Tidbits on July 26, 2012
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

Bob Jensen's Second Set of Hiking Pictures
Including Some More of John Compton's Pictures Taken on White Mountain Hiking Trails


More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories


Tidbits on July 26, 2012
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/

The Cult of Statistical Significance: How Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives ---

How Accountics Scientists Should Change: 
"Frankly, Scarlett, after I get a hit for my resume in The Accounting Review I just don't give a damn"
One more mission in what's left of my life will be to try to change this


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

The World in Two Minutes --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrqqD_Tsy4Q

The Higgs Boson explained by PhD Comics July 4, 2012 ---
Infographics by Nathan Yau

Beer Tap App (rhymes) for a Tablet Computer ---

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

Kitty Wells (August 30, 1919 – July 16, 2012) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitty_Wells
It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKleTa94dC8
As noted above Kitty died on July 16. CBS News called her the first country and western singer. I did not verify this.
Search YouTube for many more of her historic recordings.

Swing Girls (with a tuning fork) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=ZDhLJeU455w&NR=1
Shades of Glen Miller

Stringing Along in Spain  --- http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=GBaHPND2QJg&feature=youtu.be

Flash Choir in Times Square --- http://www.npr.org/event/music/156493791/a-flash-choir-sings-philip-glass-in-times-square

The Amazing B-29 --- http://vimeo.com/17388627
Sent to me by a close friend who was a belly gunner shot down over Poland. Near the end of the war he was forced to march for over 1,200 miles into Germany as a nearn-starved German Prisoner of War. Also in our poker group in San Antonio was a former B-29 pilot in the Pacific.

Anre Rieu's Rendition of Amazing Grace --- http://www.youtube.com/embed/GInf0lXsyKY?feature=player_embedded

Tanglewood: Celebrating Beethoven In The Backwoods For 75 Years --- Click Here

Frank Sinatra's Rendition of "Send in the Clowns" --- http://www.yourememberthat.com/media/10939/Send_In_The_Clowns/
Barbara Streisand's Rendition of "Send in the Clowns" --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnwJ5KIcKX4

Simon and Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water (Live 1969) ---

Message from Barry Rice on July 17, 2012
There are some great flash mob videos of accounting practitioners (including the Maryland Association of CPAs) and accounting students at https://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=f&oq=%22flash+mob%22+accountants&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4LENP_en___US481&q=%22flash+mob%22+accountants&gs_upl=0l0l0l27342lllllllllll0#q=%22flash+mob%22+accountants&hl=en&safe=off&rlz=1T4LENP_en___US481&prmd=imvns&source=univ&tbm=vid&tbo=u&sa=X&ei=rZgFUKLFCY-KrQGt_4jICA&ved=0CGAQqwQ&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=960fd2c1c95a1532&biw=1013&bih=459. I Goggled “’flash mob’ accountants” to find them. If practicing accountants can have a “flash mob,” surely ACADEMIC accountants can do so.


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

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

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

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

Photographs and Art

PBS: Arts --- http://www.pbs.org/arts/

A Woman's Place: Best and Worst Places To Be A Woman --- Click Here


Grassroots Feminist Political Posters in India ---

Images of Lake Tahoe --- http://knowledgecenter.unr.edu/specoll/photoweb/tahoe/

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (Historical Photographs) ---  http://sfpl.org/index.php?pg=2000084701

Radical Women (University of Florida, Photographs) --- http://ufdc.ufl.edu/rw

Sophia Smith Collection: Women's History Archives at Smith College --- http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/ssc/digitalcoll.html

British Museum Channel --- http://www.britishmuseum.org/channel.aspx

Bobbie Hanvey Photographic Archive (Ireland) --- http://www.bc.edu/sites/libraries/hanvey/

Wyoming State Historical Society --- http://wyshs.org/

University of Wyoming Digital Collections --- http://digital.uwyo.edu

MoMA: Alighiero Boetti: Game Plan --- http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2012/boetti/

Clement Moran Photography Collection (antique New Hampshire photographs) --- Click Here

Grassroots Feminist Political Posters in India ---

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

Carl Sagan’s Reading List --- Click Here

Free Electronic Literature --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm
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 July 26, 2012

The booked National Debt on January 1, 2012 was over $15 trillion ---
U.S. National Debt Clock --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/
Also see http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/

Peter G. Peterson Website on Deficit/Debt Solutions ---

July 17, 2012
On the CBS Evening News a very short segment between News Anchor Scott Pelley and Business Correspondent Anthony Mason sums up what is wrong in our current effort to keep the U.S. from going off an economic cliff.  The context of this segment is a featured clip of a July 17 Senate Hearing in which Senior Senator Chuck Schumer (read that Senator Mugabe) asserts that Congress is so gridlocked in preventing the economy from falling off a cliff before 2012 election day that the only thing that can save the U.S. economy is the Federal Reserve. Senator Mugabe then orders Fed Chairman Bernanke to "get to work."

I might point out that before this Senate Hearing, Ben Bernanke went on record as stating that only Congress can keep the economy from going over the cliff. In this Senate Hearing Senator Mugabe told Bernanke that this is just not going to happen in a gridlocked Congress before the 2012 election --- which is too late to prevent going over the cliff.

After airing the clip from Senator Mugabe's Senate Hearing, CBS News Anchor Scott Pelley pointed out that everything the Fed has tried to date just is not working. FDIC banks are just not buying into the Fed's current "no money down, zero interest rate" offers to them from the Fed.

"In this circumstance," asks Scott Pelley, "what can the Fed do to keep the economy from going over a cliff"? (paraphrased)

"All it can do," answered Anthony Mason, "is buy up U.S. Treasury Bonds and mortgage-backed securities like it as done recently (to over $2 trillion dollars).

Jensen Comment
What Pelley and Mason did not explain is what Fed purchasing of trillions of dollars of U.S. Treasury Bonds really means. I estimate that over 99.999999% of the CBS News viewers have no idea what this action by the Fed really means or why it enables the U.S. Government step up public works projects and other cash bailouts.

What CBS News should've explained, if it was responsible to its viewers, is that this last arrow in the Fed's quiver is tantamount to printing trillions of dollars to pay for government spending instead of paying for that spending with tax money or borrowing (selling U.S. Treasury Bonds on the open market instead of to itself). Of course by now all readers on the AECM understand what this Fed action really means. Sadly, 99.999999% of the voters in America do not have a clue.

Senator Mugabe's wishes are consistent with Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman's advice to print whatever is needed to lower the unemployment rate below 6% in a Keynesian solution (although I think Keynes only considered taxing or borrowing to pay for the deficit). I don't think Keynes advised simply printing money to pay for a government boost to the economy. The thing is that Paul Krugman naively assumes that when prosperity returns (if ever) that Congress will at last undertake reducing the annual deficit in tens of trillions of dollars by then. But this might entail firing tens of millions of people on public works projects and goring all the other oxen that have grown dependent upon Keynesian government dole.

 The bottom line is that Congress is most likely to never act to reduce the deficit with taxes and spending cuts. It's so much easier to just pay for the deficit by printing U.S. dollars. And there's not much hope of electing true statesmen (and stateswomen) to Congress given the power of special interest groups to pay whatever it takes to elect their dupes to Congress.

In any case, I don't think CBS News viewers have any idea that the Fed has been and probably will do in a few months at an accelerating rate is to print trillions of dollars to support government public works projects and other spending under explicit orders from Senior Senator Mugabe. Bernanke really does not want to print trillions more of U.S. dollars, which is why he appealed to Congress to take other steps to reduce the deficit.

But Congress is full of cowards who care more about what MSNBC and Fox News will say about them personally than to take unpopular actions to really, really offend their constituencies. There are no statesmen left in Washington DC --- only cowards.

And so I say welcome to Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe Economics and the Weimar Republic ---

A Pissing Contest Between Bob and Jagdish:  An Illustration of How to Lie With Statistics ---

Undergraduate Research at Conference at Trinity University ---
Where are the accounting student researchers?

Undergraduate research is central to the goals and priorities of the academic program at Trinity University. During the 10-week summer program, students work on research projects full-time under the close mentorship of Trinity faculty. These research experiences allow students to develop a more complete picture of careers in research and academia.

In 2010, 115 students from Trinity and institutions across the country participated in the Summer Research Program. In most cases, students receive a stipend and free housing. Some students also receive one tuition credit free of charge. Students are supported by individual faculty grants or by one of Trinity's Research Programs.

The summer research program culminates in a day-long conference where students present their research results in oral or poster presentations.

2012 Undergraduate Research Program

The 2012 Summer Research Program will begin on Monday, May 21. Students residing on campus may move into the residence hall between noon and 5 on May 20. The program will end on Friday, July 27. Dormitories will close on Saturday, July 28. All events and deadlines will be posted to the tuResearch calendar.

Council on Undergraduate Research

Trinity is an enhanced institutional member of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), allowing Trinity faculty to join CUR as individual members at no cost.


Jensen Comment
In 1992 Trinity University also Hosted the Annual NCUR Conference
At that time conference organizers Peter French, Bob Jensen, and Kim Robertson noted the dearth of business undergraduate students participating in the conference, including zero participation by accounting undergraduates around the nation. Perhaps our obsession with courses training students to pass the CPA examination is dysfunctional for educating students undergraduate students about how to conduct research in accountancy.
"Undergraduate Student Research Programs: Are They as Viable for Accounting as They are in Science, Humanities, and Other Business Disciplines?"(With Professors Peter A. French and Kim R. Robertson of Trinity University), Critical Perspectives on Accounting , Volume 3, 1992, 337-357.

I think our article fell on deaf ears!
I realize that there is some undergraduate accounting research going on where there is funding and/or sizeable prizes, especially XBRL research. But none of this ever seems to find its way to the CUR/NCUR conferences.

Why are accountics science journal articles cited in other accountics science research papers so often?

It works like this. A prestigious accountics science research journal "suggests" that you cite some of its previously-published articles before making a decision to accept your submission. Scroll down deep to find out how it works.

"Journals Inflate Their Prestige by Coercing Authors to Cite Them," Chronicle of Higher Education, February 3, 2012 ---


A survey published today in Science shows that journal editors often ask prospective authors to add superfluous citations of the journal to articles, and authors feel they can’t refuse. (The Science paper is for subscribers only, but you can read a summary here.) The extra citations artificially inflate a journal’s impact and prestige. About 6,600 academics responded to the survey, and about 20 percent said they had been asked to add such citations even though no editor or reviewer had said their article was deficient without them. About 60 percent of those surveyed said they would comply with such a request, which was most often aimed at junior faculty members.


Commercial Scholarly and Academic Journals and Oligopoly Textbook Publishers Are Ripping Off Libraries, Scholars, and Students  ---


The Underground Economy at All Levels of Wealth

The other day I mentioned once again that poverty and wealth statistics are probably understated because of the the huge and viable underground economy that greatly distorts statistical data on wealth and income in the United States and probably most other parts of the world.

My threads on the underground economy are at

Today, on July 24, I had yet another illustration of the underground economy.

In June, 2012 Erika had some periodontal surgery from a doctor in Laconia. Her surgeon recommended that she have some added and somewhat complicated dental work done and recommended what he said was the best dentist in New Hampshire for this type of work. This dentist, Dr. XXXXX, has an office in a beautiful old mansion about 80 miles south in Concord, our New Hampshire State Capitol City. His home is elsewhere in Concord, and when we discussed property taxes he mentioned that Concord has the highest property tax rates in the state. His personal residence property taxes he said were over $24,000 per year.

Erika had to wait until her gum healed for this dental work .Today we went down for a second opinion from Dr. XXXXX since our local dentist , Dr. Gouge, wanted $18,000 for the job. Dr. Gouge also operates out a an old Victorian mansion in Littleton, but his mansion needs over $100,000 in repairs. I think he saw us coming.

Dr. XXXXX in Concord, who has a better reputation as a skilled dentist, gave us two prices:

There's no option to pay by credit card or debit card with Dr. XXXXX

I don't think it will take AECMers long to figure out this pricing strategy.

How to Game the Tax System ---

Nation's First Ph.D Program in Law
Yale Law School Ph.D. Program With a J.D. Prerequisite

The Sad (Declining) State of Accounting Ph.D. Programs ---

"A READING LIST FOR ACCOUNTING CSI’S," by Anthony H. Catanach Jr. and J. Edward Ketz, Grumpy Old Accountants Blog, July 23, 2012 ---

Jensen Comment
This is not a long list of titles, but some of the recommendations are very long and technical books. Like who sits down to read a thousand page intermediate accounting text unless one is taking or teaching an intermediate accounting course? But then this and some of the other listed books probably serve better as reference books or sleep aids relative to the latest John Grisham novel that I'm now reading while waiting for Erika in doctor's offices. Actually John Grisham is not my favorite author by a long ways, but he does have some clever plots relative to James Patterson.

There is a somewhat  long list of book-cooking references.

The above reading list is more significant in terms of what it leaves out rather than what in includes. For openers, I direct readers to the reading list that perhaps only Steve Zeff could compile over the past few years of The Accounting Review book reviews and commentaries. This is a better place to begin than with the Catanach and Ketz list --- with the exception of the C&K book-cooking references.

Professionally, I'm now plowing my way through Bourgeois Dignity:  Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World by Deirdre N. McCloskey. My two word description of that book is dull and tedious to a fault. But I'm doing my best since I have to critique her Plenary Session speech at the 2012 AAA Annual Meetings. I hope the focus of her talk is more on the following book that I loved:
The Cult of Statistical Significance:  How Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives, by Stephen T. Ziliak and Deirdre N. McCloskey (Ann Arbor:  University of Michigan Press, ISBN-13: 978-472-05007-9, 2007) ---

My critique of her speech may be a little like my PhD oral examination at Stanford Universities. The answers that I gave were almost completely disconnected with the questions that were asked. I had prepared for questions that these examiners commonly asked in oral examinations according to students who had gone before me. They decided to redo their question list for me.

Personally, I'm still plowing my way through William Trevor's 80+ outstanding short stories. Next I think I will take up some Mark Twain books. PBS in Maine has been running Ken Burn's outstanding modules on the life of Mark Twain (Samuel Langhorne Clemens, November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910) ---

What an exceptional writer --- perhaps the best American writer of all time. He often started manuscripts and then let them sit on a back burner for years and years. He also was a very close family man who endured tragedies --- both personal and financial. He is not a role model for managing personal finances. He could've accumulated a mass fortune if it was not his obsession for building the most grand house in Hartford and possibly almost all of New England with the exception of estates built by the super, super rich like John D. Rockefeller who could better afford luxurious estates.

