right place: StartupNation. You are joining a robust community of entrepreneurs and small business owners who are also "living the dream" everyday.
StartupNation is the destination where you can learn the important nuts and bolts of small business, such as how to patent your idea, build a business plan, or increase sales. While you're seeking that helpful small business advice to start a business or grow an existing business, StartupNation is also an entrepreneurial resource for you to learn from peers, whether you’re connecting with them directly or listening to them share all on StartupNation Radio!
StartupNation is all about access, and it starts with two of the country’s top entrepreneurial experts – the Sloan brothers. Jeff and Rich mentor you through radio, web, live events and through StartupNation: Open for Business (Doubleday, 2005), their book for aspiring entrepreneurs. The Sloan brothers have always had a fascination with entrepreneurship and are known for their acumen in transforming business ideas into vibrant companies – making dreams into reality. To share their passion for entrepreneurship and their in-the-trenches wisdom with a worldwide audience, the Sloan brothers created StartupNation in 2002.
"StartupNation addresses issues faced by small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs," states Jeff Sloan, StartupNation co-founder. "We provide personal touch points and contact with the audience to empower people to take their ideas and start a business, as well as drill down to the challenges with growing an existing business." Among those touch points are StartupNation's "Success in the U.S. " Tour, where the Sloan Brothers meet entrepreneurs across the country and present at events.
"Entrepreneurship is a timeless, American endeavor," states Rich Sloan, StartupNation co-founder. "StartupNation highlights the boundless creativity, the sweat, and the spirit that gives birth to over a half-million new businesses each month in this country. And on an individual level, entrepreneurship empowers people to take control of their own destiny."
How does StartupNation make all of this content and inspiration available to entrepreneurs? Through the support of corporations and relationships with associations, and schools of entrepreneurship at colleges and universities. Through this model, we drop the barriers for entrepreneurs and help connect them with invaluable resources in the process.
StartupNation's nationally-syndicated radio program airs in more than 50 markets and is available online or via our small business podcast download. StartupNation also airs short-form daily radio programming across the country, achieving 5 million impressions weekly. Additionally, the StartupNation website provides business smarts through resources such as the “10 Steps to Open for Business” online tutorial, as well as via the weekly StartupNation e-newsletter and online seminars.
You can find the Sloan brothers often on national news outlets including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, and on CNN, MSNBC and FOX News Channel.
If you are interested in discussing a business relationship with StartupNation as an advertiser, sponsor or community partner, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1- 866-55-START.
Bob Jensen's small business helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#SmallBusiness
Your PC is about as private as a public park when it's online
Like a diaper in a swimming pool, Microsoft
makes an impression at a privacy conference.
Kevin Pousen, "Microsoft Is Pushing for Privacy?" Wired News, May 3, 2006 --- http://www.wired.com/news/politics/privacy/0,70804-0.html?tw=wn_index_6
"Everyone Wants to 'Own' Your PC," by Bruce Schneier, Wired News, May 4, 2006 --- http://www.wired.com/news/columns/0,70802-0.html?tw=wn_index_4
You own your computer, of course. You bought it. You paid for it. But how much control do you really have over what happens on your machine? Technically you might have bought the hardware and software, but you have less control over what it's doing behind the scenes.
Using the hacker sense of the term, your computer is "owned" by other people.
It used to be that only malicious hackers were trying to own your computers. Whether through worms, viruses, Trojans or other means, they would try to install some kind of remote-control program onto your system. Then they'd use your computers to sniff passwords, make fraudulent bank transactions, send spam, initiate phishing attacks and so on. Estimates are that somewhere between hundreds of thousands and millions of computers are members of remotely controlled "bot" networks. Owned.
Now, things are not so simple. There are all sorts of interests vying for control of your computer. There are media companies that want to control what you can do with the music and videos they sell you. There are companies that use software as a conduit to collect marketing information, deliver advertising or do whatever it is their real owners require. And there are software companies that are trying to make money by pleasing not only their customers, but other companies they ally themselves with. All these companies want to own your computer.
- Entertainment software: In October 2005, it emerged that Sony had distributed a rootkit with several music CDs -- the same kind of software that crackers use to own people's computers. This rootkit secretly installed itself when the music CD was played on a computer. Its purpose was to prevent people from doing things with the music that Sony didn't approve of: It was a DRM system. If the exact same piece of software had been installed secretly by a hacker, this would have been an illegal act. But Sony believed that it had legitimate reasons for wanting to own its customers’ machines.
- Antivirus: You might have expected your antivirus software to detect Sony's rootkit. After all, that's why you bought it. But initially, the security programs sold by Symantec and others did not detect it, because Sony had asked them not to. You might have thought that the software you bought was working for you, but you would have been wrong.
- Internet services: Hotmail allows you to blacklist certain e-mail addresses, so that mail from them automatically goes into your spam trap. Have you ever tried blocking all that incessant marketing e-mail from Microsoft? You can't.
- Application software: Internet Explorer users might have expected the program to incorporate easy-to-use cookie handling and pop-up blockers. After all, other browsers do, and users have found them useful in defending against internet annoyances. But Microsoft isn't just selling software to you; it sells internet advertising as well. It isn't in the company's best interest to offer users features that would adversely affect its business partners.
