Please resist sending me email messages between July 4 and 11. Erika and I will be in Iowa for an Algona High School class reunion and a wedding. On August 15, 2002 at the American Association Annual meetings I mentioned that Amy Jenson was commencing the journey down her Yellow Brick Road by entering Iowa State University. On June 7, 2006 newly-graduated Amy Jenson, now a school teacher, is getting married in Iowa ---

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 July 5, 2006
Bob Jensen

For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to 

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

Bob Jensen's Blogs ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates ---

Bob Jensen's past presentations and lectures ---   

Bob Jensen's various threads ---
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Click here to search this Website 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

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Links to Documents on Fraud ---

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Bob Jensen's links to free electronic literature, including free online textbooks ---

Bob Jensen's links to free online video, music, and other audio ---

Bob Jensen's documents on accounting theory are at 

Bob Jensen's links to free course materials from major universities ---

Bob Jensen's links to online education and training alternatives around the world ---

Bob Jensen's links to electronic business, including computing and networking security, are at

Bob Jensen's links to education technology and controversies ---

Bob Jensen's home page ---

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.
Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan --- ---

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 ---

Darwin Awards ---

What are the 50 state flowers? (Paula sent me a card) ---

Liquid Generation ---

It's a Wonderful Internet ---

Donald Reilly, a contributor to The New Yorker since 1964, died on June 18th. Here, Lee Lorenz, Reilly’s editor and good friend, presents a portfolio of his covers and cartoons ---

A new video on the website of the Palestinian terrorist and governing group Hamas promises the eventual defeat and subjugation of Western nations under Islam ---
Jensen Comment
I don't think these extremists fully realize that before that happens there won't be any civilization left to claim as a prize.
Also see

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 ---

From NPR
Beethoven: Hear All Nine Symphonies ---
Beethoven's Sonatas: 'From Darkness to Light' ---

From NPR
'Congotronics 2,' Built on Konono No. 1's Success (Congo Heritage) ---

From NPR
Dr. John Brings His Own Magic to 'Mercernary' (New Orleans Blues) ---

Richard Wagner MP3 --- Click Here

Click on the Fingers ---

Humor Music (Cartoon Animations) ---

Pop Culture Translator ---

Forwarded by Dick Haar
In God We Trust ---

Photographs and Art

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Dogs ---

Double vortex at Venus South Pole unveiled ---

Virtual Earth Interactive ---

Maps of the Ancient World ---

Gulag: Soviet Forced Labor Camps and the Struggle for Freedom

China’s new 1,200-mile railway crosses some of the harshest terrain on the planet. Plug in your oxygen supply. All aboard the Tibet express ---

Brent Phelps: On the Trail of Lewis and Clark ---

Photography Corner (featuring photographs of the month) ---

The Duchy Bank and Beyond (Click on the Photos Tab) ---

Discovery launches ---

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 ---

The Walking Stick of Destiny by Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) --- Click Here

Grimm's Fairy Tales ---

The Time Machine by Herbert G. Wells (1866-1946) --- Click Here

The Adventure of The Sussex Vampire by Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) --- Click Here

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (1812-1870) --- Click Here

New E-Book by Phil Andrews Released by New E-Book by Phil Andrews released by The Day I Became the CEO of my own Corporation by Phil Andrews uses the Socratic Method of learning to help both existing business owners and those wishing to start their own business ask critical questions to help grow their business to the next level ---

Free eBook from TechLearning (Registration Required)
Technology and the Future of Learning: Mobile Computing Makes the Difference in Preparing Students for the 21st Century ---

You can join us in fasting in Washington, DC or in your own home or out in your community.
Diane Wilson on how to fast (starve to death?) until the U.S. troops are returned from Iraq ---

Friedrich Nietzsche’s Diet Book” existed? While its authenticity might appear to be a soupçon dicey to the niggling, most who have studied the work agree that no other Western thinker has come so close to reconciling Plato with Pritikin.
Woody Allen, "Thus Ate Zarathustra," The New Yorker, July 3, 2006 ---

Offers on eBay have already topped $455,000 for lunch with the billionaire investor.
Andrew Ross Sorkin, "Buffett Fans Place Their Bids," DealBook, June 26, 2006 ---

Jensen Comment
This makes Harvard's Accounting Professor Bob Kaplan look like a bargain at only $10,000 to have breakfast with him.

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies.
Groucho Marx (1890-1977) ---

No people do so much harm as those who go about doing good.
Mandell Creighton (1843-1901) --- Click Here

No one should lightly dismiss the current hostility toward the U.S. International legitimacy matters. It is important in itself, and it affects others' willingness to work with America. But neither should the U.S. be paralyzed by the unavoidable resentments that its power creates. If Americans refrained from action out of fear that others around the world would be angry with them, then they would never act. And count on it: They'd blame America for that, too.
Robert Kagan, "On Hating America," The Washington Post via The Wall Street Journal, June 22, 2006 ---

Sonia Barkallah, organiser of the conference, being held in Martigues near Marseille, added: "These are people who have come close to death, whether through an accident or during an operation, and who have brought back from their unconscious state accounts that are quite out of the ordinary. "They are floating above their bodies, they can hear what the doctors are saying about them, they feel themselves getting sucked into a dark tunnel with a bright but not blinding light at the end of it. "At the end of the tunnel they often meet 'light beings' or dead relatives who tell them it is not their time."
"Sharing their near-death experiences," Al Jazeera, June 17, 20065 ---

Florida is Heaven's (alternately God's) Waiting Room.
Author Unknown

"The problem is when we hit that '60s spot again, which I am optimistic we're about to hit, we have to make sure that we don't make the same mistakes," Dean added. See Video. I came in the wrong door when I first got here," Dean said. "I came in the back, and everybody was talking about praising the Lord, and I thought, 'I am home. Finally, a group of people who want to praise the Lord and help their fellow man just like Jesus did and just like Jesus taught.' Thank you so much for doing that for me.
Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, as quoted by Randy Hall, 'We're About to Enter the '60s Again'," CBS News, June 28, 2006 --- Click Here

I have never had to participate in such a discussion, because in Muslim society we don’t have this (gay rights) problem.
MK Ibrahim Sarsur, Ynet News, July 4, 2006 ---,7340,L-3083,00.html 

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 over time.

In Tidbits I will share some of the key quotations as I proceed through this book. The book is somewhat heavy going, so it will take some time to add selected quotations to the list of quotations at 

An Evolutionary Approach to Institutions and Social Construction: Process and Structure



A theory is in many ways like a living tree.  It grows according to where the nutrients and sun are the best, and in the process sometimes grows odd-looking branches and may be quite unbalanced in its growth in the sense that one side of the tree grows more than the other.  Many people work at developing a theory, and not all use the same approach.  One's own ideas change over time, as well.

A rewarding part of theory construction is the flash of insight one gets from putting various pieces of mosaic or puzzle together, when you see relationships among concepts and measures that were not open to you before.  Figure 25.6 outlines one conception of how theory is developed, a conception that feels right to us as we have tried to make tacit ideas about institutional process and structure more explicit.  At the bottom of the figure, we briefly outline the basics for the process of explicating the theory so that it can be more easily applied and further developed by others.

Like a giant sequoia (or an organization), a theory can live a long time, and every once in a while it is a good idea to prune the branches and perhaps clear out some of the surrounding growth that obstructs light or takes nutrients.  Constructing theory is much like social construction: it is inherently a social process, and also often has significant tacit components.  The most difficult work a theorist does is to codify some of the tacit components, but this work can also be very rewarding, since implications of the theory, like the flash of insight mentioned above, suddenly become visible and codified in a way that makes them more accessible to you, as well as to others (Cohen, 1988; Berger, et al., 1962).  It is at this point in the process, the formalization and codification of the theory and not the early, more tacit development, where the normative accounts of theory construction best hold.

Theories, or more commonly empirical generalizations or theoretical approaches, sometimes take hold in a way that makes it difficult to take negative evidence into account.  Examples abound, with perhaps the most famous the Pygmalion Effect (Rosenthal and Jacobson, 1968).6  Thus, a more systematic approach to determining confirmation status of a theory is essential.  Institutional theory is past its adolescence (Scott, 1987), and ready for more systematic formalization and test.

6    This is contested terrain with strong critiques of Rosenthal and Jacobson's research being followed by research that disconfirmed their findings on expectation effects, followed by a flood of research that provided confirming evidence some of the time and disconfirming evidence relatively less often.  For a summary of the controversy and findings, see Miller and Turnbull (1986).


How to proceed if you're taken by a fraudulent eBay seller
While eBay officials say the vast majority of transactions take place without a hitch, company spokesmen acknowledge that the growth in online buying has been accompanied by a growth in online disputes, from simple disagreements over a sweater's color to more serious allegations. And, says eBay spokeswoman Catherine England, fraud also occurs against sellers, when buyers don't pay up as agreed. Cracking down on such problems has been a hot topic at the annual "eBay Live!" gatherings of buyers, sellers and company executives. This year's, in Las Vegas in June, was no exception: EBay president and chief executive Meg Whitman in her keynote speech ticked off a number of improvements in eBay's online dispute-resolution process.
Kathleen Day, "Self-Defense For EBay Buyers Avoiding Unpleasant Surprises On World's Biggest Auction Site," The Washington Post, July 2, 2006 --- Click Here

What can you do to prevent being taken on eBay?
(Word of Caution:  Never open an email message that pretends to be from Pay-Pal)

Two brothers have published a book of "true tales of treachery, lies and fraud" from eBay. "Dawn of the eBay Deadbeats" contains stories written by eBay buyers and sellers. From stories of disappointing purchases to out-and-out fraud, the book is a manual of what can go wrong when buying and selling on auction sites. Brothers Stephen and Edward Klink co-wrote the book, illustrated by Clay Butler. The idea for the book sprung from a website Stephen Klink had created. A New Jersey police office, he founded - a site that aims to help people avoid auction scams - after he himself was ripped off online.
Ina Steiner, "Dawn of the eBay Deadbeats: New Book Uncovers Online Auction Treachery,",  December 28, 2005 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on how to prevent eBay fraud ---

New Multiple-Language Darwin Awards (many of them are now illustrated) ---

Real Life Humor and Tragedy:  Darwin Awards Questioning Quality of Human Evolution and Pollution of the Gene Pool ---

A Darwin Award is a tongue-in-cheek honor given to people who purportedly improve the human gene pool by removing themselves from it following an episode of questionable judgement. The prizes, named after pioneering evolutionary theorist Charles Darwin, are awarded over the Internet. There is no monetary prize, only recognition.

To take the premise of the Darwin Award seriously is to suppose that stupidity, of a kind that leads to one's own death, is wholly or partially determined by genetics. The recipients of the award are said to come from the 'shallow end of the gene pool'.

To qualify, one must die (or render oneself incapable of reproducing) in an extraordinarily idiotic manner, such as juggling hand grenades (Croatia, 2001[1]), jumping out of a plane to film skydivers while forgetting to wear a parachute oneself (USA, 1987[2]), trying to get enough light to look down a gun barrel using a cigarette lighter (USA, 1996 [3]), cutting off one's own head with a chainsaw in a macho-contest (Poland, 1996[4]), using a lighter to illuminate a fuel tank to make sure it contains nothing flammable (Brazil, 2003[5]), or heating a lava lamp on a gas stove (USA, 2004[6]). While most Darwin winners are awarded posthumously, self-sterilization is also sufficient, such as the man who had sexual intercourse with a vacuum cleaner (USA, 2000[7]).

Honorable Mentions go to those who, though not deficient in stupidity, fail to remove themselves from the gene pool. Their foolish and dangerous acts are worth mentioning, if only to keep others from standing near them at their next attempt. Some of these include getting hit by a train while trying to see how close to the train one could safely place one's head (USA, 1995[8]), and people petting sharks during a feeding frenzy on a dead whale (Australia, 2001[9]).

Personal Accounts fit most of the requirements for a Darwin Award or Honorable Mention, but cannot be independently verified. Awardees in this category are often submitted, for example, by medical professionals who cannot disclose the identity of the people that they encounter in the line of duty. [10]

While a few Darwin Awards circulated via email for some time, the Awards were added to and popularized by webmistress Wendy Northcutt, a.k.a. Darwin. Her site,  ([11]), is by far the best known of the Darwin Award sites.


1 Rules

1.1 Requirements
1.2 Not Darwins

2 History
3 Books
4 Movie
5 Ethical reservations
6 External links

Vintage Darwin Awards
Wrong Time, Wrong Place
Ski Theft Backfires
Macho Men
Midnight Special
Escaping Conviction

My Personal Favorites...
Peeper Plummets
Wife Tossing

Classic Urban Legends
JATO Rocket Car
The Last Supper
Lobster Vasectomy
The Bricklayer
Raccoon Rocket

Bumper Stickers:
Culling the Herd
Population Control Volunteers
Die and Learn

The Shallow End of
the Gene Pool

"I (don't) Think,
Therefore I Am (not)"

Chlorinating the Gene Pool
Natural de-Selection
Evolution in Action

July 3, 2006 message from Auntie Bev

Well, here they are... the 2006 Darwin awards!

In case you haven't received them yet, here are this year's Darwin Awards -- the annual honor given to the person who improved the "gene pool" the most by killing themselves in the most extraordinarily stupid way. As always, competition this year has been keen. And the candidates this year are.............

* IN Detroit, a 41-year-old man got stuck and drowned in two feet of water after squeezing head first through an 18-inch-wide sewer grate to retrieve his car keys.

* A 49-year-old San Francisco stockbroker, who "totally zoned when he ran," accidentally jogged off a 100-foot-high cliff on his daily run.

* Buxton, NC: A man died on a beach when an 8-foot-deep hole he had dug into the sand caved in as he sat inside it. Beach-goers said Daniel Jones, 21, dug the hole for fun, or protection from the wind, and had been sitting in a beach chair at the bottom Thursday afternoon when it collapsed, burying him beneath 5 feet of sand. People on the beach on the outer banks, used their hands and shovels, trying to claw their way to Jones, a resident of Woodbridge, VA, but could not reach him. It took rescue workers using heavy equipment almost an hour to free him while about 200 people looked on. Jones was pronounced dead at a hospital.!

* Santiago Alvarado, 24, was killed in Lompoc, CA, as he fell face-first through the ceiling of a bicycle shop he was burglarizing. Death was caused when the long flashlight he had placed in his mouth (to keep his hands free) rammed into the base of his skull as he hit the floor.

* Sylvester Briddell, Jr., 26, was killed in Selbyville, Del, as he won a bet with friends who said he would not put a revolver loaded with four bullets into his mouth and pull the trigger.