I indicated previously that one of economist friends (from Trinity days) was anti-trust expert and mystery novel writer Bill Breit. Bill liked to spring the following question on people he met for the first time. It was a great conversation starter.
"What person living or dead would you most like dine with for a long evening?" (Bill actually worded it somewhat differently at times)

My answer to this unequivocally would be Samuel Langhorne Clemens. What a delightful evening of story telling that would become with stories that have a message and side-splitting humor. Actually Clemens loved to delight his dinner guests with clever stories, many of which were never put into his books or short stories.

Sadly, I don't think Clemens told many stories about accountants, but I could probably lead him into accounting with questions such as how to account for a paddle-wheeler on the Mississippi or a Nevada newspaper or why he went broke given the financial successes of his books and stories?

Trivia Question
What's the major reason that Huckleberry Finn became the most banned book in public schools and libraries?

If you answer a racist theme you are wrong according to Ken Burns. The major reason according to Burns is the foul language in the book, which by today's standards is probably tame indeed since it does not contain those tiresome F-words, C-word, and S-words.

I can assure you that none of the books recommended by Catanach and Ketz contain foul language unless you consider the P-word for Ponzi or the K-word for Kiting horribly objectionable.

Finance Professor Jim Mahar says Barclays really should be removing these advertisements as soon as possible.

Barclays --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barclays#Rate-fixing_scandal

Rate-fixing scandal

In June 2012, as a result of an international investigation, Barclays Bank was fined a total of £290 million (US$450 million) for attempting to manipulate the daily settings of London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) and the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (Euribor). The United States Department of Justice and Barclays officially agreed that "the manipulation of the submissions affected the fixed rates on some occasions".[94] The bank was found to have made 'inappropriate submissions' of rates which formed part of the Libor and Euribor setting processes, sometimes to make a profit, and other times to make the bank look more secure during the financial crisis.[95] This happened between 2005 and 2009, as often as daily.[96]

The BBC said revelations concerning the fraud were "greeted with almost universal astonishment in the banking industry."[97] The UK's Financial Services Authority (FSA), which levied a fine of £59.5 million ($92.7 million), gave Barclays the biggest fine it had ever imposed in its history.[96] The FSA's director of enforcement described Barclays' behaviour as "completely unacceptable", adding "Libor is an incredibly important benchmark reference rate, and it is relied on for many, many hundreds of thousands of contracts all over the world."[95] The bank's chief executive Bob Diamond decided to give up his bonus as a result of the fine.[98] Liberal Democrat politician Lord Oakeshott criticised Diamond, saying: "If he had any shame he would go. If the Barclays board has any backbone, they'll sack him."[95] The U.S. Department of Justice has also been involved, with "other financial institutions and individuals" under investigation.[95] On 2 July 2012, Marcus Agius resigned from the chairman position following the interest rate rigging scandal.[99] On 3 July 2012, Bob Diamond resigned with immediate effect, leaving Marcus Agius to fill his post until a replacement is found.[100]

Some news outlets have highlighted positive trends in the accounting profession, notes James Schiavone of the AICPA. One article pointed out that accounting firms have regained 87% of the jobs lost during the recession, compared with 17% of jobs lost at law firms. Another looked at the steps an accountant should take to turn accounting into a long-term career.
"Accounting Firms Regain 87% of Jobs Lost During the Recession," AICPA Insights, July 2012 ---

Must we blame Republicans for this as well?

CBO: The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, 2008 and 2009
Paul Caron, TaxProf Blog, July 10, 2012 ---


The Congressional Budget Office today released The Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes, 2008 and 2009 (July 2012):

For most income groups, the 2009 average federal tax rate was the lowest observed in the 1979–2009 period. ... For the lowest income group, the average rate fell from 7.5% in 1979 to 1.0% in 2009. ... Households in the middle three income quintiles saw their average tax rate fall by 7.1 percentage points over 30 years, from 19.1% in 1979 to 12.0% in 2009. ... The average tax rate for households in the 81st to 99th percentiles of the income distribution also reached a low point in 2009, about 4 percentage points below its 1979 level. ... In contrast, in 2009 the average tax rate for households in the top 1% of the before-tax income distribution was above its low point, reached in the early 1980s. ... The tax rate ... rose somewhat from 2007 to 2009, as sharp declines in capital gains income caused a larger portion of the income of that group to be subject to the ordinary income tax rates. The decline in after-tax income between 2007 and 2009 was much larger at the top of the income distribution than further down the distribution.

How to avoid income taxes:
Case Studies in Gaming the Income Tax Laws ---

For example, Edmunds says that a 2012 Chevy Impala LTZ sells new in San Diego for $27,235, and $21,313 used with 3999 miles. So would an Impala buyer have $6,000 income upon returning the car? Or would this be analogous to a purchase price adjustment under § 108(e)(5)?

I don't think that this has yet been resolved by the IRS, but it is possible that Chevy's new Love it or Return it sales promotion is entirely a freebie for taxpayers who among the 50% of taxpayers who actually pay income taxes.
Paul Caron, TaxProf Blog, July 22, 2012 ---

"Penn State president orders Paterno statue removal," Yahoo News, July 22, 2012  ---

Jensen Comment
Without encouraging a debate on whether this statue removal is or is not appropriate, it does make me wonder if there's a full statue or even a mere marble bust of any accounting professor anywhere in the world? There may be some portraits of accounting professors who became Presidents of universities. There also is a portrait of Luca Pacioli ---
A don't know of any statues of this Renaissance mathematician.

It's pretty easy to historically rank football coaches in terms of number of wins or win-loss percentages over 30 or more years, but it's difficult to rank accounting professors on explicit criteria. But such rankings differ from rankings on other criteria such as the percentage of varsity players who received diplomas in less than six years.

Some analysts, including me, have done so on the basis of publication records in selected accounting research journals. This, however, falls way short of a "win-loss" record as an accounting professor as a teacher or as a teacher/researcher.

The AAA has had an Outstanding Educator Award for many years, and I'm told that this award is heavily based upon a research record. I'm also told that it's very difficult to win the award without ever having advised doctoral students, although teaching testimonials of students at all levels of coursework are also factored into the granting of this award ---

. . .

Award Criteria
The Outstanding Accounting Educator Award recognizes contributions to accounting education from scholarly endeavors in research and teaching over a sustained period of time through:

Continued in article

But it's a pretty safe bet that no campus in North America has a statue of an AAA Outstanding Educator.

Richard Sansing found a link to a statue of Luca Pacioli in his hometown ---

"The California Dream is fizzling out," By John D. Sutter, CNN, June 27, 2011 ---

PBS News Hour
California Community Colleges Face Dilemmas Amid Tighter Budgets ---

Tax and Spend," by Kevin Kiley and Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed, May 15, 2012 ---

"Further trigger cuts in January could be the breaking point financially for some colleges," said Jack Scott, the system's chancellor, in a written statement,"


The End of History

Hi Jagdish,

Oops, I accidentally hit the send button too soon.

Francis Fukuyama --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Fukuyama

He is best known for his book The End of History and the Last Man (1992), which argued that the worldwide spread of liberal democracies and free market capitalism of the West and its lifestyle may signal the end point of humanity's sociocultural evolution and become the final form of human government. However, his subsequent book "Trust: Social Virtues and Creation of Prosperity" (1995) modified his earlier position to acknowledge that culture cannot be cleanly separated from economics. Fukuyama is also associated with the rise of the neoconservative movement, from which he has since distanced himself.

Fukuyama is a Senior Fellow at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University.Before that he served as a professor and director of the International Development program at the School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University.

Continued in article

The phrase for what this nation and many others aspire towards is "Limited Democracy" or "Liberal Democracy" where certain rights (constitutional rights, safety, education, voting, religion, and even health care in an emergency room) are inalienable rights that cannot be voted away for any minority by a majority.

The term is probably best known in the writings of Fukuyama. When I taught one of the sections of Trinity University's First-Year Seminar, the best known of Fukuyama's books was one of the assigned six books to read and debate in my section of this seminar. Each instructor was free to choose the theme for her/his section and the assigned readings. The purpose of this course was to provide a seminar experience for first-year students without dictating content for the course. It would, however, be deemed inappropriate to turn the course into a skills course such as math, computer programming, or bookkeeping)

End of History --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/End_of_History

Fukuyama's sequence of books clearly demonstrate the evolution and mutations of his thinking over time.

Universities Approaching a Financial Cliff

"One-Third of Colleges Are on Financially 'Unsustainable' Path, Bain Study Finds," by Goldie Blumenstyk, The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 23, 2012 ---

An analysis of nearly 1,700 public and private nonprofit colleges being unveiled this week by Bain & Company finds that one-third of the institutions have been on an "unsustainable financial path" in recent years, and an additional 28 percent are "at risk of slipping into an unsustainable condition."

At a surprising number of colleges, "operating expenses are getting higher" and "they're running out of cash to cover it," says Jeff Denneen, a Bain partner who heads the consulting firm's American higher-education practice.

Bain and Sterling Partners, a private-equity firm, collaborated on the project. They have published their findings on a publicly available interactive Web site that allows users to type in the name of a college and see where it falls on the analysts' nine-part matrix.

The methodology is based on just two financial ratios, and they produce some findings that may seem incongruous with conventional views on colleges' financial standing. The tool classifies wealthy institutions such as Cornell, Harvard, and Princeton Universities as being on an "unsustainable path" alongside tuition-dependent institutions like Central Bible College, in Missouri. But the very public nature of the findings is sure to bring some attention to the analysis. Bain and Sterling provided advance copies of the analysis and the tool to The Wall Street Journal and The Chronicle.

Overly Alarmist?

Mr. Denneen allows that the analysis may be skewed, particularly for the wealthiest institutions, because the period studied, 2005 through 2010, concludes with a fiscal year in which endowments were hit with record losses. One of the two ratios used in the analysis, called the "equity ratio," is based on the change in value of an institution's assets, including its endowment, relative to its liabilities. Since 2010 the value of many endowments has rebounded. The other, the "expense ratio," looks at changes in expenses as a percentage of revenue.

Still, Bain and Sterling maintain the analysis sends a sobering signal, even if some might see the findings as overly alarmist and self-serving. "Financial statements have gotten significantly weaker in a very short period of time," says Tom Dretler, an executive in residence at Sterling, a firm that is a major investor in Laureate Education Inc. and other educational companies.

Besides the credit ratings and reports produced by bond-rating agencies and the Education Department's controversial annual listing of colleges' financial-responsibility scores, there are few public sources of information on colleges' financial health.

The new analytic tool classifies colleges based on whether their expense ratios increased or their equity ratios decreased, giving the harshest rankings to those with changes of more than 5 percent, moderate rankings to those with changes of 0 to 5 percent, and good rankings to those where expense ratios didn't increase and equity ratios didn't decrease.

For example, it lists Bennington and Rollins Colleges along with California State University-Channel Islands and Georgia Southwestern State University as being on an unsustainable financial path for several years because their ratios of expenses relative to revenues spiked up while their equity ratios fell. (For all four, the expense ratio increased by 25 percent or more.) Hundreds of other colleges were classified with that same designation if only one of the ratios changed by more than 5 percent.Higher-education leaders who say the Education Department's scores can be a flawed way of measuring a college's health say the Bain-Sterling analysis may suffer the same weaknesses.

"Places that are viewed by some as having an unsustainable way of operating may not be," says Richard H. Ekman, president of the Council of Independent Colleges. Analyses like this, which rely on data from a particular period of time, he says, "may not tell the full story."

Susan M. Menditto, an expert on accounting matters at the National Association of College and University Business Officers, notes that even the way colleges account for their endowments—in some cases counting restricted gifts, in other cases not—might not be reflected in the analysis.

Mr. Denneen says the simple tool serves a different purpose than does a report on the creditworthiness of an institution from Moody's Investors Service, which uses 36 criteria to formulate its ratings. "This does provide a useful lens," he says. "This is really a guidepost for how hard you ought to be thinking about pushing on your financial model."

Disconcerting Trends

Along with the tool, Bain and Sterling are publishing a paper, "The Financially Sustainable University." It is their take on what they view as several disconcerting trends in spending, and it puts the two firms among an ever-growing list of analysts, pundits, and policy makers who have been calling on higher-education leaders to rethink how colleges are administered. (Jeffrey J. Selingo, The Chronicle's vice president and editorial director, contributed to the paper.)

The paper covers familiar ground, although some of the fresher recommendations and findings could resonate with the college administrators, campus leaders, and trustees who are its intended audience. Most notably, it suggests that colleges tap into their real estate, energy plants, and other capital assets more creatively to generate revenue for new academic investments, and it concludes that colleges have too many middle managers.

While it fails to make distinctions between different kinds of colleges, as do other respected analyses such as those of the Delta Project on College Costs, the Bain-Sterling paper shows that, over all, the growth in colleges' debt and the rate of spending on interest payments and on plant, property, and equipment rose far faster than did spending on instruction from 2002 to 2008 for the colleges studied.

It says long-term debt increased by 11.7 percent, interest expenses by 9.2 percent, and property, plant, and equipment expenses by 6.6 percent. Meanwhile, instruction expenses increased by just 4.8 percent.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---

"I Won't Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here's Why," by Kyle Wiens, Harvard Business Review Blog, July 20, 2012 --- Click Here

Jensen Comment
One exception my be applicants for whom English is the second or third language.

Having said this, employers must use caution when bad English gets in the way of job performance. For example, a chronic complaint of students and their parents is that their "child" in college is taking a course where the instructor is so difficult to understand that this gets in the way of learning. It would seem that doctoral programs in North America should add more requirements for communication skills in English (except in Quebec where courses are taught in French).

"How Cybersleuths Took Down Spam King Grum," by Dan Rowinski, ReadWriteWeb, July 20, 2012 ---

Governments, researchers and private companies are working overtime to root out spam from the Internet. Today brings good news: Grum, a botnet responsible for 18% of all spam, is no more. Here's how a team of crack cybersleuths took down the world's third-largest spammer.

The search-and-destroy stories that surface when a spam botnet is taken down are some of the juiciest to be found in any medium. Botnet takedowns have all the elements of a great plot: a global villain, exotic locales, despicable offenses, dedicated heroes who strive for the good of humanity, and a mystery that takes many steps to uncover. It is "Dick Tracy" meets "Hackers."

Grum was a devious mist of a network with no obvious central structure. The face of a botnet like Grum is a distributed sub-network of command-and-control (CnC) servers. These machines direct an army of zombie underlings, ordinary personal computers that have been infected with malware that takes orders from CnC to churn out spam. Grum marshaled at least 120,000 spam-spewing zombies, according to Spamhaus. The actual number of zombies in the network could have been a lot more.

Grum has been in existence for at least four years, an impressive lifespan for a botnet, according to Atif Mushtaq, senior staff scientist at security company FireEye. Mushtaq, along with Carel van Straten and Thomas Morrison from Spamhaus and Alex Kuzmin from CERT-GIB, tracked down the botnet. An anonymous security researcher who goes by the name Nova7 also helped track down the spammers. Their mission was to discover the CnC servers and systematically take them offline. 

