Tidbits on November 28, 2012
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

Set 3 of Favorite Cartoons and Humor Pictures
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Tidbits/Humor/2012/Set03/HumorSet03.htm

 

 

Tidbits on November 28, 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 ---
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/DeirdreMcCloskey/StatisticalSignificance01.htm

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"
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/AccounticsDamn.htm
One more mission in what's left of my life will be to try to change this
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/AccounticsDamn.htm 

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy --- http://plato.stanford.edu/




Online Video, Slide Shows, and Audio
In the past I've provided links to various types of music and video available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm

Video:  Historic GM Automobiles --- http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?feature=endscreen&=R=1&v=RvVmDsWnMOk

Shark Dance (watch to the end) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=WK2LpUoqX6A&vq=medium

Adorable Penguins --- https://mail.google.com/mail/?hl=en&shva=1#compose

Monkey Displeased by Unfairness ---
http://www.upworthy.com/2-monkeys-were-paid-unequally-see-what-happens-next
Thanks to Jagdish Gangolly for the heads up.

Venice --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venice
Video:  Venice is Way Under Water… (worst flooding in 150 years) ---
http://www.openculture.com/2012/11/venice_is_way_under_water.html

Video: Nobel laureate and Stanford Professor Myron S. Scholes says some countries are likely to leave the euro so they can become more competitive.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwGHcrjs3iE&utm_source=Stanford+Business+Re%3AThink&utm_campaign=1451d355ee-RTIssue2&utm_medium=email
Myron Scholes is also one of two Nobel laureates brought down by the largest hedge fund failure in history (what Nova called The Trillion Dollar Bet) ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm#LTCM

Monterey Bay Aquarium: Podcast, Videos & Web Cams --- http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/efc/cam_menu.aspx?c=dd 

The History of Film — 2000 Movies Across 100 Years — Presented in One Big Zoomable Graphic ---
http://www.openculture.com/2012/11/the_history_of_film_--_2000_movies_across_100_years_--_presented_in_one_big_zoomable_graphic.html


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

It's Called Christmas! --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAckfn8yiAQ

How Great Thou Art - HD - Barbershop Multitrack - YouTube ---
http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=dxCRIF0m79w&feature=related

Johnny Cash Sings “Man in Black” for the First Time, 1971 ---
http://www.openculture.com/2012/11/johnny_cash_sings_man_in_black_for_the_first_time_1971.html

Sixteen year old Australian, Chooka Parker, taught himself to play the piano on a sheep farm ---
http://www.chookaparker.com.au/

 ‘The Needle and the Damage Done’: Neil Young Plays Two Songs on The Johnny Cash Show, 1971 --- Click Here
http://www.openculture.com/2012/11/the_needle_and_the_damage_done_neil_young_plays_two_songs_on_ithe_johnny_cash_showi_in_nashville_1971.html

John Eliot Gardiner Leads Beethoven's 'Missa Solemnis' At Carnegie Hall ---
http://www.npr.org/event/music/164957592/carnegie-hall-live-gardiner-leads-beethovens-missa-solemnis

The Best Music to Write By, Part II: Your Favorites Brought Together in a Special Playlist ---
http://www.openculture.com/2012/11/the_best_music_to_write_by_part_ii_a_playlist_of_your_favorites.html

Web outfits like Pandora, Foneshow, Stitcher, and Slacker broadcast portable and mobile content that makes Sirius look overpriced and stodgy ---
http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/mar2009/tc20090327_877363.htm?link_position=link2

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

Photography of Ludwig Wittgenstein Released by Archives at Cambridge ---
http://www.openculture.com/2012/11/photography_of_ludwig_wittgenstein.html

Neue Gallerie: Online Collection (Germany, Austria) --- http://www.neuegalerie.org/collection

Video:  Historic GM Automobiles --- http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?feature=endscreen&=R=1&v=RvVmDsWnMOk

Forgotten Detroit (buildings) --- http://www.forgottendetroit.com/

Ansel Adams: Photography from the Mountains to the Sea - at the National Maritime Museum, London until 28 April 2013
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20304829
Thank you Roger Collins for the heads up.