"Kid-Friendly Search Engines Filter Content," by Akeya Dickson, The Washington Post, May 8, 2006 --- Click Here
It's not unheard of these days for a child doing online research for a school project to accidentally stumble into a porn site or someplace else that's too dicey for a parent's comfort level.
Between e-mail filters, parental controls and special software, there are plenty of tools meant to help parents keep their children safe. The next target for fed-up parents: Internet search engines such as Google and Yahoo.
The upside of the modern-day search engine -- an index of Web sites on the Internet -- is also the downside. And when kids research a report by tapping search words in Google or Yahoo, chances are good that they may run across something they shouldn't see.
Christine Willig, president of Cincinnati-based Thinkronize, said that one in four children across the country is exposed to pornography by age 11 -- often over the Internet.
Her company's flagship product, NetTrekker, a child-safe search engine featuring 180,000 sites that are regularly reviewed by 400 volunteer teachers, has been in schools since 2000, including many in Virginia, Maryland and the District.
Now, the product is being made available for home users for $9.95 ( http://www.netrekker.com/ ).
Willig, the mother of seven, said children's potential exposure to questionable Internet content was the primary reason she left her job as a textbook publisher and joined the start-up Thinkronize.
"My decision to leave was driven by my own experiences with my own children and stories I've heard from other parents and teachers," she said.
Since then, the product has been used in 12,000 schools across the United States -- reaching an estimated 7 million students. School administrators and parents in other countries -- including Hong Kong, Turkey and Nigeria -- also have expressed an interest in the product, she said.
In Pennsylvania, the search engine was adopted in school districts across the state.
Exposure to inappropriate sites "was definitely a huge concern with teachers," said Mary Schwander, a library media specialist at New Hope-Solebury High School in New Hope, Pa. "Some kids did a comparison between Google and NetTrekker and found that NetTrekker was more favorable to use and quicker."
Willig acknowledges that offensive and inappropriate sites have been found -- but usually by teachers and specialty software that constantly scan the sites, not the students.
"With our tools in place, we have found porn sites, and we have found them before users," Willig said. "There's a Martin Luther King site that's now a hate site, really a KKK thing in disguise. There are those things that we have to look out for with a combination of technology and human review."
That is the main challenge constantly facing John Stewart and Ryan Krupnik, the guys behind the family-safe search engine RedZee. The site filters out pornographic results and delivers targeted searches.
"Ryan and I have put a great deal of time and money to make sure things are blocked, but we're really coming to a point where we need the general public to help us," said Stewart. "We can't possibly catch all of it. I would love to say we're 200 percent, but we're not."
Continued in article
Bob Jensen's search helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm
Where did the giant Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith fail?
And presumably some people did remember that
McLandress was himself a figment of the imagination.
In the case of John Kenneth Galbraith, who died last week, the Times obituary could scarcely fail to register the man’s prominence. He was an economist, diplomat, Harvard professor, and advisor to JFK. Royalties on his book The Affluent Society (1958) guaranteed that — as a joke of the day had it — he was a full member. But the notice also made a point of emphasizing that his reputation was in decline. Venturing with uncertain steps into a characterization of his economic thought, the obituary treated Galbraith as kind of fossil from some distant era, back when Keynsian liberals still roamed the earth.
Scott McLemee, "Wheat and Chaff," Inside Higher Ed, May 4, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2006/05/03/mclemee
He was patrician in manner, but an acid-tongued critic of what he once called “the sophisticated and derivative world of the Eastern seaboard.” He was convinced that for a society to be not merely affluent but livable (an important distinction now all but lost) it had to put more political and economic power in the hands of people who exercised very little of it. It was always fascinating to watch him debate William F. Buckley — encounters too suave to call blood sport, but certainly among the memorable moments on public television during the pre-"Yanni at the Acropolis” era. He called Buckley the ideal debating partner: “pleasant, quick in response, invulnerable to insult, and invariably wrong.”
Galbraith’s influence was once strong enough to inspire Congressional hearings to discuss the implications of his book The New Industrial State (1967). Clearly that stature has waned. But Paul Samuelson was on to something when he wrote, “Ken Galbraith, like Thorstein Veblen, will be remembered and read when most of us Nobel Laureates will be buried in footnotes down in dusty library stacks.”
The reference to the author of The Theory of the Leisure Class is very apropos, for a number of reasons. Veblen’s economic thought left a deep mark on Galbraith. That topic has been explored at length by experts, and I dare not bluff it here. But the affinity between them went deeper than the conceptual. Both men grew up in rural areas among ethnic groups that never felt the slightest inferiority vis-a-vis the local establishment. Veblen was a second-generation Norwegian immigrant in Wisconsin. Galbraith, whose family settled in a small town in Canada, absorbed the Scotch principle that it was misplaced politeness not to let a fool know what you thought of him. “Better that he be aware of his reputation,” as Galbraith later wrote, “for this would encourage reticence, which goes well with stupidity.”
Like Veblen, he had a knack for translating satirical intuitions into social-scientific form. But Galbraith also worked the other way around. He could parody the research done by “the best and the brightest,” writing sardonically about what was really at stake in their work.