By tracking IP addresses, FireEye and other researchers were able to track Grum to a central CnC location in the Netherlands. The team sent abuse notifications to the Dutch authorities telling them to cut off access to the servers through its Internet Service Provider (ISP). Authorities in the Netherlands acted fairly quickly and Grum's primary hub was taken down.

But Grum was not so easily stopped. Like Hercules battling the Lernaean Hydra, the team cut off one head only to watch two grow in its place. Its Dutch head having been decapitated, the botnet moved its resources to secondary servers in Panama and Ukraine. These servers were more difficult to deal with because ISPs in those countries often look the other way, making them notorious safe havens for botnets. “Shutting down any servers there has never been easy," Mushtaq said.

The sleuths applied pressure until the ISP hosting Grum in Panama shut off access to the botnet. It was a big success for the research team, but the battle was not yet over. 

“After seeing the Panamanian server had been shut down, the bot herders moved quickly and started pointing the rest of the CnCs to new secondary servers in Ukraine," Mushtaq wrote. "I was thinking that all we needed was to take down one Russian server, but right in front of my eyes, the bot herders started pointing their botnet to new destinations. I must say, for a moment, I was stunned. The bot herders replaced the two Dutch servers with six new servers located in Ukraine."

Mushtaq passed this information to the other researchers who then pressured their contacts in Ukraine and Russia to take down these servers. By 11:00 a.m. PST on July 18th, the servers had been taken offline and the battle to destroy Grum was won.

The Battle Against Botnets

For a long while, the primary agents against botnets were governments. These entities could use their power to force ISPs to sever access to CnCs that control the zombie armies. But governments are often not well equipped to do so. Moreover, they act slowly and do not always prioritize campaigns against botnets.

That has changed. In the last several years, the fighting of botnets has become a private-sector effort, with researchers such as those at FireEye leading the charge. Microsoft has also entered the fray. In July 2011, Microsoft offered $250,000 for information leading to the capture and conviction of the individuals responsible for Rustock. This makes sense: Microsoft’s Windows operating system is the most installed computer software in the world. Malicious hackers who launch botnet malware have historically focused on Windows for this reason. It behooves Microsoft to be as proactive as possible in helping track down the people responsible.

Continued in article

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

LIBOR --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LIBOR
Note that LIBOR is a global index used in hundreds of millions of contracts around the world as an underlying for interest rate movements. Nobody ever argued that LIBOR was as risk free as the U.S. Treasury Rate, but globally the U.S. Treasury rate paled relative to LIBOR as a market index for interest rates, especially hundreds of trillions of dollars in interest rate swaps.

Hence when LIBOR becomes manipulated by traders it affects worldwide settlements. This is why pension funds of small U.S. towns, labor unions, and banks of all sizes are now suing Barclays and the other U.K banks that allegedly manipulated the LIBOR market rates for their own personal agenda.

"Lies, Damn Lies and Libor:  Call it one more improvisation in 'too big to fail' crisis management," by Holman W. Jenkins Jr., The Wall Street Journal, July 6, 2012 ---

Ignore the man behind the curtain, said the Wizard of Oz. That advice doesn't pay in the latest scandal of the century, over manipulation of Libor, or the London Interbank Offered Rate. The mess is one more proof of the failing wizardry of the First World's monetary-cum-banking arrangements.

Libor is a reference point for interest rates on everything from auto loans and mortgages to commercial credit and complex derivatives. Major world banks are accused of artificially suppressing their claimed Libor rates during the 2007-08 financial crisis to hide an erosion of trust in each other.

Did the Bank of England or other regulators encourage and abet this manipulation of a global financial indicator?

We are talking about TBTF banks—too big to fail banks. Banks that, by definition, become suspect only when creditors begin to wonder if regulators might seize them and impose losses selectively on creditors. Their overseers could not have failed to notice that interbank liquidity was drying up and the banks nevertheless were reporting Libor rates that suggested all was well. The now-famous nudging phone call from the Bank of England's Paul Tucker to Barclays's Bob Diamond came many months after Libor manipulation had already been aired in the press and in meetings on both sides of the Atlantic. That call was meant to convey the British establishment's concern about Barclays's too-high Libor submissions.

Let's not kid ourselves about something else: Central banks everywhere at the time were fighting collapsing confidence by cutting rates to stimulate retail lending. Their efforts would have been thwarted if Libor flew up on panic about the solvency of the major banks.

Of all the questionably legal improvisations regulators resorted to during the crisis, then, the Libor fudge appears to be just one more. Regulators everywhere gamed their own capital standards to keep banks afloat. The Fed's bailout of AIG, an insurance company, hardly bears close examination. And who can forget J.P. Morgan's last-minute decision to pay Bear Stearns shareholders $10 a share, rather than the $2 mandated by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, to avoid a legal test of the Fed-orchestrated takeover? Even today, the European Central Bank continues to extend its mandate in dubious ways to fight the euro crisis.

There has been little legal blowback from any of this, but apparently there will be a great deal of blowback from the Libor fudge. Barclays has paid $453 million in fines. Half its top management has resigned. A dozen banks—including Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase—remain under investigation. Private litigants are lining up even as officialdom seemingly intends to wash its hands of its own role.

Yet the larger lesson isn't that bankers are moral scum, badder than the rest of us. The Libor scandal is another testimony (as if more were needed) of just how lacking in rational design most human institutions inevitably are.

Libor was flawed by the assumption that the banks setting it would always be seen as top-drawer credit risks. The Basel capital-adequacy rules were flawed because they incentivized banks to overproduce "safe" assets, like Greek bonds and U.S. mortgages. The ratings process was flawed eight ways from Sunday, including the fact that many fiduciaries, under law, were required to invest in securities blessed by the rating agencies.

Some Barclays emails imply that traders, even before the crisis, sought to influence the bank's Libor submissions for profit-seeking reasons. This is puzzling and may amount to empty chest thumping. Barclays's "submitters" wouldn't seem in a position to move Libor in ways of great use to traders. Sixteen banks are polled to set Libor and any outlying results are thrown out. Plus each bank's name and submission are published daily. But let's ask: Instead of trying to manipulate Libor in a crisis, what would have been a more straightforward way of dealing with its exposed flaws, considering the many trillions in outstanding credit tied to Libor?

Continued in article

Compounding the Felony
"Libor problems haven't been fixed, regulators say," by Ben Protess and Mark Scott, The New York Times, July 17, 2012 ---

Federal authorities cast further doubt on Tuesday about the integrity of a key interest rate that is the subject of a growing investigation into wrongdoing at big banks around the globe.

In Congressional testimony, the chairman of the Federal Reserve and the head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission expressed concern that banks had manipulated interest rates for their own gain. They also indicated that flaws in the system — which were highlighted in a recent enforcement case against Barclays — persist.

“If these key benchmarks are not based on honest submissions, we all lose,” Gary Gensler, head of the trading commission, which led the investigation into Barclays, said in testimony before the Senate Agriculture Committee.

In separate testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, Ben S. Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, said he lacked “full confidence” in the accuracy of the rate-setting process.

The Fed faces questions itself over whether it should have reined in the rate-manipulation scheme, which took place from at least 2005 to 2010.

Documents released last week show that the New York Fed was well aware of potential problems at Barclays in 2008. At a hearing in London on Tuesday, British authorities said the New York Fed never told them Barclays was breaking the law.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on corporate governance are at

Bob Jensen's threads on interest rate swaps and LIBOR ---
Search for LIBOR or swap.

Timeline of Financial Scandals, Auditing Failures, and the Evolution of International Accounting Standards ---- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudCongress.htm#DerivativesFrauds 

LIBOR --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libor

"How Barclays Rigged the Machine," by Rana Foroohar, Time Magazine, July 23, 2012 ---

Ever wonder why surveys about very personal topics (think sex and money) are done anonymously? Of course you don't, because it's obvious that people wouldn't tell the truth if they were identified on the record. That's a key point in understanding the latest scandal to hit the banking industry, which comes, as ever, with much hand-wringing, assorted apologies and a crazy-sounding acronym--this time, LIBOR. That's short for the London interbank offered rate, the interest rate that banks charge one another to borrow money. On June 27, Britain's Barclays bank admitted that it had deliberately understated that rate for years.

LIBOR is a measure of banks' trust in their solvency. And around the time of the financial crisis of 2008, Barclays' rate was rising. If a bank revealed publicly that it could borrow only at elevated rates, it would essentially be admitting that it--and perhaps the financial system as a whole--was vulnerable. So Barclays gamed the system to make the financial picture prettier than it was. The charade was possible because LIBOR is calculated not on the basis of documented lending transactions but on the banks' own estimates, which can be whatever bankers decree. This Kafkaesque system is overseen for bizarre historical reasons by an association of British bankers rather than any government body.

The LIBOR scandal has already claimed Barclays' brash American CEO, Bob Diamond, a man infamous for taking huge bonuses while his company's share price and profit were declining. Diamond resigned, but his head may not be the only one to roll. As many as 20 of the world's largest banks are being sued or investigated for manipulating over the course of many years the interest rate to which $350 trillion worth of derivatives contracts are pegged. Bank of England and former British-government officials accused of colluding with Barclays to stem a financial panic may also be caught up in the mess.

What's surprising is that individual consumers may actually have benefited, at least financially, from the collusion. Not only the central reference point for derivatives markets, LIBOR is also the rate to which all sorts of loans--variable mortgage rates, student loans, even car payments--may be pegged. To the extent that banks kept LIBOR artificially low, all those other loan rates were marked down too. Unlike the JPMorgan trading fiasco of a few weeks ago, which has resulted in a multibillion-dollar loss, the only apparent red ink so far in the LIBOR scandal is the $450 million in fines that Barclays will pay to the U.K. and U.S. governments for rigging rates (though pension funds and insurance companies on the short end of LIBOR-pegged financial transactions may have lost a lot of money).

Either way, the truth is that LIBOR is a much, much bigger deal than what happened at JPMorgan. Rather than one screwed-up trade that was--whether you like it or not (and I don't)--most likely legal, it represents a financial system that is still, four years after the crisis began, opaque, insular and dangerously underregulated. "This is a very, very significant event," says Gary Gensler, chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which is one of the regulators investigating the scandal. "LIBOR is the mother of all financial indices, and it's at the heart of the consumer-lending markets. There have been winners and losers on both sides [of the LIBOR deals], but collectively we all lose if the market isn't perceived to be honest."

Continued in article

View from the Left
"Barclays and the Limits of Financial Reform," by Alexander Cockburn, The Nation, July 30, 2012 ---

"Execs to Cash In Despite Market Woes: Even companies whose investors received a negative return this year expect to fund at least 100% of formula-based annual bonus plans," David McCann, CFO.com, December 9, 2011 ---

Are companies in denial when it comes to executives' annual bonuses for 2011? Judge for yourself.

Among 265 companies that participated in a newly released Towers Watson survey, 42% said their shareholders' total returns were lower this year than in 2010. No surprise there, given the stock markets' flat performance in 2011.

Yet among those that reported declining shareholder value, a majority (54%) said they expected their bonus plan to be at least 100% funded, based on the plan's funding formula. That wasn't much behind the 58% of all companies that expected full or greater funding (see chart).

"It boggles the mind. How do you articulate that to your investors?" asks Eric Larre, consulting director and senior executive pay consultant at Towers Watson. Noting that stocks performed excellently in 2010 while corporate earnings stagnated — the opposite of what has happened this year — he adds, "How are you going to say to them, 'We made more money than we did last year, but you didn't'?"

In particular, companies would have to convincingly explain that annual bonus plans are intended to motivate executives to achieve targets for short-term, internal financial metrics such as EBITDA, operating margin, or earnings per share, and that long-term incentive programs — which generally rest on stock-option or restricted-stock awards, giving executives, like investors, an ownership stake in the company — are more germane to investors.

But such arguments may hold little sway with the average investor, who "doesn't bifurcate compensation that discretely," says Larre. Rather, investors simply look at the pay packages as displayed in the proxy statement to see how much top executives were paid overall, and at how the stock performed.

Larre attributes much of the current, seeming generosity to executives to complacence within corporate boards. This year, the first in which public companies were required to give shareholders an advisory ("say on pay") vote on executive-compensation plans, 89% received a thumbs-up. But that came on the heels of 2010, when the S&P 500 gained some 13% and investors were relatively content with their returns. "They may not be as content now," Larre observes. "I think the number of 'no' say-on-pay votes will be larger during the 2012 proxy season."

Continued in article

Timeline of Financial Scandals, Auditing Failures, and the Evolution of International Accounting Standards ---- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudCongress.htm#DerivativesFrauds  (to view on a new page)

Bob Jensen's threads on corporate governance are at

"An Architect and Scholar Weighs the Value of the Physical Campus," by Scott Carlson, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 23, 2012 ---

Jensen Comment
I don't think it comes as a surprise to parents and anybody connected with higher education that a whole lot is gained by having students, especially students recently graduated from high school, learn and live on campus while enrolled as full-time students. Parents like this cushion between having their children live at home and live on the mean streets. Young students, especially male students, are still immature for their age when they graduate from high school. Many are not yet prepared for living and learning completely on their own. And then there's the on-campus social and sexual interactions. How many marriages emerge from campus living versus living in the virtual world of education?

And I still think students learn as much or more from each other as they learn from their instructors. This is possible in online communications, but online interactions are somewhat more formalized by taking a class together. Online campus interactions are more serendipitous in dorm lounges, libraries, student commons, dining halls, sports events, sports team participation, music group participation, chapel participation, etc.

Having said this there can also be some advantages gained from online learning such as in an online tax accounting course at the University of Connecticut where students in the course are mostly full time professionals, many working for insurance companies, who share their career experiences with other students. This is less likely to happen in onsite courses where students tend to be not working full time as professionals and are often not as street smart as the older online working stiffs.

The Dark Side of the 21st Century: Concerns About Technologies in Education ---

Are Universities Becoming EMOs (Educational Maintenance Organizations)? ---

Small and midsize businesses are foregoing millions of dollars in targeted tax breaks because they decided the incentives aren't enough to justify the time, effort and expense to qualify for them. The Internal Revenue Service estimated that only about 20,000 of 1.78 million corporate-tax returns filed in the U.S. claim any of three dozen credits available.
"Firms Pass Up Tax Breaks, Citing Hassles, Complexity," by John McKinnon, The Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2012 ---

Jensen Comments
Corporate tax breaks have something in common those elaborate cameras and expensive network video recorders given by their children. Jay Leno once commented that he gave a new VCR years ago and set it all up for his parents. When he came back a year later he found it back in a box in the basement. They never could figure out how to use the complicated thing.

