I recently sent out an "Appeal" for accounting educators, researchers, and
practitioners to actively support what I call The Accounting Review (TAR)
Diversity Initiative as initiated by American Accounting Association President
Judy Rayburn ---
Tidbits on June 17, 2006
Fraud Updates ---
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to
Archives of Tidbits: Tidbits Directory ---
Bob Jensen's various threads ---
(Also scroll down to the table at
Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter ---
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron"
enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and
other universities is at
Internet News (The News Show) ---
Informercial Scams (even those carried on the main TV networks)---
Security threats and hoaxes ---
25 Hottest Urban Legends (hoaxes) ---
Hoax Busters ---
Stay up on the latest and the
oldest hoaxes ---
Bob Jensen's home page is
Online Video and Audio
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 ---
"CBS Offers Downloads of TV Shows on iTunes," The Washington Post,
June 8, 2006 ---
Rocket Science 101 ---
U.S. Customs and Border Protection ---
Viral Video and the Rise of YouTube ---
Note: Some YouTube posts use language that might be considered
* Star Trek Cribs
* Don Rickles Roasted on The Dean Martin Show
* Trailer Parody of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining
* Crispin Glover on Letterman
* Hip-Hop Highlight -- Newcleus: 'Jam On It'
* Intro to The Muppet Show
Free music downloads ---
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 ---
Reintroduced from Janie
It's hard to kiss the lips that chew your ass out all day long ---
(Click on the play button in the upper left corner)
New from Janie (try to hold still while listening
to this one)
Boot Scootin Boogie ---
New from Janie (a great Elvis fan)
The Presley Four ---
(Click the play button in the upper left)
New from Janie and Joan Buchanan West
Elvis tribute ---
New from Janie and Joan Buchanan West
Elvis tribute ---
Living in Tehrangeles: L.A.'s Iranian Community ---
Photographs and Art
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 ---
Classic Short Stories ---
The Adventure of the Copper Beeches by Arthur Conan
The Adventure of the Abbey Grange
by Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) ---
A Modest Proposal by Jonathan
Swift (1667-1745) ---
The History and Geography of Inventions ---
Classical Studies Resources ---
Knowing Poe ---
They also understand that the
really rich won't pay the (inheritance)
tax anyway because they hire lawyers to avoid it.
"Taxes Everlasting: Why the superrich don't mind the death tax,"
The Wall Street Journal, June 8, 2006 ---
The true value of a human being is
determined by his ability to attain liberation from himself.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) ---
Over the past year or so, the British
and Annie Watkins conducted two surveys designed to pin
down a consensus on novels that had "changed reader's lives." First, they
interviewed 400 women, most of them involved in the arts, media, and university
life. "Absolutely every woman we spoke to had her favourite," they
reported recently in Britain's Guardian
newspaper. Beyond the enthusiasm evinced by the interviewees, Jardine and
Watkins were struck by the wide range of responses: . . . "The men's list was
all angst and Orwell. Sort of puberty reading," Jardine
cheekily told the Sydney Morning Herald. "We
found that men do not regard books as a constant companion to their life's
journey, as consolers or guides, as women do... They read novels a bit like they
read photography manuals."
Nick Gillespie, "What's Your
Favorite Novel? A recent survey of men's and women's favorite books points to a
more fundamental question—and a fascinating answer," Reason Magazine, June 9,
What can (college)
athletes do to protect their image? For starters, they should cultivate a
positive one off the field. Some athletes have recently lived together off
campus in their senior years and used their residences for all-campus parties.
The potential for alcohol poisoning, date rape, and disruption to neighbors is
very real if these parties go unmonitored. In addition, it is critical that
individuals take responsibility for their actions and monitor the behavior of
their peers. There are many aspects to being on a team for better and for worse.
Finally, one way to monitor image is not to splash photos of questionable
conduct over Facebook.com. This is not to say “misbehave, just as long as you
keep it quiet.” Avoiding poor conduct is most important, but posting shameless
photos is simply dumb.
David Tuttle ---
Gore's credibility is damaged early in the film when
he tells the audience that, by simply looking at Antarctic ice cores with the
naked eye, one can see when the American Clean Air Act was passed. Dr. Ian
Clark, professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Ottawa (U of O)
responds, "This is pure fantasy unless the reporter is able to detect parts per
billion changes to chemicals in ice." Air over the United States doesn't even
circulate to the Antarctic before mixing with most of the northern, then the
southern, hemisphere air, and this process takes decades. Clark explains that
even far more significant events, such as the settling of dust arising from the
scouring of continental shelves at the end of ice ages, are undetectable in ice
cores by an untrained eye.
Tom Harris, "The gods are laughing,"
National Post in Canada, June 7, 2006 ---
What Schumer doesn't understand is that these are
the very areas for which citizens of his own state (NY)
have been leaving in droves to relocate. That's why
Atlanta, with nearly five million residents, is home to the Centers for Disease
Control, the world's busiest airport and the largest telecommunications
infrastructure in the nation. And it's no secret now that Atlanta, home to the
tallest building in the nation outside of New York or Chicago -- right behind
New York's Chrysler Building -- was considered a major target following 9/11.
Throw in CNN's headquarters being located in Atlanta, and I think there's a
fairly good reason, beyond peanuts, to bring this area up to speed with those
cities that have, to now, enjoyed the lion's share of urban security funds.
Matt Towery, "Revenge of the peanut farmers," Townhall, June 8, 2006 ---
Tom Robinson had long wondered about his family
tree. He never suspected its roots might lie in the Mongolian steppe. The
Florida accountant knew his great-great-grandfather came to America from England
-- but beyond that the trail went cold. So he turned to "bioarchaeology" to test
his DNA. He was in for a surprise. According to a British geneticist who
pioneered the research, Robinson appears to be a direct descendant of Genghis
Khan, the Mongol warrior. Some scientists say that claim goes too far, though
few doubt Robinson's DNA reveals a direct genetic link to Mongolia.
"Descended from Genghis Khan? DNA test tantalizes a Florida
accountant," PhysOrg, June 7, 2006 ---
If all this is true, Tom Robinson is not especially unique. The Gehghis Khan
purported was very horny and has over 16 million direct decedents ---
A letter from Hotels.com to its customers said E&Y
"was taking additional steps to protect the confidentiality of its data" by
encrypting the customer data. A Hotels.com spokesperson said it doesn't appear
that the laptop was the target of the car break-in or that credit cards had been
used inappropriately. This is at least the third
reported case of E&Y laptop theft that occurred in
February. On Feb. 9, E&Y auditors left a secured room in a Miami hotel
conference room for lunch and came back to find their laptops missing. Security
footage shows two men entering and leaving the room within the one-minute delay
of the auto-lock door. On Feb. 13, E&Y sent a letter to Bay Area clients warning
that their Social Security numbers and other personal data were on a laptop
stolen from an employee's locked car. The sensitive data was password-protected,
according to the accounting firm.
"Another E&Y Laptop Stolen," SmartPros, June 7, 2006 ---
Great Minds in Management: The Process of
Theory Development ---
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
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
Developing Resource Dependence Theory: How Theory is Affected
by its Environment
PG. #453 & 454
PFEFFER 21.5 THE POLITICS OF THEORY IN THE
There are, I believe, many misconceptions about theory and theory development in
the organization and social sciences, particularly on the part of younger
scholars. In concluding this discussion of the development and evolution of
resource dependence theory, it is useful to both review these beliefs and see
how they play out in understanding the growth and development of resource
The first, most strongly held, and possibly most harmful
mistaken belief is that theories succeed or fail, prevail or fall into disuse,
primarily, and some would maintain exclusively, on the basis of their ability to
explain or predict the behavior that is the focus of the theory. Moreover,
there is a belief that a theory's success in prediction and explanation is
particularly important in explaining its success if there are competitive
theories covering the same dependent variables. This belief is erroneous in at
least two ways.
First of all, as argued elsewhere (Ferraro, Pfeffer, and Sutton,
2005), theories may create the environment they predict, thereby becoming true
by construction rather than because they were originally veridical with the
world they sought to explain. To the extent people believe in a particular
theory, they may create institutional arrangements based on the theory that
thereby bring the theory into reality through these practices and institutional
structures. To the extent people hold a theory as true, they will act on the
basis of the theory and expect others to act on that basis also, creating a
normative environment in which it becomes difficult to not behave on the basis
of the theory because to do so would violate some implicit or explicit
expectations for behavior. And to the extent that people adhere to a theory and
therefore use language derived from and consistent with the theory, the theory
can become true because language primes both what we see and how we apprehend
the world around us, so that talking using the terminology of a particular
theory also makes the theory become true.
Second, the philosophy of science notwithstanding, theories are
quite capable of surviving disconfirming evidence. Behavioral decision theory
and its numerous empirical tests have shown that many of the most fundamental
axioms of choice and decision that underlie economics are demonstrably false
(e.g., Bazerman, forthcoming), but economics is scarcely withering away. Nor
are the specific portions of economic theory predicated on assumptions that have
been shown to be false necessarily any less believed or used. A similar
situation is true in finance, where assumptions of capital market efficiency and
the instantaneous diffusion of relevant information, so that a security's market
price presumably incorporates all relevant information available at the time,
have withstood numerous empirical and theoretical attacks. To take a case
closer to organization studies, the reliance on and belief in the efficacy of
extrinsic incentives and monetary rewards persists not only in the lay community
but in the scholarly literature as well. So, Heath's (1999) insightful study of
what he terms an extrinsic incentives bias is as relevant to the domain of
scholars as it is to practicing managers and lay people.
What this means for resource dependence theory is that to the
extent that claims that it is virtually dead (Carroll, 2002) are true and that
it has been subsumed by transactions cost theory, this state of affairs may say
less than one might expect about the comparative empirical success or
theoretical coherence of transactions cost theory. As David and Han (2004: 39)
summarized in their review of sixty-three articles empirically examining
transaction cost economics, "we...found considerable disagreement on how to
operationalize some of TCE's central constructs and propositions, and relatively
low levels of empirical support in other core areas." Instead, the comment
about the relative position of resource dependence and transactions cost theory
may say more about the politics of social science and the fact that power is
currently out of vogue and efficiency and environmental determinism such as that
propounded by population ecology and other perspectives reifying an impersonal
environment, with all of their conservative implications, is currently more in
"Management needs fewer fads, more reflection,"
Stanford Magazine, May/June 2006 ---
PhD ’72, and Robert I. Sutton would like to foment a little
revolution—one in which leaders in business and the world at large base
their decisions on facts and logic, not ideology, hunches, management
fads or poorly understood experience. Pfeffer, the Thomas D. Dee II
Professor of Organizational Behavior, and Sutton, a professor of
management science and engineering and, by courtesy, of organizational
behavior in the Graduate School of Business, are the authors of Hard
Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense: Profiting from
Evidence-Based Management (Harvard Business School Press, 2006). STANFORD
asked them about bringing more reason to organizational life.
