Tidbits on January 26, 2010
Bob Jensen

It would be a Bloody Mary morning if I liked a Bloody Mary
Hot coffee and oatmeal will have to suffice

No two sunrises are alike if there are any clouds above the mountains

A stand of birch, fir, maple, and pine trees separates our wild flower field from our main lot

Here's the same view without the snow
More of Erika's wildflower pictures --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2008/tidbits080625.htm

This was the entrance to the Chapman Great Hall when my retirement
celebration was about to begin Spring Semester 2006
I later tacked this sign up on a wall in my barn in New Hampshire

These are some of Erika's Hummel figurines in our case that came from the Black Forest
It took four straining movers to lift this case (in two pieces) into our cottage
They said they would've preferred to lift a grand piano

This is Vernon Jensen with his son Bob in San Antonio

Neighbor Lottie, Erika, and Maria (Erika's Mom)


This was a San Antonio neighbor's Dog Festus at Erika's feet during a Super Bowl party

I took this picture of one of Holland's many windmills

A mouth watering delight

On January 23, 2010 good friend Paul Pacter sent me this picture from Hyderabad, India.
"Vibrant, noisy, crazy traffic, very nice people and lots of them, funny odors, religious, rich and poor living close together"
Paul has helped more nations develop accounting standards that virtually anybody else in the world
Too bad he's also not a plumber

  • Paul Pacter (now living in Hong Kong but spending a high percentage of time with the IASB in London)
    Director, Deloitte IFRS Global Office
  • Concurrently, IASB Director of Standards for SMEs
  • Webmaster, www.iasplus.com 
  • Co-author, Applying International Financial Reporting Standards and Australian Accounting Standards (both Wiley)
  • IASC Project manager on IASs 14, 34, 35, 39, 41
  • Deputy Director of Research, FASB (USA)
  • CFO of large municipal government (USA)
  • Vice Chairman, GASB Advisory Council (USA)
  • Editorial Advisory Boards: Journal of Accountancy, Accounting Review, CPA Journal, Corporate Accounting, Research in Accounting Regulation
  • Member, FASB consolidations and GASB pensions task forces
    Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/acct5341/speakers/pacter.htm 

Paul has tens of thousands of photographs taken over the years as he traveled around the world countless times
Welcome to Paul's Photo Gallery --- http://www.whencanyou.com/index.htm

Bali Cliffs at Uluwatu Indian Ocean

Temple in Ubud (Bali)

Pura Gunung Kawi 11th Century (Bali)

Tibet: Shigatze, Gyantze, Mountains, Yamdrok Tso Lake (Tibet)

Tibet: Shigatze, Gyantze, Mountains, Yamdrok Tso Lake (Tibet)

Tibet: Shigatze, Gyantze, Mountains, Yamdrok Tso Lake (Tibet)

Zhouzhang, China

Tomb of Mao Tse Tung (Beijing)

Tiananmen Gate (Gate of Heavenly Peace)

Many, many more of Paul Pacter's photographs ---  http://www.whencanyou.com/index.htm 


2010 Chinese Ice Festival ---

Bob uses his cool sunglasses to take videos of his walks in the snow --- http://nugossips.com/eagle-i-built-in-videoaudio-recording-camera-sunglass 



Tidbits on January 26, 2010
Bob Jensen



Now in Another Tidbits Document
Political Quotations on January 26, 2010
To Accompany the January 26, 2010 edition of Tidbits


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

The Real National Debt (booked + unbooked entitlements) 2008
Source --- http://www.pgpf.org/about/nationaldebt/

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

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


Shielding Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave  --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TheoryTAR.htm
by Bob Jensen

Table of Contents




Tidbits on December 23, 2009
Bob Jensen

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 ---

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 

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

Shielding Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave  --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TheoryTAR.htm
By Bob Jensen

Table of Contents


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 ---


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

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

Video:  Jon Stewart Mocks Olbermann (hilarious) ---
Olbermann reduced to name calling.

100 Inspirational, Entrepreneurial Videos on YouTube ---
Some of these are terrific if you just cannot fall asleep. Others will help keep you awake.

NASA eClips --- http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/nasaeclips/

Video:  Bottlenose dolphins mud-ring feeding --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQ50PYMXDCQ

Video:  Purported Facts of the Modern Times (this is a newer and updated Sony Annual Meeting version) ---
 Some things I might quibble with like how fast knowledge becomes outdated, but it's a quick and worthwhile overview of a lot of supposed facts).
This video might wake your students up at the beginning or the ending of a class.

A 1935 US Travel "Video" Done by Chevrolet ---

Lord's Prayer for the Nation --- http://www.greatdanepro.com/Pray For America/index.htm

Boinging Sarah Palin and Fox News
"Video:  John Cleese Is Finally Funny Again!" Ace of Spades, January 22, 2010 ---

John Stossel: Stossel’s Take on Global Warming

1/6: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yI3IsmkH1Do
2/6: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlShYW4R0Sg
3/6: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPH2nuIHaCc
4/6: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6zoH4HuM8c
5/6: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2xvnGl1jCk
6/6: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y18U9l7Ocds


Detroit in Ruins --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hhJ_49leBw

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

Folk Singer Kate McGarrigle Dies At 63 --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122728816

A touching story about a young artist with a terminal illness
The Swan Song Of A Teenage Ukulele Master --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122617875

Darwin's Theories, Speaking Musically (classical music) --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=121778672

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

Lord's Prayer for the Nation --- http://www.greatdanepro.com/Pray For America/index.htm

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

Many, many more of Paul Pacter's photographs ---  http://www.whencanyou.com/index.htm 

Absolutely Amazing
Spherical Panoramas In and Around Utah --- http://www.utah3d.net/index.html

Princeton University Library Digital Collections: Lorenzo Homar Collection (graphics arts) ---

Bolivian Super Highway --- http://happydays-nancy.blogspot.com/2009/12/bolivian-super-highway.html

Graphic Masters II: American Art --- http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/online/graphicmasters2/index.html

Bonhams Magazine (antiques and fine art) --- http://www.bonhams.com/cgi-bin/public.sh/pubweb/publicSite.r?screen=magazinecontents

Journal of Aesthetics & Culture --- http://journals.sfu.ca/coaction/index.php/jac

Ringling Collection: Images of 19th Century Actors and Actresses --- http://ufdcweb1.uflib.ufl.edu/ufdc/?s=ringling

Charlie Parker (films in history) --- http://tsutpen.blogspot.com/

New ways of presenting Native American art on display in Kansas City Elevating American Indian Art http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704107104574572160369308496.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_sections_lifestyle

 A native sensibility to Autry exhibition http://www.latimes.com/la-ca-baskets10-2010jan10,0,2450901.story

Priest's pop art challenges contemporary stereotypes, recalls church history ---  http://www.episcopalchurch.org/81803_118308_ENG_HTM.htm

 The Art of Native American Basketry: A Living Tradition ---  http://www.autrynationalcenter.org/basketry/

 National Museum of the American Indian ---  http://www.nmai.si.edu/index.cfm

 CultureGrrl ---  http://www.artsjournal.com/culturegrrl/


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

The Lincoln Log --- http://www.thelincolnlog.org/view

The Visual Dictionary --- http://www.infovisual.info/

Visuwords (Dictionary) ---  http://www.visuwords.com/

Strategic Studies Institute: United States Army War College --- http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/  

Writing Guidelines for Engineering and Science Students --- http://writing.engr.psu.edu/

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 January 26, 2010
To Accompany the January 26, 2010 edition of Tidbits


Plans are worthless, but planning is essential
Dwight David Eisenhower as quoted by Mark Shapiro at http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-01-19-10.htm

But Watch Them Flock Into Business (including accounting)  as Sophomores to where each year later on
"the largest numbers of degrees were conferred in the fields of business."
See data below in this tidbit.
It seems to take about a year to overcome biases instilled by high school teachers.

"Freshmen Abandon Business," by David Moltz, Inside Higher Ed, January 21, 2010 ---

The percentage of college freshmen planning to major in business is at its lowest level since the mid-1970s, according to a national survey of students who entered baccalaureate institutions in the fall.

Thursday, the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) at the University of California at Los Angeles released the 2009 version of itsFreshman Survey,” which it has conducted annually since 1966. This latest report is based on the responses of nearly 220,000 first-time, full-time students at 297 four-year institutions. All data have been "statistically adjusted" to reflect the views of nearly 1.4 million freshmen who entered college in the fall.

From 2008 to 2009, the percentage of freshman who plan on majoring in business fell from 16.8 percent to 14.4 percent. The last time interest in the business major was lower was 1974, with 14 percent. Also, in one year, the percentage of freshmen who listed their "probable career" as one in business dropped from 14.1 percent to 12.1 percent. This is an all-time low for the survey; the previous low was in 2003, when 13.8 percent reported that their goal was a career in business.

“I think that a business career doesn’t look as appealing as it once did, nor does it come with a guarantee of being well-off financially as in the past,” said Linda DeAngelo, co-author of the accompanying report and assistant director of research for the Cooperative Institutional Research Program at HERI. “Some of that can definitely be attributed to the general sense that we spent a lot of time over the past year raking business executives and people in high finance over the coals. There’s certainly a trickle down, and I don’t think high school students are immune to that overall feeling about business.”

Disaggregating the various niches within the broad career field of “business,” DeAngelo noted that interest in accounting, business administration and management all fell from 2008, while interest in finance and marketing remained about the same.

The recession not only affected the choices of major and career field among freshmen; it also raised anxiety about their ability to pay for college. In 2009, about two-thirds of the incoming students responded that they had “some” or “major" concerns about “their ability to finance their college education.”

These figures, however, have not changed all that dramatically since the last recession, in the early 2000s. In 2002, 52.7 percent of freshmen reported that they had “some concerns” about paying, and 12.6 percent reported they had “major concerns.” Last year, 55.4 percent reported that had “some concerns,” and 11.3 percent reported having “major concerns.”

Still, DeAngelo argued that simply citing student anxiety about paying for college does not fully gauge the impact of this recession. More figures from the study, she noted, must be considered “in totality” to support her argument that this recession has taken a toll that other recessions have not.

For instance, in the latest survey, 4.5 percent of freshmen reported having a father who was unemployed. This is the highest unemployment rate for fathers since the survey began in 1966. Also, 7.9 percent of freshmen reported that their mother was unemployed. This is the highest since 1979. Since the last recession, these figures have jumped noticeably. In 2002, the unemployment rate for fathers was 2.4 percent, and for mothers, 4.5 percent.

On Student Politics and Remediation

The latest Freshman Survey also reveals a fairly consistent pattern in the political leanings of incoming students. The 2008 first-year class contained the highest percentage of liberals since 1973; 31 percent of freshmen identified themselves that way. The percentage of liberals fell to 29 percent with last fall’s incoming class.

The report’s authors argue that this percentage drop “might at first seem like a reaction to President Obama’s first year in office.” They note, however, that it actually follows a trend the annual survey has chronicled since the election of President Carter in 1976: “Following a political party change in the White House, regardless of political party, in the next year there is a slight drop in the percentage of liberal students and a slight increase in the percentage of conservative students.”

Despite the known pattern in the annual survey, DeAngelo said she and other researchers were still surprised by the two-point drop in the percentage of liberals since the presidential election.

“There was so much talk about the surge of the youth vote and the surge of new voters who were so excited about Obama,” DeAngelo explained. “I expected that the percentage of liberals would have at least stayed the same or even risen with the next class. I thought that the pattern was going to be broken, but that’s been in place since some of these kids’ parents were young.”

The latest survey also reveals that more freshmen than ever reported that they had received “special tutoring or remedial work” in “core subject areas” in high school. Of the entering class in 2009, 21.2 percent noted that they had received this help in “one or more subjects.” This is up four percentage points in the past decade, DeAngelo noted.

Once in college, 38.7 percent of freshmen reported that they thought they would need aid or remediation in “one or more subjects.” This has grown 2.7 percentage points in the past decade. Disaggregated, DeAngelo noted, the reported need for remediation in subjects like English and mathematics has not shifted significantly since 1999.

Considering just the 2009 data, there still exist gaps between the percentage of those who received remedial work in high school in certain subjects and the percentage of those who need remedial work in college. The most severe gaps are in science, writing and foreign languages. Reading and social studies, however, show a decreased need for further remediation in college among freshmen.