I've taken over 10,000 pictures on my old and reliable Sony camera without learning to use more than a couple of the many functions of my camera. And there are all the great features of my newer Dell laptop. Forget them! Life is just too short for learning all those.

Internet History --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Internet

Have I been wrong about crediting the ARPANET  in 1969 (and Al Gore) all these years?

By December 5, 1969, a 4-node network was connected by adding the University of Utah and the University of California, Santa Barbara. Building on ideas developed in ALOHAnet, the ARPANET grew rapidly. By 1981, the number of hosts had grown to 213, with a new host being added approximately every twenty days.

"Who Really Invented the Internet? Contrary to legend, it wasn't the federal government, and the Internet had nothing to do with maintaining communications during a war," by Gordon Crovitz, The Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2012 ---

A telling moment in the presidential race came recently when Barack Obama said: "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." He justified elevating bureaucrats over entrepreneurs by referring to bridges and roads, adding: "The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all companies could make money off the Internet."

It's an urban legend that the government launched the Internet. The myth is that the Pentagon created the Internet to keep its communications lines up even in a nuclear strike. The truth is a more interesting story about how innovation happens—and about how hard it is to build successful technology companies even once the government gets out of the way.

For many technologists, the idea of the Internet traces to Vannevar Bush, the presidential science adviser during World War II who oversaw the development of radar and the Manhattan Project. In a 1946 article in The Atlantic titled "As We May Think," Bush defined an ambitious peacetime goal for technologists: Build what he called a "memex" through which "wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready made with a mesh of associative trails running through them, ready to be dropped into the memex and there amplified."

That fired imaginations, and by the 1960s technologists were trying to connect separate physical communications networks into one global network—a "world-wide web." The federal government was involved, modestly, via the Pentagon's Advanced Research Projects Agency Network. Its goal was not maintaining communications during a nuclear attack, and it didn't build the Internet. Robert Taylor, who ran the ARPA program in the 1960s, sent an email to fellow technologists in 2004 setting the record straight: "The creation of the Arpanet was not motivated by considerations of war. The Arpanet was not an Internet. An Internet is a connection between two or more computer networks."

If the government didn't invent the Internet, who did? Vinton Cerf developed the TCP/IP protocol, the Internet's backbone, and Tim Berners-Lee gets credit for hyperlinks.

But full credit goes to the company where Mr. Taylor worked after leaving ARPA: Xerox. It was at the Xerox PARC labs in Silicon Valley in the 1970s that the Ethernet was developed to link different computer networks. Researchers there also developed the first personal computer (the Xerox Alto) and the graphical user interface that still drives computer usage today.

According to a book about Xerox PARC, "Dealers of Lightning" (by Michael Hiltzik), its top researchers realized they couldn't wait for the government to connect different networks, so would have to do it themselves. "We have a more immediate problem than they do," Robert Metcalfe told his colleague John Shoch in 1973. "We have more networks than they do." Mr. Shoch later recalled that ARPA staffers "were working under government funding and university contracts. They had contract administrators . . . and all that slow, lugubrious behavior to contend with."

So having created the Internet, why didn't Xerox become the biggest company in the world? The answer explains the disconnect between a government-led view of business and how innovation actually happens.

Executives at Xerox headquarters in Rochester, N.Y., were focused on selling copiers. From their standpoint, the Ethernet was important only so that people in an office could link computers to share a copier. Then, in 1979, Steve Jobs negotiated an agreement whereby Xerox's venture-capital division invested $1 million in Apple, with the requirement that Jobs get a full briefing on all the Xerox PARC innovations. "They just had no idea what they had," Jobs later said, after launching hugely profitable Apple computers using concepts developed by Xerox.

Xerox's copier business was lucrative for decades, but the company eventually had years of losses during the digital revolution. Xerox managers can console themselves that it's rare for a company to make the transition from one technology era to another.

As for the government's role, the Internet was fully privatized in 1995, when a remaining piece of the network run by the National Science Foundation was closed—just as the commercial Web began to boom. Economist Tyler Cowen wrote in 2005: "The Internet, in fact, reaffirms the basic free market critique of large government. Here for 30 years the government had an immensely useful protocol for transferring information, TCP/IP, but it languished. . . . In less than a decade, private concerns have taken that protocol and created one of the most important technological revolutions of the millennia."

It's important to understand the history of the Internet because it's too often wrongly cited to justify big government. It's also important to recognize that building great technology businesses requires both innovation and the skills to bring innovations to market. As the contrast between Xerox and Apple shows, few business leaders succeed in this challenge. Those who do—not the government—deserve the credit for making it happen.

July 25, 2012 reply from Chuck White


Since you cited the WSJ on the sources of the Internet you might find this other view of history worth reading.


Hope you are well.


July 25, 2012 reply from Jagdish Gangolly

There is a wonderful article on slate 
that debunks the recent op-ed article by Crovitz in WSJ

The Slate article substantiates my own arguments 
better than I could have done myself.

Here are a few snippets from the Slate article:




Personal Computer History
"Forgotten PC history: The true origins of the personal computer --- The PC's back story involves a little-known Texas connection," by Lamont Wood, Computer World, August 8, 2008 --- Click Here

Steve Jobs at the Smithsonian --- http://www.si.edu/Exhibitions/stevejobsputational Science Education Reference Desk --- http://www.shodor.org/refdesk/

Timeline of Computing History --- http://www.computer.org/computer/timeline/ 

Making the Macintosh --- http://library.stanford.edu/mac/index.html

History of Computing
Internet Archive: Computers & Technology --- http://archive.org/details/computersandtechvideos

History of Computing
Internet Archive: Computers & Technology --- http://archive.org/details/computersandtechvideos

The History of Computing --- http://ei.cs.vt.edu/~history/ 

Steve Jobs at the Smithsonian --- http://www.si.edu/Exhibitions/stevejobs

American University Computer History Museum --- http://www.computinghistorymuseum.org/ 

The Apple (Computer) Museum  --- http://www.theapplemuseum.com/ 

A History of Microsoft Windows (slide show from Wired News) --- http://www.wired.com/gadgets/pcs/multimedia/2007/01/wiredphotos31

Oldcomputers.com  --- http://www.old-computers.com/news/default.asp

Aesthetics + Computation Group: MIT Media Laboratory --- http://acg.media.mit.edu/projects/

Digital History - Multimedia --- http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/multimedia.cfm

Portland State University Digital Repository --- http://dr.archives.pdx.edu/xmlui/

Dartmouth Digital Collections: Books --- http://www.dartmouth.edu/~library/digital/collections/books.html

The University of Michigan Digital Humanities Series---

From SUNY Albany: How to Improve Your Digital Photography
Interactive Media Center: Digital Image Information --- http://library.albany.edu/imc/tutimages.htm

Computational Science Education Reference Desk --- http://www.shodor.org/refdesk/

Digital Forensics and Cyber Security Center at the University of Rhode Island ---

Cyberdeterrence and Cyberwar --- http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/MG877.html

Bob Jensen's threads on computing and network security ---


"An Economist Finds Herself in the Political Cross Hairs," by Tom Bartlett, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 18, 2012 ---

On Monday, President Obama made fun of Mitt Romney’s jobs plan, citing a commentary by an economist who estimated that his proposal to shift to a so-called territorial corporate-tax systemthat is, to exempt American corporations from taxes on their foreign income—would cause them to move their operations overseas, creating 800,000 jobs in other countries.

The commentary was by Kimberly A. Clausing, a professor of economics at Reed College, and published in Tax Notes. She doesn’t mention Mitt Romney by name, writing that “others” are pushing for such a system, but it’s clear who she’s talking about, and it’s obvious that she thinks it’s a bad idea.

“U.S. tax payments for the income from foreign operations of U.S. multinational corporations would not simply be deferred; they would be completely erased,” she writes. “That would eliminate constraints on shifting income abroad.”

Clausing counters the claim that moving to a territorial system would put the United States on the same footing as many of its trading partners. Their systems, she writes, have built-in safeguards that prevent companies from moving their operations elsewhere to avoid taxes. “[T]he hybrid systems used by our largest trading partners have more in common with the reforms suggested by the Obama administration,” Clausing writes.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
This is a tough issue that Professor Clausing treats all too superficially.

Firstly, she does not acknowledge that U.S. corporations, large and small, are now paying little or no corporate income taxes because of loopholes already existing in the tax code. The corporate income tax collections as a percentage of GDP have been declining steadily since 1955 and now stand at less than 1% of GDP ---

Secondly, she does not consider the impact of either the Obama or Romney sides of the argument on the  reactive tax codes of other nations. Presently, other nations are enjoying the higher employment revenues, local bank liquidities, and  corporate tax revenues of U.S. corporation profits and property value taxes in their nations. If the U.S. acts in such a way to jeopardize their jobs, savings, and tax revenues these nations may provide even more incentives to operate internationally. This is not entirely a zero-sum game, but there are aspects of a zero-sum game involved in global taxation that Professor Clausing ignores entirely. The worst-case scenario is where the U.S. makes it so unprofitable to be an American Corporation that the corporations become Bermuda Corporations --- which is what many of "our" giant corporations like Accenture have already done ostensibly for tax reasons.

Thirdly, she does not consider the opposite side of the coin that perhaps millions of jobs are being lost because corporations are already keeping and investing their foreign profits in foreign countries. There's no incentive to bring those profits home because the U.S. corporate tax rates are the highest in the world, and the only incentive to bring the cash home is when lawyers and accountants find some loophole that will prevent foreign from being taxed if they are sent back to the U.S.

Fourthly, she does not consider more efficient and effective alternatives to corporate taxation in general. Personally, I favor the VAT tax, although I doubt that this is a tax that Romney would advocate.

The simple answer to the political position Romney is taking is to force him to demonstrate how he plans to make up for the revenue lost if the corporate income tax is dropped entirely.

I think Professor Clausing's essay is weak in terms of academic rigor. But we can certainly rely upon political debate over this issue to be even more superficial. Her essay will, however, be praised ad ad nauseam on MSNBC criticized ad ad nauseam on Fox News.


Her weak essay is at http://www.taxanalysts.com/www/website.nsf/Web/HomePage/$file/clausing.pdf

A New Second Life 3-D Application in Higher Education
"Immersive Learning in Preservice Teacher Education: Using Virtual Worlds," by Paula M. Selvester, The International HETL Review, Volume 2 ISSN 2164-3091, July 8, 2012 ---


The purpose of this project was to use virtual world technology in a fully online course to assist preservice teachers in examining their stated and implied beliefs, attitudes, and expectations about social roles related to gender. Second Life was explored as a viable means to enhance interactivity and engagement in an asynchronous entirely online class. Data was generated by a social roles questionnaire, a perception survey, journal entries and written final examinations. Results showed that students’ initially held beliefs about social roles as determined by the questionnaire did not significantly change; however, data generated from journals and final exam indicated that experiences exploring gender and social roles in a virtual environment were powerful and transformative, leading to new insights into gender roles and how these roles impact our beliefs about ourselves and others and how teachers and students are impacted by these beliefs. Preservice teachers surveyed indicated agreement with the idea that Second Life makes online coursework more interactive.

Key Words: Virtual learning, gender, social roles, teacher beliefs, second life, teacher preparation, online learning.


Professors of all disciplines can impact student learning by varying the way in which they engage students in knowledge sharing and creation. Online education technologies have become an important means to provide a more varied and differentiated curriculum, especially in higher education settings. Not only do online technologies provide an alternative or supplement to face-to-face lecture, but they also provide a variety of ways for students to interact with the content of the curriculum as well as the professor. Through technology experiences, especially when social media is employed, students become more actively engaged in their own learning when provided the opportunity to collaboratively work with their peers in constructing information (Norton & Sprague, 2001). Many universities offer courses through an online learning management system such as Blackboard Vista; Discussions, emailing, virtual meetings, instant messaging and a variety of other functions allow for students to interact with each other and with the professor; however, with the advent and development of virtual world technology for use in education, immersive education within these virtual worlds offer an alternative education experience.


There is emerging evidence that virtual world technologies supplement and provide the online education experience by providing opportunities for meaningful social interaction, a constructivist element that can improve student learning during online instruction. When students meet together in virtual settings where they can “see” each other via avatars and interact in a virtual world a sense of belonging and an embodied social presence is created (Edirisingha et al., 2009; Holmberg & Huvila, 2008; Omale, Hung, Luetkehans, & Cooke-Plagwitz, 2009; Salmon, 2009; Warburton, 2009).

How Do Virtual Worlds Enrich Learning?

Immersive or virtual world learning provides students a multimodality experience.  These technologies are 3D Internet-based simulation environments in which users can play games, they are not games (Dawley, 2009). The virtual learning environment offers the opportunity for students to do what might otherwise be impractical or impossible in the real world (Twinning, 2009). Students can communicate with each other while walking, running, swimming, flying through environments as varied as coral reefs, Antarctic ice caps, volcanoes, or they can visit museums, art galleries, and classrooms that are virtual replicas of the real-world locations. Users can build buildings, cars, upload pictures and watch movies together.

Web-based applications have facilitated the use of virtual worlds in learning, allowing the development of a range of teaching tools such as document and file sharing, holding meetings, conferences, and class lectures and seminars. In particular, virtual worlds have been studied as environments in which to instruct using problem-based and project-based education methodologies (Mayrath, Sanchez, Traphagan, Heikes, & Trivedi, 2007). Virtual environments appear to provide opportunities for situated learning, contextualized and supported by communities of practice which can provide powerful experiences that engage and inspire education that goes beyond the traditional classroom (Lave & Wenger, 1991; Lave, 1996; Wenger, 1998).

Research on the use of virtual world learning has shown that learners are motivated to engage in the learning events because of the life-like avatars and the interactivity with digital mentors and role-playing actors within world (Veletsianos, 2008; 2009). Ang & Wang, (2006) studied students using virtual learning environments for science education.  They observed notable improvements in engagement and in attendance.  Scores on science exams were reported to have improved.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on Second Life are at
These threads include links to Steve Hornik's pioneering applications of Second Life in accounting higher education.

Statistical Reasoning 1 --- http://ocw.jhsph.edu/index.cfm/go/viewCourse/course/StatisticalReasoning1/coursePage/index/

Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching:  Statway (statistics tutorials) --- http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/statway

CAUSEweb Resources (statistics education) --- http://www.causeweb.org/resources/

The bottom line is that accountics research rarely have findings of great interest to either practicing professionals or accounting teachers.
The Cult of Statistical Significance: How Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives ---


Research at the University of Rochester ---  https://urresearch.rochester.edu/home.action

Jensen Comment
Note that this site includes a long listing of research in accounting, finance, and economics, much of it based on positivism and financial markets.

July 8m 2012 reply from Jagdish Gangolly


I browsed the PhD theses list at this site. One interesting observation I can make is that many of them are collection of essays. I know that many universities, including us, discourage this type of theses.