* Paul Stiller, 47, was hospitalized in Andover township, NJ, and his wife Bonnie was also injured, when a quarter-stick of dynamite blew up in their car. While driving around 2 AM, the bored couple lit the dynamite and tried to toss it out the window to see what would happen, but apparently failed to notice the window was closed.


* TACOMA, WA Kerry Bingham had been drinking with several friends when one of them said they knew a person who had bungee-jumped from the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in the middle of traffic. The conversation grew more heated and at least 10 men trooped along the walkway of the bridge at 4:30 AM. Upon arrival at the midpoint of the bridge they discovered that no one had brought a bungee rope. Bingham, who had continued drinking, volunteered and pointed out that a coil of lineman's cable lay nearby. One end of the cable was secured around Bingham's leg and the other end was tied to the bridge. His fall lasted 40 feet before the cable tightened and tore his foot off at the ankle. He miraculously survived his fall into the icy river water and was rescued by two nearby fishermen. "All I can say" said Bingham, "is that God was watching out for me on that night. There's just no other explanation for it." Bingham's foot was never located.


* Overzealous zoo keeper Friedrich Riesfeldt (Paderborn, Germany) fed his constipated elephant Stefan 22 doses of animal laxative and more than a bushel of berries, figs and prunes before the plugged-up pachyderm finally let it fly, and suffocated the keeper under 200 pounds of poop!

Investigators say ill-fated Friedrich, 46, was attempting to give the ailing elephant an olive oil enema when the relieved beast unloaded on him. "The sheer force of the elephant's unexpected defecation knocked Mr. Riesfeldt to the ground, where he struck his head on! a rock and lay unconscious as the elephant continued to evacuate his bowels on top of him" said flabbergasted Paderborn police detective Erik Dern. "With no one there to help him, he lay under all that dung for at least an hour before a watchman came along, and during that time he suffocated. It seems to be just one of those freak accidents that proves that "Shit happens!"

The strange tidbits from Henry Oz ---

New Pen for Writers Who Prefer to Write With a Pen
The device looks like a slightly plump ballpoint, and works like any ballpoint. But inside this gadget are a tiny camera and an optical sensor that record the pen's motions as he writes, and a microprocessor that digitizes the words, sketches and diagrams that the optics detect. When he docks the pen in its cradle connected to a USB port, the handwritten notes flow in a digitized stream into his computer and are processed by software, reappearing almost immediately on his monitor in his handwriting. "All the notes I've written are sucked into the computer, and there they are on the screen," he said. His pen, called io2, is sold by Logitech of Fremont, Calif., for about $200.
Anne Eisenberg, "A Pen That's More Than Meets the Paper," The New York Times, July 2, 2006 ---

Jensen Comment
This might be useful for essay examinations when student handwriting is difficult to read and grade. The digital pen idea is not new, but the hardware is much improved.

Bob Jensen's threads on teaching resources are at

What is "click fraud?"


Yahoo settles "click fraud" lawsuit
Yahoo Inc. will consider refunding money to thousands of advertisers dating back to January 2004 and pay $4.95 million in attorney fees to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging the Internet powerhouse has been profiting from bogus sales referrals generated through a sham known as ''click fraud.'' The agreement, given preliminary approval Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder in Los Angeles, doesn't limit Yahoo's liability -- one of several contrasts to a settlement reached in March by online search engine leader Google Inc. to resolve a class-action lawsuit over the same issue . . . Although Yahoo doesn't know how much money it will end up refunding, company officials seem confident it will be a relatively small amount. Yahoo's ad revenue totaled $9.1 billion from January 2004 through March of this year. "We want to keep our advertisers happy,'' said Yahoo lawyer Reggie Davis. ''Whatever credits are owed will be 100 percent forthcoming.''
"Update: Click Fraud Class-Action Suits at Yahoo and Google," MIT's Technology Review, July 3, 2006 ---

Google awaits "click fraud" settlement
Google's financial commitment in its case, overseen by an Arkansas state court, is capped at $90 million. That's a sliver of the $13.3 billion in ad revenue that the Mountain View, Calif.-based company has collected since 2001. As much as $30 million of the Google settlement could be paid to the attorneys who filed the case . . . In its settlement, Google is offering to give back less than 1 percent of the money spent on undetected click fraud and plans to make the payments in the form of credits that can used to buy more ads on its networks.
"Update: Click Fraud Class-Action Suits at Yahoo and Google," MIT's Technology Review, July 3, 2006 ---

Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at

"Google Launches Payment Service, Competing With PayPal," by Mike Musgrove, The Washington Post, June 30, 2006 --- Click Here

Google Inc. yesterday unveiled its long-anticipated service for helping consumers make purchases online, setting up a potential rival to eBay Inc.'s popular PayPal system.

Called Google Checkout, the service holds consumers' credit card numbers and account information for a "one-click" shopping experience at participating retailers. This means shoppers won't have to spend time entering such information at every online store where they buy something.

The service launched yesterday at with Ritz Camera, Timberland and Starbucks among the companies adopting it.

Continued in article

June 29, 2006 message from Carolyn Kotlas []


"The State of America's Libraries: A Report from the American Library Association" April 2006 

"This [first ALA] report on the State of America's Libraries is not meant to be exhaustive but simply to show the many ways in which America's libraries and librarians are not only adapting in the Age of Google but continuing to play a vital role as information providers, information advisers and community centers."

HyperStat Online Statistics Textbook ---

  1. Introduction to Statistics
  2. Describing Univariate Data
  3. Describing Bivariate Data
  4. Introduction to Probability
  5. Normal Distribution
  6. Sampling Distributions
  7. Point Estimation
  8. Confidence Intervals
  9. The Logic of Hypothesis Testing
  10. Testing Hypotheses with Standard Errors
  11. Power
  12. Introduction to Between-Subjects ANOVA
  13. Factorial Between-Subjects ANOVA
  14. Within-Subjects/Repeated Measures ANOVA
  15. Prediction
  16. Chi Square
  17. Distribution-Free Tests
  18. Measuring Effect Size



Statistics Explained

Concept Stew


Stat Trek

Review by the Scout Report on June 23, 2006

Does the mere mention of the phrase “sampling distributions” bring a tingle to your spine? Visitors to this site will fear this basic concept of statistics (along with many others) no longer, as it does a fine job of explaining them in a fashion that is both lucid and jargon-free. Created and maintained by Professor David M. Lane of Rice University, the HyperStat Online site contains an online introductory statistics textbook, complete with sections on normal distributions, confidence intervals, prediction, and the logic of hypothesis testing. Each section contains a number of discrete subsections, and users can feel free to browse around at their leisure. Professor Lane has also included a number of external links to related resources, including a visual statistics site by David Krus of Arizona State University and a “Stat Primer”, authored by Bud Gerstman of San Jose State University. Overall, this site is tremendously helpful, and will be of great assistance to those entering the world of statistics for the first time.

Bob Jensen's links to free online textbooks are at

Not free but good supplements for statistics learning:

Updates from WebMD ---

Latest Headlines on June 27, 2006

Latest Headlines on June 28, 2006

Latest Headlines on June 30, 2006


Teenage alcoholics possibly more prone to serious brain damage?

"The Grim Neurology of Teenage Drinking," by Katy Butler, The New York Times, July 4, 2006 ---

But what was once a social and moral debate may soon become a neurobiological one.

The costs of early heavy drinking, experts say, appear to extend far beyond the time that drinking takes away from doing homework, dating, acquiring social skills, and the related tasks of growing up.

Mounting research suggests that alcohol causes more damage to the developing brains of teenagers than was previously thought, injuring them significantly more than it does adult brains. The findings, though preliminary, have demolished the assumption that people can drink heavily for years before causing themselves significant neurological injury. And the research even suggests that early heavy drinking may undermine the precise neurological capacities needed to protect oneself from alcoholism.

The new findings may help explain why people who begin drinking at an early age face enormous risks of becoming alcoholics. According to the results of a national survey of 43,093 adults, published yesterday in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 47 percent of those who begin drinking alcohol before the age of 14 become alcohol dependent at some time in their lives, compared with 9 percent of those who wait at least until age 21. The correlation holds even when genetic risks for alcoholism are taken into account.

The most alarming evidence of physical damage comes from federally financed laboratory experiments on the brains of adolescent rats subjected to binge doses of alcohol. These studies found significant cellular damage to the forebrain and the hippocampus.

And although it is unclear how directly these findings can be applied to humans, there is some evidence to suggest that young alcoholics may suffer analogous deficits.

Studies conducted over the last eight years by federally financed researchers in San Diego, for example, found that alcoholic teenagers performed poorly on tests of verbal and nonverbal memory, attention focusing and exercising spatial skills like those required to read a map or assemble a precut bookcase.

"There is no doubt about it now: there are long-term cognitive consequences to excessive drinking of alcohol in adolescence," said Aaron White, an assistant research professor in the psychiatry department at Duke University and the co-author of a recent study of extreme drinking on college campuses.

"We definitely didn't know 5 or 10 years ago that alcohol affected the teen brain differently," said Dr. White, who has also been involved in research at Duke on alcohol in adolescent rats. "Now there's a sense of urgency. It's the same place we were in when everyone realized what a bad thing it was for pregnant women to drink alcohol."

One of two brain areas known to be affected is the hippocampus, a structure crucial for learning and memory. In 1995, Dr. White and other researchers placed delicate sensors inside living brain slices from the hippocampi of adolescent rats and discovered that alcohol drastically suppressed the activity of specific chemical receptors in the region.

Normally, these receptors are activated by the neurotransmitter glutamate and allow calcium to enter neurons, setting off a cascade of changes that strengthen synapses, by helping to create repeated connections between cells, aiding in the efficient formation of new memories.

But at the equivalent of one or two alcoholic drinks, the receptors' activity slowed, and at higher doses, they shut down almost entirely. The researchers, led by Scott Swartzwelder, a neuropsychologist at Duke and at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Durham, N.C., found that the suppressive effect was significantly stronger in adolescent rat brain cells than in the brain cells of adult rats.

As might be predicted, the cellular shutdown affected the ability of the younger rats to learn and remember. In other experiments, the team found that adolescent rats under the influence of alcohol had far more trouble than did tipsy adult rats when required repeatedly to locate a platform submerged in a tub of cloudy water and swim to it.

Continued in article

Here Comes the Sunscreen: New Sprays Are Making It Easier to Protect Yourself
The latest innovation in sun-care packaging -- "continuous spray" sunscreen -- is making it easier to apply and reapply sun protection. Instead of forcing you to rub on globs of thick white lotion, the new spray sunscreens work by spraying on a clear mist that coats the skin. They don't even have to be rubbed in. The new sprays could help solve one of the biggest problems with sunscreen use: the fact that people typically find it inconvenient and messy, and don't use enough. Although spray sunscreens also come in pump bottles, the continuous-spray bottle is particularly easy to use, coating skin evenly with a fine mist of sun protection. The continuous-spray bottle works at any angle, making it easier to apply sun protection to your own back and other hard-to-reach areas.
Tara Parker-Pope, "Here Comes the Sunscreen: New Sprays Are Making It Easier to Protect Yourself," The Wall Street Journal, June 20, 2006; Page D1 ---

A Safer Way to Detect Heart Disease
Researchers have used a specialized type of MRI to detect 88 percent of cases of coronary artery disease in a group of patients with chest pain. The results suggest that the imaging technique can detect heart disease as accurately as conventional methods, but with much less risk.
Susan Nasr, "A Safer Way to Detect Heart Disease:  MRI can help to diagnose coronary artery disease -- clearly, accurately, and without surgery," MIT's Technology Review, June 30, 2006 ---

Stem Cell Mix Helps Paralyzed Rats Walk
A complex combination of treatments, including stem cells and growth factors, can heal damaged neural circuits, allowing partially paralyzed rats to walk. These findings represent a significant step forward in regenerative medicine, providing new treatment possibilities for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and other neurodegenerative diseases, as well as some types of spinal-cord injury. "This work is a major stepping-stone to human application of stem-cell transplant approaches," says Hans S. Keirstead, co-director of the Stem Cell Research Center at the University of California, Irvine. He says that the ability to grow new neural fibers out of the spinal cord “renders transplantation approaches to repair realistic."
Emily Singer, "Stem Cell Mix Helps Paralyzed Rats Walk:  The rodents regained mobility after receiving a combination of drugs and stem cells that rewired their nervous systems," MIT's Technology Review, June 26, 2006 ---

From the Scout Report on June 23, 2006 ---

It may be difficult for the average consumer to evaluate the sometimes grandiose claims that various supplements, vitamins, and other such products make on their labels and such. One way to learn about products is, which provides independent test results and information in order to assist consumers and healthcare professionals to evaluate such products. The casual visitor will want to begin by looking over the "Latest Results" area on the homepage, which provides some information on their recent tests on melatonin sleep supplements and other related nostrums.

Visitors looking for information on specific products will want to direct their mouse to the "Laboratory Test Results" area. Here they can look through a list of product evaluations that include nutrition bars, ginkgo biloba, and the ever-popular echinacea. The site is rounded out by a very nice area on "Recalls and Warnings, which (as its name suggests) includes information on recent notices posted by the Federal Trade Commission and other such agencies.

Protecting Neurons from Parkinson's Disease:
Researchers have uncovered a way to protect neurons from degeneration and death in animal models of Parkinson’s disease. Although scientists have known which protein is the main culprit in Parkinson’s nerve damage, both the protein's normal function and details of its harmful effects have remained a mystery. Now a recent genetic study has uncovered some of this protein’s mysterious activities, and researchers have used what they learned to save neurons affected by the disease. The research could lead to targeted therapies for human Parkinson’s.
Katherine Bourzac, "Protecting Neurons from Parkinson's Disease:  Insights into the disease's protein culprit could lead to human therapies," by  MIT's Technology Review, June 23, 2006 ---

Zapping Migraines
Migraine sufferers may soon be able to shock their pain away. New research suggests that transcranial magnetic stimulation, a non-invasive technique to stimulate parts of the brain, can provide pain relief to migraine sufferers, if delivered soon after the onset of symptoms. And researchers are now testing a portable version of such a stimulator. In transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, an electromagnet is held against a patient's head, emitting electrical current that creates a magnetic field in the brain. Originally developed about two decades ago, new incarnations of the TMS technique are also being tested as a treatment for depression and other disorders.
Susan Nasr, "Zapping Migraines:  Preliminary studies suggest that transcranial magnetic stimulation might help alleviate this common ailment," MIT's Technology Review, June 23, 2006 ---

Virtual Skies: Aeronautics Tutorial --- 

Project Constellation ---

How far should a college allow freedom to claim dubious opinions as "facts?"