Jensen Comment
There's an old saying that almost no high school graduates plan to major in accounting. More plan to major in business, but high school graduates are often aiming to become medical doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists, teachers, etc. Accounting and business are often viewed through negative lenses instilled by high school teachers. In some cases there is teenage rebellion at suggestions by parents to consider business.

At Trinity University where I taught for 24 years, virtually none of the incoming freshman showed an interest in majoring in accounting. Almost half want a premed curriculum. Others are dreaming of various humanities specialties including music. A high proportion also start out in the Department of Education.

But along the way for various reasons, many are migrating to the Department of Business by their sophomore and junior years. By the time they graduate, the largest number of graduates are from the Department of Business and accounting is a solid major within the Department of Business even though accounting graduates go on for a masters degree in order to sit for the CPA examination.

Reasons that students migrate into business studies are many and varied, but the major factor in undoubtedly career opportunity. Only the top premed graduates get into medical school. Lawyers are a dime a dozen after investing heavily in three years of graduate school. Science and humanities graduates often have to be admitted into doctoral programs to have career opportunities. At Trinity University it's increasingly popular to double major in such things as accounting and Chinese.

One of the huge attractions to change to an accounting major is the opportunity to internship and receive training from a top accounting firm or business corporation.

2009 Best Places to Start/Intern According to Bloomberg/Business Week --- Click Here
Also see the Internship and Table links at http://www.businessweek.com/careers/special_reports/20091211best_places_for_interns.htm
The Top five rankings contain all Big Four accountancy firms.
Somehow Proctor and Gamble slipped into Rank 4 above PwC
The accountancy firms of Grant Thornton and RMS McGladrey make the top 40 at ranks 32 and 33 respectively.

Best Places to Intern --- http://www.businessweek.com/managing/content/dec2009/ca2009129_394659.htm?link_position=link1
I'm waiting for Francine to throw cold water on the "ever before" claim
Especially note the KPMG Experience Abroad module below
"Best Places to Intern:  Bloomberg BusinessWeek's 2009 list shows employers are hiring more interns to fill entry-level positions than ever before,"  by Lindsey Gerdes, Business Week, December 10, 2009 ---

What the UCLA study cannot account for is how the negative opinion of majoring in business among freshman changes along the way to where business (including accounting) becomes the most popular major across the entire United States --- http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=37

What are the most popular majors for college students?

Of the 1,524,000 bachelor's degrees conferred in 2006–07,
the largest numbers of degrees were conferred in the fields of business (328,000), social sciences and history (164,000), education (106,000), and health sciences (102,000). At the master’s degree level, the largest numbers of degrees were in the fields of education (177,000) and business (150,000). The fields with the largest number of degrees at the doctor’s degree level were health professions and related clinical sciences (8,400), education (8,300), engineering (8,100), biological and biomedical sciences (6,400), psychology (5,200), and physical sciences (4,800).

In recent years, the numbers of bachelor's degrees conferred have followed patterns that differed significantly by field of study. While the number of degrees increased 30 percent overall between 1996–97 and 2006–07, there was substantial variation among the different fields of study, as well as shifts in the patterns of change during this time period. The number of bachelor’s degrees conferred in the combined fields of engineering and engineering technologies declined 1 percent between 1996–97 and 2001–02, but then rose 10 percent between 2001–02 and 2006–07. The number of engineering and engineering technologies degrees conferred in 2006–07 was about 8 percent higher than the number conferred in 1996–97. The number of degrees in the health professions declined by 17 percent between 1996–97 and 2001–02, but then rose 40 percent between 2001–02 and 2006–07. Similarly, the number of degrees in biological sciences decreased 7 percent between 1996–97 and 2001–02, but then increased 26 percent between 2001–02 and 2006–07; and the number in the physical sciences declined by 9 percent between 1996–97 and 2001–02, but increased 18 percent between 2001–02 and 2006–07. Some technical fields experienced a contrasting pattern. After an increase of 98 percent between 1996–97 and 2001–02, the number of degrees in computer and information sciences decreased 16 percent between 2001–02 and 2006–07. Other fields with sizable numbers of degrees (over 5,000) that showed increases of over 30 percent between 2001–02 and 2006–07 included security and protective services (54 percent); parks, recreation, and leisure studies (45 percent); and transportation and materials moving (41 percent).


SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2009). Digest of Education Statistics, 2008 (NCES 2009-020), Chapter 3.


Related Tables and Figures:  (Listed by Release Date)

Other Resources:  (Listed by Release Date)


"All Big Four Firms Are Best Companies To Work For In 2009," Big Four Blog, January 22, 2010 ---

All the Big Four firms recently made Fortune’s 2009 “100 Best Companies to Work For” list, though not at the very top as we have become very accustomed to seeing in BusinessWeek or Diversity or Working Mothers magazine. Nonetheless a very creditable performance against a tough crowd of equally impressive and quality peers. 2009 sported tougher competition as three of the five firms dropped rank from the 2008 listing.

In addition, we are seeing a varied picture with firms actively cutting positions to some minor increases at Deloitte and PwC from 2008 to 2009, in line with the general decrease in business for these firms in the Americas.

Check out our January 2009 blog post on the 2008 rankings

However, tough external conditions appear to have created some welcome bonuses for employees, either through additional holidays, a sabbatical program or less travel.

Fortune has a rigorous process to select these top companies, and with a large chunk of the selection process based on true employee responses, its hard to game this list, so makes the results reliable. It conducts the most extensive employee survey in corporate America with 347 companies in the overall pool. Two-thirds of a company's score is based on the results of survey sent to a random sample of employees from each company with questions on attitudes management's credibility, job satisfaction, and camaraderie. The other third of the scoring is based on the company's responses on pay and benefit programs, hiring, communication, and diversity.

Continued in article


Bob Jensen's threads on careers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/BookBob1.htm#careers

This might be the source for a cost accounting project on quality costs. What's interesting would be to investigate why some hotels that are perennially filthy continue to thrive year after year? Possibly location trumps cleanliness. However, in the case of reputable franchise chains it could be due to poor quality control by the franchise management.

The 10 Dirtiest Hotels in America (among hotels where you would expect cleanliness
What's amazing is that some hotels don't seem to clean up their act after their filth is called to national attention!

Anyone wanting to stay at Fisherman's Wharf rather than the Convention Hotel for the AAA Annual Meetings in August should pay special heed to the article below. I've stayed in the Heritage Marina before --- it's filthy!

"San Francisco's Heritage Marina named the dirtiest hotel in America," by Laura Bly, ABC News, January 22, 2010 ---

Roll out the (grimy) red carpet: Based on cleanliness rankings by disgruntled travelers at TripAdvisor, San Francisco's Heritage Marina Hotel earns a smudged crown as the USA's dirtiest hotel for 2010.

Urine-scented mattresses and stairwells? Yep, former guests write.

Bedbugs, vomit-crusted carpets and hookers in the hallway? Check.

"If you are filming a horror flick or a slasher movie, this is the place for you. If you are a NORMAL person, avoid it like the plague!" one traveler warned about an October stay at the Heritage Marina, which has earned negative marks from 80% of TripAdvisor reviewers.

(Management at the Heritage Marina, located downtown about a 15-minute walk from Fisherman's Wharf, didn't reply to requests for comment.)

Rounding out TripAdvisor's 10 dirtiest U.S. hotels are the Days Inn Eureka/Six Flags, Eureka, Mo.; Tropicana Resort Hotel and Super 8 Virginia Beach/At the Ocean, Virginia Beach; Quality Inn, Stroudsburg, Pa.; New York Inn, New York (down from No. 3 last year); Parisian Hotel & Suites, Miami Beach; Capistrano Seaside Inn, Capistrano Beach, Calif.; Desert Lodge, Palm Springs, Calif.; and Continental Oceanfront Hotel South Beach, Miami Beach.

Not on this year's dirtiest list: New York's Hotel Carter, a former Times Square tenement that had landed at the top three times in four years.

"We did a lot of minor renovations and hired a professional bedbug exterminator," says general manager Erwin Lumanglas. "I think it paid off: We're still old, but we're cleaner."

Jensen Comment
Erika carries her own Lysol cleaner and often ends up cleaning the room and bathroom before she starts to unpack. We've had some dirty hotels, the last one being Howard Johnsons in Bangor, Maine (which has usually been a good hotel until the past year). Our worst experiences have been in several London hotels and one in downtown Reno. One time her dummy husband got her into Reno a day early before he had a meeting scheduled at the MGM Grand. It was on a Saturday and there were no rooms available for a dummy who arrives a day before his hotel reservation commences. .We also arrived two days before our hotel reservations for an AAA Annual Meeting in San Diego. But that time the hotel managed to find us a nice accommodations.

Sometimes she'd like to kill me because I'm so absent minded.

"Travel Picks: Top 10 tech hotels," by Reuters, The Washington Post, January 22, 2010 ---

The days when high-tech rooms for hotels meant adding a kettle and alarm clock are long gone, with hotels realizing guests want far more wizardry in their rooms.

Men's website AskMen.com ( http://www.aksmen.com ) has come up with a list of the top 10 high-tech hotels. Reuters has not endorsed this list:

1. Helix Hotel, Abu Dhabi

The Helix Hotel is yet to be built but its hi-tech credentials come in the form of heat and energy conservation with state-of-the-art GROW panels, which harness energy from the sun and wind, to be affixed to the outside of the hotel. The temperature and humidity inside the 208-room hotel is set to be managed by a waterfall in the atrium. There will also be a giant glass wall that will periodically slide open, allowing a fresh sea breeze to blow in.

2. Hotel Sax, Chicago

There's the free Wi-Fi, massive wide-screen TVs, and the 6th floor Studio Lounge, free for all guests, where you can relax on big sofas or play Rock Band, Wii games and Guitar Hero. Guests each receive a laptop and Zune MP3 player for use during their stay. The hotel also has tech studios and tech suites.

3. Hotel 1000, Seattle

Besides innovative plumbing like water pouring from the ceiling to fill the bath, Hotel 1000 also boasts a "silent electronic doorbell" system -- housekeeping staff push a button at your door which sets off an infrared scanner inside your room. If it detects any movement, an electronic "do not disturb" sign appears and the housekeeper knows to come back later.

4. The Peninsula Hotel, Tokyo

The Peninsula takes its tech so seriously that it even has an electronics service department. Rooms have Internet radio boasting 3,000 stations, mood lighting controls, and wireless phones with Skype capability that you can use throughout the hotel. Lastly, there's a nail polish dryer.

5. Blow Up Hall, Poznan, Poland

Blow Up Hall is a snazzy establishment described as an electronic art hotel. Renowned artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer has created an intriguing video installation around which the design of the hotel is based. The moment you step inside, you're a performer in the video being played in the lobby comprising 2,400 tiny images gathered from as many cameras inside the hotel. No keys or door numbers here, just iPhones. Every guest is supplied with an Apple phone which, through recognition tech, you use to gain access to your room. You can also use it to call your concierge, surf the net and view preloaded local tourist info.

6. The Upper House, Hong Kong

All guests at this virtually paperless hotel are supplied with an iPod touch preloaded with games, music and everything you need to know about the hotel and its environs. There's free and unlimited broadband access with even the hotel's cars (Lexus RX450H hybrid models) equipped with Wi-Fi.

7. Mama Shelter, Paris

Once a parking garage and now a Philippe Starck-designed boutique hotel, Mama Shelter has a 24-inch iMac in each one of its 172 rooms. The iMac acts as your entertainment center, and there's free Wi-Fi available too. Something else the rooms at Mama Shelter have that you won't find in most other hotels is a microwave oven.

8. Montage, Beverly Hills

A real practical feature for the guys -- a fog-free shaving mirror in all bathrooms. The Montage this year became one of the first hotels in the world to receive gold-level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for its use of, for example, energy efficient heating, lighting and air conditioning systems.

9. Element Hotels, across the United States

Rooms at Element Hotels feature ambient lighting made possible with energy efficient light bulbs, and specially designed, cutting-edge low flow rain showers that minimize water wastage. All rooms have state-of-the-art kitchens and soon guests will be supplied with a Nintendo DS console loaded with Personal Trainer: Cooking software.