Poetic Likeness: Modern American Poets (Portraits of Great Artists) --- http://www.npg.si.edu/exhibit/poets/

Google Revisits the Fall of the Iron Curtain in New Online Exhibition ---
http://www.openculture.com/2012/11/google_fall_of_the_iron_curtain.html

Savannah College of Art and Design: Museum of Art --- http://www.scadmoa.org/ 

From the Ground Up (Kansas student art history studies) ---  http://www.groundsite.org/

A Tourist's Album of Japan ---
http://cdi.uvm.edu/collections/getCollection.xql?pid=japanesetourist&title=A Tourist's Album of Japan

Jack Sheaffer Collection (Arizona) --- http://www.library.arizona.edu/contentdm/jsheaffer/

Arizona Regional Image Archive --- http://aria.arizona.edu

Knitting Industry http://www.knittingindustry.com/

Knitting Together (yarn, lace, fabrics, cloth) --- http://www.knittingtogether.org.uk/cat.asp?cat=599

Boston University Digital Common (wide ranging topics, including travel and hospitality) --- http://dcommon.bu.edu/xmlui/
Includes the School of Management

Communities in DCommon

Select a community to browse its collections.

 

Bob Jensen's threads on history, literature and art ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#History


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

The Ten Best American (Liberal) Essays Since 1950, According to Robert Atwan ---
http://www.openculture.com/2012/11/the_ten_best_american_essays_since_1950.html

Poetic Likeness: Modern American Poets (Portraits of Great Artists) --- http://www.npg.si.edu/exhibit/poets/

British Women Romantic Poets (1789-1832) --- http://digital.lib.ucdavis.edu/projects/bwrp/

 

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 November 28, 2012
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2012/TidbitsQuotations112812.htm      

The booked National Debt in August 2012 went over $16 trillion --- 
U.S. National Debt Clock --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/
Also see http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/

Question
How does the U.S. government hide its true debt total?

Answer
Firstly, there are $100-$200 trillion in unbooked entitlements. Nobody has an accurate estimate of those future obligations, especially for the Medicare gorilla.

The U.S. currently has "booked" National Debt slightly over $16 trillion that is a more accurate estimate of the debt coming due soon?
Or is this an accurate number by any stretch of the imagination?

"Why $16 Trillion Only Hints at the True U.S. Debt:  Hiding the government's liabilities from the public makes it seem that we can tax our way out of mounting deficits. We can't," by Chris Cox (former SEC Director) and Bill Archer (PwC), The Wall Street Journal, November 26, 2012 ---
http://professional.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323353204578127374039087636.html?mod=djemEditorialPage_t&mg=reno64-wsj

A decade and a half ago, both of us served on President Clinton's Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform, the forerunner to President Obama's recent National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. In 1994 we predicted that, unless something was done to control runaway entitlement spending, Medicare and Social Security would eventually go bankrupt or confront severe benefit cuts.

Eighteen years later, nothing has been done. Why? The usual reason is that entitlement reform is the third rail of American politics. That explanation presupposes voter demand for entitlements at any cost, even if it means bankrupting the nation.

A better explanation is that the full extent of the problem has remained hidden from policy makers and the public because of less than transparent government financial statements. How else could responsible officials claim that Medicare and Social Security have the resources they need to fulfill their commitments for years to come?

As Washington wrestles with the roughly $600 billion "fiscal cliff" and the 2013 budget, the far greater fiscal challenge of the U.S. government's unfunded pension and health-care liabilities remains offstage. The truly important figures would appear on the federal balance sheet—if the government prepared an accurate one.

But it hasn't. For years, the government has gotten by without having to produce the kind of financial statements that are required of most significant for-profit and nonprofit enterprises. The U.S. Treasury "balance sheet" does list liabilities such as Treasury debt issued to the public, federal employee pensions, and post-retirement health benefits. But it does not include the unfunded liabilities of Medicare, Social Security and other outsized and very real obligations.

As a result, fiscal policy discussions generally focus on current-year budget deficits, the accumulated national debt, and the relationships between these two items and gross domestic product. We most often hear about the alarming $15.96 trillion national debt (more than 100% of GDP), and the 2012 budget deficit of $1.1 trillion (6.97% of GDP). As dangerous as those numbers are, they do not begin to tell the story of the federal government's true liabilities.

