Tidbits on April 8, 2010
Bob Jensen

Instead of the customary new snow this time of year,
We've had record setting temperatures as high as 76F degrees
The snow is gone except on the tops of mountains
The grass is even turning green before its time
It's not unusual to have the early crocus blossoms,
But it is unusual for the lilac bushes to have leaf buds this early in the season
The forecasted freeze this week end may slow things down
And natives up here remind me of the heavy snow storms
That often arrive in late April or early May

I don't use this pump in the winter

A couple of months ago, Erika's rose garden looked like this

But meanwhile in early April this year, I've enjoyed the springtime teasers
I even saw the first robins of spring in the front lawn
The robins fly through in the spring and fall
But they don't usually nest for the summer in these mountains
I suspect that's because of our millions of killer crows

The killer crows stay up here in all four seasons
What a racket they make at daybreak nearly every day
The only good I see in them is that they do eat the grubs
And since my pesky moles live mostly on grubs
I guess there is a purpose to killer crows



Erika speaks German with her German friend Helene
Both women moved to America after World War II
Helene's husband survived four years as a machinist on a U-boat
Near the end of the war he was on the most advanced submarine in the German Navy
That submarine was sunk intentionally in the North Sea so that the Allies could not study the new technology

My Christmas lighting looks great from outdoors
But the lights are a little too bright in our front porch
At the end of the porch you can see the elevator shaft
We installed a lift after Erika had spine surgery 8 out of 12 to date
Erika can now use the stairs
But I don't know how I got along so many years without a lift in my house
and a tractor with a bucket loader that keeps me from getting back troubles


When looking eastward, sunsets can be almost as spectacular as sunrises

But the sunrises still thrill me the most
Because they push away the darkness
In front of my desk

The peaked mountain is called Mt. Garfield to the left of the Baby's Cradle
Two the left of Mt. Garfield are the Twin Mountains (North and South)
Our family physician just moved her office to the town of Twin Mountain
She and her husband own the Four Seasons Hotel across from her new office

Erika's Christmas cactus also blooms around Easter

The following pictures were forwarded by various friends


MilitaryCredentials.--- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/MilitaryCredentials.pps

Bill Mauldin's Military Cartoons --- Click Here


Tidbits on April 8, 2010
Bob Jensen


Now in Another Tidbits Document
Political Quotations on April 8, 2010

Bob Jensen's health care messaging updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm

For earlier editions of Tidbits go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 

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

Bob Jensen's past presentations and lectures --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/resume.htm#Presentations   

Bob Jensen's Threads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm

Bob Jensen's Home Page is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/

CPA Examination --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cpa_examination

Cool Search Engines That Are Not Google --- http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/06/coolsearchengines

World Clock and World Facts --- http://www.poodwaddle.com/worldclock.swf

U.S. Debt/Deficit Clock --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/

Free Residential and Business Telephone Directory (you must listen to an opening advertisement) --- dial 800-FREE411 or 800-373-3411
 Free Online Telephone Directory --- http://snipurl.com/411directory       [www_public-records-now_com] 
 Free online 800 telephone numbers --- http://www.tollfree.att.net/tf.html
 Google Free Business Phone Directory --- 800-goog411
To find names addresses from listed phone numbers, go to www.google.com and read in the phone number without spaces, dashes, or parens

Daily News Sites for Accountancy, Tax, Fraud, IFRS, XBRL, Accounting History, and More ---

Cool Search Engines That Are Not Google --- http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/06/coolsearchengines
Bob Jensen's search helpers --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Searchh.htm
Education Technology Search --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm
Distance Education Search --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm
Search for Listservs, Blogs, and Social Networks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm

Bob Jensen's essay on the financial crisis bailout's aftermath and an alphabet soup of appendices can be found at

Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials
Edutainment and Learning Games --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment
Open Sharing Courses --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI
The Master List of Free Online College Courses ---

149 Interesting People to Follow on Twitter (but I don't have time to follow them) ---
I see from my house by the side of the road
By the side of the highway of life,
The men who press with the ardor of hope,
The men who are faint with the strife,
But I turn not away from their smiles and tears,
Both parts of an infinite plan-
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.
Sam Walter Foss (1858-1911)

For earlier editions of Tidbits go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbitsdirectory.htm

For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 


On May 14, 2006 I retired from Trinity University after a long and wonderful career as an accounting professor in four universities. I was generously granted "Emeritus" status by the Trustees of Trinity University. My wife and I now live in a cottage in the White Mountains of New Hampshire --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/NHcottage/NHcottage.htm

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

Global Incident Map --- http://www.globalincidentmap.com/home.php

If you want to help our badly injured troops, please check out
Valour-IT: Voice-Activated Laptops for Our Injured Troops  --- http://www.valour-it.blogspot.com/

Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials
Edutainment and Learning Games --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment
Open Sharing Courses --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

574 Shields Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave ---


Online Video, Slide Shows, 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 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm

Me and My Shadow ( a very funny video link forwarded by David Fordham) ---  Click Here
The only thing missing is the music --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5hXtGkzZ9k
1927 Version ---

Very funny Jewish wedding with English subtitle (la boda) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NF3OWNJgYw
It gets better near the end!

Australian School Answering Machine --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjWWcKi2_I0

International Year of Biodiversity [Flash Player] http://www.cbd.int/2010/welcome/

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

Samuel Barber at the Library of Congress --- http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/loc.natlib.ihas.200183698/default.html

Ella Fitzgerald: America's First Lady Of Song --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125170386

Andre Boccelli

Web outfits like Pandora, Foneshow, Stitcher, and Slacker broadcast portable and mobile content that makes Sirius look overpriced and stodgy ---

TheRadio (my favorite commercial-free online music site) --- http://www.theradio.com/
Slacker (my second-favorite commercial-free online music site) --- http://www.slacker.com/

Gerald Trites likes this international radio site --- http://www.e-radio.gr/
Songza:  Search for a song or band and play the selection --- http://songza.com/
Also try Jango --- http://www.jango.com/?r=342376581
Sometimes this old guy prefers the jukebox era (just let it play through) --- http://www.tropicalglen.com/
And I listen quite often to Soldiers Radio Live --- http://www.army.mil/fieldband/pages/listening/bandstand.html
Also note
U.S. Army Band recordings --- http://bands.army.mil/music/default.asp

Bob Jensen listens to music free online (and no commercials) --- http://www.slacker.com/ 

Photographs and Art

Massachusetts Historical Society: Photographs of Native Americans --- http://www.masshist.org/photographs/nativeamericans/

Birds and Sayings --- http://www.slideshare.net/ronaldl/birds-and-sayings

Bill Mauldin's Military Cartoons --- Click Here

Mail Art (meaning art sent via the post office) --- http://ubdigit.buffalo.edu/collections/lib/lib-pc/lib-pc001_MailArt.php

Art Through Time: A Global View --- http://www.learner.org/courses/globalart/

Paul Revere Williams Project [architecture] --- http://www.paulrwilliamsproject.org/

BlenderArt Magazine --- http://blenderart.org/

Spiegel Photo Gallery (Germany) --- http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-53335-5.html

German Firm Wins Right to Make Beer Called 'F__king Hell' --- http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,686305,00.html#ref=top

Bob Jensen's threads on history, literature and art ---

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

National (American) History Education Clearinghouse ---  http://teachinghistory.org/

American History
DuBoisopedia ---

Heritage Preservation --- http://www.heritagepreservation.org/

Nickel Weeklies (American History) --- http://drc.library.bgsu.edu/handle/2374.BGSU/744 
Many Pen and Ink Sketches

National American History: Museum Stories of Freedom and Justice [iTunes] http://americanhistory.si.edu/freedomandjustice/

American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940 --- http://memory.loc.gov/wpaintro/wpahome.html


Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials
Edutainment and Learning Games --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment
Open Sharing Courses --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Now in Another Tidbits Document
Political Quotations on April 8, 2010, 2010

Bob Jensen's health care messaging updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm

Update Video from David Walker, Bipartisan Former Top Government Accountant Under President's Clinton and Bush

"U.S. Standard of Living Unsustainable Without Drastic Action, Former Top Govt. Accountant Says," Yahoo Finance, March 31, 2010 --- Click Here

Who will bail out America? A longtime budget hawk and currently CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, David Walker says America's growing long-term debt is dangerously close to passing a "tipping point" that could trigger soaring interest rates and a plummeting dollar. In a worst case scenario, that could trigger a "global depression," he says, warning: "Nobody's going to bail out America."

With the U.S. facing $50 trillion in unfunded liabilities and around $62 trillion in total long-term debt, what worries Walker most is what happens after the recession dissipates, as detailed here. "I'm less concerned with the short-term deficits than I am the fact that we're not doing anything about those structural deficits that people used to call long-term," says Walker, former U.S. Comptroller General and head of the Government Accountability Office. "But the long-term is here."

What's ultimately at stake may be nothing short of Americans' faith in government and our standard of living. "There is a way forward. There is hope," Walker says. "But we need to actually make some tough choices."

Walker, author of a new book, "Comeback America," argues the U.S. needs to tackle four key issues if the nation wants to recover:

Impose tough budget limits Reform Social Security Cut health-care costs Reform the U.S. tax system

The "Burning Platform" of the United States Empire
Former Chief Accountant of the United States, David Walker, is spreading the word as widely as possible in the United States about the looming threat of our unbooked entitlements. Two videos that feature David Walker's warnings are as follows:

David Walker claims the U.S. economy is on a "burning platform" but does not go into specifics as to what will be left in the ashes.

The US government is on a “burning platform” of unsustainable policies and practices with fiscal deficits, chronic healthcare underfunding, immigration and overseas military commitments threatening a crisis if action is not taken soon.
David M. Walker, Former Chief Accountant of the United States --- http://www.financialsense.com/editorials/quinn/2009/0218.html


U.S. Debt/Deficit Clock --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/

The $61 Trillion Margin of Error, and What "Empire Decline" Means in Layman's Terms
This is a bipartisan disaster from the beginning and will be until the end

David Walker --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_M._Walker_(U.S._Comptroller_General)

Niall Ferguson --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niall_Ferguson

Call it the fatal arithmetic of imperial decline. Without radical fiscal reform, it could apply to America next.
Niall Ferguson, "An Empire at Risk:  How Great Powers Fail," Newsweek Magazine Cover Story, November 26, 2009 --- http://www.newsweek.com/id/224694/page/1
Please note that this is NBC’s liberal Newsweek Magazine and not Fox News or The Wall Street Journal.

. . .

In other words, there is no end in sight to the borrowing binge. Unless entitlements are cut or taxes are raised, there will never be another balanced budget. Let's assume I live another 30 years and follow my grandfathers to the grave at about 75. By 2039, when I shuffle off this mortal coil, the federal debt held by the public will have reached 91 percent of GDP, according to the CBO's extended baseline projections. Nothing to worry about, retort -deficit-loving economists like Paul Krugman.

. . .

Another way of doing this kind of exercise is to calculate the net present value of the unfunded liabilities of the Social Security and Medicare systems. One recent estimate puts them at about $104 trillion, 10 times the stated federal debt.

Continued in article --- http://www.newsweek.com/id/224694/page/1


Niall Ferguson is the Laurence A. Tisch professor of history at Harvard University and the author of The Ascent of Money. In late 2009 he puts forth an unbooked discounted present value liability of $104 trillion for Social Security plus Medicare. In late 2008, the former Chief Accountant of the United States Government, placed this estimate at$43 trillion. We can hardly attribute the $104-$43=$61 trillion difference to President Obama's first year in office. We must accordingly attribute the $61 trillion to margin of error and most economists would probably put a present value of unbooked (off-balance-sheet) present value of Social Security and Medicare debt to be somewhere between $43 trillion and $107 trillion To this we must add other unbooked present value of entitlement debt estimates which range from $13 trillion to $40 trillion. If Obamacare passes it will add untold trillions to trillions more because our legislators are not looking at entitlements beyond 2019.


The Meaning of "Unbooked" versus "Booked" National Debt
By "unbooked" we mean that the debt is not included in the current "booked" National Debt of $12 trillion. The booked debt is debt of the United States for which interest is now being paid daily at slightly under a million dollars a minute. Cash must be raised daily for interest payments. Cash is raised from taxes, borrowing, and/or (shudder) the current Fed approach to simply printing money. Interest is not yet being paid on the unbooked debt for which retirement and medical bills have not yet arrived in Washington DC for payment. The unbooked debt is by far the most frightening because our leaders keep adding to this debt without realizing how it may bring down the entire American Dream to say nothing of reducing the U.S. Military to almost nothing.

Niall Ferguson,
"An Empire at Risk:  How Great Powers Fail," Newsweek Magazine Cover Story, November 26, 2009 --- http://www.newsweek.com/id/224694/page/1

This matters more for a superpower than for a small Atlantic island for one very simple reason. As interest payments eat into the budget, something has to give—and that something is nearly always defense expenditure. According to the CBO, a significant decline in the relative share of national security in the federal budget is already baked into the cake. On the Pentagon's present plan, defense spending is set to fall from above 4 percent now to 3.2 percent of GDP in 2015 and to 2.6 percent of GDP by 2028.