10. Pod Hotel, New York City

Targeted at the younger traveler, New York's Pod Hotel has an in-house Pod Community Blog, open to those with reservations, that allows guests and guests-to-be to interact, ask questions and exchange information. The hotel is sure to satisfy the tech-hungry budget traveler with its free Wi-Fi, LCD flat screen TVs and iPod docking stations.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's travel helpers are at

"Should Colleges Pay for Housework?" by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, January 19, 2009 ---

When Carol W. Greider of Johns Hopkins University learned that she won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine, she was doing laundry.

That fact is cited in a new analysis of academic scientists and housework -- being published today by the American Association of University Professors and calling for colleges to create an option for faculty members and others to have financial assistance for housework as an employee benefit. The study finds that even among dual career scientist couples, the time gap spent on housework is hindering the advancement of women.

The study found that female scientists with male partners perform 54 percent of their family housework (cooking, cleaning and laundry) in their households, while male scientists with female partners perform 28 percent of their family housework. While there are other tasks on which the male scientists contribute a majority of time (yard, house and car care), those tasks take much less time a week than those that women are more likely to perform. It adds up to a 10-hour drain on the time of female scientists, the study finds.

The study was conducted by Londa Schiebinger, the John L. Hinds Professor of History of Science and director of the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, and Shannon Gilmartin, a quantitative analyst and the institute. The data come from a large research project at the institute, "Dual Career Academic Couples: What Universities Need to Know." Schiebinger and Gilmartin used data collected for that report from 1,222 tenured and tenure-track faculty members in the natural sciences at leading universities. Those studied were all partnered with someone of the opposite sex. (Data were also collected from same-sex couples, but the totals were too small to draw conclusions on them.)

Among the other findings:

Based on these findings, the authors suggest that colleges recognize that housework is "an academic issue" and revise benefits packages accordingly. They suggest that institutions offer flexible packages of benefits, in which financial assistance for housework would be one possible benefit. They write that some employees might not want the benefit and would prefer, based on their personal or family situations, other benefits. But the option should be included, they write.

"One appealing aspect of this benefit proposal is its inclusivity -- one need not be partnered or have children to gain access," they write.

Schiebinger and Gilmartin acknowledge that, given the economic downturn, this may not be "the right time" to propose a major expansion of benefits. But they say that over the long run, this is an issue that should be addressed.

"Providing benefits to support housework continues dominant social trends of the past 40 years," they write. "U.S. institutions have stepped into the domestic sphere to support aspects of private life, from health-care benefits to child-care supplements. Institutions now need to step in to support housework."

Cathy A. Trower, research director and co-principal Investigator of the Collaborative On Academic Careers in Higher Education, at Harvard University, said she wasn't surprised by the findings on housework. But she said she feared that this may not be the issue that most needs reform.

"I'm all for more benefits for faculty and household help would be great for everyone -- singles and marrieds and men and women. Bravo," she said.

But the larger question is whether such changes would actually help many women (and men). COACHE's surveys of young faculty members have found significant frustrations with work/family balance in higher education, but the surveys have also found many young scholars who don't just want more help, but want different models, with more time for family or non-academic pursuits.

Too much attention to issues like housework may shift attention away from broader reforms, Trower said. She has written about the need for different models for faculty careers -- long-term renewable contracts, tenure expectations that may not require 60 hours a week in the lab and so forth -- as the best way to create more options. Focusing on benefits -- such as how many times you can stop the tenure clock or whether you should be paid for hiring household help -- doesn't address the question of whether the system is one to bolster or needs real reform.

"What I am against is the lack of flexibility and the seeming inability to confront openly the issues at play," she said.

Jensen Comment
Some years ago there was such a dire shortage of nurses that hospitals provided nurses with meal vouchers, day care services, and free home cleaning/shopping services. Many hospitals have cut back on all but day care due to recent budget cuts and the glut of nurses in some parts of the country. Perhaps the word "glut" is a bit strong, but up here in northern New England a nursing school could not find a full-time job with fringe benefits for a single graduate last spring.

What caused this sudden increase in the supply of nurses? Partly it was the ease of finding jobs in a world where other types of job opportunities were shrinking. It was also due to the rise in men attracted to what had previously been a career dominated by women. And partly it was due to lower turnover. Nursing tended to have relatively high turnover in times of prosperity due to women electing to devote full time to families, including starting new families. Now nurses with families often have spouses who are unemployed or underemployed such that resigning a high full-time job is no longer an option in these difficult economic times.

But there's still a shortage of faculty in some disciplines. New PhDs in accounting are running about 130 per year to meet a demand of upwards of 1,500 per year give or take for tougher budgetary times in colleges and the explosion in the use of adjunct accounting teachers.

But since the rise in the number of undergraduate accounting majors keeps rising across the country, there's still substantial room for a newly minted PhD to negotiate when applying for a new job. Starting salaries in major universities are over $160,000 plus summer research stipends and private expense budgets and fringe benefits.
Accounting Doctoral Information --- http://www.jrhasselback.com/AtgDoctInfo.html
Accounting Doctoral Programs --- http://www.jrhasselback.com/AtgDoct/AtgDoctProg.html

Although I've not heard of any college offering free meal vouchers and home services for accounting faculty, it may well be cheaper than having to make $200,000 salary deals for top graduates. And if the science departments are offering their faculty home services, there's a precedent being set according to the above article.

Accountancy in general does not have the same gender problem as science. Currently there are more female than male undergraduate accounting majors, and the gender gap in among accounting professors has been closing much faster in accountancy than in science. That’s not to say there is absolutely no gender gap in accounting faculty at this stage of evolution --- http://www.jrhasselback.com/AtgDoctInfo.html

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at

Bob Jensen's threads on careers are at

Bob Jensen's threads on why practicing accountants are not rushing into accounting doctoral programs ---

"Government posting wealth of data to Internet," by Pete Yost, The Washington Post, January 22, 2010 ---

The Obama administration on Friday is posting to the Internet a wealth of government data from all Cabinet-level departments, on topics ranging from child car seats to Medicare services.

The mountain of newly available information comes a year and a day after President Barack Obama promised on his first full day on the job an open, transparent government.

Under a Dec. 8 White House directive, each department must post online at least three collections of "high-value" government data that never have been previously disclosed.

The Transportation Department will post ratings for 2,400 lines of tires for consumer safety based on tire tread wear, traction performance and temperature resistance. The Labor Department will release the names of 80,000 workplaces where injuries and illness have occurred over the past 10 years.

The Medicare database has previously been available for a fee of $100 on CD ROM. Under the Obama initiative, it can be downloaded free, providing detailed breakdowns of payments for Medicare services. The Medicare data will be sortable by the type of medical service provided.

A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration database rates car seats for ease of use, evaluating the simplicity of instruction sheets, labels, vehicle installation features and securing the child.

"We're democratizing data," White House Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra said Thursday in an interview.

Open government groups are supportive.

"There's recognition that public equals online," said Ellen Miller, executive director at Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit group focusing on the use of technology for greater government transparency.

Miller said the effort represents "a sea change in government's attitude," with newfound support for the idea that government data belongs in the hands of citizens instead of locked away in the basement of a federal agency.

All the new data collections will be added to the government's Web site, data.gov.

Required to release the three new data sets are the departments of State, Treasury, Defense, Justice, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy, Education, Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security and the Environmental Protection Agency, the offices of the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and the Council of Economic Advisers.


The directive ---:http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/assets/memoranda-2010/m10-06.pdf 

Government's Web site --- http://www.data.gov/ 

Data Sets --- http://www.data.gov/ogd
This included some data sets from the SEC

Jensen Comment
I think that many of our courses do not adequately train students to use government Web sites in general. The U.S. Government has done a magnificent job for many years providing a wealth of data. How many business school graduates know how to use the Department of Commerce Website? The IRS tremendous Website, the SEC enormous Website (beyond EDGAR), etc?

When searching, how often do we click for Google or Wikipedia when the best place to start might be a Government Website or the UN Website?

UNdata --- http://data.un.org/
Other data --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#EconStatistics

Bob Jensen's threads on economic statistics --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/BookBob1.htm#EconStatistics


"Nicolas Cage to Pay $14M Tax Debt to IRS," WebCPA, January 19, 2010 ---

The IRS filed a tax lien for over $6.2 million against Cage in July (see Nicolas Cage Hit with $6.2 Million Tax Lien). More recently, the IRS filed an additional tax lien for $6.7 million for his 2008 taxes.

The actor has been selling off his mansions and other property around the world in an effort to pay off the tax lien. Cage has also sued his ex-manager and accountant, Samuel Levin, accusing Levin of making poor investment choices in risky real estate and failing to pay the actor’s taxes, leading him “down a path toward financial ruin” (see Nicolas Cage Sues Ex-Manager for Not Paying His Taxes). Levin, in turn, has countersued Cage and claimed that he tried to warn the actor against his “compulsive, destructive spending,” and encouraged him to sell off a dozen automobiles and a $1.6 million comic book collection.

Cage said last Friday that he is getting “current” with his tax debts. “Over the course of my career I have paid at least $70 million in taxes,” he told People.com in a statement. “Unfortunately, due to a recent legal situation, another approximate $14 million is owed to the IRS. However, I am under new business management and am happy to say that I am current for 2009. All taxes will be paid, including any to-be-determined state taxes.”

Bob Jensen's taxation helpers are at

"Nation's Largest Labor Union Group Creates Online Degree Program," by Jill Laster, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 15, 2010 ---

A new distance-learning program says it is the first accredited, degree-granting, online college open only to union members.

The new program, called the College for Working Families, is a joint venture between the A.F.L.-C.I.O., the National Labor College, and the Penn Foster Education Group (now owned by the Princeton Review) --- http://www.pennfoster.edu/index.html?semkey=Q092344

The National Labor College already offers in-person training and some online classes as the only accredited higher-education institution specifically for unions. The new online program would combine the college's on-the-ground resources with online tools to offer programs in subjects including health care and business administration.

Leaders of the effort are surveying union members on what courses they would find useful, and some classes should begin in the fall, said William Scheuerman, president of the National Labor College.

The online college would charge about $200 a credit and offer bachelor's degrees, adding associate and master's degrees later.

Mr. Scheuerman said the online learning model would be especially helpful to union members, who may not be able to attend classes in person because of their work schedules.

The new college would also provide much-needed skills for union members, he said. "A key change in the labor economy is the shift from muscle power to brain power, so working people need the same advantages as middle class folk," he said.

The college is still subject to negotiations between the A.F.L.-C.I.O., the National Labor College, and the Princeton Review, which should be completed in the next few months.

Jensen Comment
Penn Foster now offers accounting associate degrees and business management bachelors degrees ---
I don't think students can get sufficient accounting courses to sit for the CPA examination.

Accreditation is a bit controversial --- http://www.pennfostercollege.edu/accreditation.html
Students might have trouble transferring some courses into major universities, but this is only speculation on my part.
Given a choice, it may be safer to obtain course credits and degrees from distance education from programs at major universities like the University of Wisconsin, University of Maryland, and most state universities --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on accreditation are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#AccreditationIssues

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

There may be projects here for cost accounting students. In addition to comparisons of fixed and variable installation costs, students could conduct simulations of estimating the present values of energy cost savings into the future.

"Solar Shingles See the Light of Day:  Dow Chemical readies easy-to-install solar roofs," by Phil McKenna, MIT's Technology Review, January 20, 2010 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/business/24383/?nlid=2678

Dow Chemical is moving full speed ahead to develop roof shingles embedded with photovoltaic cells. To facilitate the move, the U.S. Department of Energy has backed Dow's efforts with a $17.8 million tax credit that will help the company launch an initial market test of the product later this year.

In October 2009, the chemical giant unveiled its product, which can be nailed to a roof like ordinary shingles by roofers without the help of specially trained solar installers or electricians. The solar shingles will cost 30 to 40 percent less than other solar-embedded building materials and 10 percent less than the combined costs of conventional roofing materials and rack-mounted solar panels, according to company officials.

Dow isn't the first company to incorporate solar cells into building materials. In recent years, a number of leading solar manufacturers have launched small lines of solar shingles, tiles, and window glazes. But as Dow looks to bring its shingles mainstream, other solar manufacturers are backing away from the products. Suntech Power, the Chinese solar maker, and the largest crystalline silicon photovoltaic manufacturer in the world, has several integrated solar systems on the market, but with the recent downturn in new housing construction, the company has focused instead on ramping up conventional photovoltaic panel output, says Jeffrey Shubert, Suntech Power marketing director for North and South America.