"Firing of UW lecturer urged for 9/11 comments [He blames CIA]," by Danielle Corcoran,  Wisconsin State Journal, June 30, 2006 ---

A state representative is calling for the immediate dismissal of a UW-Madison lecturer who said on a radio talk show Wednesday that U.S. government officials and the CIA orchestrated the attacks of Sept. 11.

Rep. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, said Kevin Barrett should be barred from teaching an introductory course on Islam this fall because of remarks he made on a WTMJ-AM (620) show hosted by Jessica McBride.

Barrett is co-founder of the Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance for 9/11 Truth, a group of scholars, activists and religious leaders urging an investigation of the possibility of official complicity in Sept. 11.

Among other things, he claimed the group believed to have carried out the attacks was "a bunch of losers who couldn't even fly planes," and that evidence indicates the buildings were brought down by controlled demolitions.

Barrett describes the attacks on the World Trade Center as a "fabricated war-trigger event" designed to justify military operations in Iraq, a view he said he sometimes brings up in class.

Nass issued a statement Thursday saying Barrett "needs to be fired" for using university jobs to advance a personal agenda.

Continued in article

In his announcement that Barrett’s plans for the fall course would be reviewed, Farrell stressed the fact that Barrett had talked about views he would share in class. “Mr. Barrett is entitled to his own personal political views. But we also have an obligation to ensure that his course content is academically appropriate, of high quality, and that his personal views are not imposed on his students,” Farrell said. The review will include the planned syllabus, the reading list, and past teaching evaluations. Farrell said this review was appropriate to deal with “legitimate concerns about the content and quality of instruction.”
Scott Jaschik, "Investigation Over 9/11 Teachings," Inside Higher Ed, July 3, 2006 ---

July 12, 2006 update
The University of Wisconsin at Madison — under political pressure to fire an instructor who argues that the United States plotted the 9/11 attacks — has cleared the way for him to teach this fall.
Scott Jaschik, "Controversial Scholar Cleared to Teach," Inside Higher Ed, July 12, 2006 ---

Fun With Google and Political Correctness Study of College Faculty

History and Meaning of "Political Correctness" ---

"Fun With Google and Diversity," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, July 3, 2006 ---

Google doesn’t exactly lack for people doing searches, but it has been getting a boost from culture warriors in the last week.

The National Association of Scholars announced that a search it had conducted of college and university Web sites indicated that academe is not only obsessed with diversity, but more obsessed with diversity than with arguably more important values, like freedom. The study — quickly praised by conservative commentators as a sign of the times, and particularly sad with July 4 approaching — prompted a bunch of others to Web surf as well, with very different results.

For starters, here’s how the NAS did its study: It took the top 100 colleges and universities, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report, and compared how many references to diversity were on their Web sites, compared to references to other words, like freedom, liberty, equality and democracy. Diversity references beat out all the other words — a five to one ratio for diversity vs. liberty, for example. The association also compared colleges’ Web sites to those of other parts of society and found higher education far more concerned about diversity.

For the association, which is critical of affirmative action and supports a traditional curriculum, the implications of the study are clear. Stephen H. Balch, president of the association, says that the “endless reiterations in academe” of supporting diversity “indicate the great gulf that has opened between our universities and the rest of the country.”

While not opposing the concept of diversity, Balch says it has a very specific set of meanings in academe: “In ‘diversityspeak,’ America is a collection of ethnicities and lifestyles rather than a common cultural identity, and group membership trumps individuality,” Balch says. “Given the caste mentality associated with the term and its emphasis on grievance and victimhood, it is especially alarming that university references to diversity exceed those to freedom and liberty.”

Not so fast with the college-bashing, says Hiram Hover, a historian who blogs under that pseudonym and who did some Googling of his own. First he checked the Web sites of the National Association of Scholars and Phi Beta Cons, the new higher ed blog sponsored by National Review. On both sites, Hover writes, diversity is far more popular (as a word) than freedom or democracy.

Then Hover compares the ratio of the word diversity to the words freedom and democracy at that ultimate symbol of liberal academe (the University of California at Berkeley) and the ultimate symbol of Bush-era corporate power (Halliburton). The ratios indicate that Halliburton is significantly more liberal (at least judged by references to diversity on its Web site) than is Berkeley.

Balch of the NAS faults Hover’s analysis on several grounds, noting, for example, that the many references to diversity on conservative Web sites are natural, given their skepticism of academic diversity. He also says that Hover is “cherry picking,” while the NAS study looked at entire sectors — and noted that business has adopted some of the same emphasis on diversity as is prevalent in higher education.

But Hover’s Googling got Balch back online — and he says the Halliburton comparison is unfair because there are very few idea/political words on the company’s site generally, so it’s not surprising that words like freedom are few and far between. Diversity is used, Balch says, “on advice of counsel and flacks.” Berkeley’s Web site is full of idea/political words, Balch says, and when you factor that in, it’s clear that Halliburton is not more diversity-obsessed than Berkeley.

Still others are Googling to take on and/or mock the National Association of Scholars study. Over at Free Exchange on Campus, Craig Smith of the American Federation of Teachers reports on Harvard University’s site. Among other things, he finds that words war and corporate do better than diversity. He also discovers that many of the diversity references have nothing to do with race and ethnicity, but are parts of such phrases as “diversity of plants” and “diversity of neutron stars.”

While Smith has fun doing his Google searches, he closes by urging people to step back from their terminals:

“Stop! Just stop! Stop putting out ‘research’ that wouldn’t pass muster in a high school class! Stop surveying the ‘top’ schools and suggesting that tells us anything about all 4,000 institutions in this country staffed by over 1 million faculty and instructors, teaching over 16 million students! Stop suggesting that higher education is some monolithic ’sector’ that is marching lock step to some liberal ideology! Stop screaming that higher education is leading the fall of our country! Please stop, and let us get back to the issues that really matter for higher education.”

Bob Jensen's threads on controversies in higher education are at

How many CMA and CFM top scoring candidates for these professional examinations in the U.S. come from outside the U.S.?

"Top CMA and CFM Performers Announced," AccountingWeb, June 29, 2006 ---

IMA congratulates these top-performing professionals, not only for their outstanding performance, but for their commitment to building their capabilities and advancing the management accounting profession,” Paul Sharmann, IMA president and CEO said in the prepared announcement. “Our CMA and CFM credentials are internationally recognized across all industries and are the appropriate standards for professionals working in industry.”

From a pool of more than 4,000 examinations taken during the Winter 2006 period, eleven outstanding professionals are being recognized. For the CMA exam, Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were awarded to the top three scores, as well as Certificates of Distinguished Performance and Student Performance Awards. For the CFM exam, Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals were awarded. Medals awarded to CMA exam performers are sponsored by Proctor & Gamble, and the medals for the highest scores on the CFM exam are sponsored by Johnson & Johnson.

The winners of this year’s awards program include:

CMA Winners


CFM Winners


The CMA certification is a comprehensive credentialing program that assesses competency in the management accounting and financial management body of knowledge, which represents a broad range of controllership knowledge and skill. Subject matter of the four-part exam includes economics, corporate finance, cost management, internal controls, performance measurement, financial reporting, decision analysis, organization management and strategic planning, with a strong emphasis on ethics. IMA’s recent Job Analysis Study confirms that the
exam content is consistent with the on-the-job functions performed by management accountants.

The CFM program provides professionals involved with corporate cash management, financing and investment decisions, and risk management with a means of further demonstrating an expanded skill set. The exam provides an in-depth measure of competence in areas such as financial statement analysis, working capital policy, capital structure, valuation issues and risk management.

Setting out targets:  The war between The New York Times and the Administration turns particularly nasty
In an apparent retaliation for criticism of its disclosure of classified intelligence to America's enemies, the New York Times June 30th edition has printed huge color photos of the vacation residences of Vice President Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, identifying the small Maryland town where they live, showing the front driveway and in Rumsfeld's case actually pointing out the hidden security camera in case any hostile intruders should get careless
FrontPageMagazine, June 30, 2006 ---

How can you copy an email message to other people without the main recipient knowing?

Answer from Walt Mossberg in The Wall Street Journal on June 22, 2006 ---

Q: I know people can use a "BCC" address line when composing an email to copy the message to other people without the main recipient knowing. But in my email program, there is no BCC line. How do I make it appear?

A: In many email programs, you have to manually turn on the BCC address field in the email composition menu. This is usually done by selecting an option in a menu. Generally, you have to do this only once, and after that, the BCC field will appear every time you start composing an email.

You didn't say which email program you use, but here are some examples. In Microsoft Outlook, when you are in the new-message window, go to the View menu and select "Bcc Field." In Microsoft Outlook Express, in the new-message window, go to the View menu and select "All Headers." In Apple Mail, while in the new-message window, go to the View menu and select "Bcc Address Field." In Google's Gmail, in the "Compose Mail" window, just click on "Add Bcc," which appears above the Subject line.

Will Parallels Desktop run Windows on older versions of a Mac computer?

Answer from Walt Mossberg in The Wall Street Journal on June 22, 2006 ---

Q: Last week, you recommended a product called Parallels Desktop, which allows Windows to run on a Macintosh. I have two questions: Will it run on older, pre-Intel Macs? And will it expose my Mac files to Windows viruses?

A: First, I should have made it clear that Parallels Desktop ( requires a newer Mac that uses Intel processors, like the iMac, the Mac mini, the MacBook and the MacBook Pro. It won't run on older, pre-Intel Macs -- any model sold before this year and some that are still for sale. Parallels takes advantage of a special feature in the Intel chips that allows its "virtual" Windows computer to run as fast as a standard Windows PC, even though it is operating inside a window on the Mac operating system. Older Macs can use a similar product, Virtual PC for Mac, from Microsoft, but it runs much more slowly.

As for viruses, the faux Windows PC created by Parallels is just as susceptible to the vast quantity of Windows viruses and spyware as any real Windows computer. So, if you use Parallels, you must install Windows security software on its virtual Windows PC. However, any viruses you get are unlikely to harm your Mac files unless you turn on a feature that allows Parallels to share folders and files in the Mac OS. That feature is turned off by default.

"A Photo-Sharing Web Site Offers New Services:  Tabblo Allows Its Users To Design Sleek Montages; Paying $20 for a Poster," by Walter S. Mossberg and Katherine Boehret, The Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2006; Page D9 ---

Sharing digital photos online can be easily done using a Web site like Kodak EasyShare Gallery or Shutterfly to store the images for online viewing. These sites are usually rather basic, with a focus on allowing friends and family to see your digital images. And they generally work well -- permitting others to look through your photos in a slideshow format, buy prints or gift items, and even make comments about the images.

But most of these photo Web sites don't offer you the chance to design handsome layouts for your photos, nor do they offer simple on-screen editing options that work with the ease of a software program.

This week, we reviewed the beta (or pre-release) version of a new photo-sharing Web site called Tabblo (, from Boston-based Tabblo Inc., that will be officially released on June 30. Tabblo differs from other Web-based sharing sites. It's a so-called "Web 2.0" service, meaning it functions like a software application, offering features like dragging and dropping and editing all on the same Web page, without the annoying constant reloading that characterizes so many photo sites.

Tabblo also puts special emphasis on presentation, allowing you to arrange your photos in collages and designs with descriptions, rather than as straightforward slideshows, so as to add a little flair and style to your photos. The company calls these photo montages "tabblos." If you really like the tabblo that you create, you can order high-quality printed posters of them in 11x17 inches for $10, or 8.5x11 inches for $8.

We've been playing with Tabblo for the past week, arranging digital shots into collages -- some with text descriptions and some without. Katie made a tabblo of pictures from a friend's graduation party, and Walt made one of photos from the Journal's recent "D: All Things Digital" technology conference.

We used various background colors, photo sizes, style arrangements and image effects, and got results that required very little effort on our part yet still looked professional and polished. An 11x17-inch Tabblo poster that we ordered turned out to be an attractive keepsake that displayed a bunch of photos all at once, eliminating the need to leaf through stacks of prints or scroll through hundreds of digital files.

Tabblo also encourages community interaction through its Web site, so that the tabblos become a form of simple social networking. Just as lets you create a list of "friends," allows you to add people to your "circle" so that you can see when those people create new tabblos. You can even make tabblos that combine your own photos with those belonging to people in your circle, if they allow you.

The Tabblo Web site works on both Windows and Mac operating systems, using Firefox and Internet Explorer on Windows and Firefox and Safari on Macs.

The process for building a tabblo is straightforward. Three tabs labeled View, Upload and Make at the top of the screen walk you through the steps. In View, you can see all of the tabblos that you've already made, as well as a list of those in your circle of friends. In Upload, we quickly added photos to our Tabblo accounts using Java uploader, one of five options offered by the site. Integrating your photos from -- another photo-sharing site -- is one of the five options, if you have an account.

After uploading our digital photos from the conference and the graduation party, we progressed to the Make step, which included four steps of its own: Pick Photos, Choose Style, Edit Tabblo and Share Tabblo. The Pick Photos screen is well designed, with a panel on the left showing all uploaded photos and those from people in your circle. A panel on the right called My Lightbox stores photos that you drag and drop in for use in a tabblo.

In Choose Style, we worked our way through three decisions about our tabblo: photo shape (square or rectangle), layout and theme; 512 total style combinations are offered. The layouts included one with Polaroid-style photos, another with big and small images combined with text and another layout with interlocking photos of differing sizes. For the theme, we chose Bold from a list that included Baby Pink, Wedding Traditional and Museum.

The Edit Tabblo section was especially impressive. We easily dragged photos all around the screen, seeing which fit in the best places of our collage layout and automatically swapping out other images. It was smooth and quick, exactly like working in a full-blown program stored locally on a PC, instead of a Web site stored on a distant server.

In a few instances, the automatic-layout mode made some shifts and adjustments that we didn't like, but for the most part they made the tabblo look better. If you'd rather make all adjustments manually, a manual-layout option is also available.

Continued in article

Are you confused by the nuances of the "Fair Use" section of U.S. Copyright Law under the DMCA?

From the Scholarly Communications Blog at the University of Illinois on June 19, 2006 ---

New Fair Use Site

The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law has created a Web site on fair use.

Called The Fair Use Network, the site says it attempts to alleviate the "mass of confusion for artists, scholars, journalists, bloggers, and everyone else who contributes to culture and political debate."

The site guides people on what to do if they get a letter from a copyright owner demanding that they cease and desist from making use of the owner's work. And the site also explains how much people can borrow, quote or copy from another's work.

Jensen Comment
The Fair Use safe harbors are frequently violated by professors who really do not want to know the limitations of these provisions in the law.