I personally think it is a very good idea, but was not able to convince my colleagues. A year ago for the first time, I did sit on a dissertation committee where the student wrote a bunch of essays (they were in the area of computational linguistics in medical informatics). I was thrilled.

I wonder what the practice is at other schools.



Jagdish S. Gangolly
Department of Informatics
College of Computing & Information
State University of New York at Albany Harriman Campus,
Building 7A, Suite 220
Albany, NY 12222
Phone: 518-956-8251, Fax: 518-956-8247


How can you capture part of a screen such a a text phrase in a document that would let you select that phrase as text to copy?

There are many screen capturing alternatives. I ten dot use PaintShop Pro or SnagIt, neither of which are free programs.

From the Scout Report on July 6, 2012

Kwout --- http://kwout.com/ 

What is "kwout"? Basically, it's a tiny application that allows users to "quote" a part of a web page as an image with an image map. It is easy to use, as all users have to do is add the kwout bookmarklet to their favorite browser. Visitors can then grab a screenshot, cut out the area of interest.

Windows 7 Kwout --- http://kwout.com/quote/aci6ehrw

"3 Reasons You'll Buy Google's Nexus 7 Tablet," by Eliot Weisberg, ReadWriteWeb, June 28, 2012 ---

"Google Nexus 7 Makes Amazon Kindle Fire Irrelevant," by Dan Rowinski, ReadWriteWeb, June 28, 2012 ---

"Will Google’s New Nexus Q Kill Google TV?" by Mark Hachman, ReadWriteWeb, June 28, 2012 ---

Bob Jensen's technology bookmarks ---

Bob Jensen's threads on Tricks and Tools of the Trade ---

BAM (making the students struggle to find their own answers) is good for metacognitive learning.
Structure and making it easier is bad for metacognitive learning and long-term memory
Working Paper 265 on Metacognition
Metacognitive Concerns in Designs and Evaluations of Computer Aided Education and Training: Are We Misleading Ourselves About Measures of Success?


"Why Floundering Is Good: Trying and failing leads to faster learning," by Annie Murphy Paul, Psychology Today, July 11, 2012 ---

Call it the “learning paradox”: the more you struggle and even fail while you’re trying to master new information, the better you’re likely to recall and apply that information later.

The learning paradox is at the heart of “productive failure,” a phenomenon identified by Manu Kapur, a researcher at the Learning Sciences Lab at the National Institute of Education of Singapore. Kapur points out that while the model adopted by many teachers and employers when introducing others to new knowledge — providing lots of structure and guidance early on, until the students or workers show that they can do it on their own — makes intuitive sense, it may not be the best way to promote learning. Rather, it’s better to let the neophytes wrestle with the material on their own for a while, refraining from giving them any assistance at the start. In a paper published earlier this year in the Journal of the Learning Sciences, Kapur and a co-author, Katerine Bielaczyc, applied the principle of productive failure to mathematical problem solving in three schools in Singapore.

With one group of students, the teacher provided strong “scaffolding” — instructional support — and feedback. With the teacher’s help, these pupils were able to find the answers to their set of problems. Meanwhile, a second group was directed to solve the same problems by collaborating with one another, absent any prompts from their instructor. These students weren’t able to complete the problems correctly. But in the course of trying to do so, they generated a lot of ideas about the nature of the problems and about what potential solutions would look like. And when the two groups were tested on what they’d learned, the second group “significantly outperformed” the first.

The apparent struggles of the floundering group have what Kapur calls a “hidden efficacy”: they lead people to understand the deep structure of problems, not simply their correct solutions. When these students encounter a new problem of the same type on a test, they’re able to transfer the knowledge they’ve gathered more effectively than those who were the passive recipients of someone else’s expertise.

In the real world, problems rarely come neatly packaged, so being able to discern their deep structure is key. But, Kapur notes, none of us like to fail, no matter how often Silicon Valley entrepreneurs praise the salutary effects of an idea that flops or a start-up that crashes and burns. So, he says, we need to “design for productive failure” by building it into the learning process. Kapur has identified three conditions that promote this kind of beneficial struggle. First, choose problems to work on that “challenge but do not frustrate.” Second, provide learners with opportunities to explain and elaborate on what they’re doing. Third, give learners the chance to compare and contrast good and bad solutions to the problems. And to those students and workers who protest this tough-love teaching style: you’ll thank me later.

Competency-Based Programs (where instructors do not assign the grades) Can Work Well But Do Not Always Work Well

A Research Report
"Competency-Based Degree Programs in the U.S. Postsecondary Credentials for Measurable Student Learning and Performance," Council on Adult and Experiential Learning," 2012 ---

Executive Summary
As our economy evolves, there is growing recognition of the importance of an educated workforce. A key challenge is how to help more people, particularly adults, succeed at the postsecondary level and earn degrees. However, promoting degree completion is not our only challenge. Today our higher education system is facing a crisis regarding its perceived quality. One model for improving quality is competency-based education, in which an institution clearly defines the specific competencies expected of its graduates. This paper examines the current state of competency-based postsecondary education in the U.S., profiling the various types of competency-based, or competency-focused, models that currently exist, the extent to which these programs assess for student competencies or learning outcomes, and the extent to which these programs operate outside of a credit-based system. These programs can help inform other institutions interested in developing a stronger focus on competencies, whether by demonstrating the possibilities of high quality programs or by facilitating the recognition of learning.

Jensen Comment
The good news is that competency-based grades virtually put an end to games played by students to influence their grades from their instructors. Instead they may be more demanding on their instructors to do a better job on content rather than being their buddies. Competency-based grading goes a long way to leveling the playing field.

However, a competency-based system can be dysfunctional to motivation and self-esteem. One of my old girl friends at the University of Denver was called in by her physical chemistry professor who made a deal with her. If she would change her major from chemistry he agreed to give her a C grade. I honestly think an F grade would've discouraged her to a point where she dropped out of college. Instead she changed to DU's nursing school and flourished with a 3.3 gpa. Purportedly she became an outstanding nurse in a long and very satisfying career that didn't require much aptitude for physical chemistry. For some reason she was better in organic chemistry.

I can't imagine teaching a case course in the Harvard Business School where the course grades are entirely based on a final examination that depends zero upon what the course instructor feels was "class participation." There's not much incentive to participate in class discussions if the those discussions impact some way upon grades and instructor evaluations (such as evaluations for graduate school and employment).

Much of what is learned in a course or an entire college curriculum cannot be measured in test grades and term paper grading (where the readers of the term papers are not the instructors).

In spite of all the worries about competency-based grading and student evaluations, there are circumstances where competency-based education inspires terrrific learning experiences.

Bob Jensen's threads on competency-based assessment ---

Working Paper 265 on Metacognition
Metacognitive Concerns in Designs and Evaluations of Computer Aided Education and Training: Are We Misleading Ourselves About Measures of Success?


"Starting to Reprogram Your Students - Part One," by Joe Hoyle, Teaching Blog, July 1, 2012 ---

"Starting to Reprogram Your Students - Part Two," by Joe Hoyle, Teaching Blog, July 12, 2012 ---

Jensen Comment
I wonder why reprogramming students is different from reprogramming a PC that is loaded with malicious malware. My tech experts tell me that the only solutions to many malware infestations is to "rebuild the PC" which is tantamount to erasing the hard drive and re-installing the operating system and desired programs.

Sadly, we cannot reprogram a student like we can rebuild a PC. Thus, Professor Hoyle's rebuilding efforts entails trying to work around the malware that's already embedded in a student. That's a really tough problem for some types of human malware.


"Yes, College Essays Are Ruining Our Economy," by David Silverman, Harvard Business Review Blog, July 12, 2012 --- Click Here

Some view it as a scandal that the CEO of J.P. Morgan "knew" about the risky trades long ago. Or that the Bush administration knew "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.." Or that the average cell phone customer can know when they're roaming, and yet still be surprised by the data charges from vacation, whether it's $100 to upload a photo to Facebook, or $62,000 for downloading Wall-E.

What is rarely mentioned is the amount of information that lands on the desk of a CEO or a President, or every single one of us, every day.

In that tsunami of information, spotting the information you need to act on is as hopeless as identifying the rain drops that will flood your house. Is it the clause in the iTunes agreement on page 10 that matters or the third page of your credit card agreement? Does your mortgage rate go up when the moon is full? How would you know? Sifting out important from extraneous requires reading everything. Thus: it's all important.

In fact, everyone, not just CEOs, should be seriously worried about the time-bomb waiting to go off in their inbox. Consider this: I regularly meet with people who develop methods of improving the email experience. They tell me that it's not unusual to find several thousand emails in the average inbox, thousands more squirreled away in stored folders, and that most of us receive hundreds to that collection every day. The technological solution they propose is to use algorithms to sort your missives by importance based on what they can infer about who and what you think is important. In theory, that sounds great. The critical, must-read items tend to come from people we communicate with regularly and knowing if it's an email from the boss or a salesperson should assist in getting to first things first. But what about that email I got out of the blue from a friend I hadn't talked to in years alerting me to a news article about the breach of LinkedIn email passwords? The email prioritization software put it at the bottom of the pile, which wasn't so good because I (used to) use that same password for several sites. Without quick action, my personal identity would have been further compromised.

Ultimately, the problem is that we write too many words. We simply make too much Content, and that starts with "C" which rhymes with "E" which stands for Education. As a teacher I've witnessed how we imply that an increase in word count equals an advancement in learning. In elementary school, we identify "key sentences" and write one- or two-page essays, which is wonderful, but then it all goes wrong. By junior high we're on to 10-page papers, by high school we're up to 25 pages, in college, the triumph is a 50-page thesis, and then the Ph.D. produces 100-plus pages to prove their smarts.

But more doesn't mean better for anything other than active cranial hair follicles (of which I have very few). Consider this chart:

. . .

My suggestion: require a class in headline writing for all students in high school and college. Give them A+ marks for turning this:

In today's turbulent times, it is more important than ever to remember that we are living in a world that, currently, is now more difficult to live in, and that we should be exercising extreme caution because of the evolution and advancement of artificial intelligence combined with mechanical apparatus that provides a method and capability for these new beings created in laboratories around the world to develop their own impulses, agendas and goal states, which, we have been lead to believe by reliable experts and a variety of eyewitness accounts, have already evolved via a combined intelligence network and communications subsystem into semi-sentient destroyers of life, liberty and happiness.

Into this:

Killer Robots!


Teach them that the best message is one that lets you know if you don't need to read it at all (or if, alternatively, there is a killer robot behind the door).

And for the rest of us, let's simply make this pledge:I solemnly swear that I will take the time to make it short.


Bob Jensen's Helpers for Writers ---

Grammatically Correct English
"A Matter of Fashion," by John McWhorter,  The New York Times, July 9, 2012 ---

“Much was said, and much was ate, and all went well.” Clearly this sentence was written by a fourth grader – or at best someone not ushered into acquaintance with “proper” grammar. Like, say, Jane Austen? That’s straight out of her novel “Mansfield Park.”

Linguists insist that it’s wrong to designate any kind of English “proper” because language always changes and always has. A common objection is that even so, all people must know which forms of language are acceptable in the public sphere, at the peril of unemployability or, at least, social handicap.

Fair enough – but there’s a middle ground. We can teach people which forms of English are acceptable without thinking of the more colloquial phrases and words as errors. Rather, what is considered proper English is, like so much else, a matter of fashion.

Those who ignore rules of fashion exercise little influence in society, whether we like it or not. But we wouldn’t see someone wearing breeches or petticoats as mentally ungifted, and the same should go for the person who, as millions of English speakers do every day year round, use they in the singular as in Tell each student that they can hand the paper in until 4.

We are taught that a proper language makes perfect logical sense, and that allowing changes willy-nilly threatens chaos. But we get a different perspective with a trip back in time.

Not to the Stone Age: just to the 19th century, to the characters in, say, Edith Wharton’s novels.

Not to the Stone Age: just to the 19th century, to the characters in, say, Edith Wharton’s novels. Certain expressions that were considered mistakes unworthy of polite company then seem utterly normal today. It’s almost funny how arbitrary these things seem from our vantage point. “Properly,” one was to say the two first people in a line. The well-spoken person said first two only if the people in the line were divided into pairs. Um, O.K. – one sees the logic, but senses a certain triviality. Or, one talked about how a street was well-lighted: lit was considered vulgar, as was have a look at rather than look at. (In fact, it’s the style of this newspaper to use well-lighted.)

¶To say the house is being built felt slangy and newfangled to many. Better, grammarians thought, was the house is building. Again, we can perceive that they weren’t crazy: “is being” certainly can seem a little weird if you roll it around in your mouth and imagine hearing it anew. Yet who among us would welcome going back to the house is building?

¶An especially enlightening read is William Cobbett’s book-length lecture to his son called “A Grammar of the English Language.” Cobbett’s sense of what good English was in 1818 seems, in 2012, so bizarre we can scarcely imagine someone speaking in such a way and being taken seriously.

¶To Cobbett, the past tense forms awoke, blew, built, burst, clung, dealt, dug, drew, froze, grew, hung, meant, spat, stung, swept, swam, threw and wove were all mistakes. The well-spoken person, Cobbett instructed, swimmed yesterday and builded a house last year. In Google’s handy Ngram viewer, using data from millions of books over several centuries, one can see that builded only started falling out of disuse around 1920. Not for any reason; no one discovered that builded was somehow elementally deficient. Fashion changed.

¶So, hemlines went up, while Lobster Newburg, chintz and sarsaparilla fell out of fashion. Likewise did concerns like chiding people for saying first two – or for saying chided rather than chid, another token of Cobbett’s day.

¶Today, we have our own fads. We’re more likely to hear about using nouns as verbs – structure a lesson, impact a discussion – or making new verbs from nouns, such as liaise. Yet the verbs copy, view, worship and silence were born from nouns to no complaint. The fashion simply hadn’t yet arisen to condemn them. Or, for that matter, no fuss was made at the time when William Shakespeare and William Makepeace Thackeray, both celebrated as masters of the tongue, used they in the singular form.

¶Charles Dickens is one more example demonstrating the magnificent evanescence of what is considered sophisticated. In “David Copperfield,” Aunt Betsey says “Mr. Dick is his name here, and everywhere else, now – if he ever went anywhere else, which he don’t.”

Continued in article¶

Bob Jensen's Helpers for Writers ---

All the jobs are not going to Asia, They're going to Hal --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001_Space_Oddessey
"When Machines Do Your Job: Researcher Andrew McAfee says advances in computing and artificial intelligence could create a more unequal society," by Antonio Regalado, MIT's Technology Review, July 11, 2012 ---
Thank you Ramest Fernando for the heads up.

Are American workers losing their jobs to machines?