What’s some of the
total nonsense that occurs in companies?
Sutton: Probably the biggest single
problem for human decision making is that when people have ingrained
beliefs, they will put a much higher bar for evidence for things they
don’t believe than for things they do believe. Confirmation-seeking
bias, I think, is what social psychologists call it. Organizations can
have amazingly good evidence, but it has no effect on the decisions they
make if it conflicts with their ideology.
Do you have a
favorite unsupported belief?
Pfeffer: One would be stock options.
There are more than 200 studies that show no evidence that there is a
relationship between the amount of equity senior executives have and a
company’s financial performance. . . . Just as you would never bet on a
point spread on a football game because it encourages bad behavior, you
should not reward people for increasing the spread in an expectations
Overreliance on financial incentives of all
sorts drives all kinds of counterproductive behavior.
management derives from evidence-based medicine. Explain what kind of
decision making we’re talking about.
Continued in interview
Many scientists, notably anthropologist, on government grants oppose open
At first glance, it seems that the research world
is united against the
Federal Research Public Access Act. Scholarly
associations are lining up to express their anger over the bill, which would
have federal agencies require grant recipients to publish their research papers
— online and free — within six months of their publication elsewhere. Dozens of
scholarly groups have joined in two letters — one organized by the
of American Publishers and one by the
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.
To look at the signatories (and the tones of the letters),
it would appear that there’s a wide consensus that the legislation is bad for
research. The cancer researchers are against it. The education researchers are
against it. The biologists are against it. The ornithologists are against it.
The anthropologists are against it. All of these groups are joining to warn that
the bill could undermine the quality and economic viability of scholarly
Scott Jaschik, "In Whose Interest?" Inside Higher Ed, June 15, 2006 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on scholarly research publication fraud are at
How to find what students are thinking and how they are socializing
The answer given by Shawn McGuirk, director of judicial
affairs, mediation and education at Fitchburg State College, in Massachusetts,
was that, if institutions want to know what the kids are doing these days,
they’ll want to know what they’re doing on Facebook. The good, and the bad. In a
Magna Publications Web seminar for student affairs staff members Wednesday,
McGuirk said that colleges should use Facebook faux pas as teachable moments
whenever possible, rather than embracing Facebook as policy or law enforcement
David Epstein, "The Many Faces of Facebook," Inside Higher Ed, June 15,
Cheap Drinking Water from the Ocean
A water desalination system using carbon nanotube-based
membranes could significantly reduce the cost of purifying water from the ocean.
The technology could potentially provide a solution to water shortages both in
the United States, where populations are expected to soar in areas with few
freshwater sources, and worldwide, where a lack of clean water is a major cause
Aditi Risbud, "Cheap Drinking Water from the Ocean: Carbon nanotube-based
membranes will dramatically cut the cost of desalination," MIT's Technology
Review, June 12, 2006 ---
Free from the Huron Consulting Group (Registration Required) ---
Effort Reporting Technology for Higher Education ---
What's the newest outsourcing trend in student cheating?
This could not possibly happen in the United States (Ha! Ha!)
In a unique twist to outsourcing from Britain to
India, students in British universities have been paying computer professionals
in India to complete their course assignments for a fee. The newly recognised
trend, operating mainly through the Internet, has been dubbed as "contract
plagiarism" by British academics who have tracked such malpractices. It is more
in vogue among students enrolled in IT courses in British universities.
"British students outsourcing assignments to India," The Times of India,
June 14, 2006 ---
June 15, 2006 reply from Richard Campbell
Actually it is very easy to outsource using
www.elance.com - This is a
subdivision of ebay - You can arrange for long distance accounting help,
software design and creation and many other areas. A service vendor can set
up shop depending on area of specialty. A tech-heavy specialty like software
design would pay a higher "rent" than a German translator. A prospective
buyer of services would request bids and within hours receive bids.
The prospective buyer would see the quality ratings
of the service providers.
Richard J. Campbell
School of Business
218 N. College Ave.
University of Rio Grande
Rio Grande, OH 45674
Bob Jensen's threads on cheating are at
If students are outsourcing their assignments, where are they spending their
University of Chicago Cocktail Parties for Educational
Purposes: Don't get drunk or hit on the women
On Friday afternoon at the
University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business,
students are streaming towards their weekly dinner with deans and fellow
classmates -- all 500 of them. This is just one of the GSB's many social events
throughout the year. They include corporate-sponsored cocktail hours, formal
dinners, mock receptions, and theme parties. While these gatherings may sound
like fun, they also serve a weighty purpose -- getting students a good job. In
fact, for those outside B-school, the experience may sound like a little too
much fun. After all, this is school, not a vacation. But there's a lot to be
learned from the socializing. It's an opportunity to network and scope out your
B-school buddies — and competitors." Careers are a focal point of student
socializing and networking," says Stacey Kole, deputy dean of Chicago's
full-time MBA program.
"The Art of the Schmooze," Business Week, June 12, 2006 ---
Bob Jensen's a worried owner of a Jeep Grand Cherokee
The attorney general is calling for a federal
investigation into potentially fatal problems with Jeep Grand Cherokees. This
comes just months after a freak accident at a Hamden car wash killed a
52-year-old man. A Jeep Grand Cherokee went out of control and mowed down the
man. It is called "jeep sudden acceleration," and apparently it happens when a
Grand Cherokee is shifted from neutral to drive. Doug Newman, the owner of
Newman's Connecticut Car Wash says he's seen it before -- at least four times,
"The incidents I know of with this problem all occur at the exit end of the car
wash. Upon starting the car, the car immediately red lines, goes to 2800 - 3000
RPMs, at the same time you're putting the car in gear it takes off." Problems
with sudden acceleration have also been reported at places like drive up ATMs.
Daimler Chrysler, which makes Jeep, does not acknowledge there is a problem. The
company says they did several studies that concluded "driver error is the only
plausible explanation for sudden acceleration."
"Attorney general calls for investigation into Jeep Grand Cherokees," WTNH,
June 13, 2006 ---
Howard Dean Having it Both Ways to Lure Voters on Both Sides:
Troops should leave Iraq, but troops should also stay in Iraq
"Brown Dents Dean: With Dems, 'Don't Know What I'm Voting For',"
Newsbusters, June 13, 2006 ---
"That's not Jack Murtha's position. It was widely
misquoted in the press. What Jack Murtha says is we need a redeployment of
our troops. That some of the troops need to come home in the next six
months. Others should be redeployed in the region (Iraq)
to maintain the capacity to fight terror where it
exists both inside and outside Iraq."
Brown then hit Dean with the apparently
irreconciliable positions of the two top House Dem leaders, displayed here.
She followed that by zinging Dean thusly:
"I got to tell you. If I'm a voter, come November
and you want me to vote Democrat, I still don't know what I'm voting for."
Continued in article
Is Canada torturing its arrested terrorism suspects?
Answer (Probably not, but these claims are part of a worldwide effort to dupe
the press. Watch for false terrorist accusations to be recklessly reported in
Time Magazine, Newsweek, The New York Times and The Washington Post)
Terrorism experts said yesterday torture claims made by
some of the 17 suspects arrested in Toronto in connection with alleged bomb
plots are consistent with a familiar pattern. "What we have seen is that this is
pretty much standard operating procedure for [accused terrorists] to make these
kinds of complaints," said Tom Quiggin of the Centre of Excellence for National
Security in Singapore. During court hearings on Monday, several men arrested for
what police describe as an Ontario terror plot claimed prison guards had
tortured them. A jihadist training manual seized by police in Britain instructs
Stewart Bell, "Suspects' torture claims predictable, experts say," Canada's
National Post, June 14, 2006 ---
EBay signs up 200 millionth member
EBay Inc. has now registered 200 million users of
its online auction services, which would make it the fifth-largest country
in the world if its members could form one nation, its CEO said on Tuesday.
"EBay signs up 200 millionth member," Reuters, June 13, 2006 ---
LAS VEGAS EBay's big buying binge was the talk of
its fifth annual user convention here this week, which pulled 15,000 sellers
from around the world eager to learn what the Internet auction giant plans to do
next. While eBay Inc. is showing signs of a middle-age crisis, with slowing
growth and a sliding stock price, company executives seemed almost giddy as they
outlined plans to use their recent acquisitions to move beyond auctions -- into
communications, advertising and financial services.
"An Older, Wiser EBay, Growing Patiently," by Leslie Walker, The Washington
Post, June 15, 2006, Page D01 ---
New Poet Laureate of the United States
Donald Hall will be named poet laureate of the
United States today (June 14),
The New York Times reported.
position — which operates through the Library
of Congress — is designed to promote awareness of poetry.
Inside Higher Ed, June 14, 2006 ---
Bob Jensen's links to online poetry are at
Turn Left at the Presbyterian Church
A growing number of Presbyterians are engaged in a
battle for the future of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Over the past two years,
this denomination -- my denomination -- has taken a turn toward radicalism that
threatens to tarnish a once-proud institution. At issue is the Presbyterian
Church's decision in 2004 "to initiate a process of phased, selective divestment
in multinational corporations operating in Israel." The fallout was immediate,
painful and damaging. Not only are a handful of church leaders taking positions
that are highly unpopular in the pews, they are doing so with heavy-handed,
top-down measures, actions that run contrary to long-honored traditions. Not
surprisingly, the church is experiencing problems with declining membership and
dwindling financial support -- due in large part to widespread frustration over
the direction the leadership has taken. Instead of developing policies to unite
us, the leadership is sowing seeds for further defections by large numbers.
"Turn Left at the Presbyterian Church," by Jim Roberts, The Wall Street
Journal, June 15, 2006; Page A14 ---
June 15, 2006 reply from a religion professor and ordained minister in the
This debate about divestment has been going on for
a couple of years now. I think it is grossly misleading to cast it in terms
either of a "right/left" controversy or simply of a struggle for power
within the Presbyterian Church. The most recent issue of The Presbyterian
Outlook has several very good articles about divestment, representing
different points of view. The Church has not done any divestment. Moreover,
as I understand it, the targets of any such divestment would be limited to
corporations that assist in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory
and/or in the construction of the "wall."