Over the longer run, to my own estimated departure date of 2039, spending on health care rises from 16 percent to 33 percent of GDP (some of the money presumably is going to keep me from expiring even sooner). But spending on everything other than health, Social Security, and interest payments drops from 12 percent to 8.4 percent.

This is how empires decline. It begins with a debt explosion. It ends with an inexorable reduction in the resources available for the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Which is why voters are right to worry about America's debt crisis. According to a recent Rasmussen report, 42 percent of Americans now say that cutting the deficit in half by the end of the president's first term should be the administration's most important task—significantly more than the 24 percent who see health-care reform as the No. 1 priority. But cutting the deficit in half is simply not enough. If the United States doesn't come up soon with a credible plan to restore the federal budget to balance over the next five to 10 years, the danger is very real that a debt crisis could lead to a major weakening of American power.

Amidst all the hype about the iPad, what new technology product is rather quietly having far greater sales and profits?

In five months Microsoft has sold 90 million copies. That's twice the rate of Microsoft's last operating system, Windows Vista. "Windows 7 is on a tear right now," says Brad Brooks, vice president of Windows consumer marketing. "The consumer PC segment has exploded since Windows 7 shipped." The growth rate for the consumer PC segment is now 20 percent, versus 6 percent before Windows 7 shipped—likely because a lot of customers were sitting on the sidelines, waiting for Windows 7 before they bought a new PC.

"Microsoft's Unsung Success:  Windows 7 is a Smash Hit," by Daniel Lyons, Newsweek, April 12, 2010, Page 22 ---

These days I almost feel bad for the guys at Microsoft. They've got what anyone in the world would consider a hit product on their hands, and guess what? Nobody cares. Everybody is so busy gushing over Apple's iPad—myself included—that they are not paying any attention to what's going on in the land of Windows.

To wit: Windows 7, the latest version of Microsoft's operating system, is the hottest-selling product in the company's 35-year history. In five months Microsoft has sold 90 million copies. That's twice the rate of Microsoft's last operating system, Windows Vista. "Windows 7 is on a tear right now," says Brad Brooks, vice president of Windows consumer marketing. "The consumer PC segment has exploded since Windows 7 shipped." The growth rate for the consumer PC segment is now 20 percent, versus 6 percent before Windows 7 shipped—likely because a lot of customers were sitting on the sidelines, waiting for Windows 7 before they bought a new PC.

While Vista got blasted for being slow and bloated and glitchy, by most accounts Windows 7 is pretty high-quality stuff. Microsoft claims that in its own surveys, Windows 7 has received the highest customer-satisfaction scores of any product in its history. That may be because Microsoft ran a huge beta test, utilizing more than 8 million users who helped Microsoft find and wipe out bugs. I've been running Windows 7 for more than a year, and it's been very solid. To be sure, I still use Macs as my primary machines, but these days that's mostly out of habit.

Another reason Windows 7 seems so good is that Vista was such a disaster. The joke in Silicon Valley was that all Microsoft had to do to market Windows 7 was give it the slogan "Windows 7: It's not Vista." Vista had such a bad rap that many big companies refused to adopt it. Instead they hunkered down and hung on to Windows XP and waited for whatever came next. That was fine, since Windows XP was a solid performer. But XP was introduced in 2001 and now has grown long in the tooth. "Corporate customers realize they've got all the mileage out of Windows XP that they can hope to get," says Al Gillen, analyst with market researcher IDC, which projects Microsoft will ship 135 million copies of Windows 7 in 2010, on top of 27.5 million units in the last few months of 2009.

Perhaps for the first time ever, Microsoft is actually putting some energy into trying to promote its operating system. In the good old days they could just roll out a new operating system and then sit back and count the money. Now "we're really marketing it," Brooks says. "We hadn't done that for several years, but we're really pushing demand out there."

Windows is also getting a boost from some of the cool new computers that hardware makers are releasing, including super-light laptops and desktops with touch-screen displays. My favorite is the Sony Vaio X, a tiny notebook that weighs only a pound and a half. That's about the same as the Apple iPad and about half of Apple's three-pound MacBook Air.

This all sounds great for Microsoft. Its new flagship product is selling well. Its partners are creating interesting, unique, compelling new technologies. Revenues in the December quarter hit a record $19 billion. So why does nobody seem to care?

It may be that as the computer market has grown more mature, it has developed what consultants Al and Laura Riese call the "mushy middle." That's the huge dead zone that lies between sexy, expensive products at the high end and the low-end products that appeal to bargain hunters. In computers, Apple holds the high ground with its expensive laptops. The low end has been occupied by cheap netbooks, but now the low end is also becoming Apple territory, thanks to the iPhone and the iPad, both of which are basically small, simple computers.

Microsoft, meanwhile, sits in the middle, generating loads of money—last year's net profit was $14.6 billion—but not much in the way of excitement. That could change, of course. Maybe Project Natal, Microsoft's forthcoming system that lets you control a videogame using hand gestures and no controller, will bring the sexy back in Redmond when it ships later this year.

If not, Microsoft may just have to trudge on, raking in more than $60 billion a year and carrying 25 to 30 cents from every dollar down to the bottom line. A lot of companies would love to be that kind of boring.

Daniel Lyons is the author of Options: The Secret Life of Steve Jobs and Dog Days: A Novel.


Jensen Comment
What amazes me is that so many Microsoft Windows haters continue to hate Windows due to its past failures and have not really given Windows 7 a test ride.
Does this apply to you Jagdish?

Of course I'm no judge since I'm still using the buggy Windows XP.

Let's face it! Accounting, professors' job performance, and vegetable nutrition have a lot systemic problems in common ---

"Why I Hate Annual Evaluations," by Ben Yagoda, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 28, 2010 ---

There are three things I don't like about my job. Two of them are pretty obvious and completely unoriginal: correcting papers and attending department meetings. The third thing is somewhat obvious as well, but I hesitate to name it, for fear that it will make me look whiny.

However, that battle has probably already been lost, so here goes: I hate my annual evaluation.

To the extent that this evaluation is necessary, it is because of the collective-bargaining agreement between the University of Delaware and our campus chapter of the American Association of University Professors. As long as I've been here—going on 18 years—the agreement has divided our annual pay raises into two parts. The first part is across the board. This year our raise was 4 percent, of which 1.5 percent was across the board, meaning, for example, that a full professor making the minimum salary of about $85,000 got a raise of about $1,275.

The other part of the raise is based on "merit," and it works as follows. The average faculty salary is calculated. Say it is $100,000. Every unit gets a pot of cash equivalent to 2.5 percent, or $2,500, multiplied by the number of faculty members in the unit. In my unit, the English department, that would be roughly 50 bodies. The chairman of the department evaluates each professor's performance. The professor who is precisely in the middle gets a $2,500 merit raise. Those rated higher will get more, those rated lower will get less, but the average merit raise has to be $2,500.

In other words, no department can be a Lake Wobegon, where all the children are above average.

On paper, this all seems reasonable, and I freely admit that part of my outsized resentment of the process stems from my own quirks. It requires a lot of paperwork and rewards good record keeping. I despise paperwork and am truly terrible at record keeping. (It is a cruel twist of fate in my world that evaluation time and tax time arrive together.) My early experience in the working world taught me that I also deeply and irrationally resent being judged by a boss, which is probably the main reason why, before becoming an academic, I was a freelance writer and thus my own boss. Now here I am being evaluated by the department chair, who isn't really my boss, but at this point the difference seems negligible.

But I maintain that some of my gripes have objective merit. American colleges and universities, including the University of Delaware, still view faculty members as a group of scholars and teachers devoted to and bound by self-instilled standards of excellence. Tenure, as long as it continues to exist, must and does require evaluation. But—crucially—at Delaware and elsewhere, that evaluation and judgment are performed not by the chair but by one's peers (ultimately ratified or not, to be sure, by provosts, presidents, and other higher-ups).

For faculty members who will eventually go up for tenure, it definitely makes sense to get input from as many sources as possible, so I'll grant that for them an annual evaluation by the chair makes sense. But for tenured faculty members? No—at least not the way we do it at my university.

Every year around this time, we submit our materials—publications, syllabi, evidence of service, and so forth—and fill out a Web form. The chair, who has meanwhile received copies of students' evaluations of our teaching, rates all of us on a scale of 1 (the worst) to 9 (the best) in scholarship, service, and teaching. Different percentages are accorded to each area based on an elaborate formula, but generally speaking, for tenured and tenure-track professors, scholarship counts for roughly 50 percent, teaching 40 percent, and service 10 percent.

The whole thing is undignified and unseemly. What, exactly, is the difference between a 5 and 7 in service? Number of committees served on? Hours spent? Scholarship is even more thorny, because as everyone knows, an article does not equal an article. Do two short articles in PMLA equal a New York Review of Books mega-essay, or do I have to throw in a draft choice and a player to be named later? Number of words produced and place of publication are important, to be sure, but quality trumps them both. And how can our chair be expected to judge the quality of the work of every faculty member, some of whom work in fields very different from his? The answer is he can't.

Evaluating teaching has its own well-documented set of problems. We honor faculty autonomy to the extent that evaluators are not welcome in another professor's classroom, and we are still a good distance away from giving students No Child Left Behind tests that would "assess" the extent to which a certain course has achieved its "goals." That's well and good, but it doesn't leave much as a basis for judgment. There are syllabi and the narrative Teaching Statements we provide each year, and sometimes the evidence of a new course devised and designed, but the main thing used to assess teaching are student evaluations. Those have some value, but they are most assuredly not the whole story when it comes to the quality of one's teaching. If they were, we might as well outsource the whole process to RateMyProfessors.com.

The unseemliness multiplies when my colleagues (as they often do) complain loudly and frequently about the marks they have gotten. I would be embarrassed to tell you how many laments I have listened to along the lines of, "I published a book, and he only gave me a 7!" I would bet our students don't kvetch as much about their grades.

And what are the consequences of our evaluations? In the 50-40-10 scholarship-teaching-service ratio, the difference between a 7 and a 9 rating in scholarship is about $540 a year. After taxes, that comes out to maybe $400 a year, or $8 a week. Not only is that not much, but for almost everyone, it gets evened out over time; some years, you can expect to get maybe a little lower rating than you "really" deserve, some years a little higher. For this my colleagues gnash their teeth and lose sleep?

Several years ago, I came up with another way to evaluate faculty performance, based on the understanding that we all expect excellent work from ourselves and one another. Take the average merit raise and give almost everyone in the department a raise slightly lower than that; in the example I've been working with, that could be $2,300. That way, a handful of colleagues who publish major books or get major awards or stellar teaching evaluations can receive a slightly higher raise. And if a couple of people are blatantly not carrying their weight, they can get a little less.

I proposed my idea at a department meeting, and it was summarily shot down. My explanation for this is Freud's notion of the narcissism of small differences—our need to exaggerate the minimal distinctions between ourselves and people very much like ourselves.

Even as I write, we are negotiating our next collective-bargaining agreement. Word on the street is that salaries will be frozen for next year. If that happens, I will be secretly glad, and you know why: It could very possibly mean no annual evaluation!

Ben Yagoda is a professor of English at the University of Delaware and author, most recently, of Memoir: A History (Riverhead Books, 2009). His blog on higher education is at http://campuscomments.wordpress.com

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education are at


Super Teacher Joe Hoyle says the degree of student preparation for class depends on the "payoff,"
Teaching Financial Accounting Blog, April 5, 2010 --- http://joehoyle-teaching.blogspot.com/2010/04/whats-payoff.html

Outsourcing the Grading of Papers

At Houston, business majors are now exposed to Virtual-TA both as freshmen and as upperclassmen.
"Some Papers Are Uploaded to Bangalore to Be Graded," by Audrey Williams June, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 4, 2010 ---

Lori Whisenant knows that one way to improve the writing skills of undergraduates is to make them write more. But as each student in her course in business law and ethics at the University of Houston began to crank out—often awkwardly—nearly 5,000 words a semester, it became clear to her that what would really help them was consistent, detailed feedback.

Her seven teaching assistants, some of whom did not have much experience, couldn't deliver. Their workload was staggering: About 1,000 juniors and seniors enroll in the course each year. "Our graders were great," she says, "but they were not experts in providing feedback."

That shortcoming led Ms. Whisenant, director of business law and ethics studies at Houston, to a novel solution last fall. She outsourced assignment grading to a company whose employees are mostly in Asia.

Virtual-TA, a service of a company called EduMetry Inc., took over. The goal of the service is to relieve professors and teaching assistants of a traditional and sometimes tiresome task—and even, the company says, to do it better than TA's can.

The graders working for EduMetry, based in a Virginia suburb of Washington, are concentrated in India, Singapore, and Malaysia, along with some in the United States and elsewhere. They do their work online and communicate with professors via e-mail. The company advertises that its graders hold advanced degrees and can quickly turn around assignments with sophisticated commentary, because they are not juggling their own course work, too.

The company argues that professors freed from grading papers can spend more time teaching and doing research.

"We tend to drop the ball when it comes to giving rich feedback, and in the end this hurts the student," says Chandru Rajam, who has been a business professor at several universities. "I just thought, "'There's got to be a better way.'" He helped found the privately held EduMetry five years ago and remains on its management staff.