I’m thinking, in particular, of The McLandress Dimension (1963), a volume that has not received its due. The Times calls it a novel, which only proves that neither of the two obituary writers had read the book. And it gets just two mentions, in passing, in Richard Parker’s otherwise exhaustive biography John Kenneth Galbraith: His Life, His Politics, His Economics (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2005).
. . .
Writing from behind his persona, Galbraith turned in a credible impression of social-science punditry at its most pompous. (You can read the entire review here.) It must have been very funny if you knew what was going on. And presumably some people did remember that McLandress was himself a figment of the imagination.
But not everyone did. Over time, Report from Iron Mountain became required reading for conspiracy theorists — who, by the 1990s, were quite sure it was a blueprint for the New World Order. After all, hadn’t a reviewer vouched for its authenticity in The Washington Post?
And what did Galbraith think of all this? I have to.... One has to wonder.
It is fortunate for Professor Galbraith that he
was born with singular gifts as a writer. It is a pity he hasn't used these
skills in other ways than to try year after year to bail out his sinking
William F. Buckley, "John Kenneth Galbraith, R.I.P. ," Townhall, May 2, 2006 --- http://www.townhall.com/opinion/columns/wfbuckley/2006/05/02/196026.html
The public Galbraith I knew and contended with for many years is captured in the opening paragraphs of my review of his last book, "The Culture of Contentment." I wrote then: ` "It is fortunate for Professor Galbraith that he was born with singular gifts as a writer. It is a pity he hasn't used these skills in other ways than to try year after year to bail out his sinking ships. Granted, one can take satisfaction from his anti-historical exertions, and wholesome pleasure from his yeomanry as a sump-pumper. Indeed, his rhythm and grace recall the skills we remember having been developed by Ben-Hur, the model galley slave, whose only request of the quartermaster was that he be allowed every month to move to the other side of the boat, to ensure a parallel development in the musculature of his arms and legs.
"I for one hope that the next time a nation experimenting with socialism or communism fails, which will happen the next time a nation experiments with socialism or communism, Ken Galbraith will feel the need to explain what happened. It's great fun to read. It helps, of course, to suppress wistful thought about those who endured, or died trying, the passage toward collective living to which Professor Galbraith has beckoned us for over 40 years."
So it is said, for the record; and yet we grieve, those of us who knew him. We looked to his writings for the work of a penetrating mind who turned his talent to the service of his ideals. This involved waging war against men and women who had, under capitalism, made strides in the practice of industry and in promoting the common good. Galbraith denied them the tribute to which they were entitled.
When they went further and offered their intellectual insights, Galbraith was unforgiving. His appraisal of intellectual dissenters from his ideas of the common good derived from the psaltery of his moral catechism, cataloguing the persistence of poverty, the awful taste of the successful classes, and the wastefulness of the corporate and military establishments.
Where Mr. Galbraith is not easily excusable is in his search for disingenuousness in such as Charles Murray, a meticulous scholar of liberal background, whose "Losing Ground" is among the social landmarks of the postwar era. "In the mid 1980s," Galbraith writes, "the requisite doctrine needed by the culture of contentment to justify their policies became available. Dr. Charles A. Murray provided the nearly perfect prescription. ... Its essence was that the poor are impoverished and are kept in poverty by the public measures, particularly the welfare payments, that are meant to rescue them from their plight." Whatever qualifications Murray made, "the basic purpose of his argument would be served. The poor would be off the conscience of the comfortable, and, a point of greater importance, off the federal budget and tax system."
One needs to brush this aside and dwell on the private life of John Kenneth Galbraith. I know something of that life, and of the lengths to which he went in utter privacy to help those in need. He was a truly generous friend. The mighty engine of his intelligence could be marshaled to serve the needs of individual students, students manque, people who had a problem.
Two or three weeks ago he sent me a copy of a poll taken among academic economists. He was voted the third most influential economist of the 20th century, after Keynes and Schumpeter. I think that ranking tells us more about the economics profession than we have any grounds to celebrate, but that isn't the point I made in acknowledging his letter. I had just received a book about the new prime minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, in which National Review and its founder are cited as the primary influences in his own development as a conservative leader. But I did not mention this to Galbraith either. He was ailing, and this old adversary kept from him loose combative data that would have vexed him.
I was one of the speakers at his huge 85th birthday party. My talk was interrupted halfway through by the master of ceremonies. "Is there a doctor in the house?" The next day I sent Galbraith the text of my talk. He wrote back: "Dear Bill: That was a very pleasant talk you gave about me. If I had known it would be so, I would not have instructed my friend to pretend, in the middle of your speech, to need the attention of a doctor."
Forget the whole thing, the getting and spending, and the Nobel Prize nominations, and the economists' tributes. What cannot be forgotten by those exposed to them are the amiable, generous, witty interventions of this man, with his singular wife and three remarkable sons, and that is why there are among his friends those who weep that he is now gone.
I was fortunate to attend one of the famous liberal vs. conservative debates years ago on the Trinity University campus between William F. Buckley and John Kenneth Galbraith. These were classic in terms of razor sharp wit directed at each other with underlying deep respect for the person if not the position.