But Not Necessarily at the Local Level
Presbyterian Church dismisses UT professor
I don't believe in God. I don't believe Jesus
Christ was the son of a God that I don't believe in, nor do I believe Jesus rose
from the dead to ascend to a heaven that I don't believe exists. Given these
positions, this year I did the only thing that seemed sensible: I formally
joined a Christian church. Standing before the congregation of St. Andrew's
Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas, I affirmed that I (1) endorsed the core
principles in Christ's teaching; (2) intended to work to deepen my understanding
and practice of the universal love at the heart of those principles; and (3)
pledged to be a responsible member of the church and the larger community.
"Why I Am a Christian (Sort Of)," by Robert W.
Jensen, AlterNet. March 10, 2006 ---
June 12 Update
"Presbyterian church dismisses UT professor," by Andy St. Jean, The Daily
UT journalism associate professor Robert Jensen has
found himself at the center of many debates. This time, the conflict lies
over his religious beliefs and membership in a local church.
The Presbyterian church he has been attending since last December was
reprimanded Friday for admitting him as a member.
St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church was told by the Mission Presbytery, the
regional governing body of 157 Presbyterian churches in South and Central
Texas, that the acceptance of Jensen into membership was "irregular."
Furthermore, it was "void" because Jensen has said in the past he doesn't
believe in God.
"I believe God is a name we give to the mystery of the world that we don't
understand," Jensen said.
In a March article that appeared on several Web sites and the Houston
Chronicle, Jensen wrote a piece entitled "Why I am a Christian (Sort of),"
in which his first line reads, "I don't believe in God."
St. Andrew's was directed to move Jensen from the active roll to the
"baptized" roll, making him a non-voting member of the church. St. Andrew's
is also ordered to work with representatives to come up with an appropriate
process for receiving members in the future. The church may re-examine
Jensen's membership after these changes are implemented.
"The whole issue turns on the fact that the Book of Order's only requirement
is that a person believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior," said Terry
Nelson, stated clerk of Mission Presbytery. The Book of Order is equivalent
to the Presbyterian Church's constitution.
After the decision was rendered, the presbytery motioned to wait 45 days
before applying the ruling.
This period will hopefully allow people to cool off after a fierce debate
that had both sides using the church's law to make their point, Nelson said.
"I have never seen a presbytery where the stated clerk was put on the spot
to know the rules in the Book of Order so much, because every attempt to get
around or to abide by the rules was being made," Nelson said.
The Rev. Jim Rigby, pastor of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, knew not
everyone agreed with the decision to accept Jensen.
"Some people said, 'We want your head on a platter,'" Rigby said. "Jensen's
membership was the perfect opportunity to come after us and take out a
While on the surface the debate seems to concern Jensen's membership, there
is a lot more to the argument, Rigby said.
"Can a modern mind be included in the church, or must we use medieval
verbage?" Rigby said. "We are doing this for our children's children. If we
don't address the times, we are going to lose a lot of people."
The vote, which may nullify his membership in the church, has nothing to do
with whether or not he will still attend the church, Jensen said.
"If my membership is eventually declared null and void, I would still go,"
Jensen said. "The congregation at St. Andrew's has been very supportive and
June 12, 2006 reply from Jason Hardin
I would tend to see such an “unvitation” to
membership as a good
thing, a relief from a cumbersome social commitment. For some of us,
one of the nicest benefits of godlessness is the absence of
Said Bart Simpson with a shrug of his
shoulders upon his family’s joining the Movementarians, “Church,
cult. Cult, church. So we get bored somewhere else every Sunday.”
Just my $0.02
The saga of Robert W. Jensen's Evil
Empire diatribe is summarized by Robert E.
Another Snapshot of Congressional Ethics (that infamous oxymoron)
The Congressional debate over "earmarks" continues, and
not in a way that makes the GOP majority look good. This week the Members are
pushing through another 1,500 special spending projects, even as the controversy
has engulfed California's Jerry Lewis, who as House Appropriations Chairman is
earmarker in chief. Federal investigators are examining whether Mr. Lewis abused
his position by steering earmarks to his political friends and former employees.
In one case, the Justice Department is investigating whether defense industry
lobbyists were urged to contribute money to a political action committee run by
Mr. Lewis's stepdaughter, with a good portion of the money used for her own
"Earmarker in Chief." The Wall Street Journal, June 15,
2006; Page A14 ---
"Revamping the Web Browser: Surfing the Web has meant using much
the same technology for years. Now startups are working on new ways to navigate
the Net," by Wade Roush, MIT's Technology Review, June 12, 2006 ---
for example, offers a free add-on for Internet
Explorer and the Mozilla Foundation's open-source Firefox browser that's a
simpler alternative to using the "Back" button. The Palo Alto, CA, company
lets people viewing a Web page, say, a list of Google search results, see
what lies beyond the hyperlinks simply by placing the mouse over those links
-- without having to click on them or open a new window.
Meanwhile, companies like San Francisco-based
are developing entirely new browsers designed from the
beginning to facilitate now-common social activities, such as blogging, RSS-based
news reading, and photo sharing.
The new technologies promise to help Web browsers
catch up with the Web itself -- which is bursting with material contributed
by users themselves. "The Web today is very different from the Web of the
'90s, which was very much a one-to-many experience," says Peter Andrews, a
senior software engineer at Flock and the lead builder of Sage, an
open-source extension for Firefox that speeds up the process of scanning
through RSS feeds. "Now you have a growing community of producers building a
many-to-many Web -- and browsers should integrate the functionality to
Of course, new versions of the most popular Web
browsers come along regularly. Microsoft released Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2
on April 24; Mozilla upgraded Firefox to version 126.96.36.199 on June 1. But
while each release includes a few more bells and whistles -- IE7 allows
tabbed browsing in imitation of Firefox, for example -- the basics of Web
browsing haven't really changed since the University of Illinois's National
Center for Supercomputing Applications created the first browser, Mosaic, in
Searchers move about the Web by left-clicking on
hyperlinks. The browser responds to each click by opening a new page in the
same window or, if the user chooses, a new tab or window. Returning to a
previously viewed page -- such as a list of search results -- means either
clicking the "back" button or switching tabs or windows.
This tried-and-true procedure works well enough,
and has become so familiar that it feels preordained. But is it the best
way? Is there room for change? Scott Milener thinks so. He and a friend,
Wendell Brown, stumbled onto that subject while having lunch one day in
2004. "I asked Wendell, 'Have you noticed how much we hit the back button
every day?' And he pushed me on the question. Of course the napkins started
coming out, and we invented what Browster is today."
Once a user has installed the Browster plugin,
placing the mouse's pointer over any hyperlink on a page causes a small icon
to pop up. Hovering over that icon with the pointer makes a new "window"
appear on top of the current page, showing the page to which the hyperlink
Modern Day Arsenic and Old Lace
Ms. Rutterschmidt, 73, and another woman, Helen Golay,
75, pleaded not guilty last week to federal charges of mail fraud and submitting
false insurance applications. According to the authorities, the two women
extended helping hands to two homeless men, getting them off the streets and
putting them up in apartments, while at the same time plotting their deaths.
Posing as aunts, fiancées or cousins, they took out numerous life insurance
policies on the men, Paul Vados and Kenneth McDavid, with themselves as the
beneficiaries, collecting over $2.2 million after the men died in separate
hit-and-run traffic cases, the authorities said.
Cindy Chang, "Two Elderly Women Suspected as Femmes Fatales in Insurance Fraud
Scheme," The New York Times, June 12, 2006 ---
Amazing Wartime Facts from WWII ---
"Calculator Dependence," by William Kohl, The Irascible Professor,
June 7, 2006 ---
The student I have been
paired with is deficient in math. Mentors are not tutors but they can give
tutorial help if it is called for. After learning how deficient my student
was in math, I decided to spend some time tutoring him. He is in an Algebra
I class that had been studying second order equations. I obtained a copy of
a test he had missed. One of the first problems was:
y = x2
+ 5, if the constant 5 is changed to 1, the curve
a. does not move
b. shifts 1 unit up
c. shifts 1 unit down
d. shifts 4 units up
e. shifts 4 units down
I said, "What would you do to find the answer?" He said, "I have to get my
calculator." I said, "Why?" He said, "I need it to work the problem."
I said, "Couldn't we just
think about the problem first? Even though it may seem hard, (as it
probably did to him), perhaps we can start by finding a simpler problem
inside this difficult problem."
. . .
What I am seeing seems to be that dependence on the
calculator has short circuited the learning of math and the development of
analytical skills. Most students who take high school algebra are not going
to be scientists, mathematicians or engineers. These skills are the most
important things they should take from their math courses. The computational
and analytical skills learned in math often can be applied to a host of
everyday problems in business, personal finance, etc.
Another effect of calculator dependence is that
many younger people are not comfortable with numbers. In my generation we
learned to do simple arithmetic (addition and multiplication) problems in
our heads, and more complex ones with pencil and paper. We can do a quick
calculation to check a price in the supermarket or to figure the tip on a
restaurant bill without having to reach for a calculator.
Today, many elementary school educators believe
that the ready availability of calculators has made learning elementary
arithmetic skills like addition and multiplication unnecessary. Working
problems without a calculator, in my view, helps students to develop those
important analytical skills. Calculators certainly have their place, and
they are essential for some problems. However, students who have developed
good basic arithmetic and analytical skills can master just about any
calculator in a few hours. Perhaps if we delayed the introduction of
calculators, our students would learn math better.
Mathematics Help Central ---
Bob Jensen's math bookmarks ---
English Tutorials (included "Ask-a-Teacher option)
Writing Center Resources from Princeton University ---
Writing Center Resources from Purdue University ---
Bob Jensen's writing helpers are at
Technology Helpers from Smart Stops on the Web, Journal of
Accountancy, June 2006 ---
Open a New Window
CPAs looking for Microsoft Windows troubleshooting advice can get articles,
discussion forums and links to detailed guidance here. Users can find out
the difference between various Windows versions, see a road map of their
operating systems, learn how to customize their PCs and improve their
performance and reduce e-clutter. Take a break from the high-tech talk with
the Humor section to read “The Night Before Startup.”