The actual liabilities of the federal government—including Social Security, Medicare, and federal employees' future retirement benefits—already exceed $86.8 trillion, or 550% of GDP. For the year ending Dec. 31, 2011, the annual accrued expense of Medicare and Social Security was $7 trillion. Nothing like that figure is used in calculating the deficit. In reality, the reported budget deficit is less than one-fifth of the more accurate figure.

Why haven't Americans heard about the titanic $86.8 trillion liability from these programs? One reason: The actual figures do not appear in black and white on any balance sheet. But it is possible to discover them. Included in the annual Medicare Trustees' report are separate actuarial estimates of the unfunded liability for Medicare Part A (the hospital portion), Part B (medical insurance) and Part D (prescription drug coverage).

As of the most recent Trustees' report in April, the net present value of the unfunded liability of Medicare was $42.8 trillion. The comparable balance sheet liability for Social Security is $20.5 trillion.

Were American policy makers to have the benefit of transparent financial statements prepared the way public companies must report their pension liabilities, they would see clearly the magnitude of the future borrowing that these liabilities imply. Borrowing on this scale could eclipse the capacity of global capital markets—and bankrupt not only the programs themselves but the entire federal government.

These real-world impacts will be felt when currently unfunded liabilities need to be paid. In theory, the Medicare and Social Security trust funds have at least some money to pay a portion of the bills that are coming due. In actuality, the cupboard is bare: 100% of the payroll taxes for these programs were spent in the same year they were collected.

In exchange for the payroll taxes that aren't paid out in benefits to current retirees in any given year, the trust funds got nonmarketable Treasury debt. Now, as the baby boomers' promised benefits swamp the payroll-tax collections from today's workers, the government has to swap the trust funds' nonmarketable securities for marketable Treasury debt. The Treasury will then have to sell not only this debt, but far more, in order to pay the benefits as they come due.

When combined with funding the general cash deficits, these multitrillion-dollar Treasury operations will dominate the capital markets in the years ahead, particularly given China's de-emphasis of new investment in U.S. Treasurys in favor of increasing foreign direct investment, and Japan's and Europe's own sovereign-debt challenges.

When the accrued expenses of the government's entitlement programs are counted, it becomes clear that to collect enough tax revenue just to avoid going deeper into debt would require over $8 trillion in tax collections annually. That is the total of the average annual accrued liabilities of just the two largest entitlement programs, plus the annual cash deficit.

Nothing like that $8 trillion amount is available for the IRS to target. According to the most recent tax data, all individuals filing tax returns in America and earning more than $66,193 per year have a total adjusted gross income of $5.1 trillion. In 2006, when corporate taxable income peaked before the recession, all corporations in the U.S. had total income for tax purposes of $1.6 trillion. That comes to $6.7 trillion available to tax from these individuals and corporations under existing tax laws.

 

In short, if the government confiscated the entire adjusted gross income of these American taxpayers, plus all of the corporate taxable income in the year before the recession, it wouldn't be nearly enough to fund the over $8 trillion per year in the growth of U.S. liabilities. Some public officials and pundits claim we can dig our way out through tax increases on upper-income earners, or even all taxpayers. In reality, that would amount to bailing out the Pacific Ocean with a teaspoon. Only by addressing these unsustainable spending commitments can the nation's debt and deficit problems be solved.

Neither the public nor policy makers will be able to fully understand and deal with these issues unless the government publishes financial statements that present the government's largest financial liabilities in accordance with well-established norms in the private sector. When the new Congress convenes in January, making the numbers clear—and establishing policies that finally address them before it is too late—should be a top order of business.

Mr. Cox, a former chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee and the Securities and Exchange Commission, is president of Bingham Consulting LLC. Mr. Archer, a former chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, is a senior policy adviser at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

Jensen Comment
Let's forget about this debt and entitlement nonsense.
President Obama should appoint Nobel Laureate Professor Paul Krugman as his only economic advisor and print all the money we owe without having to worry about taxes and spending and cliffs. It's called Quantitative Easing but by any other name it's just printing greenbacks to scatter over the money supply ---
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantitative_easing

Not because we will need the money, but let's also confiscate the wealth of the top 25% as punishment for their abuses of the tax and regulation laws. Greed is a bad thing, and they need to be knocked to ground level because of their greed.