Whether Virtual-TA is that better way remains to be seen. Company officials would not say how many colleges use the service, but Mr. Rajam acknowledges that the concept of anonymous and offshore grading is often difficult for colleges to swallow.

Those that have signed up are a mix of for-profit and nonprofit institutions, many of them business schools, both in the United States and overseas. Professors and administrators say they have been won over by on-the-job performance. "This is what they do for a living," says Ms. Whisenant. "We're working with professionals."

Anonymous Expertise Virtual-TA's tag line is "Your expert teaching assistants." These graders, also called assessors, have at least master's degrees, the company says, and must pass a writing test, since conveying their thoughts on assignments is an integral part of the job. The company declined to provide The Chronicle with names or degrees of assessors. Mr. Rajam says that the company's focus is on "the process, not the individual," and that professors and institutions have ample opportunity to test the assessors' performance during a trial period, "because the proof is in the pudding."

Assessors are trained in the use of rubrics, or systematic guidelines for evaluating student work, and before they are hired are given sample student assignments to see "how they perform on those," says Ravindra Singh Bangari, EduMetry's vice president of assessment services.

Mr. Bangari, who is based in Bangalore, India, oversees a group of assessors who work from their homes. He says his job is to see that the graders, many of them women with children who are eager to do part-time work, provide results that meet each client's standards and help students improve.

"Training goes on all the time," says Mr. Bangari, whose employees work mostly on assignments from business schools. "We are in constant communication with U.S. faculty."

Such communication, part of a multi-step process, begins early on. Before the work comes rolling in, the assessors receive the rubrics that professors provide, along with syllabi and textbooks. In some instances, the graders will assess a few initial assignments and return them for the professor's approval.

Sometimes professors want changes in the nature of the comments. Ms. Whisenant found those on her students' papers initially "way too formal," she says. "We wanted our feedback to be conversational and more direct. So we sent them examples of how we wanted it done, and they did it."

Professors give final grades to assignments, but the assessors score the papers based on the elements in the rubric and "help students understand where their strengths and weaknesses are," says Tara Sherman, vice president of client services at EduMetry. "Then the professors can give the students the help they need based on the feedback."

Mr. Bangari says that colleges use Virtual-TA's feedback differently, but that he has seen students' work improve the most when professors have returned assignments to students and asked them to redo the work to incorporate the feedback.

The assessors use technology that allows them to embed comments in each document; professors can review the results (and edit them if they choose) before passing assignments back to students. In addition, professors receive a summary of comments from each assignment, designed to show common "trouble spots" among students' answers, among other things. The assessors have no contact with students, and the assignments they grade are stripped of identifying information. Ms. Sherman says most papers are returned in three or four days, which can be key when it comes to how students learn. "You can reinforce certain ideas based on timely feedback," Mr. Rajam says. "Two or three weeks after an assignment is too long."

No Classroom Insight Critics of outsourced grading, however, say the lack of a personal relationship is a problem.

"An outside grader has no insight into how classroom discussion may have played into what a student wrote in their paper," says Marilyn Valentino, chair of the board of the Conference on College Composition and Communication and a veteran professor of English at Lorain County Community College. "Are they able to say, 'Oh, I understand where that came from' or 'I understand why they thought that, because Mary said that in class'?"

Ms. Valentino also questions whether the money spent on outsourced graders could be better used to help pay for more classroom instructors.

Professors and on-site teaching assistants, she says, are better positioned to learn enough about individual students to adjust their tone to help each one get his or her ideas across on paper. "Sometimes kidding them works, sometimes being strict and straightforward works," Ms. Valentino says. "You have to figure out how to get in that student's mind and motivate them."

Some professors "could be tempted to not even read" the reports about how students responded to various parts of an assignment, she says, because when "someone else is taking care of the grading," that kind of information can become easier to ignore.

Terri Friel, dean of the business school at Roosevelt University, says such worries are common but overstated. In her former post as associate dean of administration at Butler University's business school, she hired EduMetry to help the business school gather assessment data it needed for accreditation — another service the company offers. But Ms. Friel believed that Virtual-TA would not appeal to professors there.

"Faculty have this opinion that grading is their job, ... but then they'll turn right around and give papers to graduate teaching assistants," Ms. Friel says. "What's the difference in grading work online and grading it online from India? India has become known as a very good place to get a good business education, and why not make use of that capability?"

Acceptance has been a little easier at West Hills Community College, in Coalinga, Calif., which turned to Virtual-TA to help some students in its online classes get more feedback than instructors for such classes have typically offered. The service is used for one section each of three online courses—criminal justice, sociology, and basic math. Instructors can use it for three to five assignments of their choice per student. Using Virtual-TA for every assignment would be too costly, says Susan Whitener, associate vice chancellor for educational planning. (The price varies by length and complexity, but Virtual-TA suggests to potential clients that each graded assignment will cost $12 per student. That means outsourcing the grading of six assignments for 20 students in a course would cost $1,440.)

But West Hills' investment, which it wouldn't disclose, has paid off in an unexpected way. The feedback from Virtual-TA seems to make the difference between a student's remaining in an online course and dropping out.

"We definitely have a cost-benefit ratio that's completely in our favor for us to do this," Ms. Whitener says.

Holly Suarez, an online instructor of sociology at West Hills, says retention in her class has improved since she first used Virtual-TA, two years ago, on weekly writing assignments. Before then, "I would probably lose half of my students," says Ms. Suarez, who typically teaches 50 students per class.

Because Virtual-TA provides detailed comments about grammar, organization, and other writing errors in the papers, students have a framework for improvement that some instructors may not be able to provide, she says.

And although Ms. Suarez initially was wary of Virtual-TA—"I thought I was being replaced"—she can now see its advantages, she says. "Students are getting expert advice on how to write better, and I get the chance to really focus on instruction."

At Houston, business majors are now exposed to Virtual-TA both as freshmen and as upperclassmen.

Continued in article

Computer Grading of Essays --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#Essays
For years essay questions have been computer graded for the GMAT examination
Sociology professor designs SAGrader software for grading student essays

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment are at

Financial Education for Teachers: The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis --- http://www.minneapolisfed.org/community_education/teacher/

Question 1
Many colleges have internship courses where students work as interns. To receive course credit, most of them have to write reports about what they learned in their internship experience. Some interns get paid and other interns do not get paid.
My first question is whether colleges will no longer give credit for internships and training programs in for-profit business firms that do not pay at least a minimum wage?

Question 2
It is especially common for interns in government agencies and other not-for-profit organizations not to get paid. I assume that the U.S. Department of Labor is not forcing those organizations to pay interns.
My second question is why internship slavery is legal in the public sector but not in the private sector?

This is no small deal for some students since having experience on a resume is often vital to landing a job whether it a a welding job, a nursing job, or a CPA firm job. Large CPA firms generally pay interns, but some really small CPA firms might withdraw from college internship programs. This is especially a problem for most accounting education programs, because the large CPA firms and large companies often cannot provide internships to all accounting students.

"War on Interns Making it illegal to work for free," The Wall Street Journal, April 7, 2010 ---

The labor market is still in recession, but for younger workers it feels more like a depression. In the last year, the unemployment rate among workers age 20 to 24 has risen to almost 16%, and among teenagers to 26%.

You might therefore expect a federal effort to encourage employers to give unskilled youngsters a chance. You would be wrong. The feds have instead decided to launch a campaign to crack down on unpaid internships that regulators claim violate minimum-wage laws.

"If you're a for-profit employer or you want to pursue an internship with a for-profit employer, there aren't going to be many circumstances where you can have an internship and not be paid and still be in compliance with the law," the Labor Department's Nancy J. Leppink tells the New York Times.

The Times also quotes Trudy Steinfeld, director of New York University's Office of Career Services, regarding opportunities for unpaid internships. "A few famous banks have called and said, 'We'd like to do this,' said Ms. Steinfeld. "I said, 'No way. You will not list on this campus.'" To be fair, she doesn't want a Labor Department enforcer knocking on her door next week. But we wonder what NYU students trying to get their feet in the doors of financial firms think about Ms. Steinfeld rejecting opportunities on their behalf.

How all of this helps young people who are trying to develop marketable skills is a mystery. While the Department of Labor may insist the world owes these kids a living, the truth is that many young workers are willing to trade free labor for a chance to demonstrate their skills and build a resume for the next job. Especially in a bad labor market, the choice college students face may be to work without pay, or hang by the beach.

This isn't exploiting young people. It's letting young people exploit an opportunity.

Also see http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/apr/07/obama-eyes-interns/

Jensen Comment
One of the problems is that the current high unemployment rate and other factors cause persons out of a job to retrain for other types of work. Some employers have jumped on this with so-called internships that exploit free labor. But a heavy-handed law banning free internships should not prevent teens and college students from gaining requisite experience in their intended for-profit careers.

My guess is that unpaid internships are still legal for those internships that are strictly training courses in classroom settings or in online course settings. The gray area is where those interns also go out on jobs for hands-on training in the shadow of experienced workers. In the latter case, perhaps only government itself and charities may provide unpaid hands-on training.

I would prefer that what is fair for the private sector is also fair for the public sector.

Of course none of this should apply to workers who are truly volunteers who are not trying to intern for hands-on experience that benefits their employment skills. For example, SCORE Association volunteers should be able to help small businesses ---

April 7, 2010 reply from Bob Jensen to Professor XXXXX (who did not think college credit should be given for internships)


Actually I think many colleges give some credit for accounting internships. What I call the Texas model is very common in --- Texas. Internships are given for a half-semester in the senior year. Students intern for about eight weeks for credit and then take three specially designed courses (not always in accounting) the second half of the semester for nine credits. They earn six credits for the internship (that includes writing at least one paper), thus giving them a 15-credit semester. Of course most interns then go on to a graduate accounting program in order to sit for the CPA examination.

Those students who get internships with the large accounting firms or large corporations (like USAA and AT&T) are usually pretty well paid for their eight weeks. At Trinity we also had internships (for credit) in a single business course for non-accounting majors, and a small proportion of those internships were unpaid. For example, some marketing students interned with charities and engaged in design and implementation of survey instruments. There was also a fair amount of unpaid grunt work processing the incoming surveys.

I think the big CPA firms view internships as a necessary headache resulting from the 150-hour requirement. When a year or more of graduate study was added as a virtual requirement for most accounting majors, the highly popular internships were added to lure students into majoring in accounting.

Of course the CPA firms get some external benefits from internships. They get to see interns in action on the job before having to commit to making job offers. But my guess is that CPA firms would not be as generous with the number of interns if internships were not so vital in luring undergraduates into five-year accounting programs.

It is extremely rare for graduate accounting students to not rave about their internships.

I perhaps should add that I'm adamantly opposed to granting new admissions to college credit for "life experience."

All God's children have "life experience," and the older college applicants have more of it. But it's just too hard to evaluate and compare applicants' life experiences. I put internships into a different category provided the college has pre-screening on what qualifies for an internship and has some academic requirements for granting internship credit such as the writing of one or more papers about the internship learning.

I'm also a snob lemming. Colleges that I respect just do not give credit for life experience. Many of these, however, do give limited credit for qualified internships. I'm always a snobby suspect of colleges that do give credit for life experience. In most cases they're doing so mainly to get more tuition revenue from older farts.

Perhaps it's sad not to give some college credit to those honorable military veterans who protected America. But I think they must earn new medals for their college degrees.

Bob Jensen

Will the iPad replace Bob Jensen's laptop?

Never! Find out why below.

"Laptop Killer? Pretty Close iPad Is a 'Game Changer' That Makes Browsing And Video a Pleasure; Challenge to the Mouse," by Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, April 1, 2010 ---

For the past week or so, I have been testing a sleek, light, silver-and-black tablet computer called an iPad. After spending hours and hours with it, I believe this beautiful new touch-screen device from Apple has the potential to change portable computing profoundly, and to challenge the primacy of the laptop. It could even help, eventually, to propel the finger-driven, multitouch user interface ahead of the mouse-driven interface that has prevailed for decades.

But first, it will have to prove that it really can replace the laptop or netbook for enough common tasks, enough of the time, to make it a viable alternative. And that may not be easy, because previous tablet computers have failed to catch on in the mass market, and the iPad lacks some of the features—such as a physical keyboard, a Webcam, USB ports and multitasking—that most laptop or netbook users have come to expect.

If people see the iPad mainly as an extra device to carry around, it will likely have limited appeal. If, however, they see it as a way to replace heavier, bulkier computers much of the time—for Web surfing, email, social-networking, video- and photo-viewing, gaming, music and even some light content creation—it could be a game changer the way Apple's iPhone has been.

The iPad is much more than an e-book or digital periodical reader, though it does those tasks brilliantly, better in my view than the Amazon Kindle. And it's far more than just a big iPhone, even though it uses the same easy-to-master interface, and Apple says it runs nearly all of the 150,000 apps that work on the iPhone.

It's qualitatively different, a whole new type of computer that, through a simple interface, can run more-sophisticated, PC-like software than a phone does, and whose large screen allows much more functionality when compared with a phone's. But, because the iPad is a new type of computer, you have to feel it, to use it, to fully understand it and decide if it is for you, or whether, say, a netbook might do better.