Get a Checkup
If your computer acts like it has gremlins in it, sign up for a free account
at this Web site and get to the heart of the matter. Run privacy and virus
scans and download software to optimize your PC’s performance. Visitors can
find out the five user behaviors on which spyware companies prey and get a
monthly newsletter with PC performance tips.
CPAs looking to maximize their computer’s performance can subscribe to one
of four free e-newsletters at this home page.
The Office Letter is devoted to the Microsoft Office suite. It
offers tricks, tools and techniques for Access, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint
www.boyce.us/newsletter: Jim Boyce Software Tips and Tricks
concentrates on Windows and Office applications with helpful hints on such
subjects as how to back up or move Outlook Express from one computer to
Karen’s Power Tools newsletter offers plain-language explanations
for technical questions, such as what to do when backup-disk data go bad and
a discussion on error-detection strategies.
www.mikeslist.com/current.htm: Mike’s List, subtitled “The
Silly Con Valley Report,” takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to technology
with news on Apple and iPods and the “Lists o’ the Week,” which include
Mike’s picks for gadgets to get, including a combination computer mouse and
phone, or “gotta forget” ones, such as a laptop bag made of simulated human
One Step Beyond
Find free help, hints and tips here on digital cameras and photo processing,
audio players, printers and scanners. Learn how to remove adware and spyware
from your computer, sign your e-mails and recover deleted messages. Go to
the index of links for start-up business resources, such as how to accept
credit card payments online, and get graphics to spice up your desktop
publishing. Sign up for free e-mail notices for the latest PC tips on
applications from Adobe Reader to WinZip.
Bob Jensen's technology bookmarks are at
IRS Laptop Lost With Data on 291 People
Given the likelihood of lost luggage on airlines (especially with valuable
contents), what's more stupid than checking your laptop before a flight?
An Internal Revenue Service employee lost an agency
laptop early last month that contained sensitive personal information on 291
workers and job applicants, a spokesman said yesterday. The IRS's Terry L.
Lemons said the employee checked the laptop as luggage aboard a commercial
flight while traveling to a job fair and never saw it again. The computer
contained unencrypted names, birth dates, Social Security numbers and
fingerprints of the employees and applicants, Lemons said. Slightly more than
100 of the people affected were IRS employees, he said. No tax return
information was in the laptop, he said.
Christopher Lee, "IRS Laptop Lost With Data on 291 People," The Washington
Post, June 8, 2006 ---
Although many fewer people are victimized relative to the huge VA breach, the
extent of personal data loss for each person is immensely more serious in the
"Laptop Security, Part 2: Tips on protecting your data, should
fate--or a criminal--separate you and your notebook," by James A. Martin, PC
World via The Washington Post, June 9. 2006 ---
My guess is that your notebook is worth several
thousand dollars. I'd also guess that the data stored on it is worth much,
much more--and that you'd be entering a world of woe if your notebook were
stolen or lost.
Last week I offered tips on how to protect and
physically secure your notebook when you're out of the office. This week,
I've got tips on protecting your data, should fate--or a criminal--separate
you and your notebook.
Windows XP gives you the option of requiring a user
password to log on. Though certainly far from bulletproof, a relatively
complex password provides more protection than none at all.
A complex password includes upper- and lowercase
letters, numbers, and one or more special characters. For example, suppose
your name is Pat. You wouldn't use "Pat" as your password, would you? (You
would? My, aren't we feeling lucky?) A better password would be something
not easily identified with you.
The more complex your password, the more difficult
it is to crack--and, potentially, for you to remember. Don't make your
password so complex you can't remember it. Or, if you must store your
passwords, keep them somewhere safe. Some software programs for PCs and PDAs
give you the ability to manage and secure passwords. One example: DataViz's
Passwords Plus ($30), which lets you manage and
secure passwords on your notebook as well as your Palm OS PDA.
To create a password for your account in Windows
XP, go into Control Panel, then open User Accounts. Select the account you
want to protect with a password and click the "Create a password" button.
For more about passwords, read Scott Dunn's June "
Windows Tips ."
Some laptops now come equipped with biometric
fingerprint scanners, as an alternative or enhancement to Windows
password-protection. For more on this, see number 3, below.
Another option is to encrypt any files on your
notebook that contain sensitive data, such as customer Social Security
numbers. (Of course, as I said last week, it's best not to place any
sensitive data on a mobile system.)
In essence, encryption scrambles data into code
that only an authorized user can access. However, encrypting files, or your
entire drive, can be time-consuming, slow system performance, and increase
the likelihood you'll lose access to the data.
Windows XP Professional (but not XP Home) includes
an option that lets you encrypt files on an NTFS-formatted hard drive. After
encrypting a file, you can open it just as you would any file or folder.
However, someone who gains unauthorized access to your computer cannot open
any encrypted files or folders.
To encrypt a folder in Windows XP Professional,
right-click it in Windows Explorer, choose Properties, click Advanced,
select the "Encrypt contents to secure data" check box, and click OK twice.
In the Confirm Attribute Changes dialog box, do one of the following: To
encrypt only the folder, click "Apply changes to this folder only," and
click OK; to encrypt the folder contents as well as the folder, click "Apply
changes to this folder, subfolders, and files," and click OK.
Continued in article
Bob Jensen's threads on computing and network security are at
A Subtle Fraud in Journal Rankings
From Jim Mahar's blog on June 5, 2006 ---
Academic Journal Ranking Manipulations
Professor has a fascinating post today about
Journal Rankings may be manipulated
Two longish look-ins:
Wall Street Journal (online subscription required) Sharon Begley
provides a rare look into the world of academic journal rankings.
She describes some of the ways that scientific journals manipulate
their "impact factors"."
and later describing his/her (I would imagine
people know, but I won't out anything) own experiences (I would add to
his below comment by saying I would be surprised if anyone who has
published a few papers has not had the reference coaching happen now and
"One [way] is to ask authors to include additional citations to
other pieces in the journal. I've seen this tactic used several
times (both on my pieces and on those of colleagues). Typically,
once a piece is either accepted or in the "last round", the editor
might "suggest" other articles in the same journal which might
possibly be cited. In one case, the editor gave a colleague of mine
a list of eight possible
citations (which would have increased the total citations in the
author's bibliography by almost 50%). However, this doesn't happen
as much as you'd think, because I use my bibliography as one of the
criteria I use in deciding which journal to submit a piece to: if I
cite a good number of articles from a particular journal, it's
probably a good fit for the piece"
"Science Journals Artfully Try To Boost Their Rankings," by Sharon Begley,
The Wall Street Journal, June 5, 2006, Page B1 ---
John B. West has had his share of requests,
suggestions and demands from the scientific journals where he submits his
research papers, but this one stopped him cold.
Dr. West, the Distinguished Professor of Medicine
and Physiology at the University of California, San Diego, School of
Medicine, is one of the world's leading authorities on respiratory
physiology and was a member of Sir Edmund Hillary's 1960 expedition to the
Himalayas. After he submitted a paper on the design of the human lung to the
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, an editor
emailed him that the paper was basically fine. There was just one thing: Dr.
West should cite more studies that had appeared in the respiratory journal.
If that seems like a surprising request, in the
world of scientific publishing it no longer is. Scientists and editors say
scientific journals increasingly are manipulating rankings -- called "impact
factors" -- that are based on how often papers they publish are cited by
"I was appalled," says Dr. West of the request.
"This was a clear abuse of the system because they were trying to rig their
Just as television shows have Nielsen ratings and
colleges have the U.S. News rankings, science journals have impact factors.
Now there is mounting concern that attempts to manipulate impact factors are
harming scientific research.
Conceived 40 years ago, impact factors are
essentially a grading system of how important the papers a journal publishes
are. "Importance" is measured by how many other papers cite it, indicating
that the discoveries, methodologies or insights it describes are advancing
Impact factors are calculated annually for some
5,900 science journals by Thomson Scientific, part of the Thomson Corp., of
Stamford, Conn. Numbers less than 2 are considered low. Top journals, such
as the Journal of the American Medical Association, score in the double
digits. Researchers and editors say manipulating the score is more common
among smaller, newer journals, which struggle for visibility against more
Thomson Scientific is set to release the latest
impact factors this month. Thomson has long advocated that journal editors
respect the integrity of the rankings. "The energy that's put into efforts
to game the system would be better spent publishing excellent papers," says
Jim Testa, director of editorial development at the company.
Impact factors matter to publishers' bottom lines
because librarians rely on them to make purchasing decisions. Annual
subscriptions to some journals can cost upwards of $10,000.
The result, says Martin Frank, executive director
of the American Physiological Society, which publishes 14 journals, is that
"we have become whores to the impact factor." He adds that his society
doesn't engage in these practices.
Journals can manipulate impact factors with
legitimate editorial decisions. One strategy is to publish many review
articles, says Vicki Cohn, managing editor of Mary Ann Liebert Inc., a
closely held New Rochelle, N.Y., company that publishes 59 journals. Reviews
don't report new results but instead summarize recent findings in a field.
Since it is easier for scientists to cite one review than the dozens of
studies that it summarizes, reviews get a lot of citations, raising a
journal's impact score.
"Journal editors know how to increase their impact
factor legitimately," says Ms. Cohn. "But there is growing suspicion that
journals are using nefarious means to pump it up."
One questionable tactic is to ask authors to cite
papers the journal already has published, as happened to UCSD's Dr. West,
who says that he has great respect for the journal and its editors despite
this episode. He declined the request, and the journal published his paper
anyway, in March.
Richard Albert, the deputy editor of the American
Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, says that the request
goes out to every scientist who submits a paper. "It's boilerplate, a form
letter," he says. The letter has been in use for many years, according to
Dr. Albert, who says he has always opposed the inclusion of the passage but
was overruled by the journal's former editor.
Journals also can resort to "best-of" features,
such as running annual summaries of their most notable papers. When
Artificial Organs did this in 2005, all 145 citations were to other
Artificial Organs papers. Editor Paul Malchesky says the feature was
conceived "as a service to the readership. It was not my intention to affect
our impact factor. In terms of how we run our operation, I don't base that
on impact factor."
Self-citation can go too far. In 2005, Thomson
Scientific dropped the World Journal of Gastroenterology from its rankings
because 85% of the citations it published were to its own papers and because
few other journals cited it. Editors of the journal, which is based in
Beijing, did not answer emails requesting comment.