According to analyst Johanna Schmidtke of Boston-based Lux Research, building integrated solar installations are, despite manufacturers' claims, still significantly more expensive than conventional rack-mounted solar arrays due to increased costs associated with manufacturing and installation. The devices currently occupy niche markets for those willing to pay a premium for the aesthetic value of the less-obtrusive integrated systems.

Companies looking to develop solar shingles and other solar-integrated building materials have also had to overcome significant design and materials challenges. "Putting solar panels directly into the roof or skin of a building requires a product that has structural integrity, weathering ability, and electrical integrity," says Mark Farber a senior consultant with Photon Consulting in Boston. "It has to be a good building material and a good power generator, and achieving both is hard to do."

To address cost and performance challenges, Dow partnered with solar cell producer Global Solar Energy, one of the early developers of copper, indium, gallium, and selenium (CIGS) thin films. CIGS thin-film semiconductors are less expensive than conventional crystalline silicon solar panels and offer some of the highest conversion efficiencies of emerging thin films.

For each of Dow's shingles, Global Solar will manufacture strings of five interconnected solar cells. Dow will then encapsulate each string with glass and polymers and embed it into a shingle with electrical plugs at each end that link the individual shingle into a larger array.

Dow is leveraging its ties within the building materials and construction industries to develop, test, and distribute its shingles. Installations can be completed in half the time of conventional solar installations, and an electrician is only needed to make the final connection to the building's electrical system, according to David Parrillo, senior research and development director of Dow Solar Solutions.

The DOE also awarded United Solar Ovonic of Rochester Hills, MI, $13.3 million in tax credits to ramp up production and increase the efficiency of its building integrated photovoltaic materials. Unlike Dow, the company produces amorphous silicon thin films that are encapsulated entirely in polymers. Amorphous silicon offers lower efficiencies--currently 6.5 to 7 percent at the array level--than the CIGS shingles that Dow is developing. Silicon, however, is a less expensive material than CIGS and is less susceptible to moisture. As a result, the integrated solar cells built by United Solar Ovonic don't require glass covers like Dow's shingles, allowing them greater flexibility.


The mortgage modification problem may be more with the second mortgage than the first mortgage
"The Difficulty of Modifying Second Mortgages,:" The Atlantic, January 8, 2010 ---

"Taxpayers to Pay for Fannie, Freddie Aid:  Treasury Removed Caps on Assistance," SmartPros, January 13, 2010 ---

A recent move by the Treasury Department to remove $200 billion caps on assistance to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac eliminates any doubt that taxpayers will pay for all their losses for the next three years and appears to be a major step toward formally nationalizing the housing enterprises, analysts say.

The government took control of the companies, and effectively much of the U.S. mortgage market, in September 2008 and started purchasing all their mortgage-backed securities. But the Treasury previously used the $200 billion caps on aiding each company to try to limit taxpayer exposure to their mounting losses.

Republicans charge that Treasury has given the Depression-era companies a "blank check" to pay for burgeoning losses on defaulting loans.

The two housing enterprises last year guaranteed and secured nearly 70 percent of new mortgages, primarily made to "prime" borrowers with the best credit ratings, while the Federal Housing Administration insured most loans to subprime borrowers, leaving only a tiny share of the mortgage market in private hands.

In its Christmas Eve statement announcing the little-noticed changes, the Treasury insisted that it wants to preserve "an environment where the private market is able to provide a larger source of mortgage finance."

But analysts say Treasury's move may push off any return to a normal mortgage market for years -- possibly forever. Treasury removed the liability caps for three years and loosened restrictions on Fannie's and Freddie's purchases of their own mortgage securities -- enabling them to maintain their dominant share of the mortgage market.

"These actions would preserve and strengthen the governments involvement and control over the countrys housing finance system and make it harder to reintroduce substantial private-sector involvement later on," said Edward Pinto, a housing consultant and former chief credit officer at Fannie Mae.

When combined with a separate move by regulators not to provide common stock as part of executive compensation at Fannie and Freddie, the administration's recent actions suggest that it is moving to nationalize the companies, Mr. Pinto said.

Nationalization, or total government control and ownership of the companies, would wipe out the value of Fannie and Freddie stock, making it worthless as a way to pay executives. The value of the stock has plummeted to between $1 and $2 a share in the wake of the government's takeover.

Treasury spokesman Andrew Williams declined to elaborate on the Treasury's actions, but denied that nationalization was the goal.

The administration is preparing to present its proposals for governing Fannie and Freddie in the future -- a major question not addressed in financial reform legislation pending in Congress -- when it presents its budget in February. Options range from fully nationalizing the enterprises to reprivatizing them or turning them into public "utilities" like the closely regulated gas and electric companies.

Sen. Bob Corker, Tennessee Republican, questioned whether the administration was moving toward nationalization in a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner this week, urging the Treasury to incorporate fully in its February budget the cost of any additional Fannie and Freddie liabilities the government is acquiring.

"Due to the level of support that this administration and the previous one have created for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, would you not consider your latest move an effective nationalization?" asked Mr. Corker, a member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. "If so, then the liabilities of these two firms should absolutely be reflected on the balance sheet of the U.S. Treasury."

Fully nationalizing the enterprises would permanently increase costs for taxpayers and would bloat the government's balance sheets. Fannie and Freddie currently guarantee about $5.5 trillion of outstanding mortgages and debts -- nearly as much as the Treasury's own public debt. If the companies were fully nationalized, the government's books would have to reflect both the revenues and losses from those obligations.

But even if the administration and Congress stop short of formally incorporating the enterprises into the federal government, the removal of the caps at least for now has eliminated any doubt that the government stands behind all Fannie and Freddie obligations and will cover their losses for the next three years.

Treasury reportedly told Mr. Corker that the move was needed to calm markets.

Apparently, it deemed the certainty of government backing to be critical at a time when the Federal Reserve has announced that it will end its program of purchasing $1.25 trillion in Fannie and Freddie mortgage bonds in March. The Fed's program -- another unprecedented federal intervention in the mortgage market -- provided most of the funding to finance prime mortgages in the past year.

Many housing analysts and economists worry that the Fed's withdrawal from the mortgage market will cause a sharp rise in 30-year mortgage rates of as much as one percentage point from 5 percent to 6 percent as private investors demand higher yields to compensate for the increased likelihood of defaults on mortgages.

Nearly one in eight mortgages is in default, with prime mortgages guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie having taken over subprime last year as the principal source of delinquencies.

Rapidly rising delinquencies have prompted some analysts to predict a collapse in the mortgage market once the Fed stops buying most of Fannie and Freddie's debt. The Treasury's move appears designed to reassure investors and prevent that from happening.

"When you have someone as big as the Fed was in 2009 walking away cold turkey, there have to be bumps along the road," said Ajay Rahadyaksha, managing director at Barclays Capital. But he expects investors to be enticed back into the mortgage market because they have "massive amounts of cash" to invest.

While full nationalization of the enterprises would be controversial, and likely provoke overwhelming Republican opposition, most parties agree that after the massive efforts to prop up the mortgage market in the past two years it would be difficult for the government to entirely extricate itself in the future.

Former Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. said he intended to keep the government's options open when he designed the plan to take 79.9 percent control of Fannie and Freddie and put them under government conservatorship.

But he said they should not be returned to their previous ambiguous structure, where they were owned by private stockholders even as they carried out a government mission. He said the best structure in the future might be to turn them into public utilities that funnel the government's guarantee on mortgage-backed securities for a fee.

The Mortgage Bankers Association and other private groups have endorsed a permanent federal role in guaranteeing pools of prime mortgages, perhaps through a revamped Fannie and Freddie.

One reason heavy government involvement is likely to continue is that Fannie and Freddie -- unlike many banks that received bailouts from the Treasury -- likely will never be able to fully repay the nearly $100 billion in assistance they have received so far from taxpayers, analysts say.

Their losses are growing by the day, and many of them now are incurred as a result of new mandates from the Treasury and Congress to spearhead the government's efforts to alleviate the home foreclosure crisis and make credit available as widely as possible.

For example, Fannie recently said it may liberalize its rules for mortgages used to buy condominiums in Florida -- an area that has been plagued with high rates of default and foreclosure, while it is giving preference to homeowners over investors when it sells foreclosed properties, even if investors offer a better deal.

Many analysts expect the administration to soon increase the subsidies the enterprises are providing to homeowners and banks that renegotiate mortgages to try to avoid foreclosure, and some suspect it already is using Fannie and Freddie to make loans available to riskier borrowers.

Mr. Corker said the proliferation of government mandates for the enterprises has essentially turned them into "a direct extension of the Treasury Department."

How Fannie Mae creatively managed earnings and cooked the books to give then CEO Franklin Raines millions and then had to fire Franklin and issued restated financial statements --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm#Manipulation

"A Low, Dishonest Decade: The press and politicians were asleep at the switch.," The Wall Street Journal, December 22, 2009 ---

Stock-market indices are not much good as yardsticks of social progress, but as another low, dishonest decade expires let us note that, on 2000s first day of trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 11357 while the Nasdaq Composite Index stood at 4131, both substantially higher than where they are today. The Nasdaq went on to hit 5000 before collapsing with the dot-com bubble, the first great Wall Street disaster of this unhappy decade. The Dow got north of 14000 before the real-estate bubble imploded.

And it was supposed to have been such an awesome time, too! Back in the late '90s, in the crescendo of the Internet boom, pundit and publicist alike assured us that the future was to be a democratized, prosperous place. Hierarchies would collapse, they told us; the individual was to be empowered; freed-up markets were to be the common man's best buddy.

Such clever hopes they were. As a reasonable anticipation of what was to come they meant nothing. But they served to unify the decade's disasters, many of which came to us festooned with the flags of this bogus idealism.

Before "Enron" became synonymous with shattered 401(k)s and man-made electrical shortages, the public knew it as a champion of electricity deregulation—a freedom fighter! It was supposed to be that most exalted of corporate creatures, a "market maker"; its "capacity for revolution" was hymned by management theorists; and its TV commercials depicted its operations as an extension of humanity's quest for emancipation.

Similarly, both Bank of America and Citibank, before being recognized as "too big to fail," had populist histories of which their admirers made much. Citibank's long struggle against the Glass-Steagall Act was even supposed to be evidence of its hostility to banking's aristocratic culture, an amusing image to recollect when reading about the $100 million pay reportedly pocketed by one Citi trader in 2008.

The Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal showed us the same dynamics at work in Washington. Here was an apparent believer in markets, working to keep garment factories in Saipan humming without federal interference and saluted for it in an op-ed in the Saipan Tribune as "Our freedom fighter in D.C."

But the preposterous populism is only one part of the equation; just as important was our failure to see through the ruse, to understand how our country was being disfigured.

Ensuring that the public failed to get it was the common theme of at least three of the decade's signature foul-ups: the hyping of various Internet stock issues by Wall Street analysts, the accounting scandals of 2002, and the triple-A ratings given to mortgage-backed securities.

The grand, overarching theme of the Bush administration—the big idea that informed so many of its sordid episodes—was the same anti-supervisory impulse applied to the public sector: regulators sabotaged and their agencies turned over to the regulated.

The public was left to read the headlines and ponder the unthinkable: Could our leaders really have pushed us into an unnecessary war? Is the republic really dividing itself into an immensely wealthy class of Wall Street bonus-winners and everybody else? And surely nobody outside of the movies really has the political clout to write themselves a $700 billion bailout.

What made the oughts so awful, above all, was the failure of our critical faculties. The problem was not so much that newspapers were dying, to mention one of the lesser catastrophes of these awful times, but that newspapers failed to do their job in the first place, to scrutinize the myths of the day in a way that might have prevented catastrophes like the financial crisis or the Iraq war.

The folly went beyond the media, though. Recently I came across a 2005 pamphlet written by historian Rick Perlstein berating the big thinkers of the Democratic Party for their poll-driven failure to stick to their party's historic theme of economic populism. I was struck by the evidence Mr. Perlstein adduced in the course of his argument. As he tells the story, leading Democratic pollsters found plenty of evidence that the American public distrusts corporate power; and yet they regularly advised Democrats to steer in the opposite direction, to distance themselves from what one pollster called "outdated appeals to class grievances and attacks upon corporate perfidy."