So I've been using my test iPad heavily day and night, instead of my trusty laptops most of the time. As I got deeper into it, I found the iPad a pleasure to use, and had less and less interest in cracking open my heavier ThinkPad or MacBook. I probably used the laptops about 20% as often as normal, reserving them mainly for writing or editing longer documents, or viewing Web videos in Adobe's Flash technology, which the iPad doesn't support, despite its wide popularity online.

My verdict is that, while it has compromises and drawbacks, the iPad can indeed replace a laptop for most data communication, content consumption and even limited content creation, a lot of the time. But it all depends on how you use your computer.

If you're mainly a Web surfer, note-taker, social-networker and emailer, and a consumer of photos, videos, books, periodicals and music—this could be for you. If you need to create or edit giant spreadsheets or long documents, or you have elaborate systems for organizing email, or need to perform video chats, the iPad isn't going to cut it as your go-to device.

The iPad is thinner and lighter than any netbook or laptop I've seen. It weighs just 1.5 pounds, and its aluminum and glass body is a mere half-inch thick. It boasts a big, bright color 9.7-inch screen that occupies most of the front. As on all Apple portable devices, the battery is sealed in and nonreplaceable. It has a decent speaker, and even a tiny microphone.

Memory, also sealed in and nonexpandable, ranges from 16 gigabytes to 64 gigabytes. And you can order one with just a Wi-Fi wireless connection to the Internet, or Wi-Fi plus an AT&T 3G cellular connection. The Wi-Fi models will be available Saturday and the 3G models, which I didn't test, about a month later.

Prices start at $499 and go to $829, with the costlier models having more memory and/or 3G. The cellular models don't require a contract or termination fee. You can pay AT&T either $15 a month for 250 megabytes of data use, or $30 a month for unlimited data—a significant reduction from typical prices for laptop cellular connectivity.

I was impressed with the iPad's battery life, which I found to be even longer than Apple's ten-hour claim, and far longer than on my laptops or smart phones. For my battery test, I played movies, TV shows, and other videos back to back until the iPad died. This stressed the device's most power-hogging feature, its screen. The iPad lasted 11 hours and 28 minutes, about 15% more than Apple claimed. I was able to watch four feature-length movies, four TV episodes, and a video of a 90-minute corporate presentation, before the battery died midway through an episode of "The Closer."

Oh, and all the while during this battery marathon, I kept the Wi-Fi network running and the email downloading constantly in the background. Your mileage may vary, but with Wi-Fi off and the screen turned down from the fairly bright level I used, you might even do better. Music plays far longer with the screen off. On the other hand, playing games constantly might yield worse battery life.

Apple says video playback, Web use and book reading all take about the same amount of juice. When I was doing the latter two tasks for an hour or two at a time, the battery ran down so slowly for me that I stopped thinking about it.

I also was impressed with the overall speed of the iPad. Apple's custom processor makes it wicked fast. Screens appear almost instantly and the Wi-Fi in my home tested as fast as it does on a laptop.

I found email easy and productive to use, and had no trouble typing accurately and quickly on the wide on-screen keyboard. In fact, I found the iPad virtual keyboard more comfortable and accurate to use than the cramped keyboards and touchpads on many netbooks, though some fast touch typists might disagree. Apple's $39 iPad case, which bends to set up a nice angle for typing, helps.

The Web browser also works beautifully, and takes advantage of the big screen to show full pages and cut down on scrolling. It even now has a bookmarks bar at the top. As noted, however, it doesn't support Adobe's Flash technology.

I also was able to easily sync the iPad's calendar and contacts apps with Google and Apple's MobileMe.

Watching videos, viewing photos, listening to music, reading books and playing games was satisfying and fun. I used the device heavily for Twitter and Facebook. And I even got some light work done in the optional iPad word processor, called Pages, which is part of a $30 suite that also includes a spreadsheet and presentation program.

This is a serious content creation app that should help the iPad compete with laptops and can import Microsoft Office files. However, only the word processor exports to Microsoft's formats, and not always accurately. In one case, the exported Word file had misaligned text. When I tried exporting the document as a PDF file, it was unreadable.

The iPad can run two types of third-party apps, both available from Apple's app store. It can use nearly all existing iPhone apps. These can either run in a small, iPhone-size window in the middle of the screen, which makes them look tiny, or blown up to double size. The larger size makes them fill the screen, but can make type inside them look blocky. Still, the dozens I tested all worked properly. And it can run a new class of specially designed iPad apps, of which Apple hopes to have 1,000 at launch. I successfully tested the revamped App Store, which features the iPad apps most prominently when you're on an iPad.

Based on my very small sample, some app developers may be testing higher prices for iPad apps than the 99 cents or $1.99 typical for paid iPhone apps. The paid iPad apps I saw ranged from $3.99 to $49.99. Others were free.

Apple has rebuilt its own core iPhone apps for the iPad to add sophisticated features that make the programs look and work more like PC or Mac software. For instance, there are "popover" menus that make it easier to make choices without leaving the screen you're on. And, when the iPad is held horizontally, in landscape mode, as I often preferred to use it, many programs now have two panels, making them faster and more useful. In email, a left-hand panel shows your message list, while a larger right-hand panel shows the message itself.

The photo app is striking, and much more like the one on the Mac than the one on the iPhone. The device can be used as a digital picture frame. The iPod app is beautiful, as are the calendar and contacts app. Unfortunately, Apple excluded some of the more familiar apps from the iPhone, including Weather, Clock and Stocks.

I tested a small selection of the new third-party iPad apps Apple hopes to have available at launch, and most were also rich and feature-filled, beyond what iPhone apps offer. These included games such as Scrabble and "Touch Hockey," a database app, news services and more.

I was able to try a pre-release version of The Wall Street Journal's new iPad app (which I had nothing to do with designing), and found it gorgeous and highly functional—by far the best implementation of the newspaper I have ever seen on a screen. Unlike the Journal's Web site, or its smart-phone apps, the iPad version blends much more of the look and feel of the print paper into the electronic environment. Other newspapers and magazines have announced plans for their own, dramatically more realistic iPad apps.

I also found iBooks, Apple's book reader and store, easy to use, and read a couple of books on it. I consider the larger color screen superior to the Kindle's, and encountered no eye strain. But the iPad is much heavier than the Kindle and most people will need two hands to use it. The iBooks app also lacks any way to enter notes, and Apple's catalog at launch will only be about 60,000 books versus over 400,000 for Kindle.

I did run into some other annoying limitations. For instance, the email program lacks the ability to create local folders or rules for auto-sorting messages, and it doesn't allow group addressing. The browser lacks tabs. And the Wi-Fi-only version lacks GPS. Also, videophiles may dislike the fact that the iPad's screen lacks wide-screen dimensions, so you either get black bars above or below wide-screen videos, or, if you choose an option to fill the screen, some of the picture may get cut off.

All in all, the iPad is an advance in making more-sophisticated computing possible via a simple touch interface on a slender, light device. Only time will tell if it's a real challenger to the laptop and netbook.

Jensen Comment
The turnoff for me is the lack of features like "such as a physical keyboard, a Webcam, USB ports and multitasking—that most laptop or netbook users have come to expect."  The iPad will never replace my laptop.

One way to identify iPad users is to look for people in the airport lugging four or more pieces of equipment. There are some that will leave their laptops and cell phones and overhead projectors at home, but I can’t imagine any presenters at a conference leaving their laptops at home.

Gadget Lab --- http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/03/ipad-to-go-on-sale-april-3-pre-orders-begin-in-a-week/

Can you hook the ipad up to an overhead projector for demonstrations (Schools, boardrooms)?
no. There is no standard video out port.

Can you swap files to a friend/coworker easily with a USB drive?
no. No USB drive.

It doesn’t have a keyboard, except for the software keyboard. Software keyboards always suck. I can type faster on a REAL keyboard than software version anyday. yes they sell an external keyboard, but then I have to “Build a cruddy laptop” every time I want to use it. That sucked in 2002 when I did it with my PDA + Targus keyboard, it would still suck.

It doesn’t have a stylus. Yes, Bill Gates was right on the money on this one. if it had stylus support, think of the kick-butt art programs students/professionals could use. It would be the ultimate sketch pad. Sorry that Micro$oft saw this and Apple didn’t…

Not enough power. Really… no multitasking?
This doesn’t seem to be taking a serious approach as a real tool, but just as a toy. It’s a novelty.

The only thing I can see this marketed as is a ebook reader, and it’s very expensive for that… And the ipod touch/iPhone already have kindle apps.
A full fledged kindle is cheaper.

The ipad whole marketing scheme seems to be “it’s an ipad” and the fact that a geezer in a black turtle-neck says it’s cool. Really, what is it used for?

Read More http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/03/ipad-to-go-on-sale-april-3-pre-orders-begin-in-a-week/#ixzz0jxWhyue3

Jensen Comments
And Google lets you download eBooks into your laptop.

Yes you can connect to a wireless keyboard, but:
the IPad is no longer as portable since it requires both the keyboard docking station and the keyboard itself. It’s not clear to me if these two hardware items will also work with a Mac laptop or whether they must be purchased separately. As Richard pointed out, most people will want the iPad as a playback machine with only limited use as a production machine (other than email messages).

Whereas the iPhone can take pictures and record videos, no can do on the iPad --- a real bummer.

And there are limitations as a playback machine, including no Flash playback and no DVD player.

Many other questions are answered at http://www.macworld.com/article/150276/2010/04/ipad_faq.html

Apple tweaked iWork to run on the iPad—why not iLife?

At the moment, the iPad seems more focused on media consumption than media production. You can view your photos and videos, listen to music, read books, surf the Web, and so on. While the iPhone 3GS’s built-in camera takes pictures and records videos, there’s no similar way of creating media with iPad. As such, iLife programs like iMovie, GarageBand, iDVD, and even the editing capabilities of iPhoto are all absent. iTunes’s capabilities are mostly duplicated by the combination of the iPod application and the iTunes storefront application.

While it seems likely that the iPad will feature more media-creation tools (if not from Apple, then from third-party developers), it’s possible Apple chose not to focus on that aspect of the device because it was more complicated to develop the interface for media creation than it was to do so for media consumption.

If I open a PowerPoint file in Keynote, and edit it, can I save it back to PowerPoint?

No. Your options are to save it as a PDF or as a Keynote file.

The big question

I already carry an iPhone and a laptop. Why do I need a third device?

When you get right down to it, that’s the central issue surrounding the iPad. Apple touts its tablet as something that goes in between those devices. Not everyone will want one, but the theory seems to be that many people don’t really need a laptop for a lot of tasks. A simpler device like the iPad could better fit into people’s living rooms, or into their bags for commuting or long trips. But it’s definitely a leap of faith by Apple. Whether users will buy the iPad and integrate it into their lives, either replacing or complementing their existing devices, remains to be seen.

We’ll try to address this big question in our forthcoming full review.


Jensen Again
Worst of all for me is that Steve Jobs cannot get over his mistake with the Mac that made Bill Gates a far richer man. Steve Jobs just wants hardware and software monopoly powers on Apple products. This stifles software creativity and vendor interest in supplying software and hardware for such things as Mac computers and iPad whatevers. Think of all the windows software not available on a Mac or not as updated and powerful for the Mac! 

Poo on monopoly!

George Washington University networking officials say that security features on their wireless system may keep iPad users from connecting, and the issue may affect other universities as well.
Jeff Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 6, 2010 ---

Jensen Comment
Among other things this could be a disaster for students wanting to download into their allocated file space on campus servers. For example, if they have Web pages on a campus Web server, they may not be able to get files in and out of the Web pages while using an iPad instead of a full computer. The same would apply to faculty.

Will students buy iPads instead of laptops?

Probably not since the iPad is not really intended to be a production machine. It's primarily a reader of multimedia (except for the popular Flash videos which it will not read). The question is more of whether students will leave their laptops at home while on campus or whether they will have to lug yet another device on top of their iPhones and laptops.

What if an accounting instructor requires that students use Excel workbook? (There are of course still PC labs on most campuses but what about the distance education student who buys an iPad instead of a real computer?)

What about the many AIS courses that require that students use MS Access? MS Access is popular in AIS course in part because the college saves a great deal of money by not having to by site licenses for more expensive relational database software.

Jensen Conclusion
Students should be advised to buy computers that will run the most popular collegiate Microsoft software (including PowerPoint, Excel, Word, and other Office software commonly used by faculty). Of course this does not always mean purchasing a Windows computer since MS Office will run on Mac laptops.

MS Office software will not, however, run on an iPad. It is possible to read Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint files that are online in the Safari Browser. However, suppose an instructor assigns an Excel problem that requires that the student both read an Excel problem and answer in Excel such as using an Excel function like the Bond Yield function? No can do on an iPad!

Also suppose that a student creates a project file that is too large to send to the instructor as an email attachment. Currently some students burn the file to a DVD disk that is submitted to the instructor. But students cannot burn DVD disks on an iPad. In fact they cannot even read a DVD disk on an iPad.


"iPads Arrive on Campuses, to Mixed Reviews," by Jeff Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 6, 2010 ---

It's not every day that a new category of computer hits the market, which explains some of the hype over Apple's new iPad. It's not quite a laptop (because it doesn't have all the features of a standard personal computer), not exactly a giant smartphone (because it's not a phone), and not quite an e-reader (because it can play video and do other things those machines can't). On campuses, the question is: Will this new type of mobile device help teaching and research?