"The New Industrial Economist," by David R. Henderson, The Wall Street Journal, May 2, 2006, Page A16 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114652913131041003.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep
John Kenneth Galbraith, one of America's most famous economists, died on Saturday at the age of 97. His fame came not from his technical accomplishments in academic economics but from his awesome writing ability, evidenced in 33 books and many more articles. He wrote almost all of his books -- certainly the ones that increased his fame -- for a general audience. He honed his writing ability while on the board of editors of Fortune magazine from 1943 to 1948. After that, he never stopped.
. . .
He once remarked, at his wittiest and most on-target, that "In the choice between changing one's mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof." Nevertheless, while mainstream economists were sometimes a little nasty in debating Galbraith, they did point out fundamental problems with his conclusions -- problems that he never seriously grappled with. Galbraith focused too much on the witty epigram. As one critic pointed out, his main form of argument for key assumptions in his model of the economy was "vigorous assertion."
Galbraith's three most important books, measured by sales and influence on popular thinking, were "American Capitalism: The Concept of Countervailing Power" (1952), "The Affluent Society" (1958) and "The New Industrial State" (1967). In "American Capitalism," Galbraith argued that giant firms had replaced small ones to the point where the "perfectly competitive" model no longer applied to much of the American economy. But not to worry, he argued. The power of large firms was offset by the countervailing power of large unions, so that consumers were protected by competing centers of power.
The late Nobel laureate George Stigler gave a pointed response in 1954. Stigler noted that before Roosevelt's cartel-forming National Recovery Administration started giving monopoly power to large businesses, in five of the six industries with the most powerful unions -- building trades, coal mining, printing, clothing and musicians -- there were many small firms rather than, as Galbraith's theory would have predicted, a few large ones. Moreover, noted Stigler, even if powerful labor unions offset the power of large firms, there was no assurance that this would help consumers -- now not only the firms but also the unions would have a desire to limit output and keep prices high and would simply be fighting over the monopoly rents.
In "The Affluent Society," Galbraith contrasted the affluence of the private sector with the "squalor" of the public sector, writing, "our houses are generally clean and our streets generally filthy." He attributed this to our failure to give the government enough of our resources to do its job. He appears never to have considered the more straightforward economic explanation for dirty streets -- one that is based on incentives. The model that applies to the streets is "the tragedy of the commons": No one owns the streets and, therefore, no one has an incentive to take care of them.
Many people liked "The Affluent Society" because of their view that Galbraith, like Thorstein Veblen before him, attacked production that was geared to "conspicuous consumption." But that is not in fact what Galbraith did. He argued, rather, that "an admirable case can still be made" for satisfying even consumer wants that "have bizarre, frivolous or even immoral origins." His argument against satisfying all consumer demands was more subtle than Veblen's. Galbraith wrote: "If the individual's wants are to be urgent, they must be original with himself. They cannot be urgent if they must be contrived for him. And above all, they must not be contrived by the process of production by which they are satisfied. . . . One cannot defend production as satisfying wants if that production creates the wants."
Really? The late Friedrich Hayek, co-winner of the 1974 Nobel Prize in economics, delivered the most fundamental critique of Galbraith's thesis. Hayek conceded that most wants do not originate with the individual; our innate wants, he wrote, "are probably confined to food, shelter and sex." All other wants we learn from what we see around us. Probably all our aesthetic feelings -- our enjoyment of music and literature, for example -- are learned. So, wrote Hayek, "to say that a desire is not important because it is not innate is to say that the whole cultural achievement of man is not important." Hayek could have taken the point further. Few of us, for example, have an innate desire for penicillin. It had to be first produced and then advertised before doctors could know about it. And it's safe to say that we've found it very valuable.
Galbraith's magnum opus was "The New Industrial State," in which he argued that large firms dominate the American economy. "The mature corporation," he wrote, "had readily at hand the means for controlling the prices at which it sells as well as those at which it buys. . . . Since General Motors produces some half of all the automobiles, its designs do not reflect the current mode, but are the current mode. The proper shape of an automobile, for most people, will be what the automobile makers decree the current shape to be." Well, no. Of course, GM failed to "decree" the shape of automobiles in the 1980s and continues to fail today, leading to huge losses of both money and market share. It seems consumers, whom Galbraith regarded as manipulable by Detroit and Madison Avenue, somehow didn't accept GM's "decree."
To his credit, Galbraith admitted some of this. In July 1982, the steel and auto companies he had claimed were immune from competition and recessions were laying off workers in response both to foreign competition and recession. Asked on "Meet the Press" whether he had underestimated the extent of risk that even large corporations face, he paused and replied, "Yeah, I think I did."
Continued in article
Study Finds Human Females Do Not Necessarily Seek Out Males With the Best Genes
"Darwin Revisited: Females Don't Always Go for Hottest Mate," by Sharon Begley, The Wall Street Journal, May 5, 2006; Page B1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114678722314044356.html?mod=todays_us_nonsub_marketplace
The theory of sexual selection -- that females choose males with the best genes, causing those genes to become more prevalent in succeeding generations -- is invoked to explain why peacocks have rococo tails and bucks have huge antlers. Neither trait has real survival value, but females choose males that have them, exerting selective pressure for ever-showier versions.