Bob Jensen's threads on the DMCA are at

As Workers' Pensions Wither, Those for Executives Flourish
This is the pension squeeze companies aren't talking about: Even as many reduce, freeze or eliminate pensions for workers -- complaining of the costs -- their executives are building up ever-bigger pensions, causing the companies' financial obligations for them to balloon.
Ellen E. Schultz and Theo Francis, "As Workers' Pensions Wither, Those for Executives Flourish:  Companies Run Up Big IOUs, Mostly Obscured, to Grant Bosses a Lucrative Benefit The Billion-Dollar Liability," The Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2006; Page A1 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on outrageous compensation of executives are at

What mobile phone companies don't want you to know

Forwarded by Dick Wolff

Here is something worth knowing if you have a mobile phone:

Have you ever wondered why phone companies don't seem interested in trying to prevent the theft of mobile phones? If you have ever lost, or had one stolen, and if you are on a plan, you still have to pay the plan approximately up to 24 months, and you have to buy another handset and enter into another contract. This is more revenue for the phone company. There is a simple way of making lost or stolen mobiles useless to thieves and the phone companies know about it, but keep it quiet.

To check your mobile phone's serial number, key in the following on your phone: star-hash-zero-six-hash ( * # 0 6 # ) and a fifteen digit code will appear on the screen. This is unique to your handset. Write it down and keep it safe. Should your mobile phone get stolen, you can phone your service provider and give them this code. They will then be able to block your handset, so even if the thief changes the sim card, your phone will be totally useless. You probably won't get your phone back, but at least you know that whoever stole it can't use/sell it either. If everybody did this, there would be no point in stealing mobile phones. May want to send this to as many people with mobiles as possible.

No charge for directory assistance - Phone companies are charging us $1.00 or more for 411 - information calls when they don't have to. When you need to use the 411 / information option, simply dial 1-800-FREE-411 or 1 800 373 3411 without incurring a charge.

Jensen Comment
You can read more about this at Snopes ---

Dick Haar reports that it won't work on his phone.

If your laptop is stolen, with your confidential data, several companies will help you get it back and/or prevent thieves from using the stored information

"Solving Laptop Larceny: If your laptop is stolen, with your confidential data, several companies will help you get it back -– or else disable it," by Lamont "Wood, MIT's Technology Review, June 19, 2006 ---

These new systems, which aren't intended to prevent theft, but rather mitigate their consequences, come in three flavors: tracking software, encryption, and "kill" switches that can make a laptop's data self-destruct.

Extra layers of protection are needed because the password and encryption mechanisms that come with most laptops are weak or inconvenient, says Jack Gold, head of J. Gold Associates, a market research firm in Northborough, MA. "There are hacker tools that let you get around [passwords] very quickly, or you can boot from a CD," Gold says. It's true that any laptop running Windows XP Professional has an optional encryption function that should defeat thieves, but using it slows down normal file access.

One solution, then, is a tracking system, such as Computrace, run by Absolute Software of Vancouver, Canada. William Penn University in Oskaloosa, IA, turned to the system this year, after about 500 laptops in one of its colleges went missing, says Curt Gomes, the university's IT supervisor. The university decided it had become uneconomical to try to hunt down each machine manually. Instead, Gomes decided to try laptop tracking -- a technique that's been around for a decade, but recently has seen sales growth of 50 percent per year.

Each machine subscribed to the Computrace service typically reports to a company server once a day via the Internet. If the computer is reported stolen, the server will instruct it to start sending messages every 15 minutes. And if the missing machine's Internet address can be pinned down to a street address, police will soon show up there, according to company spokesman Les Jickling. In fact, a week after William Penn signed up for the Computrace tracking system, a laptop stolen out of a car was recovered by police five days later.

Continued in article

"Ceelox Announces Biometric Encryption Software Solution to Secure Critical Enterprise Data,"
PR Web
, June 24, 2006 ---

Ceelox, Inc., a leading provider of biometric security software for enterprise networks and commercial applications, is proud to announce its release of Ceelox Vault, a powerful biometric authentication and encryption solution designed to protect lost or stolen data and combat identity theft.

Ceelox Vault is the ideal solution for protecting any confidential information whether it is credit card numbers, social security numbers, personal financial data, medical records, private correspondence, personal details, sensitive company information, bank account information, business plans, or intellectual property.

The theft or loss of high profile laptops containing social security numbers, employee information, intellectual property, credit reports and more are an everyday occurrence these days. It seems that virtually no organizations are immune to the problem which impacts millions of customers and employees who are relying on others to keep their information secure and out of the hands of identity thieves.

"We created Ceelox Vault because we recognize the value of easily securing confidential data. In today’s world, securing critical enterprise data has never been more important," said Kass Aiken, president & COO of Ceelox. "With Ceelox Vault the key to unlock the encryption is not stored anywhere, it is a unique biometric characteristic carried by the users fingerprint," said Erix Pizano, Director of Software Development for Ceelox. "Many organizations have measures in place to protect sensitive data. However, these solutions sometimes make the user feel incapable of using them due to their complexity," said Pizano. "As simple as drag and drop, with Ceelox Vault, security software finally makes sense. The encryption process can be seen and understood, unlike most security systems which are not noticeable to the end user unless they fail," added Pizano.

Ceelox Vault enables the user to simultaneously encrypt files and copy or move them to a server, personal computer, or external storage device. The customer then selects one of three industry standard ciphers (AES256, 3DES, or Blowfish448) for the file encryption. The encryption algorithms use a key attached to the user in a manner that requires the users fingerprint to encrypt and decipher the files.

The Ceelox Vault user, after gaining access to the Ceelox Vault application through biometric authentication, works from a window, which displays all personal computer files on the left side of the window and the vault drive files on the right side of the window.

Files and folders move back and forth between the computer and the vaulted storage device by simply clicking on them, dragging them to their destination and dropping them.

Access to a vaulted storage location, controlled by the use of a fingerprint scanner embedded in a portable hard drive, an external fingerprint scanner, or the fingerprint scanner embedded in a laptop or mobile computing device.

This provides two levels of security with authentication being required not only to access the drive but also to decrypt the files on the drive.

Ceelox's mission is to develop and market biometric security software products that are simple to implement, deploy, and use. Security software should never make the user feel incapable of using it. Ceelox focuses their attention on building powerful, easy to use applications that will provide the best enterprise and customer experience within all levels of an organization.

About Ceelox

Ceelox is a developer and marketer of biometric security software products for logical access, identity authentication and file security. Ceelox core applications Ceelox ID, Ceelox Vault and Ceelox ID Online improve employee productivity and reduce information technology administrative costs. These products are supported by several U.S. and International pending patents. Ceelox focuses attention on building powerful, easy to use applications that will provide the best customer experience within all levels of an organization while enhancing security through biometric software technology.

For more information regarding Ceelox visit

Bob Jensen's threads on computer and network security are at

Blackboard Will Soon Do Online Course Evaluations:
Should They Be Shared With the Administrators and/or the Public?

"Digital Assessments," by David Epstein, Inside Higher Ed, June 20, 2006 ---

Assessment is quickly becoming the new black. It’s one of the themes of the Secretary of Education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education. More and more institutions, some prodded by accreditors, are looking for rigorous ways — often online — to compile course data.

Now Blackboard, a leading provider of course management software, is making plans to enter the assessment field.

Blackboard already offers the capability to do course evaluations, and for over a year-and-a-half the company has been researching more comprehensive assessment practices.

The prospect of online evaluations and assessments, for many faculty members, conjures images of, the unrestricted free-for-all where over 700,000 professors are rated — often to their dismay — by anonymous reviewers. Blackboard — and some others are looking to enter the evaluation field — are planning very different and more educationally oriented models. Blackboard’s approach is more oriented on evaluating the course than the professor.

Blackboard has generally enjoyed a good reputation among faculty members, dating to its beginnings as a small startup. One of the things that has endeared Blackboard to academics is the ability they have had to customize the company’s products, and Blackboard, though it’s no longer small, will seek to keep important controls in the hands of institutions.

With institutions looking to do evaluations and assessment online, Debra Humphreys, a spokeswoman with the Association of American Colleges and Universities, said that Blackboard’s outcomes assessment program “could make trends that are already underway easier for schools.”

David Yaskin, vice president for product marketing at Blackboard, said that a key component of Blackboard’s system — which is in development — will likely be online portfolios that can be tracked in accordance with learning outcomes that are determined by faculty members, departments or institutions.

Yaskin said he’d like to see a system with “established outcomes, and a student has to provide evidence” of progress toward those outcomes, whether in the form of papers, photography collections or other relevant measures. Yaskin added that faculty members could create test questions as well, if they are so inclined, but that, for Blackboard’s part, the “current plan is not to use centralized testing in version 1.0, because higher ed is focused on higher orders of learning.”

One of the most powerful aspects of the program, Yaskin said, will likely be its ability to compile data and slice it in different ways. Institutions can create core sets of questions they want, for a course evaluation, for example, but individual departments and instructors can tailor other questions, and each level of the hierarchy can look at its own data. Yaskin said that it’s important to allow each level of that hierarchy to remain autonomous. He added that there should be a way for “faculty members to opt out” of providing the data they got from tailored questions to their superiors if they want. Otherwise, he said, faculty members might be reticent to make full use of the system to find out how courses can be improved.

Yaskin added that, if certain core outcomes are defined by a department, the department can use the system to track the progress of students as they move from lower to upper level courses.

Because Blackboard, which bought WebCT, has 3,650 clients, any service it can sell to its base could spread very quickly. While details on pricing aren’t available, the assessment services will be sold individually from course management software.

The idea of online evaluation is not new. Blackboard has been looking to colleges already using online course evaluations and assessments for ideas.

Washington University in St. Louis — which wasn’t one of the consulted institutions named by Blackboard — took over five years to develop an internal online course evaluation system. A faculty member in the anthropology department developed templates, and other faculty members can add specific questions. Students then have access to loads of numerical data, including average scores by department, but the comments are reserved for professors. Henry Biggs, associate dean of Washington University’s College of Arts and Sciences, was involved with the creation of the system, and said that too much flexibility can take away from the reliability of an evaluation or assessment system.

Washington University professors have to petition if they want their ratings withheld. “If faculty members can decide what to make public, there can be credibility issues,” Biggs said. “It’s great for faculty members to have a lot of options, but, essentially, by giving a lot of options you can create a very un-level playing field.”

Biggs said that the Blackboard system could be great for institutions that don’t have the resources to create their own system, but that a lot of time is required of faculty members and administrators to manage an assessment system even if the fundamental technology is in place. “The only way it can really work is if there are staff that are either hired, or redirected to focus entirely on getting that set up,” Biggs said. “I don’t think you will find professors with time to do that.”

Humphreys added that “the real time is the labor” from faculty members, and that technology often doesn’t make things so much easier, but may make something like assessments better. “People think of technology as saving time and money,” Humphries said. “It rarely is that, but it usually adds value,” like the ability to manipulate data extensively.

Some third-party course evaluation systems already offer tons of data services. has been working with institutions — about two dozen clients currently — for around three years doing online evaluations.

Online Course Evaluations, according to president Larry Piegza, also allows an institution to develop follow-up questions to evaluation questions. If an evaluation asks, for example, if an instructor spoke audibly and clearly, Piegza said, a follow-up question asking what could be done – use a microphone; face the students – to improve the situation can be set to pop up automatically. Additionally, faculty members can sort data by ratings, so they can see comments from all the students who ripped them, or who praised them, and check for a theme. “We want teachers to be able to answer the question, ‘how can I teach better tomorrow?’” Piegza said.

Daily Jolt, a site that has a different student-run information and networking page for each of about 100 institutions that host a page, is getting into the evaluation game, but the student-run evaluation game.

Mark Miller and Steve Bayle, the president and chief operating officer of Daily Jolt, hope to provide a more credible alternative to Like RMP, Daily Jolt’s evaluations, which should be fully unveiled next fall, do not e-mail addresses, but they do allow users to rate commentors, similarly to what eBay does with buyers and sellers, and readers can see all of the posts by a particular reviewer to get a sense of that reviewer.

Biggs acknowledged that student-run evaluation sites are here to stay, but said that, given the limited number of courses any single student evaluates, it’s unlikely that reviewing commentors will add a lot of credibility. Miller said that faculty members will be able to pose questions in forums that students can respond to.

“A lot of faculty members want to put this concept [of student run evaluations] in a box and make it go away,” Miller said. “That’s not going to happen, so we might as well see if we can do it in a respectful way.”

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
I think course evaluations should be private information between students in a class and the instructor. They should be required, but they should not be used in tenure, performance, and pay evaluations. One huge problem in is that if they are not private communications, research shows that they lead to grade inflation. Another huge problem is that students who fill out the evaluations are not personally accountable for lies, misguided humor, and frivolous actions. What students want is popular teachers who are not necessarily the best medicine for education.

You can read more about teaching evaluation controversies at

Differences between "popular teacher"
versus "master teacher"
versus "mastery learning"
versus "master educator."

June 20, 2006 reply from David Fordham, James Madison University [fordhadr@JMU.EDU]

Bob, one of my many, many pet peeves is the almost- ubiquitous use of the term "Course Evaluations" when actually people are referring to the gathering and measurement of "student perceptions".

Yes, it is true, that from a student's perspective, the exercise is their opportunity to evaluate the course, (...and more often than not, evaluate the instructor rather than the course!).

However, a true *Course* Evaluation requires input from many sources, not just students. And there is some question as to whether students are in a position to truly, accurately "Evaluate" the "Course" anyway. Hence my preference for the more accurate term "student perceptions".

(This in no way lessens the importance of gathering the data, nor should it discount the importance of the data in the eyes of the instructor or administrators, as long as they take it for what it really is.)

Another problem I have with using the term "course evaluation" (rather than the more accurate "gathering of student perceptions") is that it misleads administrators into justifying the "easy way out" when rating instructors.

Why? Many administrators believe that A=B=C: If student perceptions are course evaluations (A=B), then course evaluations are instructor evaluations (B=C). If a given professor's "student perception" rating numbers (sheesh, numbers!) are very low, calling them "Course Evaluations" makes it too easy to simply give the instructor a low rating rather than actually go to the trouble of doing a full, true, "Instructor Evaluation". Similarly, if the student- generated numbers are high, it is easy to rate the instructor as an effective teacher, simply based on the students' say-so. Haven't you seen this happen?

If Blackboard were to use the term "student perceptions" when referring to this sort of data it would encourage everyone to take other factors into consideration when evaluating instructor's effectiveness, or the course's effectiveness.

At the very least, Blackboard should qualify the information as "STUDENTS' Evaluation of the Course" rather than the term "Course Evaluation". The term "course evaluation" should refer to something done by faculty. The term "instructor evaluation" is something a department chair or other administrator should do as a human-resource management activity. The latter two should not be done by students, although student perceptions should be one input (of many) to those processes.