George Washington University's campus bookstore was one of many across the country to start selling the devices today, and just about every student who walked by the iPad display here stopped to give it a look, and to flip around the device's shiny touch screen.

"I wanted to see if I could actually type on it," said Vince Kooper, a freshman who tapped out a sentence or two. Several students said they would love to have one but could not afford the price, which ranges from $499 to $829. "It's hard to afford that kind of stuff when you're in college," said Matt Weitzfeld, an undergraduate who also stopped to look.

While the iPad is certainly good enough to take notes on in class, Mr. Weitzfeld said that several professors ban laptops for fear that students would poke around on Facebook rather than listen to lectures, and that iPads would most likely face the same restrictions.

The devices were not exactly flying off the bookstore's shelves. Zach Dunseth, computer and software coordinator, said 15 iPads went to students who had preordered them, but that the store had more in stock. Nationwide, Apple officials said they sold more than 300,000 iPads on the first day, though stores are not reporting widespread shortages.

Eric Weil, managing partner at Student Monitor, which studies student buying habits, said a survey last month found a growing interest in e-reading devices (which is how the group categorized them), and a stronger interest in the iPad than in the Kindle or other e-readers.

"Better than three in 10 students said, 'I'm somewhat interested in purchasing a wireless reading device,'" he reported.

Several professors spent the past few days sparring on blogs and Twitter feeds over whether iPads will send big waves over the academic and media landscape or something closer to a ripple.

"It's actually been a fairly interesting debate online," said Dan Cohen, director of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. Scholars profess either love or hate for iPads, he said. "There's no gray area here."

Opponents of the device argue that it is not open enough and sets a bad precedent for how computers and software are sold, since Apple, by controlling access to its online store of apps, controls what iPad software is allowed to be sold. Some fans, though, including some artists and writers, are excited by what they see as a machine that simplifies the experience of reading and viewing multimedia.

It will take months before the potential of these new pad-style computers becomes clear, Mr. Cohen said, because developers are still working out what a light, nine-inch computer can do that laptops, netbooks, and smartphones can't.

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at

Hi Richard,

The problem is that some of the leading accounting textbooks that have electronic versions that can be purchased from Amazon do not have the exhibits included in the purchase. Hard copy exhibits must be purchased separately (at least from Amazon for the Kindle).

For accounting textbooks in question, Amazon will only sell the exhi8bits in hard copy to Kindle Users.

 I was wondering if the iPad overcame this problem for these textbooks purchased from Amazon . Wiley and other publishers will “lease” electronic textbooks that contain the exhibits. By leasing I mean that the downloaded book expires and cannot be permanently stored  by lessees.


Kindle Version of
Accounting Principles
Jerry J. Weygandt, Paul D. Kimmel, and Donald E. Kieso
Wiley, 9th Edition, 2010

Kindle eBook Price $95.96 ---  Click Here
We'll add in the chapter exhibits for an additional $147.95
Note that the chapter exhibits are only available in hard copy from Amazon
Amazon doesn't tell you that there are no chapter exhibits when you order the Kindle version

Order online today

Note that this book may also be leased as eBook ---  Click Here
The one year lease price direct from WileyPlus is $119.50
But it is only available from the Wiley server and may not be downloaded into a student's computer
The leased online version does have all chapter exhibits
This leasing deal is only available through the publisher directly and not through Amazon

February 21, 2010 reply from Burnell, Mary [Mary.Burnell@FAIRMONTSTATE.EDU]


I see lots of comments here, but not an exact answer about Wiley Plus. I've used Wiley Plus since it was new with their introductory books.

Their books are not downloadable. You must use them on the Wiley server. That means that the student has a "lease" for a limited time to all their material. Students can use the book for a set time period -- usually a year.

I understand that is the same model with other publishers.

I've tried to negotiate a more permanent options for students, but so far I've not managed it.

Just 2 cents from a lurker.

Dede Burnell

Mary A. Burnell, CPA Coordinator of Accounting and Finance Fairmont State University 1201 Locust Avenue Fairmont, WV 26554 (304) 367-4189 Mary.Burnell@fairmontstate.edu

Jensen Comment
Back when I was teaching I almost always gave in-class open book examinations. But I did not let students turn on computers in fear that a miscreant might contact a buddy via email for help on the examination or search for unauthorized help on the Internet.

I guess if some students only had leased online eBook versions of a textbook, I could no longer give open book examinations.

About the only way for students to get permanent eBook ownership of this Weygandt et al Accounting Principles textbook is to download the $95.96 Kindle version (or some comparable version on another reader such as the Sony Reader or Nook). But those downloadable versions apparently don't have the essential chapter exhibits. The good news is that if your Amazon Kindle blows, Amazon will forever let you re-download the purchased edition for free. The bad news is that it does not have chapter exhibits.

If this is beginning to sound like a Catch 22 here it's because it's Catch $95.96 for the Kindle Edition 9 version of this particular textbook?

For students who do not want permanent copies of an eBook version, it's cheaper to buy the hard copy new from Amazon or some other retailer for $147.95 (or eventually much less as a used book once used Edition 9 hard copy versions are available from Amazon and B&N and campus bookstores) and then sell them back as used books in Amazon, B&N, or campus bookstores.

If a student has to repeat a basic accounting course a year later, I wonder if WileyPlus will discount the $119.50 lease price for the eBook containing all chapter exhibits?

I also found pirated downloads of the solutions manual and test bank available at a Hong Kong site, but I will not disclose that link.

It is also interesting why publishing companies continue to give instructors hard copy examination versions before the book is actually adopted. It would seem that publishers could end the process where instructors sell their free examination copies to sleazy book buyers that stop by faculty offices with wads of cash in their fists. All the publishers would have to do is give free access to the online eBook versions. But some unscrupulous instructors might never adopt any textbook where the book rep did not give them several hard copy versions to sell for extra income. It's a dog eat dog world out there.

 Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at

To iPad or not to iPad (now) --- That is the Question!

The Good and the Bad from a Reviewer Who Thinks the iPad is a Game Changer

"My 48 Point iPad Review (after 72 hours)"  --- http://www.ipad-answers.com/ipad-reviews/my-48-point-ipad-review-after-72-hours

f) Bad Stuff
1. No USB port is a crime. I wanted to plug my LiveScribe pen into it
and couldn't.
2. No camera is a crime. This device would be sick for video
conferencing. In fact, it would probably be a phone killer at home.
3. No removable memory is unforgivable. Every device and computer I
own has compact flash, SD or Micro SD. Would it kills jobs to allow an
SD card slot?
4. Internal speaker sounds disgraceful--like an AM radio that you
found in our grandmothers closet.
5. The Wifi is totally screwed up. In the same room, without moving, I
would get a full signal for 10 minutes followed by no signal. I'm
reminded of the MacBook Air's Wifi problems.
6. With $100 in accessories, $100 in basic applications and the
$600-700 price tag, you're basically talking about almost a grand for
this device. It's a great device but it's not worth the price.
7. While you can run iPhone applications and make them 2x the size,
they end up looking like horrible eVGA screens from 1987.
8. No Flash or Adobe Air is pathetic and anti-competitive. The
Government should really investigates Apple's jihad against
competitive application and media platforms--it's disgraceful.

g) Good Stuff
1. The "hand feel" is exceptional in or out of a case. It fits and
feels like a custom shirt and suit fresh from the dry cleaner, or a
Tesla Roadster on a winding PCH road--which is to say, perfect.
2. Battery life is stunningly good. Only explanation is that Steve
Jobs must have been infuriated by the embarrassing scene of iPhone
users begging for a charge or, worse yet, carrying around those
pathetic, dorky external battery packs.
3. More on battery life: My brand new MacBook Air lasts < 2.5 hours,
my iPhone lasts < 1.5 hours and my iPad did 12 hours yesterday. Which
one will I use on my trip to NYC at the end of the week?
4. The native keyboard sucks for a power typist like myself, but the
Bluetooth keyboard option absolutely rocks.
5. Everything feels lightening fast: switching applications, surfing
the web, playing games, downloading and checking email. The A4 chip is
the revolution here, I think, since it's responsible for the speed and
battery life gains.
6. Screen resolution and brightness is stunning and makes the iPhone
look like garbage.

h) Who Should Buy One
1. If you're rich or don't care about wasting $1,000 this month only
to replace it in a year: Yes! Why do you care about replacing
anything? Give this to your nephew when you upgrade.
2. If you're a student on a budget: No. Get a Dell laptop for $500
with 10x the features.
3. If you've got kids and can afford it: Probably. I've seen my
friends' kids turn from wild tree monkeys into zoned-out stoners from
the glow of an iPod Touch. The iPad is kid-grade heroin: one dose and
they will be out for hours.
4. You're a normal person of normal means: Only if you're a tech
junkie. There are going to be much, much better Android tablets in
6-12 months with a USB port, camera, removable batteries, a memory
card and a non-crippled OS.


Jensen Comment
The iPad probably is a game changer, but those "me first" people that bought the first versions will probably have paid a lot for paper weights when the revised versions come out with things like USB/Firewire ports, Keyboard ports, LCD projection ports, cameras, Flash, removable memory, etc.As for me, I've got too many paper weights and no AT&T towers in these mountains.

As a professor I also would not buy an iPad until I verify that my college campus network servers can be accessed from an iPad. Some campuses are not equipped to handle iPad uploads and downloads. Also keep in mind that the iPad requires monthly fees not required computers on campus that can connect free to the Internet and to the campus network servers.

As a student I would not buy an iPad if I had to make a budget choice between an iPad or a PC/Mac laptop. That’s a no brainer even for non-students!

Absent Student Shadows in Class:  Virtual Students in the Classroom

April 1, 2010 message from Robert Blystone [mailto:rblyston@trinity.edu]

I remember years ago receiving my first FAXed term paper (35 pages). I can add a new technological wonder to my first-time teaching experiences. One of my students left home early for Easter. I have a lab/class that meets at 4pm Tuesday and Thursday. She Skyped into the class by contacting another student in the class with a laptop. She attended the class via Skype and commented on the festivities as they happened. Amazing.

Bob Blystone

Robert V. Blystone, Ph.D. Professor of Biology Trinity University One Trinity Place San Antonio, Texas 78212

April; 2, 2010 reply  from Knutel, Phillip [pknutel@BENTLEY.EDU]  

We use Saba-Centra - Skype on steroids, essentially - in 90-100 grad classes in our MSA and other grad programs every year.  We have a camera built into the back wall of 13 "hybrid online" classrooms so online students can see both the professor and classroom students as well as anything on the PC or written on the Smartboard.  Faculty clip on a wireless mic, and there are built-in mics at every student seat.  Online students click on a "raise hand" icon to ask a question, and when called on, are heard via the ceiling speakers.  If online students have webcams, the class sees them as well. 

As of last semester, 37% of students attended online vs. in the classroom, and 22% said the online option was why they chose Bentley.  90% of in-class and online students play back recorded classes, and unlike most online formats that struggle with simple student retention, 80% of online students rated their experience an 8 or higher on a 1-10 scale.  One of these days, we may start advertising our hybrid-online programs, as enrollments have grown significantly almost entirely due to word-of-mouth.

We have a TA in all these classes to monitor online student technical/audio issues, and we also use the TA PC that we install next to the primary classroom PC in the podium as a "hot swap" backup PC.  If anything goes wrong with the main PC, we can switch the room over to the TA PC in a matter of seconds to keep classes running seamlessly until the next break.  These things you learn after doing this for 10 years!


Phillip Knutel, Ph.D.
Executive Director of Academic Technology, the Library, and Online Learning Bentley University 180 Adamian Academic Center
175 Forest St.
Waltham, MA 02452
891.3422/3125 (fax)

April 2, 2010 reply form Peters, James M [jpeters@NMHU.EDU]

In effect, this is how I teach all my classes now.  I use Elluminate instead of Skype, which works much better because I can broadcast what I am displaying on my in class computer and I don't broadcast a video of the classroom, just sound and what is displaying on the computer.  This makes what on the computer much clearer.  I have some students in class and some students attending via the internet, but they are treated the same in the class and I seamlessly switch from working with students in class and working with those on the internet (i.e., I use Socratic Method and so classes are dialogs and group problem solving exercises, not lectures).

Nothing really new here, at least not in my little corner of the world.


The Financial Accounting Standards Board moved last year to close the loophole that Lehman is accused of using, Bushee says. A new rule, FAS 166, replaces the 98%-102% test with one designed to get at the intent behind a repurchase agreement. The new rule, just taking effect now, looks at whether a transaction truly involves a transfer of risk and reward. If it does not, the agreement is deemed a loan and the assets stay on the borrower's balance sheet.

Best Explanation to Date:
"Lehman's Demise and Repo 105: No Accounting for Deception," Knowledge@Wharton, March 31, 2010 ---

The collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 is widely seen as the trigger for the financial crisis, spreading panic that brought lending to a halt. Now a 2,200-page report says that prior to the collapse -- the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history -- the investment bank's executives went to extraordinary lengths to conceal the risks they had taken. A new term describing how Lehman converted securities and other assets into cash has entered the financial vocabulary: "Repo 105."

While Lehman's huge indebtedness and other mistakes have been well documented, the $30 million study by Anton Valukas, assigned by the bankruptcy court, contains a number of surprises and new insights, several Wharton faculty members say.