 

Bob Jensen's threads on the sad state of governmental accounting (it's all done with smoke and mirrors) ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Theory02.htm#GovernmentalAccounting

Bob Jensen's threads on entitlements ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Entitlements.htm

Whether or not you love or hate the scholarship and media presentations of the University of Chicago's Milton Friedman, I think you have to appreciate his articulate response on this historic Phil Donohue Show episode. Many of the current dire warnings about entitlements were predicted by him as one of the cornerstones in his 1970's PBS Series on "Free to Choose." We just didn't listen as we poured on unbooked national debt (over $100  trillion and not counting) for future generations to deal with rather than pay as we went so to speak! .
The Grand Old Scholar/Researcher on the subject of greed in economics
Video:  Milton Friedman answers Phil Donohue's questions about capitalism.--- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/MiltonFriedmanGreed.wmv

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




 

But having a good idea is only the start. What you have to do is make it
into a story. Some people think that all they need in order to be a writer is
inspiration. Not a bit of it! Plenty of people have good ideas, but very few of them
actually go on and write  story. That's where the hard work starts.

Phillip Pullman, "How do Writers Think of Their Ideas?"
Big Questions From Little People, Edited by Gemma Elwin Harris, Faber & Faber, Ltd., ISBN 978-0-16-222322-7, 2012, Page 168
Also see the video at
http://www.openculture.com/2012/11/adam_savage_host_of_mythbusters_explains_how_simple_ideas_become_great_scientific_discoveries.html

Every today that is, and that will be, Is sculptured by all that was
Bob Schlag - January 24, 1982
Thank you Auntie Bev for the heads up

 

 

"Holiday Gadget Wish List 2012," by Terri Eyden, AccountingWeb, November 19, 2012 ---
http://www.accountingweb.com/article/holiday-gadget-wish-list-2012/220246?source=technology

Roku Streaming Stick
This great item comes from Roku and is a new format for their streaming media device. Simply plug in the USB stick to the HDMI port of your Roku Ready TV, and the self-powered unit will allow access to numerous services. Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Video (including prime video access) are all available, among hundreds of other apps for streaming movies, music, news content, games, and more. For the money, Roku's products give you more flexibility than the equivalent Apple TV line.
 
Boxee TV
Another new "cut-the-cable" addition in the streaming media category is the new version of the Boxee TV box, which for the first time offers a DVR function. This first-of-its-kind service is currently boasting unlimited online storage for recorded media from your antenna or cable. The service fee of $15 (currently discounted at $10) is comparable to other TiVo style services, but the unlimited storage will be a tempting offer for many users who would like to start cataloging their media online. It remains to be seen how this offer holds up and what limitations exist to file access.
 
Kindle Paperwhite
The most recent offering from Amazon, the Kindle Paperwhite, is a great upgrade over the previous units. Eliminating one of the few downfalls of their previous e-readers, low-light reading, the new Paperwhite technology allows for low or no light use. This front-lit screen gives the reader the ability to read in complete darkness while maintaining the e-ink-enabled benefit of reading for long periods with limited eye strain. Granted, some users may not be prone to reading over long periods; this is a great product for readers who seek to get lost in a good read.
 
iPad mini
If that's not your preference, Apple's newest toy might suit you for a lower price than its previous tablets. Still not matching the price of the Kindle Fire HD (another new viable option in this category), the iPad mini takes a new shape to Apple's tablet line. Shrinking the 9.7 inch screen of previous iPads to 7.9 inches, Apple has answered a common request for a smaller version of their market-dominating line. Interestingly, the iPad mini is actually a smaller version of multiple generations of the iPad that combines the display quality and processor of the second gen, with the camera of the third/fourth gen iteration. As such, the retina display is missing, but the mini is much lighter and slimmer than previously available versions. Additionally, cellular versions are available, giving flexibility to users on the go.
 
LG Tone (HBS-700) Wireless Stereo Headset
Though not a new product or a new technology, the LG Tone (HBS-700) Wireless Stereo Headset delivers on an idea that many other brands seem unable to. A favorite around the Xcentric office, this would make an excellent gift for anyone looking for wireless flexibility for both calls and music. Seemingly unconventional, the chosen design circumvents common complaints with headsets of this kind. They will fit on anybody, are comfortable, provide the needed control functions, and are more durable than they seem at first glance. The sound quality while listening to music won't cut it for an audiophile, but is more than adequate for most users. Stereo ear buds for calling gives more sound isolation than the standard Bluetooth headset, and the mic quality seems to be on par with other headsets. For portable wireless listening on a larger budget, the Bose SoundLink® Bluetooth® Mobile
Speaker II was released in September and is an excellent alternative.
 