That was the question posed by Race Against the Machine, an influential e-book published last October by MIT business school researchers Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee. The pair looked at troubling U.S. employment numbers—which have declined since the recession of 2008-2009 even as economic output has risen—and concluded that computer technology was partly to blame.

Advances in hardware and software mean it's possible to automate more white-collar jobs, and to do so more quickly than in the past. Think of the airline staffers whose job checking in passengers has been taken by self-service kiosks. While more productivity is a positive, wealth is becoming more concentrated, and more middle-class workers are getting left behind.

What does it mean to have "technological unemployment" even amidst apparent digital plenty? Technology Review spoke to McAfee at the Center for Digital Business, part of the MIT Sloan School of Management, where as principal research scientist he studies new employment trends and definitions of the workplace.

TR: What's your definition of automation?

McAfee: The obvious definition is one fewer job than there used to be, with the same amount of output. A tax preparer can get automated away by software like TurboTax, and just not find work anymore. An assembly line worker could be flat-out automated away by a robot on the assembly line. There is a closely related phenomenon, which is the massive increases in productivity brought on by digital technology. An example is the legal discovery process. By one estimate we heard, one lawyer is now as productive as 500 used to be. You might not lay off 500 lawyers, but the next time you might hire a few people and some software to read documents.

Where do you see automation leading to the loss of jobs?

Others have done work showing that if you are a "routine cognitive worker" following instructions or doing a structured mental task, you have been under a lot of downward wage pressure for a while now. I think that is largely a technology story. Payroll clerks, travel agents—we don't have as many of them as we used to. We don't have as many people working in manufacturing, even though manufacturing is a growing industry.

What was the response you received to Race Against the Machine?

People accepted that technology was really accelerating and that there were going to be labor-force consequences. The broader discussion was between optimism and pessimism. Does it feel like we are heading into the kind of economy and society that we want, or the kind of economy and society that we don't? A lot of people who commented said, "Look, if these guys are anywhere near right, we are heading into an economy that is going to be dire for a lot of people."

What does the economy that we don't want look like?

The spread between the haves and the have-nots continues to grow, and more importantly, the absolute standard of living of the people at the middle and the bottom goes down. That is the economy that I don't want to head into.

What is the optimistic view?

Erik Brynjolfsson came up with a great phrase: "digital Athens." The Athenian citizens had lives of leisure; they got to participate in democracy and create art. That was largely because they had slaves to do the work. Okay, I don't want human slaves, but in a very, very automated and digitally productive economy you don't need to work as much, as hard, with as many people, to get the fruits of the economy. So the optimistic version is that we finally have more hours in our week freed up from toil and drudgery.

Do you see evidence for a digital Athens on the street, in the real economy?

No. What we are seeing—and this was pretty much unanticipated—is that the people at the top of the skill, wage, and income distribution are working more hours. We have this preference for doing more work. The people who have a lot of leisure—I think in too many cases it's involuntary. It's unemployment or underemployment. That is not my version of digital Athens.

Which is further advanced, the automation of intellectual work or of physical tasks?

The automation of knowledge work is way, way farther along. It's really hard to get computers to do things that your four-year-old can do, like walk across the room and pick up a pen, and recognize it as a pen. So the physical world presents a lot of challenges to digital technologies.

But it feels to me as if we are starting to turn a corner. The data available to help a robot is big data, and it's exploding. The sensors have been progressing along a Moore's Law trajectory. And the physical pieces of a robot, the actuators and so on, have gotten a lot better too. So it seems the ingredients are all in place for the robots to start getting into the economy.

How should businesses react to the trend toward more automation?

I think the companies that succeed going forward are the ones that figure out what mix of human and digital labor is going to be the right mix. And I think that that proper mix is going to involve more, and more types of, digital labor than we are using right now.

What is your advice to the individual, or to the parent educating a child?

To the parent, make sure your kid's education is geared toward things that machines appear not to be very good at. Computers are still lousy at programming computers. Computers are still bad at figuring out what questions need to be answered. I would encourage every kid these days to buckle down and do a double major, one in the liberal arts and one in the college of sciences.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
It's interesting to read some of the many comments to this article.

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology ---

"What Americans Earn," by Lam Thuy Vo, NPR, July 16, 2012 ---
Jensen Comment
It's important to read the part that reveals what items are excluded from the data. I'm not certain how non-monetary items that are returns for labor are accounted for. For example, some employees get free housing (e.g., university administrators and security employees), free cars for personal as well as business use, free food, stock options, etc.

The Humane Society's TV adds with the adorable and sad dogs and cats are probably among the most successful advertisements on television
But are they misleading in terms of not giving more than 1% of the donations to Humane Society shelters?
I'm always suspicious of these hard-sell fund raisers.
"Consumer group wants probe of Humane Society ads," WPXI Pittsburgh, July 13, 2012 ---

An organization wants attorneys general in Pennsylvania and 11 other states to investigate whether advertisements by the Humane Society of the United States violate laws by implying that money from donors supports animal shelters.

HumaneWatch, a nonprofit project of the Washington-based Center for Consumer Freedom, released a report on Thursday claiming that the Humane Society gives 1 percent or less of its income to local animal shelters, despite ads showing animals in shelters.

“Consistently, there is a disconnect between what they use to raise money and what they spend that money on,” said Justin Wilson, senior research analyst at the Center for Consumer Freedom.

Humane Society of the United States spokeswoman Stephanie Twinings said the Center for Consumer Freedom represents food industry interests in Washington and is more interested in stopping the Humane Society’s lobbying efforts than steering more money to shelters.

“This is all just their desperate attempts to pull fundraising away from us because we’re effective in getting regulations changed for the food industry,” she said.

Nils Fredricksen, spokesman for Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly, said his office neither confirms nor denies the existence of any investigations, but said Kelly reads and responds to any petition that crosses her desk.

“There is a belief in the public that the Humane Society of the United States is the mothership, so to speak, and that all the local humane societies ... must answer to them. That’s not true,” said Gretchen Fieser, spokeswoman for the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society in the North Side.

Local shelters and humane societies are concerned with animal welfare, rather than animal rights, food-industry issues or national campaigns, she said.

“(HSUS) can get better cages for chickens in factory farms,” Fieser said. “When we get chickens, they were someone’s pet or a science project that got too big.”

The Western Pennsylvania Humane Society on the North Side is in no way affiliated with the national group.

Jensen Comment
Obviously you can't adopt a pet like we "adopted" a young girl in Latin America by donating cash each month. The Human Society may send you a picture of your pet, but most likely it is either adopted for real by a loving family or euthanized since the Humane Society does not generally provide facilities for the long-term life of a dog or cat.

It's beginning to sound like Girl Scout Cookie money going toward bloated salaries of Girl Scout executives in luxurious Manhattan offices..

Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates are at

"ACLU:  Judge's Decision on Protest Tweets Is Troubling," by Nancy Scola, ReadWriteWeb, July 17, 2012 ---

Data stored on Twitter's servers became fair game for eager prosecutors on July 2, when a New York City criminal court judge once again upheld the District Attorney's subpoena for more than a hundred days' worth of tweets and user information tied to a Brooklyn man arrested during the Occupy Wall Street protests. But the judge's decisions are all wrong, warns American Civil Liberties Union Senior Attorney Aden Fine. The judge's linked pair of groundbreaking rulings, Fine says, redefined constitutional rights in the social media era in frightening new ways. Tweets & Metadata

For starters, Fine argued, Judge Sciarrino mixed up two different kinds of data: tweets and metadata. "All the decision talks about is the public nature of tweets," Fine said in a phone interview about Sciarrino's late June ruling to deny Twitter Inc.'s motion to quash the subpoena. But the Manhattan district attorney has requested more than the public information associated with the account of @destructuremal, allegedly used by Malcolm Harris, an Occupy participant arrested on the bridge.

Sciarrino's concern is for the tweets themselves, and there he has a straightforward framing. "What you give to the public belongs to the public," he declared in late April. "What you keep to yourself belongs only to you." To bolster his ruling, the judge pointed to two projects that suggest just how tremendously public a medium Twitter truly is: the Library of Congress' long-promised tweet archive and Politwoops, a running feed of politicians' deleted tweets. They're complicated pieces of evidence. The Library of Congress is wrestling with how to meet Twitter's restrictions on researcher access. Politwoops may well violate the Twitter API's terms of service. But for Fine, they're perfect examples of how, in celebrating Twitter's publicness, Sciarrino is eliding public tweets and collected nonpublic data like IP addresses, email addresses, timestamps and more. Whether that's error or intentional, Fine won't speculate. But "it's one of the big problems with this decision."

(The ACLU joined with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Public Citizen on an amicus brief supporting Twitter's motion to quash the DA's subpoena.)

Which brings us to a big problem with treating public tweets and Twitter metadata as one and the same thing. No Warrant Necessary

Sciarrino implicitly decided that users like Harris have no right to go to court to protect any of it. "There is no proprietary interest in your tweets," Sciarrino wrote, "which you have now gifted to the world." On this point, Twitter and the judge lobbed terms of service provisions at one another. The company pointed to the part that said users retain their rights to content. The jurist highlighted the part that said Twitter is free to use and reproduce tweets. "Twitter's license to use the defendant's Tweets," Sciarrino wrote, "means that the Tweets posted were not his." If Harris' tweets don't belong to him, then he has no leg to stand on when the government combs through Twitter's servers for them. "As a user, we may think that storage space to be like a 'virtual home,'" wrote the judge, "and with that strong privacy protection similar to our physical homes." But we'd be mistaken. "That 'home' is a block of ones and zeros stored somewhere on someone's computer." As such, we have no right to tell the government not to enter our Twitter accounts without a warrant - whether we're talking about the data we voluntarily make public or the data we generate as we go about doing it.

Users have no recourse on those constitutional questions, says the ACLU's Fine. And that problem goes beyond Twitter. "The rationale of that decision means that Internet users never have the right to go to court to protect their own constitutional rights on the Internet." Deliberate Versus Automated Disclosure

All of which adds up to another concern for Fine: The government's ability to combine easy-to-get public social data with easy-to-get social metadata can reveal a tremendous amount. Say I tweet, "About to do something very, very bad." That line's meaning is far different if metadata places me outside the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck parked at New York's Union Square than it does outside a subsequently robbed Citibank in the Bronx. Sciarrino, in his rulings, cited United States vs. Miller, a landmark Supreme Court case that held that bank customers had no privacy right to records on their accounts maintained by banks. The Miller decision on banking was controversial enough back in 1976, Fine says. But it's worse now, when social media users aren't fully aware of the information being collected about them. "When you knowingly disclose something, that's one thing," argues Fine. "But when you unknowing disclose your location, for example, to a company, that can't be enough to eliminate your expectation of privacy." The worry goes beyond privacy to the chilling of free speech.

By combining public tweets and privately held metadata, "[the government] can create a very detailed map of your speech activities," Fine says. "And that raises serious First Amendment issues."

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on computing and networking security ---

So what's wrong with TED Talks?

At their worst, TED talks turn science into a rat-a-tat of meaningless anecdotes and sweeping generalizations.
Exhibit A: Philip Zimbardo

The Demise of Guys: Why Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It
by Philip Zimbardo and Nikita Duncan.
TED Books. Kindle, Nook, iBooks, $2.99
Reviewed by Carl Zimmer

Here are my comments on another TED Talk from the June 26, 2012 Edition of Tidbits ---

TED Video by Richard Wilkinson:  The Situation of Inequality
Jensen Preliminary Comment
I'm always in favor in academic settings in trying to show all sides of an issue, the issue in this case being equality of income, opportunity, health care, diet, etc.

Firstly, I should state my biases. I'm rooted in The American Dream that people of all ages should have all-important opportunities for training and education, which is why I strongly favor tax supported schools, colleges, and free open sharing of knowledge. In the U.S. we've seen a decline in opportunity with great variations safety and education in schools say in South Chicago versus those in South Dakota. Inequality in opportunity in education is appalling to me.

Secondly, I'm in favor of universal health care (much like the Canadian Model and not at all like the Obamacare Model) ---
I note, however, that America's vast investments in health have not all been wasted. The entire world has benefited from the U.S. advances in pharmacology, medical technology, and other discoveries. More people come to the U.S. for complicated medical treatments than vice versa. But there are gaps in terms of access where the poorest and the richest people have better access than some of the people caught in the middle who cannot afford good health insurance.

I could go on about my liberal (progressive) biases in many areas, but it may be better for you to watch the following very moving video about inequality around the world.


TED Video by Richard Wilkinson:  The Situation of Inequality ---


Jensen Comment
Some might conclude that this video is just the opposite of what I've been urging about The American Dream ---
I agree with much (actually most) of this video.

There are some comments in the video that I most certainly must register disagreement.
For example, Wilkinson at one point asserts:  "If you want The American Dream go to Denmark."
In the context of universal educational opportunity in the 21st Century this sadly correct.
However, in other contexts this is not correct. The Denmark Dream of free education, health care, retirement pensions, etc. has in retrospect had impacts that run counter to the American Dream. The American Dream inspires ambition, whereas the Denmark Dream destroys ambition --- Danes are provided for cradle-to-grave with equality no matter how hard you work. Studies show that Danes usually aren't interested in overtime work opportunities. They don't have to save for their children or their old age.

Danes have less incentive to invent and innovate since the tax structure takes most of the rewards for success to the government. They are less likely to do such things as go heavily into mortgage debt and invest their savings in a risky investment that takes 16 or more hours a day of hard labor to bring to long-term fruition when the mortgages are paid off ---

What is the most misleading to me in Wilconsin's video is that simply redistributing the wealth in America to make us more like Denmark would bring about dramatic improvements in all the problems of inequality that he addresses. However, he simply avoids more complicated questions. For example, Denmark does not have millions of very poor and uneducated people from other parts of the world sneaking into and squatting for the long-term in Denmark. Denmark does not have anywhere near the crime issues with drugs and gangs that are raising havoc in U.S. schools, medical clinics, families, neighborhoods, and prisons. For example, putting the highest paid and best teachers in urban schools in our largest schools is not going to solve the problem of neighborhood gangs, fear, intimidation, extortion, rape, prostitution, and murder that interferes with equal opportunity education in America. I think Wilkinson knows all these problems but selectively does not want to poison his conclusion that redistribution of wealth is the magic bullet of society.