Journals can limit citations to papers published by
competitors, keeping the rivals' impact factors down. An analysis of
citations in the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare shows very few
citations of papers in a competitor, Telemedicine and e-Health, "while we
cited them liberally," says editor Rashid Bashshur, director of telemedicine
at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Richard Wootton, editor of JTT, says that he
believes it's true that his journal cites its competitor less frequently
than Dr. Bashshur's journal cites JTT, "but it doesn't seem to me that there
is a sinister explanation." Dr. Wootton adds that "when we edit a paper...we
sometimes ask authors to ensure that the relevant literature is cited." But
"I can state unequivocally that we do not attempt to manipulate the JTT's
impact factor. For a start, I wouldn't know how to."
Scientists and publishers worry that the cult of
the impact factor is skewing the direction of research. One concern, says
Mary Ann Liebert, president and chief executive of her publishing company,
is that scientists may jump on research bandwagons, because journals prefer
popular, mainstream topics, and eschew less-popular approaches for fear that
only a lesser-tier journal will take their papers. When scientists are
discouraged from pursuing unpopular ideas, finding the correct explanation
of a phenomenon or a disease takes longer.
"If you look at journals that have a high impact
factor, they tend to be trendy," says immunologist David Woodland of the
nonprofit Trudeau Institute, of Saranac Lake, N.Y., and the incoming editor
of Viral Immunology. He recalls one journal that accepted immunology papers
only if they focused on the development of thymus cells, a once-hot topic.
"It's hard to get into them if you're ahead of the curve."
As examples of that, Ms. Liebert cites early
research on AIDS, gene therapy and psychopharmacology, all of which had
trouble finding homes in established journals. "How much that relates to
impact factor is hard to know," she says. "But editors and publishers both
know that papers related to cutting-edge and perhaps obscure research are
not going to be highly cited."
Another concern is that impact factors, since they
measure only how many times other scientists cite a paper, say nothing about
whether journals publish studies that lead to something useful. As a result,
there is pressure to publish studies that appeal to an academic audience
oriented toward basic research.
Journals' "questionable" steps to raise their
impact factors "affect the public," Ms. Liebert says. "Ultimately, funding
is allocated to scientists and topics perceived to be of the greatest
importance. If impact factor is being manipulated, then scientists and
studies that seem important will be funded perhaps at the expense of those
that seem less important."
Bob Jensen's threads on academic journal publisher ripoffs are at
Why Indonesia remains relatively lenient on terror
Wherever he is, Osama bin Laden must be smiling. Next
week, Abu Bakar Bashir -- the al Qaeda-linked cleric known as Southeast Asia's
"emir of jihad" -- is expected to walk free from a Jakarta jail. It's all
perfectly legal. Mr. Bashir has served his time, and his terrorist organization,
Jemaah Islamiya (JI), isn't banned in Indonesia. Clearly, it's time to ask why
the world's most populous Muslim country remains relatively lenient on terror,
when the threat is so real . . . In exchange for gaining the political support
of PKS and others like it for legislative initiatives -- such as last year's
painful slashing of fuel-price subsidies -- the president sometimes turns a
blind eye when conservative Islamic ideas rear their ugly head. Other times,
former President Abdurrahman Wahid recently told us, Mr. Yudhoyono "lacks
"Jakarta's Jihadist," The Wall Street Journal, June 8, 2006 ---
Racism on the Rise in Germany: Ugly resurgence of racism with
prowling violent gangs
"There are areas in Brandenburg and other parts of
the East," Mr. Heye said, "where dark-skinned foreigners might not make it out
alive." Just a couple of weeks ago, an Ethiopian-born engineer in Potsdam had
his skull smashed at a bus stop when he got into a shouting match with two
youngsters. The refugee organization Afrikarat, meanwhile, has promised to
provide football fans from abroad with a map of "no-go areas." While Mr. Heye
was at first shouted down by local politicians from all major parties for gross
exaggeration, the annual criminal statistics published the very next day
confirmed the basic trend: Violent hate crimes were up 24% in 2005 -- to 1,034
from 832 -- and continued to be most prevalent in the East. If you adjust for
the lower number of immigrants in, say, rural Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, a
foreign-looking person is about 25 times as likely to be assaulted in the East
as in the West, says University of Hannover criminologist Christian Pfeifer.
Mriam Lau, "No-Go Germany," The Wall Street Journal, June 8, 2006 ---
Bringing Data Back From the Dead
But there are less-expensive alternatives, including
some of the consumer software and services we tested. In some cases, the results
surprised us. Norton SystemWorks ($70,
), for example, attempts to repair hard drives while
they are failing. But Norton writes to the damaged drive, which can actually
worsen the problem and can make future data recovery efforts more time consuming
and costly. Disk Doctor, an application built into SystemWorks, reported that it
had repaired many clusters on one of our test drives, but when it was done the
drive would no longer boot.
David Greenberg, "Bringing Data Back From the Dead," The Washington Post,
June 4, 2006 ---
Clean Sweep of Your Hard Drive
How do I delete my deleted files on a computer so that they can't be
recovered by anyone else?
"How to Wipe a Hard Drive Clean ," by Walter S. Mossberg, The
Wall Street Journal, April 6, 2006; Page B4 ---
Q: The community where I live has a one-month period (April
this year) where you can dispose of your old computers. I have several
old PCs around the house, but want to clean out the hard drives. Can you
recommend a good program that can clean sensitive data off a hard drive?
A: There are a number of such "file wiper"
programs, which permanently delete files so that they can't be
recovered. Some are free, but the one I recommend is called Window
Washer and costs $30 from Webroot Software Inc. It can be purchased at
Webroot.com and elsewhere. The program, which
also performs other tasks, has a file-wiping function called
"bleaching." It can be used multiple times.
For Windows systems start with ---
Then perhaps take a look at
Then look at
Bob Jensen's technology bookmarks are at
"Study: Web is the No. 1 media," by Candace Lombardi, The New York
Times, June 6, 2006 ---
Web media is the dominant at-work media and No. 2
in the home, according to a new report from the Online Publishers
The Web also ranked as the No. 1 daytime media.
A research project, conducted by Ball State
University's Center for Media Design, tracked the media use of 350 people
every 15 seconds. The subjects represented each gender, about equally,
across three age groups: 18 to 34, 35 to 49 and 50-plus. The people were
monitored by another person for approximately 13 hours, or 80 percent of
their waking day.
"Someone actually came into their homes and
workplaces and had a handheld computer, every 15 seconds registering their
media consumption and life activities," Pam Horan, president of the Online
Publishers Association (OPA), told CNET News.com.
According to Horan, this is the first type of study
of its kind. Previously, consumers were monitored for media usage by phone
survey or diary method.
Not surprisingly, newspaper use peaked in the
morning; that print media was consumed by 17 percent of the subjects between
8 a.m. and 11 a.m. When this media was combined with Web consumption, the
potential reach for advertisers climbed to 44 percent. During the same
morning period, the number of consumers using magazines jumped from 7
percent to 39 percent, and from 44 percent to 62 percent for television.
"The point is that there is an incremental reach
that someone can gain by putting together a multimedia campaign," Horan
A conservative estimate from the study says 17
percent of overall media is consumed via the Internet, and Horan notes that
other researchers like Forrester have placed that number even higher.
The OPA-commissioned study also used census data to
determine the spending habits of its 350 monitored subjects. Web dominant
consumers' retail spending averaged $26,450, while the TV-dominant group's
spending averaged $21,401.
Yet, studies have shown that only about 8 percent
of advertising goes to the Internet, Horan said.
"I hear more and more from marketers that they have
shifted their business to be more responsive and realign. There is an active
movement by traditional advertisers to be able to explore platform
strategies," Horan said. She believes that research studies are attracting
the attention of advertisers and media buyers and may result in a faster
shift in advertising dollars to match the actual statistics of consumer
Continued in article
"Google to introduce spreadsheet in latest shot at Microsoft,"
PhysOrg, June 6, 2006 ---
Google Inc. will introduce a spreadsheet program
Tuesday (June 8), continuing the Internet
search leader's expansion into territory long dominated by Microsoft Corp.
Although it's still considered a work in progress,
Google's online spreadsheet will offer consumers and businesses a free
alternative to Microsoft's Excel application _ a product typically sold as
part of the Office software suite that has been a steady moneymaker for
To avoid swamping the company's computers, Google's
spreadsheet initially will be distributed to a limited audience. Google also
wants more time to smooth out any possible kinks and develop more features,
said Jonathan Rochelle, the product manager of the new application.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based company planned to
begin accepting sign-ups for the spreadsheet at 9 a.m. EDT Tuesday through
the ''labs'' section of its Web site. Rochelle wouldn't specify how many
people will be granted access to the spreadsheet application.
Google's spreadsheet isn't as sophisticated as
Excel. For instance, the Google spreadsheet won't create charts or provide a
menu of controls that can be summoned by clicking on a computer mouse's
Rochelle said the program's main goal is to make it
easier for family, friends or co-workers to gain access to the same
spreadsheet from different computers at different times, enabling a group of
authorized users to add and edit data without having to e-mail attachments
back and forth.
Continued in article
Questions and answers related to adjustments to prior-period financial
From IAS Plus on June 10, 2006 ---
The US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board
has published a series of staff questions and answers related to adjustments
to prior-period financial statements audited by a predecessor auditor. Prior
period adjustments may be required, for instance, for discontinued
operations, retrospective application of a change in accounting principle,
or the correction of an error in prior-period financial statements. If the
prior-period financial statements that require adjustments were audited by a
predecessor auditor, which auditor, the predecessor or the successor, should
audit the adjustments to prior-period financial statements?
Download the PCAOB Q&A (PDF 60k).
"Web 2.0 Has Corporate America Spinning," Robert Hof, Business Week,
June 5, 2006 ---
Or click here ---
Silicon Valley loves its buzzwords, and there's none more popular today than
Web 2.0. Unless you're a diehard techie, though, good luck figuring out what
it means. Web 2.0 technologies bear strange names like wikis, blogs, RSS,
AJAX, and mashups. And the startups hawking them -- Renkoo, Gahbunga, Ning,
Squidoo -- sound like Star Wars characters George Lucas left on the
But behind the peculiarities, Web 2.0 portends a real
sea change on the Internet. If there's one thing they have in common, it's
what they're not. Web 2.0 sites are not online places to visit so much as
services to get something done -- usually with other people. From Yahoo!'s
photo-sharing site Flickr and the group-edited online
reference source Wikipedia to the teen hangout MySpace, and even search
giant Google (GOOG),
they all virtually demand active participation and
social interaction (see BW Online, 9/26/05,
"It's A Whole New Web"). If these Web 2.0 folks
weren't so geeky, they might call it the Live Web.