Among the report's most disturbing revelations, according to Wharton finance professor Richard J. Herring, is the picture of Lehman's accountants at Ernst & Young. "Their main role was to help the firm misrepresent its actual position to the public," Herring says, noting that reforms after the Enron collapse of 2001 have apparently failed to make accountants the watchdogs they should be.

"It was clearly a dodge.... to circumvent the rules, to try to move things off the balance sheet," says Wharton accounting professor professor Brian J. Bushee, referring to Lehman's Repo 105 transactions. "Usually, in these kinds of situations I try to find some silver lining for the company, to say that there are some legitimate reasons to do this.... But it clearly was to get assets off the balance sheet."

The use of outside entities to remove risks from a company's books is common and can be perfectly legal. And, as Wharton finance professor Jeremy J. Siegel points out, "window dressing" to make the books look better for a quarterly or annual report is a widespread practice that also can be perfectly legal. Companies, for example, often rush to lay off workers or get rid of poor-performing units or investments, so they won't mar the next financial report. "That's been going on for 50 years," Siegel says. Bushee notes, however, that Lehman's maneuvers were more extreme than any he has seen since the Enron collapse.

Wharton finance professor professor Franklin Allen suggests that the other firms participating in Lehman's Repo 105 transactions must have known the whole purpose was to deceive. "I thought Repo 105 was absolutely remarkable – that Ernst & Young signed off on that. All of this was simply an artifice, to deceive people." According to Siegel, the report confirms earlier evidence that Lehman's chief problem was excessive borrowing, or over-leverage. He argues that it strengthens the case for tougher restrictions on borrowing.

A Twist on a Standard Financing Method

In his report, Valukas, chairman of the law firm Jenner & Block, says that Lehman disregarded its own risk controls "on a regular basis," even as troubles in the real estate and credit markets put the firm in an increasingly perilous situation. The report slams Ernst & Young for failing to alert the board of directors, despite a warning of accounting irregularities from a Lehman vice president. The auditing firm has denied doing anything wrong, blaming Lehman's problems on market conditions.

Much of Lehman's problem involved huge holdings of securities based on subprime mortgages and other risky debt. As the market for these securities deteriorated in 2008, Lehman began to suffer huge losses and a plunging stock price. Ratings firms downgraded many of its holdings, and other firms like JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup demanded more collateral on loans, making it harder for Lehman to borrow. The firm filed for bankruptcy on September 15, 2008.

Prior to the bankruptcy, Lehman worked hard to make its financial condition look better than it was, the Valukas report says. A key step was to move $50 billion of assets off its books to conceal its heavy borrowing, or leverage. The Repo 105 maneuver used to accomplish that was a twist on a standard financing method known as a repurchase agreement. Lehman first used Repo 105 in 2001 and became dependent on it in the months before the bankruptcy.

Repos, as they are called, are used to convert securities and other assets into cash needed for a firm's various activities, such as trading. "There are a number of different kinds, but the basic idea is you sell the security to somebody and they give you cash, and then you agree to repurchase it the next day at a fixed price," Allen says.

In a standard repo transaction, a firm like Lehman sells assets to another firm, agreeing to buy them back at a slightly higher price after a short period, sometimes just overnight. Essentially, this is a short-term loan using the assets as collateral. Because the term is so brief, there is little risk the collateral will lose value. The lender – the firm purchasing the assets – therefore demands a very low interest rate. With a sequence of repo transactions, a firm can borrow more cheaply than it could with one long-term agreement that would put the lender at greater risk.

Under standard accounting rules, ordinary repo transactions are considered loans, and the assets remain on the firm's books, Bushee says. But Lehman found a way around the negotiations so it could count the transaction as a sale that removed the assets from its books, often just before the end of the quarterly financial reporting period, according to the Valukas report. The move temporarily made the firm's debt levels appear lower than they really were. About $39 billion was removed from the balance sheet at the end of the fourth quarter of 2007, $49 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2008 and $50 billion at the end of the next quarter, according to the report.

Bushee says Repo 105 has its roots in a rule called FAS 140, approved by the Financial Accounting Standards Board in 2000. It modified earlier rules that allow companies to "securitize" debts such as mortgages, bundling them into packages and selling bond-like shares to investors. "This is the rule that basically created the securitization industry," he notes.

FAS 140 allowed the pooled securities to be moved off the issuing firm's balance sheet, protecting investors who bought the securities in case the issuer ran into trouble later. The issuer's creditors, for example, cannot go after these securities if the issuer goes bankrupt, he says.

Because repurchase agreements were really loans, not sales, they did not fit the rule's intent, Bushee states. So the rule contained a provision saying the assets involved would remain on the firm's books so long as the firm agreed to buy them back for a price between 98% and 102% of what it had received for them. If the repurchase price fell outside that narrow band, the transaction would be counted as a sale, not a loan, and the securities would not be reported on the firm's balance sheet until they were bought back.

This provided the opening for Lehman. By agreeing to buy the assets back for 105% of their sales price, the firm could book them as a sale and remove them from the books. But the move was misleading, as Lehman also entered into a forward contract giving it the right to buy the assets back, Bushee says. The forward contract would be on Lehman's books, but at a value near zero. "It's very similar to what Enron did with their transactions. It's called 'round-tripping.'" Enron, the huge Houston energy company, went bankrupt in 2001 in one of the best-known examples of accounting deception.

Lehman's use of Repo 105 was clearly intended to deceive, the Vakulas report concludes. One executive email cited in the report described the program as just "window dressing." But the company, which had international operations, managed to get a legal opinion from a British law firm saying the technique was legal.


The Financial Accounting Standards Board moved last year to close the loophole that Lehman is accused of using, Bushee says. A new rule, FAS 166, replaces the 98%-102% test with one designed to get at the intent behind a repurchase agreement. The new rule, just taking effect now, looks at whether a transaction truly involves a transfer of risk and reward. If it does not, the agreement is deemed a loan and the assets stay on the borrower's balance sheet.

The Vakulas report has led some experts to renew calls for reforms in accounting firms, a topic that has not been front-and-center in recent debates over financial regulation. Herring argues that as long as accounting firms are paid by the companies they audit, there will be an incentive to dress up the client's appearance. "There is really a structural problem in the attitude of accountants." He says it may be worthwhile to consider a solution, proposed by some of the industry's critics, to tax firms to pay for auditing and have the Securities and Exchange Commission assign the work and pay for it.

The Valukas report also shows the need for better risk-management assessments by firm's boards of directors, Herring says. "Every time they reached a line, there should have been a risk-management committee on the board that at least knew about it." Lehman's ability to get a favorable legal opinion in England when it could not in the U.S. underscores the need for a "consistent set" of international accounting rules, he adds.

Siegel argues that the report also confirms that credit-rating agencies like Moody's and Standard & Poor's must bear a large share of the blame for troubles at Lehman and other firms. By granting triple-A ratings to risky securities backed by mortgages and other assets, the ratings agencies made it easy for the firms to satisfy government capital requirements, he says. In effect, the raters enabled the excessive leverage that proved a disaster when those securities' prices fell to pennies on the dollar. Regulators "were being bamboozled, counting as safe capital investments that were nowhere near safe."

Some financial industry critics argue that big firms like Lehman be broken up to eliminate the problem of companies being deemed "too big to fail." But Siegel believes stricter capital requirements are a better solution, because capping the size of U.S. firms would cripple their ability to compete with mega-firms overseas.

While the report sheds light on Lehman's inner workings as the crisis brewed, it has not settled the debate over whether the government was right to let Lehman go under. Many experts believe bankruptcy is the appropriate outcome for firms that take on too much risk. But in this case, many feel Lehman was so big that its collapse threw markets into turmoil, making the crisis worse than it would have been if the government had propped Lehman up, as it did with a number of other firms.

Allen says regulators made the right call in letting Lehman fail, given what they knew at the time. But with hindsight he's not so sure it was the best decision. "I don't think anybody anticipated that it would cause this tremendous stress in the financial system, which then caused this tremendous recession in the world economy."

Allen, Siegel and Herring say regulators need a better system for an orderly dismantling of big financial firms that run into trouble, much as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. does with ordinary banks. The financial reform bill introduced in the Senate by Democrat Christopher J. Dodd provides for that. "I think the Dodd bill has a resolution mechanism that would allow the firm to go bust without causing the kind of disruption that we had," Allen says. "So, hopefully, next time it can be done better. But whether anyone will have the courage to do that, I'm not sure."

Bob Jensen's threads on the Lehman/Ernst controversies are at

"Recent College Grad From New Jersey Beaten Into Coma on Vacation in Mexico," Fox News, March 31, 2010 ---

A recent Rutgers University graduate who was expected to start law school in the fall is clinging to life after he was beaten into a coma while vacationing in Cancun, Mexico.

Joseph "Zeke" Rucker and a friend went to the popular vacation spot two weeks ago to celebrate his graduation, but hours after they arrived the 21-year-old was found severely beaten about 40 feet away from the hotel's pool, CBS3.com reported.

"He has two huge skull fractures in the back of his head and he has internal bleeding in his brain and hematoma," Rucker's father Joseph told the Philadelphia station.

Rucker and his friend arrived in Cancun on March 15, and after a night out, they headed back to their hotel rooms, but Rucker decided to sleep on a lounge chair near the hotel's pool, his friend says.

A security guard found Rucker injured around 4 a.m. the next morning, the friend told CBS3.com.

Rucker's mother is devastated.

"It's heartbreaking. His eyes are open but not focused. We don't know if he even knows who we are," Annie Rucker told CBS4.com in Miami.

Rucker's parents left their home in Sewell, N.J., to be by their son's side in a Mexican hospital and then accompanied him while he was transferred to Miami.

They had given him the trip as a graduation present. Anne Rucker told CBS4.com she knew about the reported violence in Mexico, but she thought her son would be safe in such a populated tourist area.

She said the Mexican authorities seemed not to care about the incident.

"They're not compassionate," she said. "The police never even met with us."

Annie Rucker said after this incident, no one in their family plans to go to Mexico again.

"We have a daughter, and she will never go to Mexico," she said.

"An American Family's Cancun Horror," by Michelle Malkin, Townhall, April 2, 2010 ---

What's lacking in downloaded Kindle textbooks?
Would you believe the chapter exhibits?

I assume that iPad will have the same trouble with textbook exhibits (at least in textbooks purchased from Amazon).

Amazon Kindle Books Also Available on iPad
However, there may not be textbook exhibits in either the Kindle or the iPad versions (see below)

For NewMacOnline, April 5, 2010 --- http://www.newmaconline.com/ipad-keeps-you-reading_2010-04-05/ 

The iPad is getting a lot of press these days for a variety of reasons. One such reason is the notion that the iPad may revolutionize the way that the masses read. Textbook publishers, for instance, are making plans to publish textbooks for the iPad so that students can read schoolbooks from their electronic device. This would eliminate the need for students to lug around a backpack full of books, and also provide students with a host of electronic tools to accompany their reading. Magazines and newspapers are also lining up to make their works available in an electronic format that is compatible with the iPad. And of course, e-books are not a novel concept, and consumers can expect to see a wide variety of best sellers available from the App Store.

Despite this recent wave of attention to online books, however, the concept is by no means new. In fact, e-books have been around for quite some time now, and many consumers have been reading them on their Kindle devices for years. A recent article in Tech News World discussed Amazon’s Kindle device and explained some of what Amazon has decided to do to keep Kindle in competition with Apple. And interestingly, Amazon’s approach is in no way threatening to Apple’s marketing strategy.

Instead of trying to promote Kindle as a superior electronic reading device, Amazon is making electronic books that were once only compatible with Kindles compatible with the iPad. In other words, when consumers purchase e-books from Amazon, they will be able to read them from not only their Kindles, but also from their iPads. Or, if the consumer doesn’t have a Kindle, the iPad will work just fine by itself.

This is not a new decision for Amazon, as the electronic books available for purchase at Amazon.com are already compatible with iPods and iPhones. Consumers need only purchase an app from the App Store and they can read their e-books from Amazon directly from their iPhone or iPod. Upon the release of the iPad, this same technology will be available on the iPad’s larger screen.

By allowing consumers to read e-books purchased on Amazon from any type of device, Amazon is recognizing that digital books are not entirely analogous to print books. The advantage to electronic books is that consumers are not bound to carry them around. By requiring consumers to carry around a Kindle in order to read an electronic book, the digital format loses one of its main benefits. However, allowing readers to access their digital books from anywhere and from any device allows electronic books to retain their convenience.

It is really no wonder that Amazon decided to make its electronic books available to readers who rely on Apple products. Apple users have a fierce sense of loyalty to Apple products, and for good reason. In reality, it is difficult to see how a Kindle could compete with a new iPad, and excluding iPad owners from its electronic book market would be quite detrimental to Amazon. At any rate, however, iPad consumers will be glad to know that the entire selection of books available at Amazon will be compatible with the iPad.

What's lacking in downloaded Kindle textbooks?
Would you believe the chapter exhibits?
I assume that iPad will have the same trouble with textbook exhibits.