This was not a party that was well-prepared for the job of iconoclasm that has befallen it. And as the new bunch muddle onward—bailing out the large banks but (still) not subjecting them to new regulatory oversight, passing a health-care reform that seems (among other, better things) to guarantee private insurers eternal profits—one fears they are merely presenting their own ample backsides to an embittered electorate for kicking.

The sad state of governmental accounting and accountability ---

"Massachusetts Ponzi Scheme Suspect Arrested in Mississippi," SmartPros, January 12, 2010 ---

A judge in Mississippi has ordered a Massachusetts man returned to Boston where he will face federal charges alleging he ran a $28 million Ponzi scheme.

Richard Elkinson had been arrested this past week at a casino in Biloxi, Miss. On Monday, he waived his right to a hearing in federal court in Gulfport.

U.S. Magistrate John M. Roper ordered the 76-year-old Elkinson given over to U.S. marshals for his return to Boston.

This past week, U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro in Boston froze Elkinson's assets at the request of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Federal prosecutors allege the 76-year-old Elkinson, of Framington, Mass., stole $28 million from about 130 victims since 1997 by selling unregistered securities in the form of promissory notes.

Elkinson allegedly claimed he had contracts to sell uniforms. Federal authorities say he had no such contracts, repaid investors with money obtained from new investors, and used the money for personal purposes, including gambling.

Court documents showed the FBI tracked Elkinson to Mississippi after the man left Las Vegas on Dec. 22.

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

"New View of Faculty Liberalism:  Why are professors liberal?" by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, January 18, 2010 ---

That question has led to many heated debates, particularly in recent years, over charges from some on the right that faculty members somehow discriminate against those who don't share a common political agenda with the left. A new paper attempts to shift the debate in a new direction. This study argues that certain characteristics of professors -- related to education and religion, among other factors -- explain a significant portion of the liberalism of faculty members relative to the American public at large.

Further, the paper argues that academe, because of the impact of these factors, may now be "politically typed" in a way that attracts more faculty members from the left than the right.

The research was done by Neil Gross, an associate professor of sociology at the University of British Columbia, and Ethan Fosse, a doctoral candidate in sociology at Harvard University. Gross has been the author of numerous studies of professorial politics, including a 2007 analysis that found faculty members, while liberal, may be more moderate than many believe. The new study may be found on his Web site.

In this analysis, Fosse and Gross do not dispute that faculty members are more liberal than the public at large. Rather, they make two main arguments. First they look at a range of characteristics that apply disproportionately to professors but are not unique to professors, and examine the political leanings associated with these characteristics -- finding that several of them explain a significant portion of the political gap between faculty members and others. Then, they offer what they call a new theory to explain why academe may attract more liberals, regardless of whether they have those characteristics.

The paper finds that 43 percent of the political gap can be explained because professors are more likely than others:

The analysis is based on data from the General Social Survey from 1974-2008. Beyond the items above, a smaller but significant impact also was found because professors are more likely than others to have lived in an urban area growing up and to have fewer children.

On the question of the education/income gap, Gross and Fosse say that their findings are consistent with the work of Pierre Bourdieu. "For Bourdieu, intellectuals are defined structurally by their possession of high levels of cultural capital and moderate levels of economic capital," they write. "This structural position, Bourdieu asserts, shapes their politics.... Deprived of economic success relative to those in the world of commerce, intellectuals are less likely to be invested in preserving the socioeconomic order, may turn toward redistributionist policies in hopes of reducing perceived status inconsistency, and may embrace unconventional social or political views in order to distinguish themselves culturally from the business classes."

Political Types

After outlining their statistical case, the authors go on to suggest what they call a new theory to explain professorial politics that builds on the differences they identify in the first part of their paper. They note that the factors they focus on in the first part of their study explain a portion but only a portion of the political gap, suggesting that relying on class analysis alone would be inadequate.

"The theory we advance ... holds that the liberalism of professors is a function not primarily of class relations, but rather of the systematic sorting of young adults who are already liberally or conservatively inclined into and out of the academic professions," they write.

Gross and Fosse cite research by others about how some professions become "sex typed" such that they are associated with gender. Even if some men and women defy these patterns and there is nothing inherently gender-related to these patterns, these types have an impact on the aspirations of young men and women.

"We argue that the professoriate, along with a number of other knowledge work fields, has been 'politically typed' as appropriate and welcoming of people with broadly liberal sensibilities, and as inappropriate for conservatives," they write. "This reputation leads many more liberal than conservative students to aspire for the advanced educational credentials that make entry into knowledge work fields possible, and to put in the work necessary to translate those aspirations into reality."

The authors are careful to define limits to their theory. They state that they do not believe that young people place themselves into numerous socioeconomic and philosophical views to determine a choice of career. And they note that they doubt that most young people even understand their full range of options. Rather, they argue that for those with political sensibilities, "identity and the social psychology of identity" come into play.

"[W]e argue that for young people whose political identities are salient, liberalism and conservatism constrain horizons of educational and occupational possibility," they write. "Because these identities involve cognitive schemas and habitual patterns of thinking that filter experience ... most young adults who are committed liberals would never end up entertaining the idea that they might become police or correctional officers, just as it would never cross the minds of most who are committed conservatives that they might become professors, precisely because of the political reputations of these fields."

The theory might also, the authors write, explain political differences visible among different academic disciplines.

"[W]e theorize that, within the general constraint that more liberals than conservatives will aspire for advanced educational credentials and academic careers of any kind, liberal students will be far more inclined than conservatives to enter fields that have come to define themselves around left-valenced images of intellectual personhood," the paper says. "Over the course of its 20th century history, for example, sociology has increasingly defined itself as the study of race, class, and gender inequality -- a set of concerns especially important to liberals -- and this means that sociology will consistently recruit from a more liberal applicant pool than fields like mechanical engineering, and prove a more chilly home for those conservatives who manage to push through into graduate school or the academic ranks."

Also see http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/18/arts/18liberal.html

"The Liberal Skew in Higher Education," by Richard Posner, The Becker-Posner Blog, December 30, 2007 --- http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/

It is no secret that professors at American colleges and universities are much more liberal on average than the American people as a whole. A recent paper by two sociology professors contains a useful history of scholarship on the issue and, more important, reports the results of the most careful survey yet conducted of the ideology of American academics. See Neal Gross and Solon Simmons, “The Social and Political Views of American Professors,” Sept. 24, 2007, available at http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~ngross/lounsbery_9-25.pdf (visited Dec. 29. 2007); and for a useful summary, with comments, including some by Larry Summers, see “The Liberal (and Moderating) Professoriate,” Inside Higher Ed, Oct. 8, 2007, available at www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/10/08/politics (visited Dec. 29. 2007).) More than 1,400 full-time professors at a wide variety of institutions of higher education, including community colleges, responded to the survey, representing a 51 percent response rate; and analysis of non-responders indicates that the responders were not a biased sample of the professors surveyed.

In the sample as a whole, 44 percent of professors are liberal, 46 percent moderate or centrist, and only 9 percent conservative. (These are self-descriptions.) The corresponding figures for the American population as a whole, according to public opinion polls, are 18 percent, 49 percent, and 33 percent, suggesting that professors are on average more than twice as liberal, and only half as conservative, as the average American. There are interesting differences within the professoriat, however. The most liberal disciplines are the humanities and the social sciences; only 6 percent of the social-science professors and 15 percent of the humanities professors in the survey voted for Bush in 2004. In contrast, business, medicine and other health sciences, and engineering are much less liberal, and the natural sciences somewhat less so, but they are still more liberal than the nation as a whole; only 32 percent of the business professors voted for Bush--though 52 percent of the health-sciences professors did. In the entire sample, 78 percent voted for Kerry and only 20 percent for Bush.

. . .

My last point is what might be called the institutionalization of liberal skew by virtue of affirmative action in college admissions. Affirmative action brings in its train political correctness, sensitivity training, multiculturalism, and other attitudes or practices that make a college an uncongenial environment for many conservatives.

"The Liberal Skew in Higher Education," by Nobel Laureate Gary Becker, The Becker-Posner Blog, December 30, 2007 --- http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/

The study by Gross and Simmons discussed by Posner in part confirms what has been found in earlier studies about the greater liberalism of American professors than of the American population as a whole. Their study goes further than previous ones by having an apparently representative sample of professors in all types of colleges and universities, and by giving nuanced and detailed information about attitudes and voting of professors by field of expertise, age, gender, type of college or university, and other useful characteristics. I will try to add to Posner's valuable discussion by concentrating on the effects on academic political attitudes of events in the world, and of their fields of specialization. I also consider whether college teachers have long-lasting influences on the views of their students.

. . .

Given the indisputable evidence that professors are liberal, how much influence does that have on the long run attitudes of college students? This is especially relevant since some of the most liberal academic disciplines, like the social sciences and English, have close contact with younger undergraduates. The evidence strongly indicates that whatever the short-term effects of college teachers on the opinions of their students, the long run influence appears to be modest. For example, college graduates, like the rest of the voting population, split their voting evenly between Bush and Kerry. The influence of high incomes (college graduates earn on average much more than others), the more conservative family backgrounds of the typical college student (but less conservative for students at elite colleges), and other life experiences far dominate the mainly forgotten influence of their college teachers.

This evidence does not mean that the liberal bias of professors is of no concern, but rather that professors are much less important in influencing opinions than they like to believe, or then is apparently believed by the many critics on the right of the liberality of professors.


Bob Jensen's threads the liberal bias of the media and academe ---

Affirmative action in hiring and promotion ---

"The U.S. Isn't as Free as It Used to Be:  Canada now boasts North America's freest economy," by Terry Miller, The Wall Street Journal, January 19, 2010 ---

The United States is losing ground to its major competitors in the global marketplace, according to the 2010 Index of Economic Freedom released today by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. This year, of the world's 20 largest economies, the U.S. suffered the largest drop in overall economic freedom. Its score declined to 78 from 80.7 on the 0 to 100 Index scale.

The U.S. lost ground on many fronts. Scores declined in seven of the 10 categories of economic freedom. Losses were particularly significant in the areas of financial and monetary freedom and property rights. Driving it all were the federal government's interventionist responses to the financial and economic crises of the last two years, which have included politically influenced regulatory changes, protectionist trade restrictions, massive stimulus spending and bailouts of financial and automotive firms deemed "too big to fail." These policies have resulted in job losses, discouraged entrepreneurship, and saddled America with unprecedented government deficits.

In the world-wide rankings of economic freedom, the U.S. fell to eighth from sixth place. Canada now ranks higher and boasts North America's freest economy. More worrisome, for the first time in the Index's 16-year history, the U.S. has fallen out of the elite group of countries identified as "economically free" by the objective measures of the Index. Four Asia-Pacific economies now sit atop the global rankings. Hong Kong stands in first place for the 16th consecutive year, followed by Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. Every region of the world maintains at least one country among those deemed "free" or "mostly free" by the Index.

Some countries, notably Britain and China, have followed America's poor example and curtailed economic freedom. But many others—such as Poland, South Korea, Mexico, Japan, Germany and even France—have maintained or expanded economic freedom despite the global crisis. Ignoring the pressures of recession, these enlightened nations have continued to liberalize their economies, granting their entrepreneurs and consumers greater freedom. As a result, the average Index score dropped only 0.1 point in 2010. Eighty-one countries out of the 179 ranked recorded higher scores than in 2009.

These trends are important because study after study shows a strong correlation between economic freedom and prosperity. Citizens of economically freer countries enjoy much higher per-capita incomes on average than those who live in less free economies. Economic freedom also has positive impacts on overall quality of life, political and social conditions, and even on protection of the environment. Perhaps of most significance in these hard times, Index data indicate that freer economies do a much better job of reducing poverty than more highly

The public sector can't match the vitality of the private sector in promoting growth. Governments, even those that promise change, are primarily agents of the status quo. They tend to reflect the views and needs of those already holding political or economic power. Even democratic nations have their vested interests. Real change, however, can happen when those outside the mainstream have the freedom to try new things: new production processes, new technologies and new methods of organizing workers and capital.