And though these Web 2.0 services have succeeded in luring millions of
consumers to their shores, they haven't had much to offer the vast world of
business. Until now. Slowly but surely they're scaling corporate walls. "All
these things that are thought to be consumer services are coming into the
enterprise," says Ray Lane, former Oracle (ORCL)
president and now a general partner at the venture
capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (see BW Online, 6/5/06,
"A VC's View of Web 2.0").
CORPORATE BLOGGERS. For
all its appeal to the young and the wired, Web 2.0 may end up making its
greatest impact in business. And that could usher in more changes in
corporations, already in the throes of such tech-driven transformations as
globalization and outsourcing. Indeed, what some are calling Enterprise 2.0
could flatten a raft of organizational boundaries -- between managers and
employees and between the company and its partners and customers. Says Don
Tapscott, CEO of the Toronto tech think tank New Paradigm and co-author of
The Naked Corporation: "It's the biggest change in the organization
of the corporation in a century."
Early signs of the shift abound. Walt Disney (DIS),
investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, and
scores of other companies use wikis, or group-editable Web pages, to
turbo-charge collaboration. Other firms are using button-down
social-networking services such as LinkedIn and Visible Path to dig up sales
leads and hiring prospects from the collective contacts of colleagues.
Corporate blogging is becoming nearly a cliché, as executives from Sun
chief executive Jonathan Schwartz to General Motors (GM)
Vice-Chairman Bob Lutz post on their own blogs to communicate directly with
Just as the personal computer sneaked its way into companies through the
back door, so it's going with Web 2.0 services. When Rod Smith, IBM's
vice-president for emerging Internet technologies,
told the information technology chief at Royal Bank of Scotland about wikis
last year, the exec shook his head and said the bank didn't use them. But
when Smith looked at the other participants in the meeting, 30 of them were
nodding their heads. They use wikis indeed. "Enterprises have been ringing
our phones off the hook to ask us about Web 2.0," says Smith.
ONE GIANT COMPUTER. Also just like the PC, Web
2.0's essential appeal is empowerment. Increasing computer power, nearly
ubiquitous high-speed Internet connections, and ever-easier Web 2.0 services
give users unprecedented power to do it themselves. It doesn't hurt that
many of these services are free, supported by ads, or at their most
expensive still cost less than cable. "All the powerful trends in technology
have been do-it-yourself," notes Joe Kraus, CEO of wiki supplier JotSpot.
In essence, these services are coalescing into one giant computer that
almost anyone can use, from anywhere in the world. When you do a Google
search, for instance, you're actually setting in motion an array of programs
and databases distributed around the globe on computer hard drives. Not only
that, people who tap services such as MySpace, eBay (EBAY),
and the Internet phone service Skype actually are
improving the tools by the very act of using them. MySpace, for instance,
becomes more useful with each new contact or piece of content added.
The collective actions, contacts, and talent of people using services such
as MySpace, eBay, and Skype essentially improve those services constantly
(see BW Online, 6/20/05,
"The Power Of Us"). "We're shifting from a
presentation medium to a programming platform," says Tapscott. "Every time
we go on these sites, we're programming the Web."
PROBLEM SOLVING. Not surprisingly, a lot of
executives remain skeptical. For some, it's hard to imagine the same
technology that spawns a racy MySpace page also yielding a new corporate
collaboration service. "There's a big cultural difference between the Web
2.0 people and the IT department," notes consultant John Hagel, author of
several books on technology and business. More than that, information
technology managers naturally don't want people using these services
willy-nilly, because they're often not secure from hackers or rivals.
Nonetheless, the notions behind Web 2.0 clearly hold great potential for
businesses -- and peril for those that ignore them. Potentially, these Web
2.0 services could help solve some vexing problems for corporations that
current software and online services have yet to tackle.
For one, companies are struggling to overcome problems with current online
communications, whether it's e-mail spam or the costs of maintaining company
intranets that few employees use. So they're now starting to experiment with
a growing array of collaborative services, such as wikis. Says Ross
Mayfield, CEO of the corporate wiki firm Socialtext: "Now, most everybody I
talk to knows what Wikipedia is -- and it's not a stretch for them to
imagine a company Wikipedia."
MORE FLEXIBLE. And not just imagine -- Dresdner
Kleinwort Wasserstein, for instance, uses a Socialtext wiki instead of
e-mail to create meeting agendas and post training videos for new hires. Six
months after launching it, traffic on the 2,000-page wiki, used by a quarter
of the bank's workforce, already has surpassed that of the company's
intranet (see BW Online, 11/24/05,
"E-Mail Is So Five Minutes Ago").
Corporations also are balking at installing big,
multimillion dollar software programs that can take years to roll out -- and
then aren't flexible enough to adapt to new business needs. "They're clunky
and awkward and don't encourage participation," grumbles Dion Hinchcliffe,
chief technology officer of Washington, D.C. tech consultant Sphere of
That's why companies are warming to the idea of opening their
information-technology systems to do-it-yourselfers. And they spy an
intriguing way to do that with what are known as mash-ups, or combinations
of simple Web 2.0 services with each other into a new service (see BW
"Mix, Match, and Mutate"). The big advantage: They
can be done very quickly with existing Web services.
BUSINESS NETWORKS. IBM, for instance, last year
helped the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Center for Corporate Citizenship mash
together a one-stop shop for people displaced by Hurricane Katrina to find
jobs. People type into one box the kind of job they're seeking, and the site
searches more than 1,000 job boards, then shows their location on a Google
Map. "This [mashups] could be a way to provide solutions to customers within
hours instead of months," says IBM's Smith.
Companies are starting to take a page from MySpace, Facebook, and other
social-networking services. The reason: As appealing as that social aspect
is for teens and anyone else who wants to stay in closer touch with friends,
it's even more useful in business. After all, businesses in one sense are
social networks formed to make or sell something.
So it's no surprise that corporate-oriented social networks are gaining a
toehold. LinkedIn, an online service for people to post career profiles and
find prospective employees, is the recruiting tool of choice for a number of
companies. "In 2003, people thought of us as a weird form of social
networking," notes LinkedIn CEO Reid Hoffman. "Now, people are saying, 'Oh,
I get it, it's a business tool.'" (see BW Online, 4/10/06,
"How LinkedIn Broke Through").
STAYING YOUNG. Despite
all the activity so far, it's still early days for this phenomenon some
techies (who can't help themselves) call Enterprise 2.0. For now, the key
challenge for executives is learning about the vast array of Web 2.0
services. And that requires more than simply checking in with the premier
Web 2.0 blog, TechCrunch (see BW Online, 6/2/06,
"Tip Sheet: Harnessing Web 2.0").
Where to start? Watch what kids are doing. If they use
e-mail at all, it's a distant fourth to instant messaging, personal blogs,
and the social networking sites, because they're much easier to use for what
matters to them: staying in touch with friends. Companies need to provide
more compelling ways for this highly connected bunch as they move into the
workforce, bringing their valuable contacts in tow. "Young people are not
going to go to companies where they can't use these new tools," says Lane.
"They'll say, 'Why would I want to work here?'"
It's also critical for executives to try out these services themselves:
Create a MySpace page. Open a Flickr account and upload a few photos. Write
a Wikipedia entry. Create a mashup at Ning.com. "The essence of Web 2.0 is
experimentation, so they should try things out," says venture capitalist
Peter Rip of Leapfrog Ventures, an investor in several Web 2.0 startups.
FREE P.R. Then there's blogging. It's
worthwhile to spend considerable time reading some popular blogs, which you
can find at
Technorati.com, to get a feel for how online
conversation works. Only then should execs try their hand at blogging -- and
perhaps first inside their companies before going public. Thick skin is a
requirement, since the "blogosphere" can be brutal on anything that sounds
But the payoff can be substantial, if hard to quantify. Genial Microsoft
blogger Robert Scoble, for instance, is credited by
many Redmond watchers with doing more to improve the company's image than
millions of dollars in public relations. In no small part that's because he
has shown a willingness to criticize his company at times.
Continued in article
When cows can fly Louisiana politics will be honorable
Rep. William Jefferson, D-New Orleans, said Tuesday
that there is "an honorable explanation" for the damaging scenario being painted
by the federal government in the federal bribery probe targeting him, and he
again denied breaking any laws. Jefferson declined to discuss specifics of the
15-month investigation that has yielded two guilty pleas amid allegations that
the congressman accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. Jefferson
has not been charged and would not speculate on whether he thought an indictment
was coming from the northern Virginia grand jury investigating him. In a
wide-ranging interview late Tuesday in his congressional office, the site last
month of an unprecedented FBI search, Jefferson said he has no intention of
stepping down and reiterated his plan to seek a ninth term in November.
Bill Walsh and Bruce Alpert, "Jefferson promises he has 'an honorable
explanation'": He says he'll seek re-election this year," The
Times-Picayune, June 7, 2006, ---
"Safe Drivers and Road Rage: The Good and Bad of American Driving Habits,"
AccountingWeb, May 31, 2006 ---
Two recent surveys offer insight into Americans’
driving habits, both good and bad. The 2006 Allstate America’s Best Drivers
Report and AutoVantage’s first annual In the Driver’s Seat Road Rage Survey
reveal different sides of one of the fundamental characteristics of American
Allstate America’s Best
This report ranks the best drivers in the 200
largest cities across the United States. The best drivers were those who
were less likely than the national average to have an accident. To determine
where cities ranked on the list, Allstate researchers analyzed company data
to determine the likelihood drivers in those cities would experience a
“The Allstate America’s Best Driver’s Report
elevates the country’s discussion on safe driving. Our hope is that each
year the Allstate report helps facilitate an ongoing dialogue that saves
lives,” George Ruebenson, Allstate’s senior vice president for claims
service, said in a prepared statement.