The Scandinavian countries, Japan, and South Korea all are countries of low diversity and minimal immigration. They do not experience many of the problems (as well as benefits) that comes from diversity. Where they've experimented with slight amounts of immigration they've encountered huge problems such as a spike in rapes in Norway attributed to immigration. The "happiest nations" if the world have the least legal and illegal immigration ---

The underlying theme of the Wilconson video is that increasing the top marginal tax rates to achieve inequality will have nothing but good outcomes for developed countries (he makes an exception for undeveloped countries). But this does not explain why even his most favored equality-bent countries like Scandinavia and Japan discovered that very high marginal tax rates were dysfunctional to their economies:

Data that Wilconson does not show is that nations benefitting (in his eyes) from high top marginal tax rates have actually been lowering this rates and creating greater inequality in their nations. Wilconson makes no attempt to explain why all these nations are lowering their top marginal tax rates ---

Marginal Tax Rate Declines in the Rest of the World ---


Table 1 Maximum Marginal Tax Rates on Individual Income
*. Hong Kong’s maximum tax (the “standard rate”) has normally been 15 percent, effectively capping the marginal rate at high income levels (in exchange for no personal exemptions).
**. The highest U.S. tax rate of 39.6 percent after 1993 was reduced to 38.6 percent in 2002 and to 35 percent in 2003.

  1979 1990 2002
Argentina 45 30 35
Australia 62 48 47
Austria 62 50 50
Belgium 76 55 52
Bolivia 48 10 13
Botswana 75 50 25
Brazil 55 25 28
Canada (Ontario) 58 47 46
Chile 60 50 43
Colombia 56 30 35
Denmark 73 68 59
Egypt 80 65 40
Finland 71 43 37
France 60 52 50
Germany 56 53 49
Greece 60 50 40
Guatemala 40 34 31
Hong Kong 25* 25 16
Hungary 60 50 40
India 60 50 30
Indonesia 50 35 35
Iran 90 75 35
Ireland 65 56 42
Israel 66 48 50
Italy 72 50 52
Jamaica 58 33 25
Japan 75 50 50
South Korea 89 50 36
Malaysia 60 45 28
Mauritius 50 35 25
Mexico 55 35 40
Netherlands 72 60 52
New Zealand 60 33 39
Norway 75 54 48
Pakistan 55 45 35
Philippines 70 35 32
Portugal 84 40 40
Puerto Rico 79 43 33
Russia NA 60 13
Singapore 55 33 26
Spain 66 56 48
Sweden 87 65 56
Thailand 60 55 37
Trinidad and Tobago 70 35 35
Turkey 75 50 45
United Kingdom 83 40 40
United States 70 33 39**

Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers; International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation.



My conclusion is that Wilconson's TED video is very thought provoking and has changed my thinking on a lot of things. But as a magic bullet for issues threatening sustainability of the United States his implied solutions are superficial and misleading. The U.S. is an immensely more complicated than Denmark. Denmark solutions in the U.S. might very well indeed spell complete disaster by destroying ambition, savings, risk taking (business loans), and innovations.

All the sophomores of the world will buy into Wilconson's TED video hook, line, and sinker. Hopefully, their teachers and professors have more good sense. We need more ambition and innovation in the world rather than the complacency of the Denmark Dream not suited for mass immigrations and cultural diversity conflicts. We need to face the reality that most of the people of the world are still greedy and tribal and conflicted with differing religions. For them the answers are so simple.


"Do Gold ETFs Really Move on Inflation Expectations?" by John Spence, ETF Trends, Junw 15, 2012 ---
Thank you Jim Mahar for the heads up.

Gold ETFs are often described as an inflation hedge but recent academic research suggests the precious metal is more dependent on emerging market demand, particularly from central banks that hold less gold than their counterparts in developed countries.

“Assuming that gold moved in lockstep with the CPI, the implied price would be about $780 an ounce, according to Duke University Professor Campbell R. Harvey and his collaborator, Claude B. Erb,” Bloomberg News reports.

Gold is trading back above $1,600 an ounce as traders speculate on the odds of further monetary easing before next week’s Federal Reserve meeting. [Gold ETFs Eye Fed, Europe]

Since the gold bull market started in about 2001, prices have risen more than sevenfold.

“If gold is an inflation hedge, then on average its real return should be zero,” Erb and Harvey wrote, according to the Bloomberg report. Instead, returns from 2000 through March of this year averaged 13% a year on an inflation-adjusted basis.

Gold ETFs such as SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), iShares Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU) and ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (NYSEArca: SGOL) have likely fueled the metal’s rise since they have made it easier for more investors to buy gold.

“Global ETF investor positions have continued to trend up in both gold and silver, reflecting the fact that long term price supports such as negative real interest rates, currency debasement and sovereign/financial sector default risk, and rising emerging market/central bank demand remain embedded in the 2012 outlook,” ETF Securities said in a report earlier this year. [Measuring the Impact of Gold ETFs]

Harvey and Erb wrote that emerging markets can support gold because the precious metal represents a smaller part of central bank reserves than developed nations.

Foreign central banks are “one of the more intriguing sources of incremental demand for gold,” says ConvergEx Group strategist Nicholas Colas. [Strategist: Why Gold ETFs Still Make Sense]

“Among emerging economies, for example, central banks are actively buying gold to add to their reserves. The trend is most noticeable in Russia and India, but increasingly in China as well. Press accounts placed China’s net gold purchases in 2011 at over 200 tons, doubling its position in one year,” he said in a recent report.

“And gold is clearly playing a role at the central bank level in these countries’ efforts to hedge such price increases,” Colas noted. “There is a popular saying on Wall Street – ‘Don’t fight the Fed.’ Why fight the Chinese, Russian and Indian central banks on gold? Like the Fed, they have much deeper pockets than you.”

See Chart

Continued in article

"Canadian Supreme Court’s Copyright Rulings Are Called ‘Big Win’ for Colleges," Chronicle of Higher Education, July 12, 2012 ---

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that photocopying material for student use does not infringe the country’s Copyright Act, reports CTV news. The ruling, one of five copyright decisions issued on Thursday by the court, means that colleges and universities stand to save millions of dollars in copyright fees. Academics applauded the rulings. Laura Murray, a copyright expert at Queen’s University, called it “a big win for education.” Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, expressed similar sentiments in a blog post about the rulings.

Bob Jensen's threads on copyrights ---

July 13, 2012 reply from Ramesh Fernando

I strongly recommend for anyone interested in Canadian copyright law follow Professor Geist of the University of Ottawa at http://www.michaelgeist.ca


Audience Response --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audience_response

"App Tries to Increase Student Participation by Simplifying Clicker Technology," by Angela Chen, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 11, 2012 --- Click Here

From clickers to programs like Learning Catalytics—which data-mines to match students with discussion partners—student-response systems are becoming more and more sophisticated. But Liam Kaufman, a graduate of the University of Toronto, thinks that the key to effective feedback is a tool with fewer bells and whistles.

Mr. Kaufman is the developer of Understoodit, a browser-based app that lets students indicate their level of comprehension during class, and then see how much everyone else understands.

The idea is that, during a lecture, everyone runs the Understoodit Web site, which is also accessible via mobile and tablet devices. Students press buttons to indicate that they either understand the material or are confused by it. The feedback is displayed in real time, in the form of a “confus-o-meter” and an “understand-o-meter,” which show the percentage of students who comprehend the material.

The app was inspired by clickers, Mr. Kaufman says. But whereas clickers usually require students to answer questions so the professor can gauge their understanding, Understoodit lets them directly indicate confusion or comprehension, which is then available for everyone to see. That approach, he hopes, will encourage students to ask more questions when they realize that others are confused as well.

Mr. Kaufman first tested the app on an entry-level computer-science class at the University of Toronto in February. The app is still in beta testing, and available by invitation only. More than 2,000 people have signed up so far, Mr. Kaufman says, including professors at institutions such as Harvard University, Stanford University, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Continued in article


Bob Jensen's threads on audience response pads ---

Are we expecting too much from K-12 schools? What's wrong with football and basketball?
"ACLU alleges Michigan school district violated students’ ‘right to learn to read’," by Lindsey Layton, Washington Times, July 12, 2012 --- Click Here


Hundreds of Atlanta K-12 Teachers and Administrators Caught Revising Student Test Scores for Personal Gain
They met in large groups for more than a decade and cheated in Score Revision Parties --- it was fun to game the system

Changing a student's test score is so much easier than teaching that student how to read the test questions.
And these teachers are the role models for honesty and ethics of our children.
What says even more about society is the current effort of parents and unions not to punish the cheating teachers.
Do these parents and teachers' unions really care if the K-12 students cannot read?
Who really cares if high school graduates in Atlanta cannot read a newspaper or convert 523 inches into feet?
You will never see liberal Hollywood make a movie critical of this type of teacher cheating!
When I watched this on ABC News I became depressed to the point of changing from scotch to gin.

"Area superintendents silenced whistle-blowers and rewarded subordinates who met academic goals by any means possible."

"Investigation into APS cheating finds unethical behavior across every level," by Heather Vogell, The Atlanta Joiurnal Constitution, July 6, 2011 ---

Japan --- http://countrystudies.us/japan/

"Presidents Give Japanese Universities Poor Grades," Daily Yomiuri Online, July 5, 2012 ---

More than 30 percent of university presidents said class content is boring and does not match student interests, according to a survey by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry.

The survey, conducted in May and June, received answers from 684 presidents of public and private universities nationwide.

According to the survey, 34.4 percent of the respondents found their classes boring because of content that does not interest students. Many of these respondents said the puny amount of hours studied by students and their minimal achievements at university needed to be addressed urgently.

Many presidents said debate-oriented or goal-orientated classes should be introduced to improve class content.

Meanwhile, 74.6 percent of respondents said students were performing insufficient hours of study outside class, and 55.8 percent said students lack sufficient problem-solving abilities.

More than 60 percent of the respondents said their university lacks coordination among lecturers, with course contents depending on the discretion of individual teachers. They also said there was a shortage of support staff who could help teachers to provide detailed instructions to students.

Jensen Comment
Getting into college in Japan is tough and competitive --- http://countrystudies.us/japan/77.htm
Also see --- http://countrystudies.us/japan/79.htm

But more often than not the undergraduate college experience is far more parting than perspiring.

Whatever the club the main activity is partying. Japanese University students seldom go to class.

Japan is a nation of contradictions.
The Japanese are formally polite and it's amazing how there is virtually no looting at times of disaster such as a tsunami.

At the same time, the very crowded Japanese trains have special cars for women because so many Japanese men are prone to copping feels in crowded places.

Japanese society is very orderly and yet organized crime permeates nearly all levels of business and government.


"A Pile of Products Worth Looking At," by David Pogue, The New York Times,, July 18, 2012 ---

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, there are too many new tech products and services for one man to review in a single lifetime.

Here, then, for your summertime skimming, is another batch of interesting-looking tech developments. Again, I haven’t tried these and don’t endorse them — I just think they’re cool ideas worth noting.

Onavo Extend By compressing data, Onavo Extend can increase the power of your data plan by up to 500 percent. Avoid overage charges, roaming fees, data throttling and poor performance, without draining your battery. Also provides a breakdown of your data usage. Free. (www.Onavo.com)

OptimumCS-Pro This app finds the lens settings that minimize the blurring caused by defocus and diffraction, so that you can get the sharpest images from your D.S.L.R. that the laws of optics will allow. For iPhone, $7. (www.georgedouvos.com)

YouVisit This app offers prospective students GPS-guided tours of college campuses and academic programs. Offers news, weather, photos and contact info for each college. Free for iPhone/Android. (www.youvisit.com)

SproutConverter You know all those distorted and blank sections on your home video tapes that remain after you transfer them to your computer? SproutConverter gets rid of them automatically. Import your videos to your computer using whatever device you choose, then drag and drop. $30, for Mac. (www.gearsprout.com.)

Addressgate Ever wanted to contact a neighbor you don’t know? Sign up to this specialized social network with your home address, then communicate with neighbors privately, or view/post neighborhoodwide alerts, news and events. Free. (www.addressgate.com)

Gogobot This app lets friends and like-minded travelers, rather than anonymous strangers, provide tips for coming trips. Online/iPhone/iPod Touch, free. (www.gogobot.com)

Novatel MiFi 4620L Mobile Hotspot No larger than a stack of cards, this self-powered pocket 4G WiFi hot spot has an interactive OLED screen and five-hour battery life. Connects up to 10 Wi-Fi devices. $50 with two-year Verizon contract. (www.verizonwireless.com/verizon-jetpack-mifi-4620l.shtml)

FlightView This app offers push alerts on flight status changes, visibility into nationwide airport delays, directions to the airport and social integration for sharing your flight’s status with the people picking you up from the airport. (j.mp/SEUePI)

YouMail Visual voice mail on steroids. Customized greetings, smart and social caller ID, call blocking and the ability to save your messages. Free. For Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Phone. (Voice mail transcription services, performed by people instead of software, is available for $5 to $40 a month. (www.youmail.com)

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on Tools and Tricks of the Trade ---

From the Scout Report on July 13, 2012

Bundlenut ---  http://www.bundlenut.com/ 

Have you ever wanted to create a bundle of links to share with friends, colleagues, and others with simpatico interests? Bundlenut makes this possible with just a few easy steps. Visitors can use the site to create a bundle of links and give the bundle a title. There's a "bundle browser" as well, and it's easy to share them. Some of the sample bundles on the site include "Food from Scratch," "West Coast Road Trip Itinerary," and "Mrs. Comstock's 11th Grade Reading List." This version is compatible with all operating systems.

Tilt 3D 1.0.1 --- https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/tilt/ 

Have you ever wanted to see a website in 3D? Well, this is now possible with Tilt3D 1.0.1. Created by Victor Porof, the tool is "layers each node based on the nesting in the tree, creating stacks of elements, each having a corresponding depth and being textured according to the webpage rendering." It's a pretty fun little tool and it is compatible with all operating systems running Mozilla Firefox.

Looking back into one magazine's online presence raises questions about
the problems involved with creating web archives
Digital Archives: Difference Engine: Lost in Cyberspace

Survey Finds That Libraries Are Interested in Collaborating on Online
Projects, but Don't Do It Yet

Neatline helps Map New World of Digital Humanities Scholarship


Internet Archive

Internet Memory Foundation

From the Scout Report on July 20, 2012

Google Maps 3D --- http://www.google.com/mobile/maps/3d/ 

Several major companies, including Google, are working on getting elaborate 3D maps online. This latest iteration of Google maps for Android-powered devices allows users to browse select cities in a 3D fashion. Utilizing aerial imagery, the buildings appear in a three-dimensional format, which can aid people navigating their way around an unfamiliar urban environment. Visitors can customize their own views with the "tilt" and "compass" mode features, which makes things a bit more fun.