Or so textbooks say. Just as Darwin's theory of natural selection is under attack by America's religious right, his less-known theory of sexual selection is catching flak from some biologists. "In a number of species, reproductive behavior does not conform to Darwin's theory of sexual selection," says biologist Joan Roughgarden of Stanford University. "The idea that females choose the genetically best males is wrong. Instead of choosing mates who will increase the genetic quality of their offspring, females make choices that will increase their number of offspring."
As in the flycatcher study, mating with "sexy" males isn't necessarily the way to a plethora of descendants. True, in species where males contribute nothing but genes to offspring, this strategy may work. But biologists are finding more and more examples where females benefit from a different strategy.
Female crickets mate with just about any male that asks, for instance. Through promiscuity, not choosing the "best" male, they increase the genetic diversity of their offspring, improving the chances that some will survive no matter what pathogens and enemies the kids encounter.
Other females are not as enamored of sexy traits as theory claims. While big-antlered red deer are busy fighting each other to show a female who has the best rack, the doe sneaks off to mate with less well-endowed stags. Female red-winged blackbirds are not easily impressed, either. Having the most macho plumage has no detectable effect on how many offspring a male sires, David Westneat of the University of Kentucky reported in American Naturalist this week.
Nor is flaunting their charms and competing against other males necessarily the best reproductive strategy, as Darwin thought. In some species, cooperation can bring greater success. Bluegill sunfish, for instance, form trios of one small female, one large territory-holding male and one small male that infiltrate that territory when the female releases her eggs. That lets the little scrawny guy, despite the lack of female-attracting heft, become a dad.
Such strategies, Prof. Roughgarden says, show that "each kind of male has its own way of going about its life. Each works out fine." As she and colleagues wrote in February in Science, "animals cooperate to rear the largest number of offspring possible."
Another problem with sexual selection is that it fails to explain the persistence of, shall we say, homely males. If females choose the male with the best traits, as claimed, then after enough generations every peacock should have a tail to die for. But they do not. Every flock has studs and duds. "Shouldn't all the tails be great?" asks Prof. Roughgarden.
Other scientists are not ready to jettison sexual selection, calling it (as biologist Jerry Coyne did in a review) "powerful and largely correct." But some aren't so sure. Primatologist Sarah Blaffer Hrdy (pronounced "herdy") calls it "ill-advised" to "give precedence to [females'] quests for supposedly the 'best' genes" when they choose a mate.
Mating can indeed be a competitive sport (see: spring break). But many traits that attract females have nothing to do with good genes. For mysterious reasons, females just developed an attraction for them. Men on a quest for perfect abs can take that as fair warning.
From the Scout Report on May 5, 2006
Logging On and Losing Out: Dealing Addiction to America’s Kids http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/gambling/
By the 1970s, gambling, which had once been a seemingly ubiquitous part of American life, was largely confined to places like Las Vegas and Atlantic City. That soon changed as many states began to turn to lottery games as a source of revenue, then licensed riverboat gambling, and then the deluge began. One type of gambling that has undergone a true renaissance is poker. In recent years, poker has also become extremely popular with young people in high school and college. Never one to shy away from a controversial or important subject, the good people at American RadioWorks recently produced this well-done documentary on the subject examining its potential ramifications. Visitors to the site can listen to the entire program, read a transcript of the proceedings, or take a look at some of the individual profiles of those who have participated in such endeavors. The results are quite different, as one young man has won over $150,000 by playing online poker, while another found himself $20,000 in debt. The site is rounded out by a selection of links to relevant web resources, such as the International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High-Risk Behaviors.
The Jane Johnson Collection --- http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/collections/lilly/janejohnson/
Back in the middle of the 18th century, what was a young parent to do when it came to providing a meaningful and lasting education for their son or daughter? It would be a few decades before Rousseau’s Emilie, and a bit longer for John Dewey to make the scene, so parents had to be a bit more creative. One particularly enterprising soul was Jane Johnson, who decided to create a set of materials designed to instruct her son, George William Johnson, in a variety of subjects. Several hundred years later, the good folks at Indiana University’s Lilly Library decided to digitize these rather remarkable teaching aids so that the web-browsing public might be able to look through them at their leisure. All told, there are 438 separate pieces, including six sets of alphabet cards (complete with vowel sounds), two booklets, three sets of lesson cards in verse and anecdotal form, and several card sets of moral instruction. The cards are quite visually appealing, and they contain references to such contemporaries as George Berkeley, and George Wright, a noted Member of Parliament. For those with a penchant for taking a stroll down the memory lane of pedagogy and instruction, this collection is worth several visits.
Helpers for Working Online from Home
Study finds that full-time stay-at-homes would make over $130,000 Stay-at-home would be a high paying job [Windows Media Player] http://msnbc.msn.com/id/12613676/
What a life: Working 9 to 5…and 6 to midnight
What is Mom’s Job Worth? Click Here
Mommy Talk: Misconceptions about Working Moms
Digital History: Mothers and Fathers in America: Looking Backward, Looking Forward http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/historyonline/mothersfathers.cfm
Working Moms Refuge http://www.momsrefuge.com/
Bob Jensen's career helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#careers
"Retired NBA star Barkley defends ($10 million down) gambling problem," Breitbart.com, May 5, 2006 --- http://www.breitbart.com/news/na/060503235149.651jwo53.html
"Law-Firm Life Doesn't Suit Some," by Ashby Jones, The Wall Street Journal, April 5, 2006 --- http://www.collegejournal.com/salarydata/law/20060504-jones.html
At most big law firms, the partner-associate compact goes something like this: The partners give the associates big salaries, meals on the client, cars home at night, fancy offices, secretaries and a prestigious name on their resumes. The associates give their complete professional devotion and availability -- every hour of the day, every day of the year.