It is common these days to dismiss as simpletons or ideologues those who speak in favor of the free market or capitalism. An honest assessment shows otherwise. Economic freedom, as represented in the Index of Economic Freedom, is a philosophy that rejects economic dogma, championing instead the diversity that follows when entrepreneurs are free to choose their own paths to prosperity.

The abiding lesson of the last few years is that the battle for liberty requires perpetual vigilance. President Obama professes desire to foster prosperity, environmental protection, poverty reduction and better health care. How ironic, then, that his economic proposals so consistently ignore or even undermine the one system—free enterprise capitalism—that has proven best able to achieve those goals.

Now America's once high-flying economy is barely crawling forward. Americans deserve better, and they can do better—as soon as they reverse course and start regaining the economic freedom that made America the most prosperous country in the world.

Mr. Miller is director of the Center for International Trade and Economics at the Heritage Foundation. He is co-editor, with Kim R. Holmes, of the "2010 Index of Economic Freedom" (471 pages, $24.95), available at heritage.org/index.

Remember that Total System Backup entails more than merely backing up files ---

"Windows 7's Built-in Backup," Lincoln Spector, PC World via The Washington Post, January 20, 2010 ---

Robert wants to know if Windows 7's built-in backup program is worth using.

Microsoft has a history of bundling really bad backup programs with their operating systems. The company has been accused of a lot of monopolistic behavior, but their backup programs often seemed designed to not threaten the market for third-party competitors.

So I wasn't prepared to like Windows 7's Backup and Restore. But much to my amazement, I kind of do. It does image backups for system protection and file backups for regular data protection--and does both for the Home Premium as well as the Business and Ultimate editions. For file backups, it defaults to backing up exactly what you should be backing up (libraries, appdata, and a few other important folders), and lets you tell it to back up any other folders you want to protect.

Backup and Restore can backup files incrementally, saving only those created and changed since the last backup. And it does versioning--if several versions of a file have been backed up, you can pick which you want to restore. It defaults to restoring the most recent backup, and generally avoids the confusion that versioning causes in some people.

And it's all very easy and direct.

Not that it's perfect. Backup and Restore allows you to pick which drive you wish to backup to, but won't let you pick a folder in that drive. It can be pretty picky about restoring an image, to the point where I wouldn't use it for image backup. You can save to a network, but not over the Internet. If you're looking for something better, see 7 Backup Strategies for Your Data, Multimedia, and System Files.

PC World Senior Editor Robert Strohmeyer (full disclosure: He's my editor) created a video showing how to set up a scheduled, automatic backup with Backup and Restore. But since I don't believe in automatic backups--at least not to local media like an external hard drive--I'll tell you how to back it up manually.

(What do I have against automatic backups? For them to work, the backup media must always be available. This is fine if you're backing up over a network or the Internet, but an external drive that's connected to your PC 24/7 is vulnerable to the same disasters that could destroy the data on your internal hard drive. It's best to connect a backup drive only when you need to.)

To launch the program, simply click Start, type , and select Backup and Restore. Plug in your external hard drive and click Set up backup. Make your own decisions in the setup wizard, but when you get to the last page, click Change schedule. Uncheck Run backup on a schedule (recommended), and click OK. You're set up.

To back up your data (and you should do this every day), plug in the external drive, launch Backup and Restore as described above, and click Back up now.

You can continue working as you back up.

Bob Jensen's technology bookmarks are at

"Network Hard Disk by Western Digital Offers Easy Backup," by Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, April 2, 2009 ---

Now, there's a new networkable hard disk that, in my tests, proved so simple that anyone who can plug in a cable can use it, with no setup or knowledge, provided your computers have the most current operating systems. It works concurrently and seamlessly with both Windows PCs and Macs, and can even stream music to Apple's iTunes program installed on either platform.

In addition, it can stream music, photos and videos to a TV, if you have a compatible add-on box attached, such as an Xbox 360 or Playstation 3. Its contents also can be accessed over the Internet from any major Web browser.

The product is the My Book World Edition, from Western Digital. This second version of the World Edition sells for $230 for a model with a capacity of one terabyte (roughly 1,000 gigabytes) and $450 for two terabytes. It's available from various retailers, or at westerndigital.com.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
I generally update files on an external hard drive and, thereby, make it easier to transfer files when needed to my two main computers. The most current updated files are always on the external hard drive that I normally back up at least once per week.

But my backup system is not a "total backup system."
What's the difference between backup and "total backup?" --- See below

Do you know anything about Glide Effortless?
"If TransMedia can fix these problems, it just might have a hit on its hands with Glide."


Glide Online Service Has Good Potential, But Rough Edges," by Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, March 16, 2006; Page B1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/personal_technology.html

The high-tech hype machine is in full throttle right now, pushing the idea that one day soon people will store all their files online, and that sophisticated new "Web applications," running on remote computers, will be used to manage and view all those files. But as with most hype, the actual evidence has been scarce.

Now, a small company in New York City, far from the Silicon Valley publicity industry, is quietly delivering on that vision. The company, TransMedia Corp., has launched a rich, slick consumer Web service that can store, display, and share photos, music, videos, Web links, blogs and other documents. It's called Glide Effortless, available at www.glidedigital.com.

Glide Effortless, which runs equally well on Windows and Macintosh computers, is the most interesting online service I've seen in quite a while. It's a large, integrated environment that has its own graphical user interface and often responds as quickly and smoothly as a desktop software program, even though it runs on remote servers.

Glide has elements of photo-sharing sites, social networking sites and Web publishing services, but is different from any other site or service I've seen. It requires a broadband Internet connection, and works inside the latest versions of the most popular browsers: Internet Explorer for Windows; Safari for the Mac; and Firefox for either Windows or Mac.

In my tests, I found that Glide has some rough edges. Not everything works as it should all the time, and there are some annoying aspects. It needs some work. But overall, I was impressed with the design, the care for detail and the ambition of the service.

Glide is a subscription service whose prices vary based on the amount of file storage you need and the features you get. It starts with a couple of free, but limited, plans offering 300 megabytes of storage. The options range up to a full-featured plan offering 4 gigabytes of storage for $9.95 a month, or $99.95 a year, if you pay upfront. There are also family plans, and the opportunity to buy extra storage a la carte.

Parental controls are available in the family plans. And the company requires that its members have verifiable identities. There's no advertising in Glide. The company augments the membership fees it collects by offering shopping opportunities, though today they are limited mainly to buying prints of photos stored online and, oddly, to buying expensive chocolates. Music sales are in the works.

You can upload all of your files to your Glide account manually, from within the service. Glide also offers a small program that resides on your hard disk and automates mass uploads to the service. In my tests, this little program installed and worked fine on the Mac, but not on Windows.

The main Glide screens are divided into two parts. At the top, a large window contains icons representing your files. Video file icons actually play the video in tiny form.

The bottom part of the screen displays "containers," Glide's term for a folder, playlist, or collection of files. These are represented by icons that look like boxes. You can add files to a container by just dragging their icons onto the container's icon.

Glide is a good example of the new type of Web application that mimics desktop software. Dragging and dropping works perfectly. Menus snap open instantly, and page layouts can be quickly changed without having to reload pages.

Every file and container icon in Glide contains a pop-up menu of actions you can take. For instance, with a photo file, you can display the picture in various sizes, edit it, delete it, download it, email it and more.

Action menus don't look like normal menus. In Glide, they are universally presented as pie charts, with the various commands occupying the slices in a circle. There are multiple pie menus for each item; you cycle through them by clicking on a mysterious symbol in the middle of the chart. It works, but it's a bit goofy.

You can share your files, either via email or an online conference. The email contains a link that takes the recipient to a special Glide page.

There are too many features in Glide to enumerate here, and that's also its Achilles' heel. TransMedia has tried to pack so much into Glide that it hasn't fixed a lot of glitches.

During my tests, I frequently ran into situations where music wouldn't play, or took several minutes to do so, and so did a person to whom I emailed some links to my music. I was able to create and publish a Web page, but only in one of the two styles Glide offers; the other refused to work. And I could see no way to edit or expand the Web site after it was published.

A friend with whom I had shared some Glide content emailed me using Glide's internal system (Yes, it has email, too.) but the message never arrived. I uploaded two videos to Glide. Neither appeared in the video screen of Glide for over 24 hours. Finally, one appeared, and worked, but the other merely appeared as an unplayable file.

If TransMedia can fix these problems, it just might have a hit on its hands with Glide.

You can send large files via options described at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob4.htm#SendingLargeFiles

"How to protect data - a quick reference," AccountingWeb, April 2008 --- http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=103784

The latest technologies and gadgets make it incredibly easy for your data to be stolen from right under your nose, unless you take steps to protect it. Nick Lowe, from Check Point Software, reports.

The ability to move massive amounts of information between PCs and portable storage devices means that it's now incredibly easy for confidential data to be taken from companies without knowledge or consent

The perpetrators of such crimes are rarely stereotypical hackers, attacking systems via the internet from their mafia headquarters or their student dorms. Instead, the data thieves are frequently much closer to home. Unescorted visitors, for example, or temporary staff who have joined the organization purely to copy data and hand it over to a competitor. Or, as is becoming increasingly common, unhappy staff who are about to resign but think it's a good idea to first take copies of anything which might be useful in their new job. And lastly, innocent employees who simply don’t follow security policy, copy work files to take home and lose the unprotected storage device.

Unguarded USB ports on today's PCs are perhaps the biggest threat to corporate IT security. USB memory sticks can typically store up to a gigabyte of data, but an MP3 player, smartphone or PDA can be just as effective for the data thief as they can all be quickly connected to any PC via a USB cable without the need for any driver software to be installed (and therefore, without the need for the thief to be logged in as an administrator).

A few drags and drops, and the deed is done in a few seconds. Where the amount of data to be stolen is beyond the capacity of an iPod or PDA, external USB drives comprising half a terabyte of storage are now available on the high street for less than a hundred pounds.

USB devices aren't the only way in which information can be stolen electronically, of course. Most mobile phones nowadays include a camera, which can be used to quickly make an electronic copy of a printed page.

Pocket OCR wands and portable scanners offer similar facilities to the opportunistic data thief who stumbles across a confidential printed document. Or he could simply make a photocopy of a document and put it in the post. However, using any of these methods to steal large quantities of data is simply not practical because of the time required. Controlling the use of USB devices is of far greater importance.

While the disgruntled employee is a prime suspect in many data thefts, actions by former employees should also be considered in your data protection plans. Do all of your users’ accounts and passwords get deleted as soon as the person leaves the company or changes department? Failure to delete such information isn’t just dangerous, but might also mean that you fall foul of the Data Protection Act by storing personal information that you do not need to retain.

To reduce the problem of data leakage in your company there are three effective strategies. First, ensure that you have a policy which clearly states who is allowed to take data off-site, and how the data must be protected when it’s away from your premises.

Second, ensure that data doesn't leave the building without your knowledge. Finally, ensure that data which needs to be removed from the building is protected so that it can’t fall into the wrong hands.

To control which data files leave your premises in the first place, set up user accounts on servers and workstations so that employees can't access information which they have no need to see. Those in sales and marketing, for example, probably don't need access to the product development department's files on the server, so set the access permissions accordingly.

Over-use of rules and regulations can lead to low morale, however, if the workforce feels that it clearly can't be trusted. Beware of becoming seen as Big Brother. It won't drive the data thieves away, but simply make them more determined.

It's also well worth investing in a port control product such as my company's Pointsec Protector, which can automatically block USB devices from being connected to your systems without authorization. The software also includes transparent encryption, so that information copied to USB devices is automatically rendered inaccessible to thieves.

Normally you will want to prevent confidential files leaving your premises, but this won't always be the case. Sometimes, allowing staff to take files away is necessary and beneficial. Salespeople need access to product information when they're away from the office, and marketing people often prepare PowerPoint presentations for delivery at conferences and seminars. Staff need to take work home at the weekend if they're particularly busy, and preventing them from doing so will deprive the company of some useful effort (not to mention all that unpaid overtime).

It's absolutely vital that you protect information which is taken off the premises. If a sales manager's laptop is stolen from the boot of her car, you need to be sure that the customer information on its hard disk can't be accessed by the thief. If your marketing manager's PDA goes missing while he's at a conference, can you be confident that the document containing details of next year's product launches won’t be accessible to whoever buys the stolen hardware?