David Fordham
Nuancer of meanings...

June 20, 2006 reply from Robin A. Alexander [alexande.robi@UWLAX.EDU]

Absolutely agree with this. At my school they were called, strangely, student evaluations. It was my strong impression that the main reason for their existence was to generate a number that could be plugged into a "merit" formula for allocating a fixed raise pool. There was rarely any attempt at substantive course or instructor evaluation with the goal of improvement. And now Blackboard is going to make it even easier to generate that number! Such is progress.

Robin Alexander

Physical Design of Schools in the Technology Age
A 2006 Report from the National Summit on School Design provides recommendations to help designers and educators make better decisions about some of the $30 billion spent annually on new or renovated school facilities---

Bob Jensen's threads on classroom and school design are at

Believe it or not: Bikini clad beach netball team rescued from quicksand
The youngsters, from Essex, were sucked into quicksand up to their waists a mile from the shore at Brean on Friday. An RAF helicopter, two lifeboats and a hovercraft were called in to help. "They got a good ticking off from the coastguard given the resources used," said Mark Newman, from the Burnham-on-Sea hovercraft team.The helicopter, which was scrambled from RAF Chivenor in Devon, and the lifeboats, were stood down when the girls managed to free themselves, but the cost of the call-out is thought to have reached five figures.
Conrad Murray, "Bikini clad beach netball team rescued from quicksand," InjuryWatch, July 2, 2006 --- Click Here

Online Effort Is Planned Against Child Pornography
In the face of government pressure, a group of Internet companies is undertaking a cooperative effort to help combat child pornography online. The group, organized last week by AOL, includes Yahoo, Microsoft, Earthlink and United Online. It will initially pay $1 million for a new project of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that will develop systems meant to help identify child exploitation on the Internet and refer cases to law enforcement. The first project is to create a central database that could help identify images of child pornography sent by e-mail.
Saul Hansell, "Online Effort Is Planned Against Child Pornography," The New York Times, June 27, 2006 ---

"Internet Companies Divided on Plan to Fight Pornography," by Kurt Eichenwald, The New York Times, June 28, 2006 ---

On the same day that five Internet companies announced joint efforts to combat online child pornography, some of those same companies presented somewhat less than a united front in addressing proposals on the issue being drafted in Congress.

In hearings before the oversight and investigations subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, lawmakers expressed interest in writing legislation to compel service providers to preserve identifying data about their customers' online activities for at least a year.

In previous hearings, law enforcement officials complained that their investigations of online child pornography were sometimes stymied because identifying information had not been retained for more than a few months.

Such a retention proposal has been gaining attention in Washington since the hearings began in April. This month, for example, top officials at the Justice Department met with executives from the Internet companies to discuss the merits of such a requirement.

In testimony Tuesday, the companies reacting to the proposal ranged from those who said they were already retaining such records for long periods to others who said the requirement would be costly, burdensome and counterproductive to the efforts of law enforcement.

"Warehousing of data requires the allocation of enormous resources," John D. Ryan, the chief counsel of compliance and investigations at the AOL unit of Time Warner, said in his statement. "Creating such a voluminous database will actually frustrate law enforcement's goal of locating and identifying the suspects they are pursuing."

Mr. Ryan said an analysis by his company showed that storing and maintaining such data for a year would cost AOL about $44 million.

Smaller service providers seemed less concerned about such requirements. For example, David N. Baker, the vice president for law and public policy at Earthlink, testified that his company had a two-step process for maintaining such data. The first gives instantaneous access and is maintained for several months. After that, he said, the material is transferred into longer-term storage. But even that information can be retrieved quickly, Mr. Baker said.

The focus on data retention in Washington has already affected the practices of service providers. For example, Gerard Lewis, the deputy general counsel at Comcast Cable Communications, testified that his company had decided to increase its data-retention period to 180 days from 31 days, beginning Sept. 1.

Members of the subcommittee, who have expressed dismay and disgust over what they have learned in the child pornography hearings, assured the companies there would be significant legislation.

"The parents of America and, I think, the Congress is tired of just talking about it; I think we're ready to take action," said Representative Joe Barton, the Texas Republican who heads the full committee. He mentioned no details but said any legislation would be comprehensive.

The hearings also explored the policies of search engine companies, including Yahoo, Google and the MSN service of Microsoft. The subcommittee displayed the results of searches conducted as part of its investigation, using the words "pre-teen," "sex" and "video." The Yahoo search came back with references to articles, but the Google search found not only numerous pornographic Web sites but advertisements for them as well.

Several members of the subcommittee expressed outrage. But Nicole Wong, an associate general counsel for Google, portrayed the results as something of a fluke. She said filtering software the company used to block links to advertisements had included the word "preteen" but not the word with a hyphen. That hyphenated form has since been added to the filter, she said.

At Tuesday's hearing, Chris Hansen, a correspondent from "Dateline NBC," described his "To Catch a Predator" series of news reports. In the reports, online predators arrange to meet in a house with someone they think is a minor available for sex; when they arrive, they are met by Mr. Hansen and his camera crew.

The Internet companies that pledged a joint fight against pornography are AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft, Earthlink and United Online.

"Internet Providers To Create Database To Combat Child Porn:  Five major companies are establishing a coalition to help combat child pornography on the Web," MIT's Technology Review, June 28, 2006 ---

Harvard University: Center for Public Leadership ---

"What do Racquel Welch and quantum physics have in common?" PhysOrg, June 30, 2006 ---

County attorney sues Website for allowing women to chat about his alleged unfaithfulness
A city attorney is suing the creator of a Web site that lets women dish dirt on men they claim have wronged them, saying they made defamatory statements about him. User rating 3 out of 5 after 2 total votes Would you recommend this story? Not at all - 1 2 3 4 5 - Highly Attorney Todd J. Hollis sued because he contends two Pittsburgh-area women and other anonymous users posted items about him on  in which they claim he is unfaithful, among other things, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Thursday. Hollis filed the suit Thursday in Allegheny County against Tasha C. Joseph of Miami, who created the site, which bills itself as a "cost-effective weapon in the war on cheating men."
"Pa. Man Sues Over Web Site Comments," PhysOrg, July 1, 2006 ---


"Scrushy Is Convicted in Bribery Case:   Prosecutors Savor Victory Over HealthSouth Ex-CEO After '05 Fraud Acquittal," by Valerie Bauerlein, The Wall Street Journal, June 30, 2006; Page A3 ---

HealthSouth Corp. founder Richard M. Scrushy was convicted of paying $500,000 in bribes in return for a spot on a state regulatory panel, a victory for the federal government a year and a day after it failed to pin a massive accounting fraud at the health-care company on him.

The guilty verdict on all six charges against the 53-year-old Mr. Scrushy, including bribery, conspiracy and mail fraud, could put him behind bars for as long as 20 years, though the judge has wide discretion on sentencing. Prosecutors and defense lawyers are likely to argue over how to weigh factors such as Mr. Scrushy's background and the size of the contributions for which he was convicted. Sentencing isn't expected until this fall at the earliest.

The Montgomery, Ala., jury also convicted former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman on 10 political-corruption-related counts, six of them linked to Mr. Scrushy. During the two-month trial, prosecutors alleged that Mr. Scrushy arranged two hidden $250,000 payments to a lottery campaign backed by Mr. Siegelman, who put the then-chief executive of HealthSouth on a board that approves hospital-construction projects. The charges weren't related to the accounting fraud.

It wasn't clear what swayed jurors after 11 days of deliberation, or ended a deadlock that emerged last week. Mr. Scrushy's defense team clearly failed to win over the jury with its strategy of comparing him to civil-rights icons who suffered injustice. In his closing argument, Fred D. Gray, who represented Rosa Parks when she was arrested in 1955 for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus, quoted a favorite Biblical passage of Martin Luther King Jr., adding that an acquittal of Mr. Scrushy would mean that "justice will run down like water and righteousness as a mighty stream."

Federal prosecutors denounced the rhetoric as a racially motivated attempt to influence the jury of seven African-Americans and five whites, the same composition as the jury that acquitted Mr. Scrushy last year. They alleged that Mr. Scrushy had used his money and power to gain political influence that helped fuel HealthSouth's growth. Mr. Scrushy was forced out at HealthSouth when the accounting fraud surfaced in 2003.

Charlie Russell, a spokesman for Mr. Scrushy, said the former HealthSouth CEO was "shocked" by his conviction. "He maintains that he is absolutely innocent, and he intends to appeal." Before the trial, Mr. Scrushy's lawyers fought unsuccessfully to have him tried separately and objected to the makeup of the jury pool.

In a statement, Louis V. Franklin Sr., criminal-division chief of the U.S. attorney's office in Montgomery, said the verdict "sends a clear message that the integrity of Alabama's government is not for sale." HealthSouth said Mr. Scrushy's conviction "has no impact on the company," which continues to pursue a turnaround strategy under new management. HealthSouth has filed a lawsuit against him in connection with the fraud, while Mr. Scrushy has sued the company for wrongful termination and breach of contract, citing his acquittal in last year's trial. Mr. Scrushy also faces fraud-related civil lawsuits filed by shareholders and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Doug Jones, a former U.S. attorney now representing HealthSouth shareholders in a suit against Mr. Scrushy, said the verdict could help plaintiffs in the remaining cases because Mr. Scrushy likely will be forced to answer questions about his conviction. Sean Coffey, a lawyer representing bondholders, added, "Even though it's not directly related, the folks we represent can't see enough hurt get on that guy."

Jurors acquitted the two other defendants, Paul Hamrick, a onetime chief of staff to the former governor, and Gary Roberts, former head of the Alabama transportation department.

Bob Jensen's threads on the HealthSouth scandals are at

"Online Dating - The Naked Truth; What The Big Dating Sites Aren't Telling You," by Dan Baritchi and Jennifer Hunt, PR Web, June 25, 2006 ---

With millions of singles worldwide flocking to online dating websites hoping to find true love, why do so few actually meet that special someone online? Why do so many online singles fail to find their match?

Authors and Online Dating Insiders, Dan and Jennifer hope to answer the question "What’s Wrong With Online Dating?" They want to know why so many fail and so few succeed.

Since the big dating sites don’t report these numbers, it’s very difficult to get firm statistics…

Some reports estimate that 50% of online singles are unsatisfied with their online dating results. Others indicate as many as 97% of paying members cancel their online dating accounts within 3 months due mostly to a lack of response from other members.

The big dating sites do talk about the hundreds or even thousands who have been lucky enough to "find true love" or "romance" in years past, but what about the millions of singles who quit their services after a just few months of seeing no activity, no answers to their messages, and who are left feeling invisible, unimportant, and undeserving.

Dan and Jennifer want to bring the problem to light and to help solve it by reaching out to all of those disappointed singles and helping them to succeed.

In their recent book, "Online Dating - Finding Love Online"
(, Dan and Jennifer reveal easy to follow, step-by-step guidance to quickly meet your match online, including 5 things you should never put in your profile and 5 proven strategies for success.

But they are not stopping there…

They want to ask the millions of online singles what their biggest online dating challenge is - where they really get stuck… And then give them the answers and guidance they need to join the fortunate few.

Dan and Jennifer are seeking to find the answers to this problem by the launch of a bold new, no holds barred, let it all hang out, tell us what you really think - "What’s Wrong With Online Dating?" Survey.

They encourage any adult over 21 to take the "What’s Wrong With Online Dating?" Survey today. Respondents will be added to a special notification list alerting them when survey results are published.

Go here to take the survey now:

Dan and Jennifer hope to revitalize the real potential of online dating with the answers to this survey - to help people find true happiness "online".

Take a few seconds now to answer this short survey:

Contact Information:
Dan & Jennifer
(888) 446-2309, ext. 3


"Tools Can Catch Expense-Account Padders (and Make Filing Easier)," by Bernham Finney, The New York Times, June 27, 2006 ---

Scrooge would be proud: more companies are adopting sophisticated new technology to help track and crack down on employee expense accounts.

The software is actually a boon to most employees and their managers. Corporate travelers can more easily file and track their expenses on the road, and find out in real time if they are following company policies for certain purchases. Their bosses can also keep tabs on their travel spending as transactions occur.

"Nothing lends itself better to an online application," said Laurie McCabe, vice president at AMI-Partners, which conducts market research about small and medium-size companies.

The new technology, though, is bad news for travelers who have been inclined through the years to pad their expenses or venture outside company guidelines.

The software — now used by major companies like Boeing, Campbell Soup, Estée Lauder, J. C. Penney, Ocean Spray and Texas Instrumentsis so sophisticated that online digital detectives can spot even the tiniest gap between actual and allowable expenses.

The stakes are high. The total annual bill for travel and entertainment among American companies is more than $200 billion, according to Concur Technologies, a software provider, and American Express.

I.B.M. spent $493 million on airline tickets alone in 2004, according to the most recent annual compilation by Business Travel News, followed by General Electric's $280 million and Boeing's $274 million. (Double those figures for an estimate of total annual travel and entertainment spending at those companies.)

Cost savings can be significant. The software provided by Concur, which has more than 3,000 corporate customers (including The New York Times), has helped Dell reduce the cost of processing an expense report to less than $2.

Aberdeen Group, a consulting firm in Boston, says companies spend an average of $48 to manually process a single expense report, but only $18 with an automated expense management system.

Gelco Expense Management, a division of Gelco Information Network of Eden Prairie, Minn., said that most of its roughly 1,000 corporate clients paid $4 to $10 to process an expense report. Brian Provost, Gelco's chief operating officer, said the company offered additional services like electronic imaging of receipts.

The industry, made up of companies that automate expense management, is growing about 25 percent a year, on average, compared with single-digit growth five years ago, according to Mr. Provost's estimates.

One of the clearest benefits for business travelers is that the automated systems can electronically shift credit card charges to online expense reports. That can reduce the inconvenience of filling out expense forms.

Aberdeen has found that it typically takes employees 57 minutes to complete an expense report, and that an automated system can cut that time to 23 minutes.

In 2004, American Express introduced Web-based "variance reports" that point out any differences between what travelers booked and what they actually charged. Corporate travel managers use the reports to flag violations of travel policy, like an upgrade to business class.

"We give the data to our customers on a just-in-time basis, using an I.B.M. platform, so they can monitor inappropriate spending," said Gunther Bright, Amex's senior vice president for United States commercial cards.

"Variance reporting helps us identify travelers who don't book with our preferred agency," said Lorraine Rostanzo, director of global travel and support services at W. R. Grace. "When that happens, we lose out on using the airline deals and preferred hotel rates we've negotiated."