According to the 2006 Best Drivers Report, the
cities with the best drivers are:
- Sioux Falls, S.D., drivers are 30.2 percent
less likely to have an accident, going an average of 14.3 years between
- Fort Collins, Colo., drivers are 24.0 percent
less likely to have an accident, going 13.2 years between collisions
- Cedar Rapids, Iowa, drivers are also 24.0
percent less likely to have an accident, going 13.2 years between
- Huntsville, Ala., drivers are 21.6 percent
less likely to have an accident, going 12.8 years between collisions
- Chattanooga, Tenn., drivers are 21.2 percent
less likely to have an accident, going 12.7 years between collisions
- Knoxville, Tenn., drivers are 20.7 percent
less likely to have an accident, going 12.6 years between collisions
- Des Moines, Iowa, drivers are 20.6 percent
less likely to have an accident, also going 12.6 years between
- Milwaukee, Wisc., drivers are 20.0 percent
less likely to have an accident, going 12.5 years between collisions
- Colorado Springs, Colo., drivers are 19.0
percent less likely to have an accident, going 12.3 years between
- Warren, Mich., drivers are 18.9 percent less
likely to have accident, also going 12.3 years between collisions.
For the second consecutive year, Phoenix had the
safest drivers among cities with more than 1 million residents. Drivers in
Phoenix can expect to go 9.7 years between collisions, slightly more
frequently than the national average. Phoenix is also listed as the second
least courteous city by the In the Driver’s Seat Road Rage survey.
In the Driver’s Seat Road Rage Survey
“Road rage has unfortunately too often become a way
of life, both on and off the track,” NASCAR driving legend and AutoVantage
spokesman Bobby Hamilton said in a prepared statement. “More and more, in
cities across America, people are acting out their frustrations with
dangerous results. It’s bad for professional drivers and everyday drivers
The least courteous cities or those having the
worst road rage, according to the AutoVantage survey, are:
- Miami, Fla.
- Phoenix, Ariz.
- New York, N.Y.
- Los Angeles, Calif.
- Boston, Mass.
The cities with the least road rage and therefore
the most courteous cities are:
- Minneapolis, Minn.
- Nashville, Tenn.
- St. Louis, Mo.
- Seattle, Wash.
- Atlanta, Ga.
Other key findings from the AutoVantage survey
- 1 percent of respondents admitted they
actually slammed into the car in front of them, although not always
- 24 percent reported seeing drivers running red
lights every day;
- drivers in Miami are most likely to see
tailgating behavior, with 64 percent of drivers surveyed seeing it
daily. Even in St. Louis, where drivers are least likely to see
tailgating, 41 percent of drivers report seeing it daily
“This new study focuses on important attitudes and
habits of drivers on the open road nationwide,” Brad Eggleston, vice
president of AutoVantage, said in a prepared statement. “This groundbreaking
research is an important tool to help educate and influence safer driving
habits throughout the United States.”
According to Traffic Facts, a publication of the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more crashes occur on
Saturdays than any other day of the week. Sundays ranks second and Fridays
came in third. In addition, most collisions happen between 3 and 6 p.m.. The
period between 6 and 9 p.m. ranked second, while the period from 9 p.m. to
midnight finishes third. The fewest crashes occur between midnight and 3
From the Scout Report on June 9, 2006
OpenNet Initiative ---
A number of organizations are actively concerned
with monitoring the ways in which various governments have attempted to
limit or restrict access to the Internet, and the OpenNet Initiative is one
such group. Drawing on a collaborative partnership with four academic
institutions (including the University of Toronto and Harvard Law School),
the group’s aim is “to excavate, expose and analyze filtering and
surveillance practices in a credible and non-partisan fashion.” On their
homepage, visitors will have access to a number of their research
publications, case studies, their blog, and a selection of external links of
note. Some of their more recent research papers include their investigation
into the extent to which the Republic of Yemen controls the information
environment of their citizens as well as similar efforts in Myanmar.
Overall, the site will be of great interest to those with an interest in
cyberlaw and related fields.
Art museums often publish a journal, which includes
papers primarily based on research about their specific collections. Since
2004, the Tate has been publishing its version online, as the Tate Papers.
The tag-line on the Web site promises that the journal will “cover a wide
range of subjects: artists, works of art and archives in Tate's collection,
art theory, visual culture, conservation and museology.” A quick browse of
the available papers shows that they do indeed live up to this claim. For
example, a visitor can read an article on the difficulties of conserving the
work of Joseph Beuys, an artist who often used organic materials that are
bound to decompose (such as fat and wool), but who made contradictory
statements regarding his willingness to allow his work to self-destruct. In
the same issue (Autumn 2005) a visitor can read a much more traditional
article researching the history and attribution of Thomas Gainsborough's
1781 portrait of Marie Jean Augustin Vestris, which passed from the hands of
private collectors to the National Gallery in 1888, and has belonged to the
Tate since 1955.
StudioLine Photo Basic 3.4.13
Summer is upon us, and it is certainly a time to
make a visual record of family gatherings, trips to the Atlas Mountains, or
other such occasions. StudioLine Photo Basic 3.4.13 is a good way to
organize such photographic memories, as users can sort their images into
albums and folders, and also utilize some of their 30 image tools to modify
their existing images. These tools can assist with exposure problems and the
seemingly omnipresent specter of red-eye. This version is compatible with
computers running Windows 98 and newer.
NetVeda Safety. Net 3.62
The idea behind the NetVeda Safety Net application
is a simple one: to allow users to control access to certain websites on
their computer and to maintain firewall protection in the process. Users of
the application can define user access based on the time of day and for
content, if they so desire. As might be expected, the application also
contains privacy controls that block the sending of personal information and
that can also generate activity reports. This version is compatible with all
computers running Windows 95 and newer.
Organic Food Links
Increased interest in ‘going organic’ welcomed by some, raises eyebrows
of others The Green Invasion
Organic farming grows industrial edge
Bad food Britain: Why are we scared of real food?
International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements
The Food of the Gods
Updates from WebMD ---
Latest Headlines on
June 9, 2006
Latest Headlines on
June 12, 2006
Poison ivy to grow more noxious as Earth warms ---
Grandma May Truly Become Miss Piggy: Scientists hope to cure
Alzheimer's with piglet clones
Scientists working in Denmark said on Friday they
planned to use piglets they had cloned in their search for a cure for
PhysOrg, June 8, 2006 ---
"New Drugs Might Benefit Diabetics: Pfizer's, Merck's
Medicines Break Ground in Treatment Of Type 1, 2 Forms of Disease," by
Jennifer Corbett Dooren, The Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2006; Page
Company-funded studies unveiled over the
weekend at the American Diabetes Association's annual meeting suggested
a pair of innovative drugs could benefit diabetics.
Several studies suggest Merck & Co.'s proposed
drug Januvia, for Type 2 diabetes, was effective at lowering a measure
of blood sugar without significant side effects. Januvia is awaiting
approval from the Food and Drug Administration to treat Type 2 diabetes,
which is more common than Type 1. Januvia is a drug known as a DPP-4
inhibitor, and if approved would likely be the first in a new class of
diabetes medicines. Novartis AG has a similar drug, Galvus, also
awaiting FDA approval.
Separately, new data from studies of Pfizer
Inc.'s inhaled form of insulin, Exubera, showed the product lowered or
maintained blood sugar without serious side effects. Pfizer's Exubera is
the first needle-free form of insulin and is set to hit the market next
month. Insulin is required to treat Type 1 diabetes and more severe
forms of Type 2 diabetes. Exubera could replace daily short-acting
insulin injections but wouldn't replace long-acting insulin.
Continued in article
Erotic images elicit strong response from brain
A new study suggests the brain is quickly turned on
and "tuned in" when a person views erotic images. Researchers at Washington
University School of Medicine in St. Louis measured brainwave activity of
264 women as they viewed a series of 55 color slides that contained various
scenes from water skiers to snarling dogs to partially-clad couples in
sensual poses. What they found may seem like a "no brainer." When study
volunteers viewed erotic pictures, their brains produced electrical
responses that were stronger than those elicited by other material that was
viewed, no matter how pleasant or disturbing the other material may have
been. This difference in brainwave response emerged very quickly, suggesting
that different neural circuits may be involved in the processing of erotic
"Erotic images elicit strong response from brain," PhysOrg, June 9,
Man Meets Woman, Man Thinks Sex?
When a man and woman meet for the first time, men
may be more likely to think about sex -- or at least more likely to admit
it. That's the core finding of a study in June's issue of Psychology of
Miranda Hitti, "Man Meets Woman, Man Thinks Sex?" WebMD, June 9, 2006
ABC News: Hospital Has Legionnaires' Disease Cases
Legionnaires' disease have been diagnosed among
patients and visitors at a San Antonio hospital, and health officials
suspect the facility is the source of the outbreak. Among those diagnosed at
North Central Baptist Hospital, three have died. But health officials said
they already were ill and they didn't know how much of a factor
Legionnaire's disease played in the deaths.
"ABC News: Hospital Has Legionnaires' Disease Cases," ABC News, June
15, 2006 ---
Car Ads Keep Selling Sex,
While many car advertisements today focus on
families and young consumers, many companies continue to play to their
physically mature but adolescently-minded male base.
A page by "Sylvia"
at CarSpace.com (the social networking site from
Edmunds.com) contrasts ads from the 1970's and today, and things haven't
John Gartner, "Car Ads Keep Selling Sex," Wired News, June 9, 2006 ---
Check out this 1970 Dodge Charger ad on
YouTube, which depicts women as bubble-headed
playthings who swoon all over a nebbish guy because of his wheels. And
then watch the contemporary Dodge Durango ad that wasn't aired because
of it's phallic references. Yup, car advertisers love to make the pitch
all about getting laid.
Although not about sex, the Toyota Vios ad is a
clever ripoff ad about the tempetation of cars.
In his new short story collection In Persuasion Nation, absurdist
extraordinaire George Saunders offers a surreal depiction of the destruction
of individuality through consumer mega-culture
"Boxed In," by Vince Passaro, The Nation, June 26, 2006 ---
If you are a new reader of George Saunders, the
first thing you ought to know is that Saunders is the funniest writer in
America, more likely to make you laugh in public, if that's where you're
reading his books, than any writer since P.G. Wodehouse. The
competition--David Sedaris, Tom Wolfe, Christopher Buckley--isn't even
It is easy, therefore, to pigeonhole Saunders,
to think of him largely as a wit and an absurdist extraordinaire. This
would be to miss his point. Saunders's laughs are a cover, a diversion,
beneath which reside some profoundly serious intentions regarding the
morality of how we live and the power of love and immanent death to
transform us into vastly better creatures than we could otherwise hope
to be. These are the biggest intentions an artist can have.
Among younger writers these days, Saunders has
many imitators. He often writes with great wit and affection about
working-class people and the situations of nonsensical hardship they
face. With so few writers left in the United States qualified (and
willing) to cover this terrain, Saunders ends up attracting some
disciples simply along class lines. But class is not his main concern.