"Amazon to release free Kindle software for PC," MIT's Technology Review, October 22, 2009 ---

"Preparing to Sell E-Books, Google Takes on Amazon," by Motoko Rich, The New York Times, May 31, 2009 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at


These Types of African Inheritance Frauds are Still Paying Off
The twist in this case is that the alleged fraudsters are from Ohio

"Nine people sue Solon woman, two Cleveland lawyers for alleged African inheritance scam," by Peter Krouse, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland), March 31, 2010 ---

Most people don't fall for the African inheritance scam where a huge sum of money sits in a foreign bank account waiting to be claimed -- but at a price.

But some do.

Nine people, including several from the Cleveland area, sued a Solon (Ohio) woman and two lawyers this week claiming they duped the plaintiffs into helping the woman recover $14.5 million left behind in the African nation of Burkina Faso.

The lawsuit, filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, claims Willia Burton and two attorneys from Baker Hostetler in Cleveland persuaded the plaintiffs to give her more than $1 million. The money was for legal fees and other payments necessary to recover the inheritance left to Burton by her father. Each contributor was promised "a huge return," the lawsuit states.

It's been five years and none of the nine has seen a dime.

Some of the people who filed suit first met Burton, who worked as a mortgage broker, through the real estate business.

One of the victims eventually helped the U.S. Secret Service investigate Burton, although no criminal charges have been filed.

Fred Proctor Jr., 70, said his real estate financing company in Georgia gave nearly $300,000 to Burton. He also said the Secret Service fitted him with a wire to record a lunch conversation with Burton in Cleveland, during which strongly defended the deal.

The Secret Service would not comment on the matter, nor would the U.S. Attorney's Office.

But the FBI and Better Business Bureau have warned for nearly a decade that deals like the one described in the lawsuit -- in which people are asked to contribute money up front to help get money from a foreign account -- are nothing more than a scam.

The plaintiffs claim Burton arranged a meeting in June 2005 between herself, Baker Hostetler attorneys and Proctor's son, Fred Proctor III, to discuss the inheritance. Once Proctor III arrived at the firm's Cleveland office, he met with attorney William Culbertson and talked by phone with attorney Paul Feinberg, according to the lawsuit.

During that call, Feinberg verified that the $14.5 million was in a bank account in Burkina Faso and that the plaintiffs' investment was needed to get the money, according to the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs also said Baker Hostetler's lawyers drafted promissory notes for the investors, and that Culbertson told Proctor III at one point he "couldn't believe this deal" and that "if I had the money, I would do the same as you," according to the lawsuit.

Based on those assurances, Proctor Jr. said, he gave Burton a $75,000 check from his company, Family Home Providers Inc. Ultimately, his firm gave Burton a total of $295,000, with a board member kicking in another $100,000.

Proctor Jr. and the other plaintiffs claim they only gave money to Burton because Baker Hostetler was involved.

"I didn't do anything until I got legal advice from my attorney through Baker Hostetler," Proctor Jr. said. "I mean I'm not stupid."

Baker Hostetler officials did not return calls seeking comment Tuesday. Neither did Feinberg, who is retired, or Culbertson.

Burton's attorney Mike Nelson believes she also was a victim of the scam, likely perpetrated by a sophisticated organization in Africa that includes government officials, bankers and others.

Nelson said Burton also relied on Baker Hostetler, where she previously worked as a legal secretary, to confirm the legitimacy of the inheritance.

"She's never been to Burkina Faso," Nelson said.

Proctor said he first met Burton when she was a mortgage broker and came to him for help with financing.

Others caught up in the scam, such as Jim Hayzlett of Beachwood, also knew Burton through the real estate business.

Hayzlett, who buys and refurbishes homes, said he was introduced to Burton by members of a real estate investors club that met weekly at a Knights of Columbus hall in Garfield Heights.

Hayzlett said he had known about the Nigerian money scams at the time, but thought this was different because of the assurances he understood to have come from Baker Hostetler. He said Burton told him that her father had been in the mining business in Africa and left a lot of money in a safe deposit box in Burkina Faso.

At the time, Hayzlett said, the inheritance had purportedly made its way to a London account and all Burton needed was money for a tax to have it released. Hayzlett gave Burton $135,000.

To this day, Hayzlett still does not know what happened, or whether Burton was even in on the scam.

"That's a question I ask myself everyday," he said. "Whether she was scammed or not."

Joel Levin, an attorney for the plaintiffs, would not comment on the Baker Hostetler attorneys or his clients, but said the type of scam they were caught up in wasn't widely publicized in 2005 like it is now.

"Everybody looks foolish in a fraud scheme in retrospect," he said.

Bob Jensen's threads on the forever profitable Nigerian 419 scams ---

"SBA Warns Small Businesses of Scams to Help Obtain Government Loans," Journal of Accountancy, April 1, 2010 ---

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) warned that the agency has received several complaints from small businesses about abusive marketing practices, scams and exorbitant fees charged by companies offering to help businesses get a loan, grant or other federal funds from the SBA. Complaints received by the SBA’s Office of the Inspector General (SBA OIG) include:


  • Companies charging small businesses high fees to provide assistance applying to SBA funding programs. Some companies allegedly guaranteed that the small business would obtain SBA funding if they paid the fee. The SBA does not endorse or give preference to specific private companies or their clients.
  • Companies charging small businesses for services never requested after the small business gave bank account and routing information to a caller claiming to be a company offering assistance.
  • Companies alleging that a small business would be issued a “forfeiture letter” that would make the small business ineligible for any SBA funding for three years if the small business refused to use the company’s services.


The SBA said small businesses can get free assistance by calling one of the SBA’s 68 District Offices, or by visiting the SBA’s Web site. Assistance is also available at Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, Veterans Business Outreach Centers and SCORE Chapters, either free or for a reasonable fee. Location and contact information for the centers is available at sba.gov.

Bob Jensen's threads on fraud reporting are at

Bob Jensen's small business helpers are at

Rationality in Economics
Peter J. Hammond
Department of Economics, Stanford University, CA 94305-6072, U.S.A.

1 Introduction and Outline

Rationality is one of the most over-used words in economics. Behaviour can be rational, or irrational. So can decisions, preferences, beliefs, expectations, decision procedures, and knowledge. There may also be bounded rationality. And recent work in game theory has considered strategies and beliefs or expectations that are “rationalizable”.

Here I propose to assess how economists use and mis-use the term “rationality.”

Most of the discussion will concern the normative approach to decision theory. First, I shall consider single person decision theory. Then I shall move on to interactive or multi-person decision theory, customarily called game theory. I shall argue that, in normative decision theory, rationality has become little more than a structural consistency criterion. At the least, it needs supplementing with other criteria that reflect reality. Also, though there is no reason to reject rationality hypotheses as normative criteria just because people do not behave rationally, even so rationality as consistency seems so demanding that it may not be very useful for practicable normative models either.

Towards the end, I shall offer a possible explanation of how the economics profession has arrived where it is. In particular, I shall offer some possible reasons why the rationality hypothesis persists even in economic models which purport to be descriptive. I shall conclude with tentative suggestions for future research —about where we might do well to go in future.

2 Decision Theory with Measurable Objectives

In a few cases, a decision-making agent may seem to have clear and measurable objectives. A football team, regarded as a single agent, wants to score more goals than the opposition, to win the most matches in the league, etc. A private corporation seeks to make profits and so increase the value to its owners. A publicly owned municipal transport company wants to provide citizens with adequate mobility at reasonable fares while not requiring too heavy a subsidy out of general tax revenue. A non-profit organization like a university tends to have more complex objectives, like educating students, doing good research, etc. These conflicting aims all have to be met within a limited budget.

Measurable objectives can be measured, of course. This is not always as easily as keeping score in a football match or even a tennis, basketball or cricket match. After all, accountants often earn high incomes, ostensibly by measuring corporate profits and/or earnings. For a firm whose profits are risky, shareholders with well diversified portfolios will want that firm to maximize the expectation of its stock market value. If there is uncertainty about states of the world with unknown probabilities, each diversified shareholder will want the firm to maximize subjective expected values, using the shareholder’s subjective probabilities. Of course, it is then hard to satisfy all shareholders simultaneously. And, as various recent spectacular bank failures show, it is much harder to measure the extent to which profits are being made when there is uncertainly.

In biology, modern evolutionary theory ascribes objectives to genes —so the biologist Richard Dawkins has written evocatively of the Selfish Gene. The measurable objective of a gene is the extent to which the gene survives because future organisms inherit it. Thus, gene survival is an objective that biologists can attempt to measure, even if the genes themselves and the organisms that carry them remain entirely unaware of why they do what they do in order to promote gene survival.

Early utility theories up to about the time of Edgeworth also tried to treat utility as objectively measurable. The Age of the Enlightenment had suggested worthy goals like “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” as mentioned in the constitution of the U.S.A. Jeremy Bentham wrote of maximizing pleasure minus pain, adding both over all individuals. In dealing with risk, especially that posed by the St. Petersburg Paradox, in the early 1700s first Gabriel Cramer (1728) and then Daniel Bernoulli (1738) suggested maximizing expected utility; most previous writers had apparently considered only maximizing expected wealth.

3 Ordinal Utility and Revealed Preference

Over time, it became increasingly clear to economists that any behaviour as interesting and complex as consumers’ responses to price and wealth changes could not be explained as the maximization of some objective measure of utility. Instead, it was postulated that consumers maximize unobservable subjective utility functions. These utility functions were called “ordinal” because all that mattered was the ordering between utilities of different consumption bundles. It would have been mathematically more precise and perhaps less confusing as well if we had learned to speak of an ordinal equivalence class of utility functions. The idea is to regard two utility functions as equivalent if and only if they both represent the same preference ordering — that is, the same reflexive, complete, and transitive binary relation. Then, of course, all that matters is the preference ordering — the choice of utility function from the ordinal equivalence class that represents the preference ordering is irrelevant. Indeed, provided that a preference ordering exists, it does not even matter whether it can be represented by any utility function at all.

Bob Jensen's threads on theory are at

"13 Bankers Versus One Professor:  The author of a new book on financial reform makes a case for breaking up the nation's largest banks," by Scott Leibs, CFO.com, April 2, 2010 ---

"This is about power and control and who decides your future," Simon Johnson warned for at least the second time on Friday. He had just returned to the campus of MIT's Sloan School of Management in Cambridge, Massachusetts, having been in New York hours earlier to deliver a similar message on The Today Show. Both appearances were part of an intensive launch of his latest book, 13 Bankers: The Wall Street Takeover and the Next Financial Meltdown, co-authored with former McKinsey consultant James Kwak.

The "13 bankers" of the book's title refers to the financial-industry luminaries who were summoned to the White House on March 27, 2009, in a mostly futile effort to enlist their help in solving the very economic crisis they had been so instrumental, in Johnson's view, in creating.

"We're all in this together," President Obama told the assembled bankers. The statement was more apt than Obama intended, Johnson contends. Wall Street bankers have become so entrenched in Washington in the past three decades that the solution proposed by Johnson and Kwak — break up "too big to fail" banks into smaller entities for which failure is, in fact, an option — faces a very long uphill climb.

If Johnson's solution isn't adopted, it won't be for lack of effort on his part. Speaking to an audience of 150 at MIT, where he is the Ronald A. Kurtz Professor of Entrepreneurship, Johnson argued forcefully that the astounding rise of the nation's largest banks mandates immediate corrective action. In 1995, he pointed out, the assets of the six largest banks equaled 17% of GDP; by last year that figure had risen to more than 60%. Profits (and compensation) have followed similarly stunning trajectories, as has the clout wielded by bankers on both sides of the political aisle.

When bankers came looking for a bailout, Johnson said, they not only got one, they got it on terms that were "completely at odds with conventional practices" in similar financial catastrophes. The result was a rescue operation that amounts to "nontransparent corporate welfare that must be stopped."

Johnson disagrees with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's claim that the Great Recession represents a 30- or 40-year flood that few people will see again in their working lifetimes. A more apt comparison, he said, is to weakened levees, and the key question is whether the structural changes that have taken place in the financial industry will cause those levees to be breached again in the near future. "Do we want to experience this crisis again," he asked, "just because six banks can't be made smaller?"

Johnson has no illusions that enacting stronger regulations than those currently put forward will be easy. "It will take time to change people's attitudes," he admitted, but he said there is historical precedent for picking a fight that few people grasp, let alone support. "When Teddy Roosevelt took on J.P. Morgan," he said, "no one understood why, and of those who did, no one thought he would win." Yet Roosevelt triumphed over not only Morgan but also monopolies such as Standard Oil, which was broken into almost three dozen smaller companies.

Asked by an audience member whether banks have learned valuable lessons from the meltdown and thus won't need tighter regulation, Johnson responded, "The recent executive bonuses handed out suggest not much has been learned." Indeed, Wells Fargo and several others have recently announced lavish compensation awards to some of the very executives Johnson believes should have been ousted as one condition of the bailouts.

But he remains hopeful, citing several chief executives who support his argument, sometimes publicly, sometimes privately. Asked about potential support from CFOs, who rarely, if ever, champion any form of financial regulation, Johnson quipped, "I don't expect CFOs to be in the vanguard, but I do believe many will support the concept of breaking up too-big-to-fail banks once they take a close look at the issues."