That compact has gone unspoken, and largely unquestioned, until recently.
More and more associates at law firms across the U.S. are second guessing whether they want to sign over their lives to their jobs. Some are working fewer hours. Some are losing interest in making partner. And they are leaving big law firms in droves: "The rate of associate attrition we're seeing today at big firms is the highest level we've ever seen," says Paula A. Patton, chief executive of the NALP Foundation, a nonprofit group in Overland Park, Kan., that examines law-firm hiring trends and practices.
For partners, it's a quizzical and unwelcome development. Last fall, Cesar L. Alvarez, president of Greenberg Traurig, was interviewing a student at an Ivy League law school. The interview was just beginning when the student asked Mr. Alvarez to tell him what the "lifestyle would be like" at the firm.
The student didn't get a "call-back" interview. "I told him that if he's going to work at a large law firm, that mind-set isn't going to get you very far," recalls Mr. Alvarez, who is based in the firm's Miami office. In his opinion, the question reflected the attitude of more and more young lawyers. "A generation ago, nobody would have asked that question, even if they'd thought of it. But there is a difference in people coming out of law school now."
Two decades ago, few segments of the work force routinely put in longer hours than young law-firm associates, who toiled day and night to please partner-masters and climb the firms' ranks. But many today "are more interested in going to their children's soccer games" than they are in staying in the office late in the hopes of getting extra work done or making a good impression, says Joseph Altonji, a consultant with Hildebrandt International, a law-firm consultancy in Chicago.
Ellie Schilling, a former bankruptcy associate at New York's Kaye Scholer, left the firm in March as a third-year associate after deciding that the pathway to partnership "is so long and arduous, that it just didn't seem worth it." She and her husband, also a young lawyer, plan to depart for Europe this month to pursue a business plan they began dreaming up after they realized life at a big law firm wasn't for them. "We figured there had to be another way to go, a way with less pressure, less stress, fewer hours," says Ms. Schilling. "We feel like we had to give something else a shot."
Why the change in attitude? It's partly due to the explosive growth experienced by the largest firms over the past two decades. That growth has increased demand for more worker bees at the bottom of the law-firm pyramid, without an equivalent spike in demand for new partners, experts say. The result: It's harder than ever to make partner at the biggest firms, leaving associates less incentive to churn the grindstone early on.
Partners are working harder than ever as well, taking a little of the luster off partnership's holy-grail mystique. Claude Millman, a litigation partner at Proskauer Rose in New York, says he gets questions from associates about his lifestyle fairly frequently. And what he tells them isn't always what they want to hear: "I try to be honest with them," he says. "The pressure to be available to your clients only increases as your career moves along."
Generational factors are also at work. More than in any previous generation, say experts, today's associates were raised in the lap of affluence. Many have safety nets to fall back on. And many are jaded about what big law firms have to offer. Michael Boone, a co-founder of Haynes & Boone, a large general-practice firm based in Dallas, says that the current crop of associates often aren't satisfied with working hard and making money. "They want to feel like they're contributing to the greater good," he says.
According to an NALP Foundation study unveiled last year that looked at law firms for the three years from 2002 through 2004, nearly 60% of all entry-level associates at firms with more than 500 lawyers had left their firms by the end of their fourth years. For firms of all sizes, it was 62%, a record since NALP began tracking it nearly 10 years ago.
Some law-firm executives fear that uncommitted associates are failing to put out the top-quality work that's expected of them. "There's a perception among managing partners that the short-termers are less focused on crossing T's and dotting I's," says Dan DiPietro, head of client sales for the law firm group at Citigroup Private Bank, a unit of Citigroup Inc., in New York. "They're perceived as putting a burden on quality control."
Associate productivity and billing are additional issues. Greenberg Traurig's Mr. Alvarez, for instance, says he is hearing about a decline in hours worked at big firms, a drop attributable not only to the youngest associates, but also to baby boomers, many of whom are nearing retirement age and winding down their practices. "It's a double whammy effect," says Mr. Alvarez. "People in my generation don't need to work 2,500 hours [a year] anymore, and at the same time, the new generation is concerned with its lifestyle. It's creating a downward trend at firms."
Some associates appreciate the benefits of big law-firm life. Moe Keshavarzi, a second-year associate at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton in Los Angeles, says associates are "very concerned with lifestyle," but he thinks the hours matter less than the amount of responsibility associates have. "The more responsibility you're given, the more you're going to want to work hard."
Several years ago, Greenberg Traurig changed its recruiting strategy to focus on finding associates who were better geared for law-firm life, ones with leadership qualities and work experience prior to law school.