Gelco promotes the fact that one client, American Standard, has cut travel and entertainment costs by 50 percent while improving compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

But the software is also aimed at catching more devious employees. "There are egregious examples of abuse," said Rajeev Singh, Concur's president and chief operating officer. "The employee who buys a big flat-screen TV, supposedly to hold conferences in his home. Or a manager who tries to lay off the costs of his daughter's wedding by inviting business clients to the marriage. We've seen all that — and more."

With so much demand for better accounting, there's a pile-on of companies that offer solutions, some as offshoots of larger management advisory services. Among the major software players — beyond Concur and Gelco — are Microsoft, Oracle and SAP. All the credit card companies and many banks are offering reports on travel and entertainment information for analysis.

And three of the biggest online travel agencies Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity — as well as eTravel, Navigant and Travelport are selling new travel management services. The Meta Group, now a part of Gartner, estimated that "when fully mature," the market could amount to $5 billion annually — a little more than half the $8 billion payroll processing market.

The policing onslaught is enough to make many business travelers duck.

Continued in article

"Income Inequality, and Its Cost ," by Anna Bernasek, The New York Times, June 25, 2006 ---

INEQUALITY has always been part of the American economy, but the gap between the rich and the poor has recently been widening at an alarming rate. Today, more than 40 percent of total income is going to the wealthiest 10 percent, their biggest share of the nation's pie in at least 65 years. The social and political repercussions of this disparity have been widely debated, but what about the effects on the economy?

Oddly, despite its position in the political debate, the question has received little attention from economists. Mostly, they have focused on measuring income inequality and establishing its causes. Some research has been done, however, and the results, including insights from related disciplines like psychology and political science, are disturbing.

Start with recent findings in the field of public health. Some scientists believe that growing inequality leads to more health problems in the overall population — a situation that can reduce workers' efficiency and increase national spending on health, diverting resources away from productive endeavors like saving and investment.

Sir Michael Marmot, a professor of epidemiology and public health at University College London and director of its International Institute for Society and Health, has spent most of his career studying the link between inequality and health around the world. In a much-publicized paper published in May in The Journal of the American Medical Association, Sir Michael and three colleagues studied health in the United States and in Britain. They found that at various points throughout the social hierarchy, there was more illness in the United States than in Britain.

Sir Michael theorizes that a reason for the disparity was the greater inequalities in the United States and heavier stresses resulting from them.

Other researchers have focused on how income inequality can breed corruption. That may be especially true in democracies, where wealth and political power can be more easily exchanged, according to a study of 129 countries by Jong-Sung You, a graduate student at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and Sanjeev Khagram, a professor of public affairs at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Corruption, of course, can hurt growth by reducing the efficient allocation of public and private resources and by distorting investment. That may end up creating asset price bubbles.

Unchecked inequality may also tend to create still more inequality. Edward L. Glaeser, a professor of economics at Harvard, argues that as the rich become richer and acquire greater political influence, they may support policies that make themselves even wealthier at the expense of others. In a paper published last July, he said, "If the rich can influence political outcomes through lobbying activities or membership in special interest groups, then more inequality could lead to less redistribution rather than more."

In the United States, there is plenty of evidence that this has been occurring. Bush administration policies that have already reduced the estate tax and cut the top income and capital gains tax rates benefit the well-to-do. It seems hardly an accident that the gap between rich and poor has widened.

There may be other ways in which growing inequality hurts the economy. Steven Pressman, professor of economics at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, N.J., has identified a psychological effect that may lower productivity and reduce efficiency. Professor Pressman draws on the work of Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel laureate in economics, and his experiments on fairness. One experiment, called the ultimatum game, involves two people with a fixed sum of money that must be divided between them. One person is to propose any division he likes; the other can only accept or reject it. If the division is accepted, each person receives the proposed amount; if it is rejected, neither gets anything.

It might be expected that a rational individual in the role of divider would take a large part of the money and that rational receivers would accept a small portion rather than walk away with nothing. But it turned out that when faced with an offer they considered unfair, most people rejected it outright. Perhaps in anticipation of this, many dividers made substantial offers.

Professor Pressman relates those results to economic behavior in corporate America. "If a C.E.O.'s salary is going through the roof and workers are getting pay cuts, what will happen?" he said. "Workers can't outright reject the offer — they need to work — but they can reject it by working less hard and not caring about the quality of what they are producing. Then the whole efficiency of the firm is affected."

THE effects of income inequality aren't entirely negative. Without some inequality, there would be little economic incentive to earn more. And some researchers, particularly advocates of supply-side theories, predict that as the rich get richer, their increased wealth will be used for greater savings and investment, thereby bolstering growth. The latest data on the American economy, though, do not seem to support this prediction.

Savings among top income earners have actually declined. According to the Federal Reserve's latest Survey of Consumer Finance, the percentage of families in the top 10 percent by income that saved anything at all dropped to 80.6 percent in 2004 from 84.3 percent in 2001. And this was during a period when President Bush cut top marginal income tax rates and taxes on capital gains and dividends.

The trend of growing income inequality may eventually be reversed, but at the moment, current policies appear to be worsening the situation. If more researchers turned their attention to the subject, they would find plenty to explore.

Jensen Comment
Bernasek is typical of many writers who confuse income with income opportunity. Failure to give high income/education  opportunity is a disgrace. Failure to give equal income or even minimum income to able bodied people who choose lifestyle for lower income is not a disgrace. Persons who rationally choose to live on lower incomes should not do so with guaranteed income levels. For example, a person who chooses to live with less tension, pollution, and other strains of urban life to scratch out a living on a rock-strewn and unproductive plot of ground in New England should be lifted from poverty due to his/her life style choice. If a composer/writer chooses to spend life composing music/books that the world does not want to buy, he/she should not be lifted from poverty by taxpayers. At the opposite extreme, the sad state of corporate governance should not be allowed to continue to award outrageous compensation incommensurate with worth and risk-taking.

"Corporate Reports Now Searchable Via EDGAR," SmartPros, June 16, 2006 ---

Investors and analysts can now search the full text of every SEC document filed by companies within the last two years. They'll also be able to retrieve mutual fund filings by fund or share class.

The company filing search engine enables real-time, full-text searches of filings on the entirety of the SEC's EDGAR (Electronic Document, Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval) database of company filings for the last two years. The tool can be found at

SEC Chairman Christopher Cox, a strong proponent of using the Internet to post dynamic financial reports and to serve as a tool for investors and analysts made the announcement in his opening remarks at the SEC's Interactive Data Roundtable in Washington, D.C.

"This new full-text search capability will give investors and analysts instant access to the specific information they want," said Cox.

The new mutual fund search capability was made possible when the SEC recently required that filings contain a unique numerical identifier for each fund and share class. Investors will be able to find relevant filings by searching for the name of their own fund. In the past, searching for information on particular funds and particular share classes within funds was very difficult, because a single prospectus might contain information about many mutual funds and share classes.

The SEC is asking users of this Web site feature to supply feedback, including suggestions for additional functions, so that further improvements to the site can be considered and implemented.

Bob Jensen's search helpers are at

Financial Access for Immigrants: Lessons from Diverse Perspectives ---

"Kicking" Prostitution Celebrations at the World Cup

"orld Cup Brings Little Pleasure to German Brothels," Mark Landler, The New York Times, July 3, 2006 ---

"Our business is O.K., but it's not great," said Egbert Krumeich, the public relations manager for Artemis. "We get 250 to 260 customers on a game day. We'd be happier getting 600 a day."

Soccer and sex, it appears, do not mix very well — even in Germany, where prostitution is legal and the World Cup organizers have pushed the slogan "A Time to Make Friends." There are plenty of friendly fans here, most of them male and many pie-eyed by alcohol. The bad news for the sex trade is that they would rather guzzle another beer than go looking for a prostitute.

Artemis, which claims to be the most luxurious sex club in Germany, opened last September in anticipation of a bordello bonanza during the World Cup. It is strategically situated next to one of the main highways into Berlin, and only 20 minutes by foot from the Olympic Stadium.

While the club has had lots of publicity — Mr. Krumeich spends much of his time escorting poker-faced reporters past the nudist bar and Finnish sauna — the hype has not translated into hordes of paying customers.

Continued in article

Will physicians relocate to Fisherman's Wharf to write convenient prescriptions for this cannabis club?

"Marijuana Fight Envelops Fisherman's Wharf," by Jesse McKinley, The New York Times, July 3, 2006 ---

The Green Cross is a cannabis club, one of scores that sell marijuana to patients with a doctor's note. They have sprouted around California in the decade since the passage of Proposition 215, which legalized the use and sale of marijuana to those suffering from chronic pain, illness or infirmity. San Francisco, a hot spot in the AIDS epidemic, voted overwhelmingly in favor of the proposition in 1996 and has about 30 clubs, serving some 25,000 patients and caregivers.

But none of San Francisco's medical marijuana dispensaries, as they are formally known, have been located in places anywhere as popular as Fisherman's Wharf, where most people come to enjoy chowder, Ghirardelli chocolate or cable cars. Now, with the opening of the new club just weeks away, some residents and merchants are fighting to keep it out.

Continued in article

Update on Online K-10 Schools

June 22, 2006 module from the newsletter of T.H.E. Journal

Pennsylvania Unveils Latest Statewide Public Cyber School

Families across Pennsylvania were given a new option in public education with the announcement of the Agora Cyber Charter School. This public cyber school, which will serve students in grades K-10, is currently accepting enrollments from new students and hiring certified teachers from across the state. The Agora Cyber Charter School is the only public cyber school in Pennsylvania using both the curriculum and school management services by K12 Inc. As a K12 certified school, Agora Cyber Charter School's teachers, students, and parents will have access to not only the complete K12 learning program, but also to K12's team of education, curriculum, and school management experts. Agora Cyber Charter School teachers will have the benefit of receiving K12's specialized teacher training designed to equip them to meet every challenge and become excellent cyber school educators. Additionally, students who enroll in Agora receive a computer system on loan from the school, access to the K12 Online School, lessons, assessments, books, materials, planning and progress tools, Internet reimbursement, access to the school community, and much more.

Jensen Comment
Some online alternatives in other states are summarized at

Bob Jensen's threads on alternatives for online training and education are at

A Sad Time for Corporate Reputations

"Question for Corporate America: Does Your Reputation Fall into the Liabilities Column on Your Balance Sheet?" PR Web, June 19, 2006 ---

In a survey conducted among 2,000 participants at the 2004 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, more CEOs said that corporate reputation, not profitability, was their most important measure of success. Fortune Magazine calculates that a one-point change on its scale used to rank its most admired companies translates to a difference of $107 million to a company’s market value.

Lord Levene, Chairman of Lloyd’s of London, reported in a 2005 speech at the Philadelphia Club that loss of reputation is now viewed as the second most serious threat to an organization’s viability. (Business interruption is the first.)An Economist Intelligence Unit survey ranked reputational risk as the greatest potential threat to an organization's value. More than 30% of participating CEOs said that reputational risk represents the greatest potential threat to their company's market value. Of this same group of CEOs only 11% said that they had taken any action against the threat.

If these data are not sufficient to jolt companies into action, there is enough compelling data linking corporate reputation to corporate performance that should. Fortune Magazine, which has been publishing the results of its "America’s Most Admired Companies" survey for 20 years, calculates that a change of 1 point on its scale, either positively or negatively, affects a company's market value by an average of $107 million. The results of another study published in 2003 in Management Today, Britain's leading monthly business magazine, demonstrate a clear correlation between corporate reputation and equity return. Using existing data from Fortune’s surveys to construct portfolios of the most and least admired companies, the authors found that for the five years following Fortune’s publication of the results, the portfolios of the most admired companies had cumulative returns of 126% while those of the least admired had cumulative returns of 80%.

"While executives may choose to spend time analyzing these data and poking holes in research methodologies in order to dismiss reputation as a strategic priority," says Wallace, "the effort would simply provide another diversion from addressing the problem head-on. The fact that corporate America's sullied reputation has lead to such dramatic legislative change in the form of the Sarbannes-Oxley Act, and that it has become routine front-page news, is as telling as any data. No company wants bad press, but it may finally be what convinces American business that, left unmanaged, a company’s reputation can become a terminal liability."

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting for intangibles are at

Bob Jensen's threads on proposed reforms are at

Yet Another Executive Looting of a Corporation
The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced the filing of securities fraud charges against three former top officers of an operator of national restaurant chains in connection with their receipt of approximately one million dollars in undisclosed compensation, participation in undisclosed related party transactions, and financial statement fraud from 2000 to 2004. The SEC charges were filed against Buca, Inc.'s former CEO, Joseph Micatrotto, the company's former CFO, Greg Gadel, and its former Controller, Daniel J. Skrypek. Buca is a Minneapolis, Minn., company that operates the Buca di Beppo and Vinny T's of Boston national restaurant chains. "Buca's top officers created a tone at the top and a corporate culture that allowed them to loot the company and engage in a financial fraud," stated Linda Thomsen, the SEC's Director of Enforcement. "Such conduct is a fundamental violation of the trust placed in corporate officers by public shareholders and cannot be countenanced."

Jensen Comment
In 2005 the external auditor of Buca was Deloitte and Touche.

Bob Jensen's threads on Deloitte and Touche are at

Bob Jensen's updates on fraud are at

Presbyterians vote 483-28 to cancel divestment from Israel
The Presbyterian Church USA has ended its two-year policy of divesting from companies doing business with Israel and adopted a new resolution which does not single out Israel as a target for divesting funds. The new policy was approved Wednesday by the general assembly of the church gathered in Birmingham, Alabama, winning an overwhelming 483-28 majority. According to the new language adopted by the Church, investments in the Middle East should be done "in only peaceful pursuits" and will be subject to the same scrutiny as any other investment. The term "divestment" is not included in the resolution.
Nathan Guttman, "Presbyterians vote 483-28 to cancel divestment from Israel," Jerusalem Post, June 22, 2006 ---

United Nations Population Fund (for improving health and well-being, especially women and children) ---

"Khobar Towers:  The Clinton administration left many stones unturned," by Louis J. Freeh (Mr. Freeh was FBI director from 1993 through 2001), Opinion Journal, June 25, 2006 --- 

Ten years ago today, acting under direct orders from senior Iranian government leaders, the Saudi Hezbollah detonated a 25,000-pound TNT bomb that killed 19 U.S. airmen in their dormitory at Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The blast wave destroyed Building 131 and grievously wounded hundreds of additional Air Force personnel. It also killed an unknown number of Saudi civilians in a nearby park.