Chromebook
The newly released Chromebook is another intriguing product available in time for the 2012 holidays. This third gen lighter/smaller version comes with some great features for a price point just above the Kindle Fire HD and lower than all Apple tablets. It remains to be seen if Google is creating a new category or if this line will fade away. However, the newest release might be worth a look for certain users. Primarily a browser-based system, the newest Chromebook does include HDMI, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, Bluetooth, a webcam, and dual band Wi-Fi, while boasting 6.5 hours of battery, all in a slim, lightweight package. Though primarily based on using Google's services on the web, a Citrix plug-in is available to access more complete Cloud services. I'd want to try this out to before banking on it, but for the price tag, Google is clearly trying to break into this market.
 
Other Mentions
Here are a few other great gift ideas:

"A Handheld Projector You Might Actually Want  With built-in Roku, it's like a portable internet TV," by David Zax, MIT's Technology Review, October 11, 2012 --- Click Here
http://www.technologyreview.com/view/429596/a-handheld-projector-you-might-actually-want/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-daily-all&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20121012

Here’s something you probably didn’t know you wanted. 3M has come up with a handheld projector--or “picoprojector”--with a Roku Streaming Stick built in. That means that the $300 device can function as something of a portable TV, with access to Netflix, Amazon Instant, Hulu Plus, HBO Go, and the like.

BGR was one of the first to spot 3M’s press release on the topic a few days back. In it, 3M touted a projector “small enough to fit in your hand, yet able to project an image up to 120 inches,” one that was “perfect for family movie nights, sleepovers and evening backyard parties,” with it’s (claimed) two-hour-forty-five-minute battery life. 3M also called the device “first-of-its-kind,” promising a shipping date by October 22. (It can be preordered here, for now with a promo offering a $20 credit from Amazon Instant Video.)

The good people of CNET have already gone hands-on with the device, which they grant 3.5 stars out of 5: “very good.” They call it the first mini-projector with “some mainstream appeal.” They also dub it a “well-thought-out gadget” and especially recommend what seems to me the delightful experience of projecting video onto the ceiling while in bed. CNET’s principal quarrels are that the resolution is merely DVD-level, and that the device only puts out 60 lumens. You’ll need to be in a pitch black room with the whitest of walls if you really want to get up to that 120-inch screen. (Here, a deep dive on their image test data.) The biggest problem CNET identified is that the battery life, in practice, appeared to actually be closer to one hour and forty-five minutes--barely enough for a movie.

Technology Review has written a fair amount on handheld projectors in the past. For more info on the project of integrating them with smartphones, see The Galaxy Beam: 15 Lumens and a Lot of Cheese,” andIn Quest for Smartphone Projectors, a Focus on the Lens.” And for a look at the research that went into the narrowest pocket projector out there--a mere six millimeters thick--check out Duncan Graham-Rowe’s article, “An Even Smaller Pocket Projector.”

The 3M projector isn’t cheap, but I like the sentiment at the end of this video: “It’s time to share the big screen together.” In an era in which we would sooner cluster around an iPhone with friends to share a tiny YouTube video than head out to the Cineplex for some old-fashioned movie magic, this picoprojector recaptures some of the cinematic experience in a device not so much larger than the gadget in your pocket.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on gadgets ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm#Technology

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


"McGraw-Hill to Sell Education Arm for $2.5-Billion," Chronicle of Higher Education, November 26, 2012  ---
http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/jp/mcgraw-hill-to-sell-education-arm-for-2-5-billion?cid=pm&utm_source=pm&utm_medium=en


Question
If you wanted to be like my hero David Pogue, what would you buy?

"What Pogue Actually Bought," by David Pogue, The New York Times, June 8, 2012 ---
http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/07/what-pogue-actually-bought/


Outdoor Lighting for Your House

I used to spend days stringing thousands of lights around my windows, eaves, and bushes while I lived in San Antonio. In fact our Village Drive neighborhood make a big deal about decorative lighting on most all the houses. The traffic was sometimes bumper-to-bumper at night on our streets.