The solution to this problem is encrypting data. There are many products on the market, but ensure that the solution you choose is proven, transparent and automatic, eliminating user interaction and creating a fully enforceable solution that holds up to the most stringent compliance requirements. Deploying an encryption solution will improve the level of trust and loyalty of clients and employees who recognise that every effort is being made to protect their sensitive data and ensure that a lost or stolen device never results in a data breach.

ZumoDrive (about $3 per per month per gigabyte) --- http://www.zumodrive.com/

Bob Jensen's small business helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#SmallBusiness 

Total Backup

Time Machine:  A Built-in Feature on a Mac for Backing Up the Entire Computer System Painlessly
(simpler than Vista's tedious alternative for a PC)

With its new Leopard operating system, Apple tried to solve one of the most nagging problems faced by home-computer users: how to regularly back up their computers completely and painlessly. Leopard includes a feature called Time Machine that automatically and continuously backs up a Macintosh computer's entire hard disk, without requiring the user to do any tedious setup or have any technical knowledge. Time Machine is a key selling point for Leopard and the Mac. It is more complete, and yet simpler, than the built-in backup feature in Vista Home Premium, the most popular home version of Windows.
Walter S. Mossberg, "Apple's Time Capsule Gives You Easy Way To Back Up Wirelessly," The Wall Street Journal, March 6, 2008; Page B1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120476918311515527.html

You're unlimited Google warehouse is on the way
Google Inc. is preparing to offer online storage to Web users, creating a mirror image of data stored on consumer hard drives, according to company documents that were mistakenly released on the Web. The existence of the previously rumored GDrive online storage service surfaced after a blogger discovered apparent notes in a slide presentation by Google executives published on Google's site after its analysts presentation day last Thursday. "With infinite storage, we can house all user files, including e-mails, web history, pictures, bookmarks, etc and make it accessible from anywhere (any device, any platform, etc)" the notes in the original Google presentation state.
"Google offers glimpse of Web-based hard drive: Plan to let users store all kinds of data and information in one central place is mistakenly released," Money Magazine, March 7, 2006 --- http://money.cnn.com/2006/03/07/technology/google.reut/index.htm

Meanwhile Microsoft Corp.'s (Research) new version of the Windows operating system, called Vista, will emphasize a Web-like search instead of its traditional folder-based navigation.

Google might offer similar services but shift the primary location of user data from the Windows desktop to Google's own computers.

Some current Total Backup solutions:




Disaster Recovery --- Click Here

MediaMax allows you store up to 25 Gb free --- http://www.mediamax.com/index.aspx

"Disaster recovery, backup, and restore: Big challenges for small businesses," AccountingWeb, April 2008 ---

The time and effort involved in creating the plan can be reduced by using readily available disaster recovery templates or working with consultants, but the starting point for every company is a risk analysis, according to the Disaster Recovery Planning Forum, identifying and assessing the potential that the loss of business functions, processes, and records could have on the operation of the business.

When writing a disaster recovery plan, you can find recommendations on the Forum, including the following:


  • Identify and define the company's mission critical business processes and systems. Review them for vulnerabilities and identifying steps required for restoration and recovery.
  • Make sure data is backed up to secure and separate locations.
  • Evaluate various storage solutions including storage area networks, data replication systems, new virtualization systems, network attached storage devices, and managed storage.
  • Pay significant attention also to . . . telecommunications providers to ensure they have built diversity and redundancy into their networks and have well developed and tested contingency plans.

    Members of the forum suggest that employees should be invested in the plan and fully informed about their responsibilities in a disaster. The disaster recovery plan should detail how business managers will communicate with their employees.

    With the overload on cell phone communication that occurred during the September 11th, 2001 disaster in mind, some specialists are recommending options such as contracting with a third party service for backup e-mail domains or using text messaging services. Managers also need to consider the impact of staff using the more affordable smart phones that can support business functions. As these devices come into use, IT staff must set up procedures to secure data, according to Chen.

    Implementing any plan will require selecting backup technology and storage and establishing procedures. Tape backup systems require that someone be able to physically remove them from a damaged office. Online options which have increased dramatically in recent years, including software packages available for small businesses, have the advantage of providing offsite storage as well as backup

    Prices for online services are all over the map, so it pays to shop around. For example, two products recommended by PC Magazine are SOS online backup, which costs $74.50 per year for 1GB; $237 per year for 10GB, and Mozy Remote Backup, which costs only $39.95 a year for 20 GBs.

    Third party services usually charge monthly rates for back up and storage of files and servers. Laura DuBois, an analyst at International Data Corp., believes many of these services are good enough in terms of general protections, according to internetnews.com. But the service provider should be a true partner to function well in disaster recovery.

    Attila Kozma, president of Earth to Stars of Glendale, CA, the company offering ThetaBackup.com, suggested several tips to help business owners select an appropriate vendor internet news.com reports:


  • The transferred data need to be encrypted and compressed before transmission;
  • The online backup and data recovery practices of the online backup company should be verified to determine if they store SMB data securely;
  • Recovery times must be rapid;
  • On-site professional help should be available whenever requested at an affordable rate;
  • Open files should be backed up;
  • Many versions of files should be saved online, as opposed to only the last saved version; and
  • The online backup client software should verify the sent data for its correctness.

    Iron Mountain Digital is the world's largest provider of data backup-recovery and archiving software as a service. Iron Mountain offers a range of services for small and medium sized businesses, the company's web site says. Peachtree Online Backup partners with Iron Mountain for PC backup. .

    Disaster recovery infrastructures for small and medium businesses have become more affordable in the past year with disk-to-disk backup and server virtualization, techtarget.com reports. Other technologies that are available are storage networks and data deduplication technology, which automatically removes duplicate records. Microsoft, Intel Corp., and Advanced Micro Devices are building virtualization into their infrastructures and, "It's now relatively easy to implement for an SMB without huge depth of knowledge of virtualization," says Carmi Levy of Info-Tech Research Group Inc. in London, Ontario, according to cio-midmarket.com.

    Testing the disaster recovery plan is critical. Access to the company's system should be restored and the data should be retrieved from off site storage. Changes to the IT environment can affect the recovery, so testing every six months or every year will be needed to ensure that the recovery plan functions in the current environment. Managers and staff should be fully involved in testing.

  • Bob Jensen's small business helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#SmallBusiness  

    From the Scout Report on October 31, 2008

    Path Finder 5.0 --- http://www.cocoatech.com/ 

    Finding certain files on a computer can be an onerous chore from time to time, and Path Finder 5.0 is a good solution for anyone who's been bedeviled by such a task. The application includes a dual pane browser, cut and paste support, and a website that includes an interactive tour through its other features. This version of Path Finder is compatible with systems running Mac OS X 10.5 and newer. Also, this is a 30-day free trial version, and a full paid license is required after that point.

    VideoInspector --- http://www.kcsoftwares.com/index.php?vtb 

    Have you ever had a video file that just wouldn't play? VideoInspector may be just the thing for such a situation. VideoInspector helps identify the coder-decoder required to play a specific file and it is available in over 12 languages. There's also online support for this application, and it is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer.


    From the Scout Report on January 15, 2010

    WeatherBug 7.02 --- http://weather.weatherbug.com/

    Whether it's flooding down in Texas or balmy in Birmingham, WeatherBug 7.02 can keep you abreast of a multitude of meteorological situations. This program runs in the system tray, and a quick double-click brings up the latest temperature, wind, and humidity. While the program only covers the United States, it's still a reliable and non-intrusive way to stay on top of weather conditions. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer.

    SeaMonkey 2.0.2 --- http://www.seamonkey-project.org/releases/

     Designed as an "all-in-one" Internet application, the SeaMonkey application contains a browser, an image manager, junk mail controls, a RSS feed manager, and a HTML editor. Of course, these are but a few of its many features, and visitors can also weave their way through the application's homepage to view release notes, screenshots, and a complete list of its features. This version of SeaMonkey is compatible with computers running Windows 2000, XP, and Vista or Mac OS X 10.4 and newer.

    New ways of presenting Native American art on display in Kansas City Elevating American Indian Art http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704107104574572160369308496.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_sections_lifestyle 

    A native sensibility to Autry exhibition http://www.latimes.com/la-ca-baskets10-2010jan10,0,2450901.story 

    Priest's pop art challenges contemporary stereotypes, recalls church history http://www.episcopalchurch.org/81803_118308_ENG_HTM.htm 

    The Art of Native American Basketry: A Living Tradition http://www.autrynationalcenter.org/basketry/ 

    National Museum of the American Indian http://www.nmai.si.edu/index.cfm 

    CultureGrrl http://www.artsjournal.com/culturegrrl/


    "Critical Points in the Learning Process," by Joe Hoyle, Teaching Financial Accounting Blog, January 21, 2010 ---

    Author’s Note: Before I get started today, I wanted to mention a note that I received from Professor David Albrecht. I am always pleased to pass along information that might help in better teaching.

    From David: I've been blogging for a while. My blog is at http://profalbrecht.wordpress.com On my blog, a have a page of links http://profalbrecht.wordpress/com/links/ for all other accounting professors that blog. You might be interested. http://profalbrecht.wordpress.com/2008/12/30/ace-your-accounting-classes-12-hints-to-maximize-your-potential/

    I have long believed that there are three critical points in the learning process: (1) what students do prior to class to prepare themselves to learn, (2) what takes place during class, and (3) what happens immediately after class to help the students solidify the material that they have just heard and discussed. If I were to guess, I would think that teachers spend about 10 percent of their time and energy on helping guide step (1), 89 percent of their time setting up step (2), and 1 percent of their time and energy guiding step (3). Personally, I think a 33.3, 33.3, 33.3 allocation might make for a much better educational experience.

    Students leave class and if they are not careful any and all understanding leaks away very quickly. Subsequently, when test time arrives, they find it necessary to cram all that understanding back into their brains in almost a panic. Not surprisingly, they will then complain that they “knew it all until they got to the test.” What they really mean is that they had a vague understanding leaving class but never solidified the knowledge so that it went from a general appreciation of the material to an actual and deep understanding.

    Therefore, I encourage my students to organize, review, practice, or whatever it takes within a few hours after each class. I stress that this might well be the most important work they do in my class. I do not feel that I can over-emphasize taking the material that we have gone over in class and bringing it into their actual knowledge base.

    Unfortunately, students seem to have little training as to how to do this. Ask your students some day “what have you done since the last class to make sure that you understood that material we covered?” You may well get some truly bewildered stares. You have introduced a foreign concept.

    I try to help guide my students AFTER material has been presented. As I have said before in these postings, I use email a lot. One of my favorites uses is a quick email right after class to say “okay, here is what we covered today and here is what you should do next to get that material under control.”

    For example, on Wednesday of this week, we had our opening discussion on transactions and transaction analysis. Within 10 minutes of leaving class, I sent them the following email to alert them to exactly what I needed for them to do next. Plus, I introduced my concept of “three-second knowledge,” the stuff they should know so well that they really don’t need to think about it. I believe every course has a significant amount of three-second knowledge. If the students can get that learned, they will have an excellent base of understanding on which to build more complicated concepts.

    Email to students after Wednesday’s class:
    “--We ended class looking at the financial ramifications of seven transactions. I need for you to go back over those seven until you know them backwards and forwards. These are not hard (and there are not many) but you cannot have soft knowledge on this. You need to have this down absolutely solid. If I walk into class Friday and ask you about one of those seven, I need for you to have this at what I call the "three-second level of knowledge." In other words, if I call on you with one of those seven, you should be able to count to three and tell me the answer. Not look it up in your notes or the book but count to three and tell me the answer. If you start coughing and sputtering, then, by definition, you are not at the level that I want. Notice, that this is just for the seven transactions that we specifically covered yesterday.”

    How can you help your students take their soft knowledge and turn it into an understanding that is absolutely solid?

    Jensen Comment
    Joe Hoyle is one of our most sharing accounting professors.

    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/

    January 23, 2010 reply from Australia's James Richards [jdrozwa@IINET.NET.AU]

    Hi, It is a couple of years (end of 2006) since I retired from teaching but I still remember having real difficulty getting students to complete steps 1 and 3.