The 19 Americans murdered were members of the 4,404th Wing, who were risking their lives to enforce the no-fly zone over southern Iraq. This was a U.N.-mandated mission after the 1991 Gulf War to stop Saddam Hussein from killing his Shiite people. The Khobar victims, along with the courageous families and friends who mourn them this weekend in Washington, deserve our respect and honor. More importantly, they must be remembered, because American justice has still been denied.

Although a federal grand jury handed up indictments in June 2001--days before I left as FBI director and a week before some of the charges against 14 of the terrorists would have lapsed because of the statute of limitations--two of the primary leaders of the attack, Ahmed Ibrahim al-Mughassil and Abdel Hussein Mohamed al-Nasser, are living comfortably in Iran with about as much to fear from America as Osama bin Laden had prior to Sept. 11 (to wit, U.S. marshals showing up to serve warrants for their arrests).

Continued in article

Where is the line of ethical responsibility of using online services to improve writing?

June 23, 2006 message from Elliot Kamlet [ekamlet@STNY.RR.COM]

Is it just me or is there a lack of, at least, shame. 

Elliot Kamlet
Binghamton University

June 23, 2006 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Elliot,

I suspect that paying to have your writing edited, revised, and translated is as old as writing itself. Networking technology has simply made it faster, easier, and in many instances cheaper.  What is a problem is that a student who writes very badly may never be discovered in college if writing is required only for assignments outside the classroom. This speaks in favor of essay examinations along the way.

There is certainly nothing illegal about an editing service, and it would be tough to say outside editing is unethical except for assignments that require or request that the author's work must be entirely in his/her own words.

Of course this particular service in Canada may entail both editing and translating (from Canadian into English) --- just kidding.

If such a service also adds new content, then the ethical issues are very clear since the author might take credit for the new content where credit is not due. The author also takes a chance that the new content might be plagiarized.

I had a student some years ago that submitted a term paper that was plagiarized entirely from three separate sources (that I found with a Google search). In dealing with the student and his parents, I discovered that he was not aware that his AIS paper was plagiarized. He was a young CEO of one of his father's AIS companies. He (my student) hired one of his employees to write the paper. The employee actually plagiarized the work to be submitted in the name of my student.

The question in this case is what is worse --- plagiarizing from published sources or hiring the writing of the term paper? In either case, the rule infraction would get the student an F from me and a report of the incident to the Academic Vice President of the University.

Interestingly, the student approached me about five years later and asked if the time limit on his F grade had expired. He wanted to submit a new paper. I told him that F grades do not expire even after graduation.

Bob Jensen

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism are at

June 23, 2006 reply from Ruth Bender [r.bender@CRANFIELD.AC.UK]

And for $62.65 you can buy "Plagiarism and Academic Integrity"

"Plagiarism is a constant concern in the academic world particularly in areas that involve a lot of research or term paper writing, such as English Literature. The Internet seems to be making plagiarism easier as are companies that specialize in academic research writing for hire. However, several experts believe that most plagiarism takes place because students do not fully understand how to perform proper scholarly research and integrate it into their own material. In the end, plagiarism seems to stem more from a lack of knowledge rather than a plot to undermine education."

Pages: 7

Bibliography: Content-Di source(s) listed

Filename: 22017 plagiarism and Academic Integrity.doc

Price: US$62.65

Ruth Bender
Cranfield School of Management

June 23, 2006 reply from Joseph Brady [bradyj@LERNER.UDEL.EDU]

Years ago I too thought that dishonesty was caused by a lack of knowledge. The cure: tell students the general rule (don't take credit for the work of others) and how that rule applies in your course (give specific examples of how students could trip up). I work hard at the cognitive factor, going so far as to give a *quiz* on our honesty rules, in the first week of classes.

Experience can be a cruel teacher. I now think that most students are dishonest because it's easy to be dishonest and easy to get away with dishonesty. The problem is not a cognitive one. It's an ethical one, having a grounding in what is culturally acceptable at an institution.

It's not a problem in just English 101. Plagiarism is a serious issue in any course that involves computer-generated files. It's easy in any MIS or AIS course to copy someone else's application program and make some simple modifications to avoid detection. Students learn this right away. Actually, they have know this since high school or even earlier.

My primary concern as an educator is: are students learning? Surely this is obvious: those who are copying, are not learning. If only the small minority of students were at fault, I would not worry so much. But I think the problem is worsening rapidly. It's now possible to reach a tipping point: most of the class copying most of the time, so that not much is learned by the end of the semester. I actually had a section that came pretty close to that status last semester.

Students will not police themselves, at least not here, so I do not have a solution for the problem. It would be nice to have a utility (like that would answer the question: "Was the contents of this Excel/Access/VB/etc file copied or imported from some other file?" You can no longer get the answer to that question reliably using Windows time stamping. One of my summer To-Do's is to write that program in VB, but I'll have to learn a lot about Windows file structures to do that, and I'll probably not have time to get to it.

Joe Brady
University of Delaware

June 25, 2006 reply from Robert Holmes Glendale College [rcholmes@GLENDALE.CC.CA.US]

It is inconceivable to me that anyone who has reached the college level would not know that copying a paper from any source (Internet, friend or ?) is cheating. When I hear the "I didn't think it was wrong" defense I assume I am talking to a liar as well as a cheater.

June 25, 2006 reply from Henry Collier []

I am more than a little vexed with this:

It is inconceivable to me that anyone who has reached the college level would not know that copying a paper from any source (Internet, friend or ?) is cheating. When I hear the "I didn't think it was wrong" defense I assume I am talking to a liar as well as a cheater.

There’s more than one cultural bias illustrated in the quote. Not everyone, fortunately, is embedded in the narrow and biased views of the writer.


June 26, 2005 reply from Bob Jensen

Throughout the world in modern times I think borrowing works without proper citation is considered unethical. In some parts of the world such as Germany there was (and possibly still is) an exception made for students where the work of the student was viewed as the work of the professor. I'm not certain about this exception in modern times, but some professors in the past purportedly put their names on entire books written by students without even acknowledging the students. Presumably these professors also kept the book royalties with clear consciences. I think this practice was more common in the physical sciences.

A exception which does still exist in modern times arises when a noted professor, often a senior researcher from a highly prestigious university, lends his/her name to a textbook to improve its marketing potential. I know of one instance in an accounting textbook with four authors where one of the authors wrote over 90% of the material and the other authors mostly lent their names and affiliations. I know of other instances where a senior professor from a huge program did very little of the writing of the textbook but greatly increased the chances that his university would provide sales of over 1,000 copies of the book each year. Such marketing ploys might be viewed as deceptive, although can it be called plagiarism when the principal author of possibly 100% of the writing encourages someone else to share in the "authorship credit?"

Something similar happens for journal articles to improve their chances for publication in a leading journal. There is also the even more common happening where one author who writes poorly did the research and wrote a very rough first draft. Then a highly skilled writer who does little or no research anymore performs a great editing service and receives full credit as a partner in the research. In this case the paper's editor may be getting far more credit for the "research" than is deserving.

See how complicated the question of authorship ethics becomes.

Bob Jensen

June 26, 2006 reply from David Fordham, James Madison University [fordhadr@JMU.EDU]

>June 26, 2005 reply from Bob Jensen

>Throughout the world in modern times I think borrowing works without proper citation is considered unethical.

Bob, while this might hold true for academic work, it certainly does not seem to apply to the journalistic world, does it? (Think: WV Coal Mine Disaster; Think: Hurricane Katrina at the New Orleans Stadium; Think: any one of hundreds of other media screwups in the past few months where so-called "news" media reported a story as though the reporter were reporting first-hand facts when in reality the reporter was "copying" from an unreliable (and false) source, -- all without proper citation.

And in some instances, a few journalists are so unethical that they even go so far as to try to HIDE their sources and keep them secret! Talk about lack of proper attribution! Some even claim a constitutional right to do so! ;-)

And no, the citation of "a reliable source" is not proper citation; if you think it is, just try getting one of those past ANY reviewer for any decent journal! I can see it now: a bibliography containing sixteen entries of "A reliable source", "ibid".

On another note, I have it "from a reliable source" that in times past, (specifically the 16th century art world), it was not considered wrong to borrow works from other people without attribution. (My source here is the art curator at the Rubens House museum in Antwerp, Belgium.) Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony Van Dyke, and most of the other great "masters" of the art world back then ran studios to train young artists in the guild craft. The master would sketch a scene, the young artist would paint it, the master might touch up a little here and there, and ultimately would sign it, giving the student no recognition or attribution whatsoever. With the master's signature, the piece would sell handsomely, the master would pay the student a cut, and keep the rest. This was a widely known, and perfectly acceptable, practice of the day. There are dozens of Van Dykes, Rembrandts, Rubens, and other great works which show very little evidence of ever being touched by the person who signed the painting. Everyone of the day actually knew it, but it was an acceptable practice as long as the student was a student of the master. It was the master's name which sold the painting. Marketing, marketing.

Of course, to be realistic, I tend to agree with Robert Holmes. Most of the college students I encounter these days do know perfectly well that what they are doing is wrong in most cases, but plead ignorance and invoke the "cultural victim" mentality when caught. And when I do have the occasional student from another culture, I make an extra effort to clarify what is and is not acceptable. (I don't know what the culture is in Ghana, for example, but when caught, my Ghana student admitted knowing she had violated the honor code, in addition to violating the instructions clearly printed on the assignment.)

But as Carol pointed out, the chase, the hunt, the hiding, is all part of the game which some students see as being part of the "essence" of preparing for the real world: college.



(um, you were expecting a real signature here?)


The gadfly from JMU An unnamed source...

June 26, 2006 reply from Bernadine and Peter Raiskums [berna@GCI.NET]

In the doctoral program I am now pursuing on-line through Capella, the learners are provided with access to and encouraged to submit their draft papers "to help with citation issues and improper source referencing. After submission, will generate a plagiarism report within 24 hours ... for your personal use." I found the report to be very interesting in that it picked up something that had been published in a rather obscure journal which I had written myself last year!

Bernadine Raiskums, CPA, M.Ed. in Anchorage

The home page for is at

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism are at


Capella University Launches 'Inside Online Education' Podcasts
[Capella] announced today that it has launched a new podcast series titled "Inside Online Education." These regular podcasts will feature interviews with Capella students, faculty and staff who will share the experience of online education from a first-person point of view. The first installment features the story of Chris Xaver, a PhD candidate at Capella who barely survived the Asian tsunami of 2004 and subsequently decided to pursue a PhD so she could have a greater impact on the students she teaches. The podcasts, which will typically be between 7 to 15 minutes long, are available through the Capella University Web site at iTunes. "Capella is pleased to give our podcast listeners a perspective into what the experience of earning a degree online is like," said Irene Silber, Capella’s director of public relations. "Our learners have many inspiring stories to tell, and their experiences highlight the many different paths by which people come to online education."
"Capella University Launches 'Inside Online Education' Podcasts," PR Web, June 28, 2006 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on podcasting are at

What homelessness crisis?
The homeless census results for Toronto have been released and it turns out this great metropolis of 5 million has a grand total of ... 5,042 homeless people. Homeless advocates are up in arms at the low number because it conflicts with the idea they like to perpetuate that the city is beseiged by tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of homeless who all desperately need free housing and services -- instead of a small corps of the mentally ill, transients, runaways and crack addicts. The advocates fear the result will now be used by critics to call for a reduction in spending on homelessness. Given that it has now been shown to amount to $31,000 per homeless person, they are probably right to be worried.This explains why the homelessness industry has been quick to attack the survey results. The advocates complain that the census was focused on "only" 270 Toronto neighbourhoods, constituting all of the city's downtown, and in fact all the other areas where poverty and homelessness are found -- the implication being that the homeless of Lawrence Park and other affluent communities have been deliberately left out, thereby reducing the overall homeless numbers.
John Geiger, "What homelessness crisis?" National Post, June 27, 2006 --- Click Here 

Believe it or not: Bikini clad beach netball team rescued from quicksand
The youngsters, from Essex, were sucked into quicksand up to their waists a mile from the shore at Brean on Friday. An RAF helicopter, two lifeboats and a hovercraft were called in to help. "They got a good ticking off from the coastguard given the resources used," said Mark Newman, from the Burnham-on-Sea hovercraft team.The helicopter, which was scrambled from RAF Chivenor in Devon, and the lifeboats, were stood down when the girls managed to free themselves, but the cost of the call-out is thought to have reached five figures.
Conrad Murray, "Bikini clad beach netball team rescued from quicksand," InjuryWatch, July 2, 2006 --- Click Here

Cloudy Future of American University Presses

"Pressing On," by Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed, June 21. 2006 ---

Late last week the Association of American University Presses held its annual meeting in New Orleans, or in what was left of it. Attendance is usually around 700 when the conference is held in an East Coast city. This time, just over 500 people attended, representing more than 80 presses — a normal turnout, in other words, justifying the organizers’ difficult decision last fall not to change the location.

. . .

Cautious optimism, then, not irrational exuberance. While the word “digital” and its variants appeared in the title of many a session, it is clear that new media can be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, the association has been able to increase the visibility of its members’ output through the Books for Understanding Web site, which offers a convenient and reliable guide to academic titles on topics of public interest. (See, for example, this page on New Orleans.) At the same time, the market for university-press titles used in courses has been undercut by the ready availability of secondhand books online.

And then there’s Google Book Search. The AAUP has not joined the Authors Guild’s class action suit against Google for digitizing copyrighted materials. But university presses belong to the class of those with an interest in the case — so the organization has incurred legal expenses while monitoring developments on behalf of its members. One got the definite impression that the other shoe may yet drop in this matter. During the business meeting, Givler indicated that the association would be undertaking a major action soon that would place additional demands on the organization’s resources. I tried to find out more, but evidently its Board of Directors is playing its cards close to the vest for now.

With new obligations to meet, the board requested a 4 percent increase in membership dues. This was approved during the business meeting on Thursday. (Three members voting by proxy were opposed to it, but no criticism was expressed from the floor during the meeting itself.)

Proposals for longer-term changes in the organization’s structure and mission were codified in its new Strategic Plan (the first updating of the document since 1999). A working draft was distributed for discussion at the conference; the final version will be approved by the board in October.

This document — not now available online — conveys a very clear sense of the opportunities now open before university presses. (For “opportunities,” read also “stresses and strains.”)

It’s not just that technological developments are shaping how books get printed, publicized, and sold — or even how we do research. A variety of new forms of scholarly publishing are emerging — some of which make an end run around traditional university presses. “Societies, libraries, and other scholarly groups are now more likely to undertake publishing ventures themselves,” the proposal notes, “although they often lack the editing, marketing, and business skills found in abundance in university presses.”