His main concerns are much harder to pin down--unlike writers who often
can be successfully imitated, say Ann Beattie or Raymond Carver,
Saunders does not work in the mainstream tradition of North American
short fiction, nor does he have a simple style, though it may sometimes
appear so. His sensibility, always a close relative of style, is
exclusively his own, sophisticated, daring and politically unusual, to
the degree that one can't really imitate him unless one believes what he
believes--everything he does is in service of an immovably unique
worldview. In this as in several other ways, Saunders reminds me of
Flannery O'Connor, which is to say he is a radical, and only a small
number of people who really understand the convictions behind his
work--the caustic humor that, pulled back, reveals a scouring contempt
for consumer society and modern life, as well as a deep and specifically
religious eagerness for transcendent meaning--would choose to embrace
No agreement or even negotiation with the Arabs until they accepted
that Zionism was invincible
As I write, Israel is faced with a democratically
elected Hamas government, the legacy of its own brute military policies
toward the Palestinians. Behind Hamas's statement that it will not recognize
Israel--for which it is isolated and financially starved--we can ironically
detect the shade, and perfectly logical consequence, of the ethos of
Jabotinsky, who famously ended his 1923 essay "The Iron Wall": "The only
path to an agreement in the future is an absolute refusal of any attempts at
an agreement now." There could be no agreement or even negotiation with the
Arabs until they accepted that Zionism was invincible. For Jabotinsky
inflexibility was political doctrine.
"The Zionist Imagination," by Jacqueline Rose, The Nation, June 26,
June 1, 2006 message from James L. Morrison
The June/July 2006 issue of Innovate (www.innovateonline.info)
offers a range of practical ideas for using new
technologies in classrooms as well as ways to avoid common pitfalls
caused by technology. This is a one-time mailing to you; if you wish to
receive future announcements of new issues and our webcast schedules,
please take advantage of our free subscription at
We open with Sir John Daniel and Paul West’s
exploration of how the digital dividends of technology can be used to
overcome the digital divide for impoverished nations worldwide. They
examine the challenges of bringing higher education to developing
nations and advocate open educational resources as a potential solution
to the problem.
Our next three articles address specific ways
in which instructors have used the digital dividends available to them
in teaching. Ulises Mejias describes a graduate seminar he taught on the
affordances of social software--software that allows for information
exchange, collaboration, and ease of communication. His students used
the software while learning about it and critiquing it, illustrating
well the learning opportunities afforded by this category of technology.
S. Pixy Ferris and Hilary Wilder examine wikis,
one example of social software, as a way to bridge the distance between
students and teachers.
Adopting the linguistic theory of Walter J. Ong,
they see teachers as part of a print paradigm of learning, whereas they
propose that students are increasingly a part of a secondary-oral
paradigm characterized by certain attributes of both oral-based cultures
and print-based cultures. Wikis, they argue, can be a pedagogical bridge
between these two educational positions.
Craig Smith focuses on chat, a common way for
online instructors to replace classroom discussion. He provides a
protocol to keep discussions focused and productive, helping teachers
realize the potential usefulness of an easily accessible technological
Technology also presents some problems in the
classroom. The easy availability of apparently anonymous information on
the Internet blurs definitions of plagiarism. While tools such as
electronic plagiarism detectors have become more common, Eleanour Snow
argues that they are not enough. She advocates online tutorials as an
easy and effective way of teaching students about plagiarism, and offers
examples and links to tutorials for teachers eager to begin the process
of educating themselves and their students.
Howard Pitler also sees a need to make
copyright guidelines clear, but argues that copyrights should be more
flexible. He offers guidance about how copyright works and describes
Creative Commons, a Web site that provides writers and artists a way to
select the rights that they want to reserve and make it clear to others
exactly what they are allowed to reproduce and alter.
Another difficulty inherent in the digital age
is the notorious attrition rate in online education. While noting that
drop rates for online courses should not necessarily be equated with
lack of success, David Diaz and Ryan Cartnal acknowledge that reducing
attrition in such courses should still be on educators' agendas. In
addressing this issue they examine the impact of term length on
attrition rates, advocating a shorter length to enable time-strapped
students to complete the course more efficiently. (See
Please forward this announcement to appropriate
mailing lists and to colleagues who want to use IT tools to advance
their work. Ask your organizational librarian to link to Innovate in
their resource section for open-access e-journals.
James L Morrison
Professor Emeritus of Educational
Leadership UNC-Chapel Hill
"Sex-Ed Resources," by Elizabeth Bernstein, The Wall Street
Journal, June 15, 2006; Page D2 ---
Should four-year-olds learn the
facts of life?
An increasing number of parents
are dealing with sex education at home -- often long before it comes up
in the classroom. And now, parents can turn to a wave of books and
videos to help address the subject with small kids, some even as young
"The trick is to find out from
the kid what they really want to know," says Dr. Charles Shubin, who
teaches pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University and the University of
Maryland. He recommends that parents choose sex-ed materials that are
age-appropriate and that they review all books and videos carefully
before showing them to their children. Here are some resources:
Book: "But How'd I Get in
There in the First Place?" by Deborah M. Roffman
Price/Publisher: $14 (paperback); Perseus Publishing
Comment: Ms. Roffman -- who teaches sex education at schools in
Baltimore -- thinks parents shouldn't always wait until a child asks to
bring up the topic of sex. Published in 2002 and aimed at parents of
children under seven years old, her book gives straight-forward advice.
Book: "Everything You
Never Wanted Your Kids to Know about Sex (But Were Afraid
They'd Ask)" by Justin Richardson, M.D., and Mark A. Schuster, M.D.,
Price/Publisher: $14.95 (paperback); Three Rivers Press
Comment: This book explains in depth a child's sexual
development, the emotions a parent may experience as a child changes and
how to talk to the child about sex. Topics include nudity at home, a
child's sexual orientation, abstinence and dealing with sexually active
Book: "It's Not the
Stork" by Robie H. Harris
Price/Publisher: $16.99; Candlewick Press
Comment: "It's Not the Stork," which will be published
next month, is aimed at kids as young as four years old. Many parents
will like this book's direct approach, but some may feel it offers too
much too soon.
Book: "Where Did I Come
From?" by Peter Mayle
Price/Publisher: $9.95 (paperback); Kensington Publishing
Comment: Originally published in 1973, more than two million
copies of this sex-ed book have been sold in the U.S. The cartoon-style
drawings are child-friendly, if a bit cheesy. In one, a sperm wears a
DVDs: "The Birds, the
Bees, and Me"
Price/Publisher: $19.95; National Training Organization for Child
Comment: These 20-minute DVD videos -- there's one aimed at girls
and one aimed at boys -- use cartoons, diagrams and college-age
narrators in an attempt to make young children comfortable with topic of
sex. They cover basic information about the changes a body goes through
during puberty, sexual intercourse and how a "baby" -- note, not a fetus
-- grows in a woman's body. There is also a strong abstinence message.
Stops on the Web, The Journal of Accountancy, May 2006 ---
Invest Time for a Laugh
Who says researching investment information can’t be fun? At this Web site,
visitors not only get the latest market headlines and insights, but also
some laughs. For example, the Essentialist Glossary in the Extras section
defines Bill Gates as “where God goes for a loan.” Users also can read
special reports on investing in India or value-investing strategies,
subscribe to the free Daily Reckoning financial e-letter or get
five secrets for investing in small- and micro-cap stocks.
Forwarded by Dick Haar
Tax his land, Tax his wage, Tax his bed in which he lays.
Tax his tractor, Tax his mule, Teach him taxes is the rule.
Tax his cow, Tax his goat, Tax his pants, Tax his coat.
Tax his ties, Tax his shirts, Tax his work, Tax his dirt.
Tax his tobacco, Tax his drink, Tax him if he tries to think.
Tax his booze, Tax his beers, If he cries, Tax his tears.
Tax his bills, Tax his gas, Tax his notes, Tax his cash.
Tax him good and let him know That after taxes, he has no dough.
If he hollers, Tax him more, Tax him til he's good and sore.
Tax his coffin, Tax his grave, Tax the sod in which he lays.
Put these words upon his tomb, "Taxes drove me to my doom!"
And when he's gone, We won't relax, We'll still be after the inheritance
Accounts Receivable Tax Building Permit Tax CDL License Tax Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax Dog License Tax Federal Income Tax Federal Unemployment
Tax (FUTA) Fishing License Tax Food License Tax Fuel Permit Tax Gasoline Tax
Hunting License Tax Inheritance Tax Inventory Tax IRS Interest Charges (tax
on top of tax), IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax), Liquor Tax, Luxury Tax,
Marriage License Tax, Medicare Tax, Property Tax, Real Estate Tax, Service
charge taxes, Social Security Tax, Road Usage Tax (Truckers), Sales Taxes,
Recreational Vehicle Tax, School Tax, State Income Tax, State Unemployment
Tax (SUTA), Telephone Federal Excise Tax, Telephone Federal Universal
Service Fee Tax, Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax, Telephone
Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax, Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges
Tax, Telephone State and Local Tax, Telephone Usage Charge Tax, Utility Tax,
Vehicle License Registration Tax, Vehicle Sales Tax, Watercraft Registration
Tax, Well Permit Tax, Workers Compensation Tax.
COMMENTS: Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago and there was
prosperity, absolutely no national debt, the largest middle class in the
world and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.
Why Americans Should Never Be Allowed to Travel ---
Why Americans Should Never Be Allowed
These are actual stories
provided by travel agents
More Tidbits from the Chronicle
of Higher Education ---
Fraud Updates ---
For earlier editions of New Bookmark
s go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
Archives of Tidbits: Tidbits Directory ---
Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter
--- Search Site.
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron"
enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity
and other universities is at
International Accounting News
(including the U.S.)
AccountingEducation.com and Double Entries ---
Upcoming international accounting
Thousands of journal abstracts ---
Deloitte's International Accounting News ---
Association of International Accountants ---
Trite's great set of links --- http://iago.stfx.ca/people/gtrites/Docs/bookmark.htm
Torian's Managerial Accounting Information Center --- http://www.informationforaccountants.com/
recommend TheFinanceProfessor (an absolutely fabulous and totally free
newsletter from a very smart finance professor, Jim Mahar from St. Bonaventure
Jim's great blog is at
Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-999-7347 Fax:
210-999-8134 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org