    For step 1 very few did the required reading for a class. In Australia we use the lecture/tutorial/workshop system rather than the smaller group approach in the USA. All students (in theory) attended the lectures but a large portion decide that the PowerPoint slides and other materials I created were enough and did not both to attend. The following week they had a workshop where they had been assigned questions/ problems and then come along to discuss them. A small percentage may have read prior to the lecture and a significant proportion would come to the workshop without having attempted the questions/problems. They came along to get the answers rather than participate in any discussions unless called upon to do so. Every week there would be someone who was asked to answer/discuss and the response was that they had not prepared an answer, but had also not been to see me during consultation hours for assistance.

    For step 3 (review after class) the major problem was that students would try and get as many classes in a row (almost running from one side of campus to the other) so that all of their classes were on the minimum possible days. This meant that review immediately after class – a step recommended in the course guide – was not possible.

    To try and give them some incentive to undertake step 3 as soon as possible I used to display the retention graph from Tony Buzan’s “Mind Maps” book where it shows retention rate without review and retention rates with regular reviews.

    When my class time was cut by an hour I used Camtasia to replace all the problems I previously worked through in lectures. The students were given copies of the question/problem and answer template as part of their course notes for each week of the semester. The Camtasia movies were available as Flash movies through the course WebCT site. I recall one student who came to me in Week 10 of a 13 week semester to tell me that he had not been able to get the Flash movies to work. I am not quite sure how he managed to prepare for the workshops that followed each lecture.

    If students did not have decent internet access available at home I was more than happy to burn the Flash movies to a CD for them to use at home.

    The process I gave my students was: Read prior to lecture Attend the lecture Review lecture immediately after the class in the library Work through the Flash movie problems Prepare for the workshop Attend the workshop Review the workshop immediately after the class in the library

    I suspect that a very small percentage did all of the above each week or any week.

    Jim Richards Phone (Home): (08) 9249 6874 Phone (Mobile): 0419-172-100


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

    Education Tutorials

    Video:  Purported Facts of the Modern Times (this is a newer and updated Sony Annual Meeting version) ---
     Some things I might quibble with like how fast knowledge becomes outdated, but it's a quick and worthwhile overview of a lot of supposed facts).
    This video might wake your students up at the beginning or the ending of a class.

    NASA eClips --- http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/nasaeclips/

    Visuwords (Dictionary) ---  http://www.visuwords.com/

    The Visual Dictionary --- http://www.infovisual.info/

    Free Primer: Learning How To Use Decision Trees! --- http://www.simoleonsense.com/free-primer-learning-how-to-use-decision-trees/

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

    Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

    NASA eClips --- http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/nasaeclips/

    Science Oxford Online --- http://www.scienceoxfordonline.com/

    U.S. Drought Portal --- http://www.drought.gov

    Writing Guidelines for Engineering and Science Students --- http://writing.engr.psu.edu/

    Video:  Bottlenose dolphins mud-ring feeding --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQ50PYMXDCQ

    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

    Video:  Purported Facts of the Modern Times (this is a newer and updated Sony Annual Meeting version) ---
     Some things I might quibble with like how fast knowledge becomes outdated, but it's a quick and worthwhile overview of a lot of supposed facts).
    This video might wake your students up at the beginning or the ending of a class.

    The Promise and Peril of Big Data --- http://www.aspeninstitute.org/sites/default/files/content/docs/pubs/InfoTech09.pdf

    Conference on Historical Analysis and Research in Marketing Proceedings --- http://faculty.quinnipiac.edu/charm/cumulative_proceedings.htm

    Science Oxford Online --- http://www.scienceoxfordonline.com/

    Journal of Aesthetics & Culture --- http://journals.sfu.ca/coaction/index.php/jac

    Strategic Studies Institute: United States Army War College --- http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/  

    Writing Guidelines for Engineering and Science Students --- http://writing.engr.psu.edu/

    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 and Statistics Tutorials

    The Promise and Peril of Big Data --- http://www.aspeninstitute.org/sites/default/files/content/docs/pubs/InfoTech09.pdf

    Conference on Historical Analysis and Research in Marketing Proceedings --- http://faculty.quinnipiac.edu/charm/cumulative_proceedings.htm 

    Free Primer: Learning How To Use Decision Trees! --- http://www.simoleonsense.com/free-primer-learning-how-to-use-decision-trees/

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

    History Tutorials

    Bonhams Magazine (antiques and fine art) --- http://www.bonhams.com/cgi-bin/public.sh/pubweb/publicSite.r?screen=magazinecontents

    Journal of Aesthetics & Culture --- http://journals.sfu.ca/coaction/index.php/jac

    The Lincoln Log --- http://www.thelincolnlog.org/view

    Strategic Studies Institute: United States Army War College --- http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/  

    Journal of Aesthetics & Culture --- http://journals.sfu.ca/coaction/index.php/jac

    Ringling Collection: Images of 19th Century Actors and Actresses --- http://ufdcweb1.uflib.ufl.edu/ufdc/?s=ringling

    Charlie Parker (films in history) --- http://tsutpen.blogspot.com/

    NASA eClips --- http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/nasaeclips/

    Princeton University Library Digital Collections: Lorenzo Homar Collection (graphics arts) ---

    Graphic Masters II: American Art --- http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/online/graphicmasters2/index.html

    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

    Visuwords (Dictionary) ---  http://www.visuwords.com/

    The Visual Dictionary --- http://www.infovisual.info/

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

    Music Tutorials


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

    Writing Tutorials

    Writing Guidelines for Engineering and Science Students --- http://writing.engr.psu.edu/

    Visuwords (Dictionary) ---  http://www.visuwords.com/

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

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

    January 18, 2010

    January 19, 2010

    January 20, 2010

    January 21, 2010

    January 22, 2010

    January 23, 2010


    "Omega-3 Fatty Acids Are Linked to Longevity," by Thomas M. Burton, The Wall Street Journal, January 20, 2010 ---

    Omega-3 fatty acids, from fish like salmon and other sources, have for years been shown to help lower levels of heart disease and cardiac death.

    New research suggests the fatty acids may possess an even more fundamental benefit: Heart patients with high omega-3 intake had relatively longer "telomeres," which are stretches of DNA whose length correlates with longevity.

    Cardiologists from the University of California, San Francisco, and other hospitals measured telomere length over five years in 608 patients who had coronary-artery blockage and previous heart attacks. Researchers found that people with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their white blood cells experienced significantly less shortening of telomeres over five years, as compared with patients with lower omega-3 levels.

    "What we're demonstrating is a potentially new link between omega-3 fatty acids and the aging process," said Ramin Farzaneh-Far, a clinical cardiologist and assistant medical professor at UCSF and San Francisco General Hospital who is the lead author of the research.

    Published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association, the study focused only on "marine" omega-3 found in fish, not the type found in vegetable sources like flaxseed, walnuts, canola oil or soybean oil.

    The study didn't distinguish between meals of fatty fish and fish-oil supplements—leaving open the question of whether it's better for people to eat more fish, to eat plants such as flaxseed or just to take omega-3 supplements.

    The American Heart Association, in a 2002 scientific statement in the journal Circulation, concluded that consuming omega-3 fatty acids in fish or supplements "significantly reduces subsequent cardiac and all-cause mortality." The fish most often cited are salmon, herring and sardines.

    John LaPuma, a Santa Barbara, Calif., physician and nutrition expert, says, "The best data are in fish rather than supplements, but the data for supplements are better than they were five years ago."

    There is "very little good evidence for the omega-3s from flax and walnuts," said Dr. LaPuma, author of "ChefMD's Big Book of Culinary Medicine." But these foods have other benefits, he said. For instance, "flax meal, by itself, is an important part of lowering LDL," or bad cholesterol, Dr. LaPuma said.

    Researchers in the new study said they observed "baseline levels of marine omega-3 fatty acids were associated with decelerated telomere attrition over 5 years."

    Additionally, Dr. Farzaneh-Far said, "in multiple studies, short telomere length [in white blood cells] has been shown to predict death and cardiovascular events and heart failure." He cautioned that "it's an open question as to whether telomere length is causal or just a marker" of cell death. But he referred to telomere shortening as "a key part of cellular aging."

    "To definitively address the question of whether omega-3 fatty acids inhibit cellular aging, a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial would be necessary," the authors wrote. Dr. Farzaneh-Far suggested that such research should be done in healthy adults because the evidence already is powerful on behalf of advantages of these fatty acids in heart patients.

    From Grumpy Old Maxine

    I was in the restaurant yesterday when I suddenly realized I desperately needed to pass gas. The music was really, really loud, so I timed my gas with the beat of the music.

    After a couple of songs, I started to feel better. I finished my coffee, and noticed that everybody was staring at me....

    Then I suddenly remembered that I was listening to my iPod.

    ...and how was your day?

    Forwarded by Bill Mister

    The Diary of a Snow Shoveler

    December 8 6:00 PM. It started to snow. The first snow of the season, and the wife and I took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a Grandma Moses print. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!

    December 9 We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a more lovely place in the whole world? Moving here was the best thing I've ever done. Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life.

    December 12 The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment. My neighbor tells me not to worry, we'll definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we'll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I'll never want to see snow again. I don't think that's possible. Bob is such a nice man, I'm glad he's our neighbor.

    December 14 Snow lovely snow! 8" last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn't realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I'll certainly get back in shape this way.

    December 15 20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4x4 Blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife's car and 2 extra shovels. Stocked the freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that's silly. We aren't in the Yukon, after all.

    December 16 Ice storm this morning. Fell on my butt on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like heck. The wife laughed for one hour, which I think was very cruel.

    December 17 Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should've bought a wood stove, but won't admit it to her. God I hate it when she's right. I can't believe I'm freezing to death in my own living room.

    December 20 Electricity's back on, but had another 14" of the damn stuff last night. More shoveling. Took all day. Darn snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they're too busy playing hockey. I think they're lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they're out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they're lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he's lying.

    December 22 Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white crap fell today, and it's so cold it probably won't melt till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to poop. By the time I got undressed, pooped and dressed again, I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob who has a plow on his truck for the rest of the winter; but he says he's too busy. I think the jerk is lying.

    December 23 Only 2" of snow today. And it warmed up to 0. The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What is she nuts!!! Why didn't she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did but I think she's lying.

    December 24 6". Snow packed so hard by snowplow, I broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the man who drives that snowplow I'll drag him through the snow by his nose and beat him to death with my broken shovel. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street at 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where I've just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was too busy watching for the snowplow.

    December 25 Merry freakin' Christmas! 20 more inches of the slop tonight. Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. I hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she's a frickin' idiot. If I have to watch "It's A Wonderful Life" one more time, I'm going to stuff her into the microwave.

    December 26 Still snowed in. Why the heck did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She's really getting on my nerves.

    December 27 Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze. Plumber came after 14 hours of waiting for him. He only charged me $1400 to replace all my pipes.

    December 28 Warmed up to above -20. Still snowed in. THE WITCH is driving me crazy!!!

    December 29 10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That's the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?

    December 30 Roof caved in. I beat up the snow plow driver. He is now suing me for a million dollars - not only for the beating I gave him but also for trying to shove the broken snow shovel down his throat. The wife went home to her mother. 9" predicted.

    December 31 I set fire to what's left of the house. No more shoveling.

    January 8 Feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed?

    Jensen Comment
    I just noticed --- they've started me up on white pills.

    A Poem Forwarded by Auntie Bev

    Another year has passed And we're all a little older. Last summer felt hotter And winter seems much colder.

    There was a time not long ago When life was quite a blast. Now I fully understand About 'Living in the Past'

    We used to go to weddings, Football games and lunches. Now we go to funeral homes, And after-funeral brunches.

    We used to have hangovers, From parties that were gay. Now we suffer body aches And wile the night away.

    We used to go out dining, And couldn't get our fill. Now we ask for doggie bags, Come home and take a pill.

    We used to often travel To places near and far. Now we get sore bottoms From riding in the car.

    We used to go to nightclubs And drink a little booze. Now we stay home at night And watch the evening news.

    That, my friend is how life is, And now my tale is told. So, enjoy each day and live it up... Before you're too darned old!


    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/

    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.

    Three Finance Blogs

    Jim Mahar's FinanceProfessor Blog --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/
    FinancialRounds Blog --- http://financialrounds.blogspot.com/
    Karen Alpert's FinancialMusings (Australia) --- http://financemusings.blogspot.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

    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 ---


    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