Bob Jensen's threads on the economic crisis are at

From the Scout Report on March 26, 2010

Easeus Todo Backup 1.1 --- http://www.todo-backup.com/ 

If you have a system problem or a crash, Easeus Todo Backup can help. This program allows users to back and restore a disk or partition after a virus attack, and also restore image files and even backup the whole hard disk. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000 and newer, and the website contains an extensive help section.

High Quality Photo Resizer 5.02 ---  http://www.naturpic.com/resizer/index.html 

If you're in the market for a photo resizer, this version of High Quality Photo Resizer is a good place to start. The program allows users to resize large batches of digital photos quickly, and it can also be used to add effects like "colorize", "mosaic", and "swirl". This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000 and newer.

In California, a rather unique museum looks for a new home In California, the Banana Museum Has Lost Its Appeal http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704534904575131660097881550.html 

The Saddest, Scariest Story About a Dying Banana Museum Ever

Bananas: A Storied Fruit With An Uncertain Future [Real Player] http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=19097412 

The Banana Club Museum http://www.bananaclub.com/InsideMuseum.htm 

National Apple Museum http://www.nationalapplemuseum.com/ 

All Recipes: Banana http://allrecipes.com/Recipes/Fruits-and-Vegetables/Fruits/Bananas/Main.aspx

Free online textbooks, cases, and tutorials in accounting, finance, economics, and statistics --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks

Education Tutorials

Financial Education for Teachers: The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis --- http://www.minneapolisfed.org/community_education/teacher/

Bob Jensen's threads on general education tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#EducationResearch

Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

.Teach. Genetics: Epigenetics [RealPlayer] http://teach.genetics.utah.edu/content/epigenetics/

University of Kentucky Agricultural Information Center --- http://www.uky.edu/Libraries/lib.php?lib_id=1

National Agricultural Library --- http://www.nal.usda.gov/

Paul Revere Williams Project [architecture] --- http://www.paulrwilliamsproject.org/

Environment Yale Magazine (featuring forestry) --- http://environment.yale.edu/magazine/

International Year of Biodiversity [Flash Player] http://www.cbd.int/2010/welcome/

Bob Jensen's threads on free online science, engineering, and medicine tutorials are at --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Science

Social Science and Economics Tutorials

 Massachusetts Historical Society: Photographs of Native Americans --- http://www.masshist.org/photographs/nativeamericans/

The Return of the Multi-Generational Family Household --- http://pewsocialtrends.org/pubs/752/the-return-of-the-multi-generational-family-household

Latin American Public Opinion Project --- http://sitemason.vanderbilt.edu/lapop/HOME

Fabian Society Online Archive (social democracy history and theory) ---  http://www2.lse.ac.uk/library/archive/online_resources/fabianarchive/home.aspx

Bob Jensen's threads on Economics, Anthropology, Social Sciences, and Philosophy tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Social

Law and Legal Studies

Bob Jensen's threads on law and legal studies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Law

Math Tutorials

Bob Jensen's threads on free online mathematics tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#050421Mathematics

History Tutorials

Art Through Time: A Global View --- http://www.learner.org/courses/globalart/

Mail Art (meaning art sent via the post office) --- http://ubdigit.buffalo.edu/collections/lib/lib-pc/lib-pc001_MailArt.php

The Hale Scrapbook (cartoon history) --- http://cartoons.osu.edu/hale/Hale.php

Bill Mauldin's Military Cartoons --- Click Here

The Opper Project (editorial cartoons) --- http://hti.osu.edu/opper/index.cfm

University of Nebraska Libraries Digital Collections: Government Comics Collection --- 

National (American) History Education Clearinghouse ---  http://teachinghistory.org/

Massachusetts Historical Society: Photographs of Native Americans --- http://www.masshist.org/photographs/nativeamericans/

American History
DuBoisopedia --- http://www.library.umass.edu/spcoll/duboisopedia/doku.php

Heritage Preservation --- http://www.heritagepreservation.org/

Coal Mining in Southern Illinois --- http://mccoy.lib.siu.edu/~horrell/

"Coalbrookdale and the History of Coal Power," by Renee Montagne --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9955564

Nickel Weeklies (American History) --- http://drc.library.bgsu.edu/handle/2374.BGSU/744 
Many Pen and Ink Sketches

National American History: Museum Stories of Freedom and Justice [iTunes] http://americanhistory.si.edu/freedomandjustice/

American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940 --- http://memory.loc.gov/wpaintro/wpahome.html

Fabian Society Online Archive (social democracy history and theory) ---  http://www2.lse.ac.uk/library/archive/online_resources/fabianarchive/home.aspx

Bob Jensen's threads on history tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#History
Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm  

Language Tutorials

Bob Jensen's links to language tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Languages

Music Tutorials

Samuel Barber at the Library of Congress --- http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/loc.natlib.ihas.200183698/default.html

Bob Jensen's threads on free music tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#050421Music

Writing Tutorials

Bob Jensen's helpers for writers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob3.htm#Dictionaries

Updates from WebMD --- http://www.webmd.com/

March 30, 2010

March 31, 2010

April 1, 2010

April 2, 2010

April 3, 2010

April 4, 2010

April 6, 2010

April 7, 2010

April 8, 2010


Very funny Jewish wedding with English subtitle (la boda) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NF3OWNJgYw
It gets better near the end!

Me and My Shadow ( a very funny video link forwarded by David Fordham) ---  Click Here
The only thing missing is the music --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5hXtGkzZ9k
1927 Version ---

Dear professor Robert Bob,

Thank for these funny videos.

My reply now:




All the best,

Dan (from Romania)


Forwarded by Maureen

Getting old in Florida 
Two elderly 
ladies are sitting on the front porch in 
Bradenton , doing 

One lady turns and asks, 'Do you 
still get horny?' 

The other replies, 'Oh sure I 

The first old lady asks, 'What do 
you do about it?' 

The second old lady replies, 'I 
suck a lifesaver.' 

After a few moments, the first 
old lady asks, 'Who drives you to the beach?' 

Three old 
ladies were sitting side by side in their retirement home 
Sarasota reminiscing. The 
first lady recalled shopping at the green grocers and demonstrated with 
her hands, the length and thickness of a cucumber she could buy for a 

The second old lady nodded, 
adding that onions used to be much bigger and cheaper also, and 
demonstrated the size of two big onions she could buy for a penny a 

The third old lady remarked, 'I 
can't hear a word you're saying, but I remember the guy you're talking 

A little old 
lady was sitting on a park bench in The Villages, 
Florida Adult community. A 
man walked over and sits down on the other end of the bench. After a few 
moments, the woman asks, 'Are you a stranger 

He replies, 'I lived here years 

'So, where were you all these 

'In prison,' he 

'Why did they put you in 

He looked at her, and very 
quietly said, 'I killed my wife.' 

'Oh!' said the woman. 'So you're 

Two elderly 
people living in 
Tamarac , he was a widower 
and she a widow, had known each other for a number of years. One evening 
there was a community supper in the big arena in the 

The two were at the same table, 
across from one another. As the meal went on, he took a few admiring 
glances at her and finally gathered the courage to ask her, 'Will you 
marry me?' 

After about six seconds of 
'careful consideration,' she answered 'Yes. Yes, I 

The meal ended and, with a few 
more pleasant exchanges, they went to their respective places. Next 
morning, he was troubled. 'Did she say 'yes' or did she say 

He couldn't remember. Try as he 
might, he just could not recall. Not even a faint memory. With 
trepidation, he went to the telephone and called 

First, he explained that he 
didn't remember as well as he used to. Then he reviewed the lovely 
evening past.. As he gained a little more courage, he inquired, 'When I 
asked if you would marry me, did you say ' Yes' or did you say 

He was delighted to hear her say, 
'Why, I said, 'Yes, yes I will' and I meant it with all my heart.' Then 
she continued, 'And I am so glad that you called, because I couldn't 
remember who had asked me.' 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * * * 

A man was 
telling his neighbor in 
Naples , 'I just bought a 
new hearing aid. It cost me four thousand dollars, but it's state of the 
art. It's perfect.' 

'Really,' answered the neighbor. 
'What kind is it?' 


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
* * * * * * * * *

A little old 
man shuffled slowly into the '
Orange Dipper', an ice cream 
parlor in Ft Myers , and pulled himself slowly, painfully, up 
onto a stool. 

After catching his breath he 
ordered a banana split. 

The waitress asked kindly, 
'Crushed nuts?' 

'No,' he replied, 



Tidbits Archives --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm

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

Shielding Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave ---

What went wrong in accounting/accountics research?  ---

The Sad State of Accountancy Doctoral Programs That Do Not Appeal to Most Accountants ---


Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory ---

Tom Lehrer on Mathematical Models and Statistics ---

Systemic problems of accountancy (especially the vegetable nutrition paradox) that probably will never be solved ---


World Clock --- http://www.peterussell.com/Odds/WorldClock.php
Facts about the earth in real time --- http://www.worldometers.info/

Interesting Online Clock and Calendar --- http://home.tiscali.nl/annejan/swf/timeline.swf
Time by Time Zones --- http://timeticker.com/
Projected Population Growth (it's out of control) --- http://geography.about.com/od/obtainpopulationdata/a/worldpopulation.htm
         Also see http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/P/Populations.html
Facts about population growth (video) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMcfrLYDm2U
Projected U.S. Population Growth --- http://www.carryingcapacity.org/projections75.html
Real time meter of the U.S. cost of the war in Iraq --- http://www.costofwar.com/ 
Enter you zip code to get Census Bureau comparisons --- http://zipskinny.com/
Sure wish there'd be a little good news today.

Free (updated) Basic Accounting Textbook --- search for Hoyle at

CPA Examination --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cpa_examination
Free CPA Examination Review Course Courtesy of Joe Hoyle --- http://cpareviewforfree.com/

Rick Lillie's education, learning, and technology blog is at http://iaed.wordpress.com/

Accounting News, Blogs, Listservs, and Social Networking ---

Bob Jensen's Threads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm 
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

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

Some of Bob Jensen's Tutorials

Accounting program news items for colleges are posted at http://www.accountingweb.com/news/college_news.html
Sometimes the news items provide links to teaching resources for accounting educators.
Any college may post a news item.

Accountancy Discussion ListServs:

For an elaboration on the reasons you should join a ListServ (usually for free) go to   http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm
AECM (Educators)  http://pacioli.loyola.edu/aecm/ 
AECM is an email Listserv list which provides a forum for discussions of all hardware and software which can be useful in any way for accounting education at the college/university level. Hardware includes all platforms and peripherals. Software includes spreadsheets, practice sets, multimedia authoring and presentation packages, data base programs, tax packages, World Wide Web applications, etc

Roles of a ListServ --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm

CPAS-L (Practitioners) http://pacioli.loyola.edu/cpas-l/ 
CPAS-L provides a forum for discussions of all aspects of the practice of accounting. It provides an unmoderated environment where issues, questions, comments, ideas, etc. related to accounting can be freely discussed. Members are welcome to take an active role by posting to CPAS-L or an inactive role by just monitoring the list. You qualify for a free subscription if you are either a CPA or a professional accountant in public accounting, private industry, government or education. Others will be denied access.
Yahoo (Practitioners)  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/xyztalk
This forum is for CPAs to discuss the activities of the AICPA. This can be anything  from the CPA2BIZ portal to the XYZ initiative or anything else that relates to the AICPA.
AccountantsWorld  http://accountantsworld.com/forums/default.asp?scope=1 
This site hosts various discussion groups on such topics as accounting software, consulting, financial planning, fixed assets, payroll, human resources, profit on the Internet, and taxation.
Business Valuation Group BusValGroup-subscribe@topica.com 
This discussion group is headed by Randy Schostag [RSchostag@BUSVALGROUP.COM

Many useful accounting sites (scroll down) --- http://www.iasplus.com/links/links.htm


Bob Jensen's Sort-of Blogs --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/JensenBlogs.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

Some Accounting History Sites

Bob Jensen's Accounting History in a Nutshell and Links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm#AccountingHistory

Accounting History Libraries at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) --- http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/accountancy/libraries.html
The above libraries include international accounting history.
The above libraries include film and video historical collections.

MAAW Knowledge Portal for Management and Accounting --- http://maaw.info/

Academy of Accounting Historians and the Accounting Historians Journal ---

Sage Accounting History --- http://ach.sagepub.com/cgi/pdf_extract/11/3/269

A nice timeline on the development of U.S. standards and the evolution of thinking about the income statement versus the balance sheet is provided at:
"The Evolution of U.S. GAAP: The Political Forces Behind Professional Standards (1930-1973)," by Stephen A. Zeff, CPA Journal, January 2005 --- http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/2005/105/infocus/p18.htm
Part II covering years 1974-2003 published in February 2005 --- http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/2005/205/index.htm 

A nice timeline of accounting history --- http://www.docstoc.com/docs/2187711/A-HISTORY-OF-ACCOUNTING

From Texas A&M University
Accounting History Outline --- http://acct.tamu.edu/giroux/history.html

Bob Jensen's timeline of derivative financial instruments and hedge accounting ---

History of Fraud in America --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/415wp/AmericanHistoryOfFraud.htm
Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud.htm



Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob) http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen
190 Sunset Hill Road
Sugar Hill, NH 03586
Phone:  603-823-8482 
Email:  rjensen@trinity.edu