Full membership in AAUP is restricted to presses that meet certain criteria, including “a faculty board that certifies the scholarly quality of the publications; a minimum number of publications per year; a minimum number of university-employed staff including a full-time director; and a statement of support from the parent organization.” But an ever larger number of learned publications – print, digital, or whatever – are issued by academic or professional enterprises that don’t follow this well-established model.

Indeed, if you hang around younger scholars long enough, it is a matter of time before someone begins pointing out that the old model might be jettisoned entirely. Why spend two years waiting for your monograph to appear from Miskatonic University Press when it might be made available in a fraction of that time through some combination of new media, peer review, and print-on-demand? No one broached such utopian ideas at AAUP (where, of course, they would be viewed as dystopian). But they certainly do get mooted. Sometimes synergy is not your friend.

The organization’s new strategic plan calls for reaching out to “nonprofit scholarly publishers and organizations whose interests and goals are compatible with AAUP” — in part, by revising the membership categories and increasing the range of benefits. New members would be recruited through an introductory membership offer “open to small nonprofit publishers.”

These changes, if approved, will go into effect in July 2007. Apart from increasing the size of the association, they would bring in revenue — thereby funding publicity, outreach, and professional-education programs. (One of the projects listed as “contemplated” is creation of “a ‘basic book camp’ to orient new and junior staff to working at a scholarly press.” I do like the sound of that.)

For the longer term, the intent is clearly to shore up the role of the university press’s established standards in an environment that seems increasingly prone to blowing them away.

“University presses,” the AAUP plan stresses, “are well positioned to be among the leaders in the academic community who help universities through a confusing and expensive new world. They can enhance the ability of scholars to research, add value to, and share their work with the broadest possible audiences, and they can help to develop intellectual property policies and behaviors sensible to all.”

Of course, not every discussion at the meeting was geared to the huge challenges of the not-too-distant future. Late Friday afternoon, I went to an interesting session called “Smoke, Mirrors, and Duct Tape: Nurturing a Small Press at a Major University.” It was a chance to discuss the problems that go with being a retro-style academic imprint at an institution where, say, people assume you are the campus print shop. (Or, worse, that you have some moral obligation to publish the memoirs of faculty emeritus.)

It was the rare case of an hour I spent in New Orleans without hearing any variation on the word “digital.” After getting home, I contacted one of the participants, Joseph Parsons, an acquisitions editor for the University of Iowa Press, to ask if that was just an oversight. Had academic digitality hit Iowa?

Continued in article


Arab Women's Suffrage
Citizens of conservative, oil-rich Kuwait picked a new parliament Thursday in an election that, for the first time, let women vote and stand for office. Though none of the 27 female candidates (out of 249 in all) won a seat, the one who made the strongest showing, Rola Dashti, rightly calls this week's events progress. "We had thousands of women going to campaign headquarters, listening to candidates," she told us by telephone. Even Islamists who objected vehemently to women in parliament had to court the female vote. "We've never had this in the history of Kuwait," Ms. Dashti said.
"Arab Women's Suffrage," The Wall Street Journal, July 1, 2006; Page A10 ---

Most Canadians marry just once
With the summer wedding season in full swing, Statistics Canada released a report Wednesday suggesting that most Canadians who marry walk up the aisle only once, and fewer than one per cent exchange vows three times or more. Currently, more than one-third of marriages end in divorce before a 30th anniversary, and the researchers set out to write an article about Canadians who marry more than twice - "what is called in the literature serial marriers," said study co-author Susan Crompton.
Anne-Marie Tobin, "Most Canadians marry just once," CNews Canada, June 29, 2006 ---

From The Washington Post on June 23, 2006

How much money has Bill Gates personally contributed to his philanthropic foundation?

A. $218 million
B. $543 million
C. $4 billion
D. $26 billion

From the University of Vermont
Journal of Industrial Teacher Education ---

Center for Rural Studies ---
(Contains a lot of information about virtually all parts of Vermont)

From Vanderbilt University

AmeriQuests (now free online) ---

AmeriQuests is a forum for writing and research about real and metaphorical quests towards “America,” defined as either an absolute but anachievable objective, or as some place in the Americas. A peer-reviewed, multi-and inter-disciplinary e-journal, AmeriQuests was founded by Robert Barsky to contribute in original and creative fashions to the humanities, the social sciences, law, medicine, business and social justice. Contributions may focus on questions of dislocation, relocation, displacement, homelessness, American dreams and border crossings of all sorts, from the geographical and the social to the psychological. AmeriQuests also features special issues, student issues, book reviews and discussion sections to add to its immediacy, its allure and its relevance. Submissions are accepted on an on-going basis in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

"Appeals court agrees: Tear down that cross Mount Soledad monument for fallen soldiers unconstitutional, according to 9th Circuit judges," WorldNetDaily, June 23, 2006 ---

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to stay a federal judge's order to remove the Mount Soledad Cross, which for decades has commemorated fallen American soldiers buried there.

As WorldNetDaily reported, U.S. District Judge Gordon Thompson ordered the city of San Diego to remove the 43-foot structure by Aug. 1 or face a fine of $5,000 a day. Thompson ruled the cross unconstitutional in 1991, but the case has remained in courts and become an issue of public policy.

The dispute was started by an atheist charging the cross – the centerpiece of a national war-veterans memorial – violates the so-called "separation of church and state."

In its decision, however, the 9th Circuit scheduled oral arguments on the matter for the week of Oct. 16, weeks after the Cross is to be removed, noted the Thomas More Law Center, a national public-interest law firm that has battled to save the cross since 2004.

Continued in article

June 22, 2006 message from Wendell Gingerich []

I just wound up on your site and noticed you had some links to other "venture capital resources".

I was wondering if you could include my site in there. (If it helps, I found your link page at )

Go BIG Network 

We're the largest on-line network of small businesses, startup companies and investors. I figured it might be a nice fit.

Let me know if that works - I'd appreciate it!

Wendell Gingerich
Go Big Network

Jensen Comment
Actually this link is a better fit at


"Terror Tomes: Top books on unconventional warfare," by David Pryce-Jones, The Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2006 ---

1. "No End to War" by Walter Laqueur (Continuum, 2003). Rich and poor, strong and weak, Right and Left, people of some religion or of none: All have gone in for terrorism. In "No End to War," his informative survey of terrorism and its implications for the 21st century, Walter Laqueur admirably documents a mass of historical and political material that resists easy generalization. Where once terrorists tried to assassinate kings and presidents in the belief that they could change society, he says, since the 20th century "the propaganda of the deed" has taken over. Laqueur displays the imagination and skill required to enter the terrorist mindset--especially when discussing the Muslims who aim to destroy the U.S., indeed the whole West, in a war that looks set to endure for decades.

2. "The War Against The Terror Masters" by Michael A. Ledeen (St. Martin's, 2002).Michael Ledeen's was the first book to point out that terrorism begins at the top in both Iran and Saudi Arabia, where those responsible for taking decisions to attack us hide behind subcontractors and proxies. Islamic terror, then, has its rationale as a weapon used by hostile states against their enemies, whether open or undeclared. We aren't dealing with crazies or criminals, or even the oppressed, but with cold calculators, some of whom, in Saudi Arabia notably, pass themselves off as our allies. The inability to analyze realistically what we are up against landed us in self-deception and muddle. Those whom the terror masters claim to represent are in fact their victims, and that's what Ledeen, better than anyone else, has gotten across.

3. "Inside Al Qaeda" by Rohan Gunaratna (Columbia, 2002).This is an authoritative study of Osama bin Laden and the organization he built. Al Qaeda is being steadily ground down, with the result that successive editions of this book have a hard time keeping up, but nonetheless "Inside Al Qaeda" is a useful map of the group and its ramifications. (It is also an Islamist who's who, where information about the latest terrorist in the news can be found.) In terms of raising finance and recruiting throughout the Muslim world, the al Qaeda feat is impressive. Communism and its system of subversion by means of local parties and cells seems to be the only precedent for conspiracy on this international scale. And as Gunaratna says, those living in an al Qaeda Bloc would be just as miserable as were the victims of Soviet domination.

4. "Terror in the Name of God" by Jessica Stern (Ecco, 2003). Jessica Stern's study illuminates the state of mind of those who kill in the belief that they are obeying a religious imperative. She found Christian cultists in the U.S., Jewish zealots in Israel, and Islamists in the Palestinian Authority, Pakistan, Indonesia and elsewhere. Part of the interest here is in the way Stern, a Harvard lecturer, undertakes intrepid journeys to seek out her subjects. These terrorists are by no means simple, she finds; they are often in the grip of complex designs, usually at odds with reality. The secret is to be persuaded that one is doing good by doing evil. Humiliation after some perceived injustice seems a prerequisite. Frustrated nationalism is another frequent motivation. A moral, though: It remains easier to kill people than conscience.

5. "Terror and Liberalism" by Paul Berman (Norton, 2003)."Terror and Liberalism" is several fine things: an evaluation of what is wrong in the Muslim world, a defense of humanist values, a message of hope and, not least, a scintillating contribution to political literature. Berman takes the European totalitarian model and shows how it came to be incorporated in the Islamosphere via secular leaders like Saddam Hussein and religious thinkers like Sayyid Qutb. The Baath Party in Iraq and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt may look like indigenous movements, but they are essentially Western derivatives. If it was right to liberate people from Nazism and Communism, Berman argues, then it follows that it is also right to liberate people from their Islamic off-shoots. Any other view, he says, is not so much selfish as inhuman. Mr. Pryce-Jones's "Betrayal: France, the Arabs and the Jews" will be published in the fall by Encounter Books.  

"Best Selling Books," The Wall Street Journal, June 29, 2006, Page W4 ---

The Wall Street Journal's list of best-selling books for the week that ended June 24.

No. Title
This Week Last Week
1 Twelve Sharp
Janet Evanovich / St. Martin's Press
262 New
2 Beach Road
J. Patterson, P. de Jonge / Little, Brown
34 45
3 The Husband
Dean Koontz / Bantam
31 42
4 Book of the Dead
D. Preston, L. Child / Warner Books
27 35
5 At Risk
Patricia Cornwell / Putnam
22 28
6 Terrorist
John Updike / Knopf
20 31
7 Captive of My Desires
Johanna Lindsey / Pocket Books
19 New
8 Blue Screen
Robert B. Parker / Putnam
19 27
9 Baby Proof
Emily Giffin / St. Martin's Press
17 22
10 Oh! The Places You'll Go
Dr. Seuss / Random House
16 30
11 Cold Moon
Jeffrey Deaver / Simon & Schuster
15 21
12 Dead Watch
John Sandford / Putnam
15 21
13 The Saboteurs
W.E.B. Griffin, W.E. Butterworth IV / Putnam
14 20
14 The Wrong Hostage
Elizabeth Lowell / William Morrow
12 16
15 School's Out Forever
James Patterson / Little, Brown
11 14


No. Title
This Week Last Week
1 Godless
Ann Coulter / Crown Forum
59 120
2 Wisdom of Our Fathers
Tim Russert / Little, Brown
51 226
3 Marley & Me
John Grogan / William Morrow
40 52
4 One Percent Doctrine
Ron Suskind / Simon & Schuster
38 New
5 The World Is Flat
Thomas L. Friedman / Farrar, Straus & Giroux
31 45
6 Dispatches From the Edge
Anderson Cooper / HarperCollins
29 45
7 Cesar's Way
C. Millan, M. Peltier / Crown
28 39
8 Succeed on Your Own Terms
H. Greenberg, P. Sweeney / McGraw-Hill
26 17
9 Mayflower
Nathaniel Philbrick / Viking
23 45
10 Waiting for Your Cat to Bark
B. and J. Eisenberg / Nelson Business
22 New
11 Myths, Lies &... Stupidity
John Stossel / Hyperion
21 39
12 Freakonomics
S. Levitt, S. Dubner / William Morrow
21 29
13 Secrets... Millionaire Mind
T. Harv Eker / HarperBusiness
19 20
14 Ultrametabolism
Mark Hyman / Scribner
16 27
15 Alphabet of Manliness
Maddox, et al. / Citadel Press
16 18


No. Title
This Week Last Week
1 Succeed on Your Own Terms
H. Greenberg, P. Sweeney / McGraw-Hill (H)
29 20
2 Waiting for Your Cat to Bark
B. and J. Eisenberg / Nelson Business (H)
22 New
3 Freakonomics
S. Levitt, S. Dubner / William Morrow (H)
21 29
4 Secrets... Millionaire Mind
T. Harv Eker / HarperBusiness (H)
19 20
5 Good to Great
Jim Collins / HarperBusiness (H)
14 12
6 Now, Discover... Strengths
M. Buckingham, D. Clifton / Free Press (H)
11 11
7 Rich Dad Poor Dad
R. Kiyosaki, S. Lechter / Warner Business (P)
10 12
8 Blink
Malcolm Gladwell / Little, Brown (H)
10 11
9 The Tipping Point
Malcolm Gladwell / Back Bay (P)
10 13
10 Five Dysfunctions of a Team
Patrick M. Lencioni / Jossey-Bass (H)
9 8
11 Who Moved My Cheese
Spencer Johnson / Putnam (H)
8 7
12 Little Red Book of Selling
Jeffrey Gitomer / Bard Press (H)
7 6
13 Jim Cramer's Real Money
James Cramer / Simon & Schuster (H)
6 7
14 Good to Great and... Sectors
Jim Collins / Collins (P)
6 10
15 Fish!
S. Lundin, H. Paul, J. Christensen / Hyperion (H)
5 --

The Wall Street Journal's list reflects nationwide sales of hardcover books during the week ended last Saturday at more than 2,500 Barnes & Noble, B. Dalton, Bookland, Books-a-Million, Books & Co., Bookstar, Bookstop, Borders, Brentano's, Coles, Coopersmith, Doubleday, Scribners and Waldenbooks stores, as well as sales from online retailers and The business list also includes figures from 800-CEO-READ. A sales index of 100 is equivalent to the median number of copies of the No. 1 fiction bestselling titles sold each week during 2005.

Forwarded by Dick Haar

Billy Bob and Luther were talking one afternoon when Billy Bob tells Luther, "Ya know, I reckon I'm 'bout ready for a vacation. Only this year I'm gonna do it a little different. The last few years, I took your advice about where to go.

Three years ago you said to go to Hawaii . I went to Hawaii and Earlene got pregnant.

Then two years ago, you told me to go to the Bahamas ,and Earlene got pregnant again.

Last year you suggested Tahiti and darned if Earlene didn't get pregnant again."

Luther asks Billy Bob, "So, what you gonna do this year that's different?"

Billy Bob says, "This year I'm taking Earlene with me."


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Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor (Emeritus) of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
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