Washington firm Dickstein Shapiro Morin & Oshinsky, which in 2005 finished first in the American Lawyer magazine's associate satisfaction survey, has for several years had a well-publicized part-time policy that lets its lawyers work four days a week. And it has put a renewed emphasis on training its lawyers, says Michael Nannes, the firm's managing partner.
Proskauer's Mr. Millman agrees with that philosophy. "We have to recognize that not everyone is going to want to spend his or her life at a law firm," he says. "But that doesn't mean you can't be wonderful associate and get a lot out of your time while you're here."
Bob Jensen's threads on careers are aat http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#careers
May 3, 2006 message from Carolyn Kotlas [email@example.com]
PODCASTING LEGAL GUIDE
Podcasting is a tool that allows instructors to give students access to audio or video files on their iPods or computers. As podcasting activity increases, so do the questions of legal rights and liabilities. Creative Commons has just released "Podcasting Legal Guide: Rules for the Revolution," "a general roadmap of some of the legal issues specific to podcasting." The guide covers copyright, publicity rights, and trademark issues related to content that you acquire or create. Information is also provided on licensing your podcast. The guide is available online at http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Podcasting_Legal_Guide
Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that offers flexible copyright licenses for creative works. For more information go to http://creativecommons.org/
Other related resources:
Electronic Frontier Foundation's "Legal Guide for Bloggers" http://www.eff.org/bloggers/lg/
"New Campus Copyright Guide" CIT Infobits, March 2006 http://www.unc.edu/cit/infobits/bitmar06.html#1
INTRODUCTION TO SCREENCASTING
The latest entry in the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative's "7 Things You Should Know About . . ." series covers screencasting. "Screencasts can be thought of as video podcasts. They provide a simple means to extend rich course content to anyone who might benefit from the material but cannot attend a presentation." The paper answers such questions as "What is it?" "Who is doing it?" "How does it work?" and "What are the implications for teaching and learning?" To read "7 Things You Should Know About . . . Screencasting" go to http://www.educause.edu/LibraryDetailPage/666?ID=ELI7012.
The EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) publishes the "7 Things You Should Know About . . ." series on a variety of emerging learning practices and technologies. Previous topics covered in the series include blogs, wikis, remote instrumentation, grid computing, and virtual meetings. To read other papers in the series, go to http://www.educause.edu/7ThingsYouShouldKnowAboutSeries/7495
"ELI is a strategic initiative of EDUCAUSE. While EDUCAUSE serves those interested in advancing higher education through technology, ELI specifically explores innovative technologies and practices that advance learning." For more information, go to http://www.educause.edu/content.asp?Section_ID=86
EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology. The current membership comprises more than 1,900 colleges, universities, and educational organizations, including 200 corporations, with 15,000 active members. EDUCAUSE has offices in Boulder, CO and Washington, DC. Learn more about EDUCAUSE at http://www.educause.edu
Bob Jensen's threads on podcasting are at
May 3, 2006 message from Carolyn Kotlas [firstname.lastname@example.org]
RESOURCES FOR RESHAPING SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION
". . . the crisis in the scholarly communication system not only threatens the well being of libraries, but also it threatens our academic faculty's ability to do world-class research. With current technologies, we now have, for the first time in history, the tools necessary to effect change ourselves. We must do everything in our power to change the current scholarly communication system and promote open access to scholarly articles."
Paul G. Haschak's webliography provides resources to help effect this change. "Reshaping the World of Scholarly Communication -- Open Access and the Free Online Scholarship Movement: Open Access Statements, Proposals, Declarations, Principles, Strategies, Organizations, Projects, Campaigns, Initiatives, and Related Items -- A Webliography" (E-JASL, vol. 7, no. 1, spring 2006) is available online at http://southernlibrarianship.icaap.org/content/v07n01/haschak_p01.htm
E-JASL: The Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship [ISSN 1704-8532] is an independent, professional, refereed electronic journal dedicated to advancing knowledge and research in the areas of academic and special librarianship. E-JASL is published by the Consortium for the Advancement of Academic Publication (ICAAP), Athabasca, Canada. For more information, contact: Paul Haschak, Executive Editor, Board President, and Founder, Linus A. Sims Memorial Library, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, LA USA;
"The Effect of Communication Medium on Research Participation Decisions" by Thomas Chesney JOURNAL OF COMPUTER-MEDIATED COMMUNICATION, vol. 11, no. 3, 2006 http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol11/issue3/chesney.html
"Students are often used in research as research subjects or to validate/pilot questionnaires. It is known that response rates to requests to participate in research projects vary as a function of a number of factors. This research brief examines the effect of the communication medium on response rate by comparing an oral request for participation with an email request. Email and oral communication, specifically public oral communication, are the two easiest and presumably most common approaches faculty members have to access students to request their participation in research. Results show that an impersonal email to a mailing list is the worst way researchers can approach students to request participation, with there being no difference between making the request by personalized email or orally."
Bob Jensen's threads on Shared Open Courseware (OCW) from Around the World: OKI, MIT, Rice, and Other Sharing Universities are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI
Yet another blow to science journal publishing monopolists (following
the lead of Europe)
A smoldering debate over whether taxpayers should have free access to the results of federally financed research intensified yesterday with the introduction of Senate legislation that would mandate that the information be posted on the Internet. The legislation, which would demand that most recipients of federal grants make their findings available free on the Web within six months after they are published in a peer-reviewed journal, represents a rebuke to scientific publishers, who have asserted that free access to their contents would undercut their paid subscription base.