PicMonkey --- http://www.picmonkey.com/ 

Looking to do some quick photo editing? PicMonkey can make that happen, and it's fun to use. The site allows visitors to check out some craft scissor frames, which can give every photo that "hand-made" look. First-time users can click on the "Edit a Photo" tab to start working on their own image. Some of the tools here include a crop feature, along with rotate, exposure, and sharpen. Also, the Create a Collage feature is quite fun, and a nice way to play around with a variety of photos. This version is compatible with all operating systems



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

Education Tutorials

Teachers Homepage: National Geographic Education --- http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/?ar_a=1

Digital Teaching Resources Laboratory http://www.biology.ualberta.ca/facilities/ditrl/

Teacher Resources-The Canadian Council for Geographic Education --- http://www.ccge.org/resources/

PBS creates a library of digital resources for free use in schools ---

The Center for Teaching Excellence: Lansing Community College --- http://www.lcc.edu/cte/

Statistical Reasoning 1 --- http://ocw.jhsph.edu/index.cfm/go/viewCourse/course/StatisticalReasoning1/coursePage/index/

Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching:  Statway (statistics tutorials) --- http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/statway

CAUSEweb Resources (statistics education) --- http://www.causeweb.org/resources/

University of Washington: Center for Engineering, Learning, and Teaching --- http://depts.washington.edu/celtweb/

National Renewable Energy Laboratory: Education Programs --- http://www.nrel.gov/education/

PBS: Arts --- http://www.pbs.org/arts/

Guide to MIT Open Courseware, July 6, 2012 ---

Coursera --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coursera

Coursera, Sera, Whatever Will Be Will Be
Free Online Courses From More and More Prestigious Universities

"Into the Fray," by Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, July 17, 2012 ---

A dozen more universities have signed partnerships with Coursera, a company that provides hosting services for massively open online courses (MOOCs), the company announced today. Coursera’s new partners include the University of Virginia, whose highly publicized administrative ballyhoo last month made it the epicenter of the debate over how traditional universities should adapt to the rise of online education in general and MOOCs in particular.  

In addition to U.Va., Coursera will also be serving as a platform for open online courses from the California Institute of Technology, Duke University, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (in Switzerland), Georgia Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins University, Rice University, and the Universities of California at San Francisco, Edinburgh (U.K.), Illinois, Toronto and Washington.

Sticking to its theme of hosting “elite” MOOCs, Coursera plans to adapt the most highly reputed parts of each new partner’s curriculum -- medicine and public health courses from UCSF and Johns Hopkins, biology and life sciences courses from Duke, business and software courses from Washington, and so on. Those institutions join Princeton University, Stanford University, and the University of Michigan and University of Pennsylvania as Coursera partners.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's helpers for educators ---

Bob Jensen's threads on free courses, tutorials, videos, and course materials from prestigious universities ---

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

Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

The Higgs Boson explained by PhD Comics July 4, 2012 ---
Infographics by Nathan Yau

Carl Sagan’s Reading List --- Click Here

Nanotechnology Center for Learning and Teaching --- http://community.nsee.us/

NanoTeachers: Bringing Nanoscience into the Classroom --- http://teachers.stanford.edu/

Physics World --- http://physicsworld.com/

The Physics Front --- http://www.thephysicsfront.org/

National Renewable Energy Laboratory: Education Programs --- http://www.nrel.gov/education/

Spatial Thinking in the Geosciences --- http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/spatial/index.html

Army Geospatial Center (Geosciences, Hydrology) --- http://www.agc.army.mil/

Zachry Department of Civil Engineering Ethics Site --- http://ethics.tamu.edu/

University of Washington: Center for Engineering, Learning, and Teaching --- http://depts.washington.edu/celtweb/

Online Ethics Center for Engineering and Research (particular focus is given to emerging technology ethics) ---

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

Archives of Cajun and Creole Folklore --- http://louisdl.louislibraries.org/cdm4/browse.php?CISOROOT=/ACC

American Folklore --- http://www.americanfolklore.net

Anthropology Outreach Office: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History --- http://anthropology.si.edu/outreach/outrch1.html

National Museum of the American Indian: Collections Search --- http://www.americanindian.si.edu/searchcollections/home.aspx

Radical Women (University of Florida, Photographs) --- http://ufdc.ufl.edu/rw

"What Americans Earn," by Lam Thuy Vo, NPR, July 16, 2012 ---
Jensen Comment
It's important to read the part that reveals what items are excluded from the data. I'm not certain how non-monetary items that are returns for labor are accounted for. For example, some employees get free housing (e.g., university administrators and security employees), free cars for personal as well as business use, free food, stock options, etc.

Identifying Challenges to Improve the Investigation and Prosecution of State and Local Human Trafficking Cases ---

Grassroots Feminist Political Posters in India ---

A Woman's Place: Best and Worst Places To Be A Woman --- Click Here


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

Identifying Challenges to Improve the Investigation and Prosecution of State and Local Human Trafficking Cases ---

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

Math and Statistics Tutorials

Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching:  Statway (statistics tutorials) --- http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/statway

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

History Tutorials

600-year-old linen bras found in Austrian castle ---

"Things the Way They Were," Ann Brenoff, Huffington Post, July 10, 2012 ---

Bobbie Hanvey Photographic Archive (Ireland) --- http://www.bc.edu/sites/libraries/hanvey/

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (Historical Photographs) ---  http://sfpl.org/index.php?pg=2000084701

Remembering Paul Harvey --- http://www.youtube.com/embed/H3Az0okaHig?rel=0

Radical Women (University of Florida, Photographs) --- http://ufdc.ufl.edu/rw

A Woman's Place: Best and Worst Places To Be A Woman --- Click Here

Grassroots Feminist Political Posters in India ---

International Museum of Women --- http://imow.or

University of Chicago --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Chicago

Sophia Smith Collection: Women's History Archives at Smith College --- http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/ssc/digitalcoll.html

Archives of Cajun and Creole Folklore --- http://louisdl.louislibraries.org/cdm4/browse.php?CISOROOT=/ACC

National Museum of the American Indian: Collections Search --- http://www.americanindian.si.edu/searchcollections/home.aspx

American Folklore --- http://www.americanfolklore.net

Wyoming State Historical Society --- http://wyshs.org/

University of Wyoming Digital Collections --- http://digital.uwyo.edu

Images of Lake Tahoe --- http://knowledgecenter.unr.edu/specoll/photoweb/tahoe/

British Museum Channel --- http://www.britishmuseum.org/channel.aspx

MoMA: Alighiero Boetti: Game Plan --- http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2012/boetti/

Clement Moran Photography Collection (antique New Hampshire photographs) --- Click Here

Aftermath of the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904 --- http://epfl.mdch.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/mdbf

Anthropology Outreach Office: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History --- http://anthropology.si.edu/outreach/outrch1.html

Indian Converts Collection (Native American converts to Christianity) ---  http://cdm.reed.edu/cdm4/indianconverts/

Air Conditioning History
From the Scout Report on July 20, 2012

Amidst a heat wave, a pause to remember the inventor of modern air- conditioning Before Anyone Complained About the Air-Conditioning, an Idea http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/16/before-anyone-complained-about-the-air-conditioning-an-idea/?hp  

Summer Heat Wave Before AC: History of Air-Conditioning http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2003081,00.html 

Gorrie's Fridge http://www.phys.ufl.edu/~ihas/gorrie/fridge.htm 

John Gorrie Museum State Park http://www.floridastateparks.org/johngorriemuseum/default.cfm 

HowStuffWorks: How Air Conditioners Work http://home.howstuffworks.com/ac.htm 

The Writings of Benjamin Franklin: Cooling by Evaporation http://www.historycarper.com/resources/twobf3/letter1.htm


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

Language Tutorials

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

Music Tutorials

Tanglewood: Celebrating Beethoven In The Backwoods For 75 Years --- Click Here

Bob Jensen's threads on free music tutorials are at

Bob Jensen's threads on music performances ---

Writing Tutorials

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

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

July 16, 2012

July 17, 2012

July 18, 2012

July 19, 2012

July 22, 2012

July 23, 2012

July 26, 2012


Cost keeps many Americans from good dental care: report ---



Paula forwarded these quips by Maxine

1. Jim Baker and Jimmy Swaggert have written An impressive new book. It's called ....... 'Ministers Do More Than Lay People'

2. Transvestite: A guy who likes to eat, drink And be Mary..

3. The difference between the Pope and Your boss, the Pope only expects you To kiss his ring.

4. My mind works like lightning, One brilliant Flash and it is gone.

5. The only time the world beats a path to Your door is if you're in the bathroom.

6. I hate sex in the movies. Tried it once. The seat folded up, the drink spilled and That ice, well, it really chilled the mood.

7. It used to be only death and taxes Now, of course, there's Shipping and handling, too.

8. A husband is someone who, after taking The trash out, gives the impression that He just cleaned the whole house.

9. My next house will have no kitchen - just Vending machines and a large trash can.

11. Definition of a teenager? God's punishment...for enjoying sex.

12. As you slide down the banister of life, may The splinters never point the wrong way...

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

Little Red Hen version 2012

"Who will help me plant my wheat?" asked the little red hen.

"Not I," said the cow.

"Not I," said the duck.

"Not I," said the pig.

"Not I," said the goose.

"Then I will do it by myself." She planted her crop and the wheat grew and ripened.

"Who will help me reap my wheat?" asked the little red hen.

"Not I," said the duck.

"Out of my classification," said the pig.

"I'd lose my seniority," said the cow.

"I'd lose my unemployment compensation," said the goose.

"Then I will do it by myself," said the little red hen, and so she did.

"Who will help me bake the bread?" asked the little red hen.

"That would be overtime for me," said the cow.

"I'd lose my welfare benefits," said the duck.

"I'm a dropout and never learned how," said the pig.

"If I'm to be the only helper, that's discrimination," said the goose.

"Then I will do it by myself," said the little red hen.

She baked five loaves and held them up for all of her neighbors to see. They wanted some and, in fact, demanded a share but the little red hen said, "No, I shall eat all five loaves."

"Excess profits!" cried the cow. (Nancy Pelosi)

"Capitalist leech!" screamed the duck. (Barbara Boxer)

"I demand equal rights!" yelled the goose. (Jesse Jackson)

The pig just grunted in disdain. (Harry Reid)

And they all painted 'Unfair!' picket signs and marched around and around the little red hen, shouting obscenities.

Then the farmer (Obama) came He said to the little red hen, "You must not be so greedy."

"But I earned the bread," said the little red hen.

"Exactly," said Barack the farmer. "That is what makes our free enterprise system so wonderful. Anyone in the barnyard can earn as much as he wants. But under our modern government regulations, the productive workers must divide the fruits of their labor with those who are lazy and idle."

And they all lived happily ever after, including the little red hen, who smiled and clucked, "I am grateful, for now I truly understand."

But her neighbors became quite disappointed in her. She never again baked bread because she joined the 'party' and got her bread free. And all the Democrats smiled. 'Fairness' had been established.

Individual initiative had died but nobody noticed; perhaps no one cared so long as there was free bread that 'the rich' were paying for.


Bill Clinton is getting $12 million for his memoirs.

Hillary got $8 million for hers.

That's $20 million for the memories from two people, who for eight years repeatedly testified, under oath, that they couldn't remember anything.



Forwarded by Jim


Number 10: Life is sexually transmitted.

Number 9: Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

Number 8: Men have two emotions: Hungry and Horny. If you see him without an erection, make him a sandwich .

Number 7: Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach a person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks, months, maybe years.

Number 6: Some people are like a Slinky - not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

Number 5: Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in the hospitals, dying of nothing.

Number 4; All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

Number 3; Why does a slight tax increase cost you $800.- , and a substantial tax cut saves you $30.- ?

Number 2; In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.

And The Number 1 Thought: Life is like a jar of Jalapeno peppers-- what you do today, might burn your ass tomorrow.

- - - and as someone recently said to me:

"Don't worry about old age-- it doesn't last that long."


Forwarded by Auntie Bev


When you rearrange the letters:


When you rearrange the letters:



When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

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When you rearrange the letters:

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Jensen deleted this one

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/

Online Distance Education Training and Education --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm
For-Profit Universities Operating in the Gray Zone of Fraud  (College, Inc.) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#ForProfitFraud

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

The Cult of Statistical Significance: How Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives ---

How Accountics Scientists Should Change: 
"Frankly, Scarlett, after I get a hit for my resume in The Accounting Review I just don't give a damn"
One more mission in what's left of my life will be to try to change this

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

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


Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory ---

Tom Lehrer on Mathematical Models and Statistics ---

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some of Bob Jensen's Tutorials

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

Accounting  and Taxation News Sites ---


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://listserv.aaahq.org/cgi-bin/wa.exe?HOME
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.

Over the years the AECM has become the worldwide forum for accounting educators on all issues of accountancy and accounting education, including debates on accounting standards, managerial accounting, careers, fraud, forensic accounting, auditing, doctoral programs, and critical debates on academic (accountics) research, publication, replication, and validity testing.


CPAS-L (Practitioners) http://pacioli.loyola.edu/cpas-l/  (Closed Down)
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
FEI's Financial Reporting Blog
Smart Stops on the Web, Journal of Accountancy, March 2008 --- http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/mar2008/smart_stops.htm

Find news highlights from the SEC, FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board on this financial reporting blog from Financial Executives International. The site, updated daily, compiles regulatory news, rulings and statements, comment letters on standards, and hot topics from the Web’s largest business and accounting publications and organizations. Look for continuing coverage of SOX requirements, fair value reporting and the Alternative Minimum Tax, plus emerging issues such as the subprime mortgage crisis, international convergence, and rules for tax return preparers.
The CAlCPA Tax Listserv

September 4, 2008 message from Scott Bonacker [lister@bonackers.com]
Scott has been a long-time contributor to the AECM listserv (he's a techie as well as a practicing CPA)

I found another listserve that is exceptional -

CalCPA maintains http://groups.yahoo.com/taxtalk/  and they let almost anyone join it.
Jim Counts, CPA is moderator.

There are several highly capable people that make frequent answers to tax questions posted there, and the answers are often in depth.


Scott forwarded the following message from Jim Counts

Yes you may mention info on your listserve about TaxTalk. As part of what you say please say [... any CPA or attorney or a member of the Calif Society of CPAs may join. It is possible to join without having a free Yahoo account but then they will not have access to the files and other items posted.

Once signed in on their Yahoo account go to http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/TaxTalk/ and I believe in top right corner is Join Group. Click on it and answer the few questions and in the comment box say you are a CPA or attorney, whichever you are and I will get the request to join.

Be aware that we run on the average 30 or move emails per day. I encourage people to set up a folder for just the emails from this listserve and then via a rule or filter send them to that folder instead of having them be in your inbox. Thus you can read them when you want and it will not fill up the inbox when you are looking for client emails etc.

We currently have about 830 CPAs and attorneys nationwide but mainly in California.... ]

Please encourage your members to join our listserve.

If any questions let me know.

Hemet, CA
Moderator TaxTalk





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


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

Some Accounting History Sites

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob Jensen's Threads ---

More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

All my online pictures --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/PictureHistory/


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