Rick Weiss, "Bill Seeks Access to Tax-Funded Research Grant Recipients Would Be Required to Post Findings on Internet," The Washington Post, May 3, 2006 ---
European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research --- http://www.euro.centre.org/
Auditing and Audit Sampling Software
May 2, 2006 message from Douglas Ziegenfuss [dziegenf@ODU.EDU]
I teach a graduate IT Auditing course in which we use both ACL and Idea. Both are taught because both are used in the business world. We use the version of ACL that comes with Hall's IT Auditing book. Idea sells the students a version and workbook for $25 per student and gives us a free copy of the software and workbook. The students then load the software on their laptops and bring them to class. This turns any classroom into a lab. The students generally like IDEA better but still enjoy ACL.
I hope this helps.
Douglas E. Ziegenfuss
Professor and Chair,
Department of Accounting
Room 2157 Constant Hall
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0229
IDEA Data Analysis Software --- http://www.audimation.com/product_feat_benefits.htm
May 2, 2006 reply from Roger Debreceny [roger@DEBRECENY.COM]
Over the years I have switched between ACL and IDEA. I currently use IDEA in my teaching. A major factor is that students greatly value having the ability to work on their own computer. I do not think there are substantial differences between the products or that the file size restrictions is a major problem.
Bob Jensen's threads on accounting and auditing software are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#AccountingSoftware
Often consumer boycotts do not work. But sometimes they have an impact.
"Consumer Boycotts Work—Just Ask French Winemakers," Stanford Graduate School of Business Newsletter, April 2006 --- http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/research/stratman_leslie_boycotts.shtml
Around 40 percent of Fortune 50 companies may be subject to consumer boycotts at any given time, but until recently most economists have pooh-poohed the idea that boycotting has any real negative effect on business. Larry Chavis and Phillip Leslie are the first economists to use actual product-level sales data to demonstrate that boycotts do in fact work and that they’re something businesses should be concerned about.
Chavis, a PhD student, and Leslie, assistant professor of strategic management, studied as a case in point the American boycott of French wine launched in early 2003 in angry response to France’s opposition to the war in Iraq. Their analysis shows a significant 26 percent drop in French wine sales in the United States at the peak of the boycott, and an average 13 percent drop over the six months of the event.
These dramatic findings are in stark contrast to those of most other studies, which have tended to be all over the map, sometimes showing that boycotts have an effect but more often showing small effects or no effects at all—or even, strangely, positive effects. “The problem,” says Leslie, “is that all of those studies have examined only changes in stock prices in response to boycotts. But stock prices are influenced by many factors and may not be a reliable indicator in this case.”
Chavis and Leslie drew instead on scanner data from supermarkets and large merchandisers—hard measures of weekly consumer purchasing behavior. They confined the study to four cities in which wine consumption is typically large: Boston, Los Angeles, Houston, and San Diego. Extrapolating from the figures obtained, the two researchers determined that French wine companies may have lost a total of $112 million in U.S. wine sales during the boycott.
The team measured the intensity and duration of the boycott by counting the number of newspaper articles that appeared on the topic in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today, as well as plugs for the boycott on the part of news media personality Bill O’Reilly on his TV show The O’Reilly Factor. “In contrast to our expectations,” says Leslie, “we didn’t notice any particular drop in sales following any of O’Reilly’s outspoken commentaries on his show.” Leslie adds humorously, “It seems he may have less influence than he thinks.” However, front-page newspaper coverage seemed to affect French wine sales more than less prominent reports.
The cheapest and most expensive French wines saw the biggest drop. Leslie speculates this is because purchasers of cheap wine were less invested in the product, and buyers of expensive wine mainly use it for gifts and can easily substitute other expensive brands. The least affected wines were the mid-range varieties. “Drinkers of these wines may be more personally attached to their preferences and therefore less willing to switch,” Leslie conjectures.
Although the most serious French wine drinkers may have resisted the boycott to the greatest degree, Chavis and Leslie’s study still puts a hole in the classical economic assumption that boycotts don’t work because people are either not willing to sacrifice their preferred products or because they believe their small actions won’t make a difference. “It’s a question that’s of increasing interest to a number of Stanford faculty and students who are looking at ‘non-market’ issues—how business problems that go beyond regular competition dynamics, such as regulation, lobbying, foreign policy, and so forth, affect the bottom line,” says Leslie. “Our study, in particular, documents an example of how government foreign policy can indeed impact business profitability in unanticipated ways.”
Companies like Nestlé (widely criticized for marketing breast milk substitutes), Nike (which came under fire for employment practices in Asia), KFC (nailed for alleged mistreatment of chickens), and Target (hassled for not using the words “Merry Christmas” in advertising) all have been assailed by boycotts. They have indeed felt the heat, despite economists’ blasé attitude toward media bluster and consumer threats.
Now Chavis and Leslie’s study provides some hard figures to demonstrate that the specter of a boycott should generally give managers and executives cause for alarm.