Up here in the mountains we don't really live in a "neighborhood." I've never decorated the outside because of the wind, the snow, the ice, and the fact that I just don't want to spend days hanging lights reaching out from a ladder. And electricity is more expensive up here.


But then my wife discovered the BlissLight Spright. We now have thousands of twinkling lights on three sides of our cottage that look like I spent all year stringing lights. With only three 12 volt adapters for the lasers so the power usage is minimal.


It only takes one light for each side of the cottage. On Amazon each light costs almost $200 with the requisite power adapter, but Erika found them for $159 on QVC --- maybe she got a deal because she's in the QVC Hall of Fame.


I takes less than five minutes to install each Spright light. But you do have to have an outdoor power connection and an outdoor cord leading on the lawn to each light. However, the light itself only needs to be 10-20 feet from the side of the house and is mounted on an iron stake that's easy to drive into the lawn.


I will have to shovel around the light if we should get snow over a foot deep on the ground, but we usually don't get much over a foot on the ground until Jan-April when we can have upwards of five feet on the ground.


The lights will not work below -15F, but we usually do not get nights that cold until Jan-Feb.


The Spright laser lights make look a little better up here than they would in a brightly lit neighborhood. Up here the only lights we get at night are from the heavens. It's interesting how the laser light passes through windows without curtains or sheers. This means that the lights outside are shaped around those windows. The laser lights pass through the windows and up to the ceilings inside the house.


Up here we hate bright lights at night except for lights at a great distance. I can look across the valley to the lights of an alpine village called Mittersil on the slopes of Cannon Mountain, but that's 10 miles away.

People who live in non-gated neighborhoods in cities may have to worry about theft since these laser guns are relatively expensive (from $150 to $1,400). People who live in cities may want to mount them in high places like like roofs or tree tops. And there's a worry about ambient lighting being too bright. Up here in the White Mountains these things are not a worry --- at least not for me.

On our house in the blackness of light the laser points just look Christmas lights on the cottage. The lights pass through windows without curtains or sheers, which is nice because that way the windows look black from the outside and are framed in laser lights. Light passing through the windows projects onto the ceilings and walls inside the cottage.

The basic color we purchased is green. Blue may is also available. There's a bit of a problem with red that is explained in the first video below.

ToolGirl Video --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Posi-vDO0cM

YouTube Video --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7gIY7KoHKk

Portable Units Using Batteries --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZogozE9qbPg 


The Complete 2012 Business Schools Ranking Versus Vegetables
Bloomberg Business Week
, November 2012 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-11-15/the-complete-2012-business-schools-ranking

There are so many business school rankings by Bloomberg Business Week that it boggles my mind, to say nothing of the other media rankings of business schools by U.S. News, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The Economist, etc.

The above link is one of the more interesting rankings because it vividly illustrates what I call the "Vegetable Problem of Aggregation" in the context of accounting number aggregations at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudConclusion.htm#BadNews

Take a look at how your favorite greens stack up in the chart below:

Green (Raw - per 100 g serving) Vitamin A Vitamin C Fiber Folate Calories
Arugula 2,373 IU 15 mg 1 g 97 mcg 25
Chicory 4,000 IU 24 mg 4 g 109.5 mg 23
Collards 3,824 IU 35.3 mg 3 g 166 mcg 30
Endive 2,050 IU 6.5 mg 3 g 142 mcg 17
Kale 8,900 IU 120 mg 2 g 29.3 mcg 50
Butterhead (includes Boston and Bibb) 970 IU 8 mg 1 g 73.3 mcg 13
Romaine 2,600 IU 24 mg 1 g 135.7 mcg 14
Iceberg 330 IU 3.9 mg 1 g 56 mcg 12
Loose leaf (red, green) 1,900 IU 18 mg 1 g 49.8 mcg 18
Radicchio 27 IU 8 mg 0 g 60 mcg 23
Spinach 6,715 IU 28.1 mg 2 g 194.4 mcg 22
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1999

Also see
Examination of Front-of-Package Nutrition Rating Systems and Symbols --- http://iom.edu/Activities/Nutrition/NutritionSymbols.aspx

Systemic Problem:  All Aggregations Are Arbitrary
Systemic Problem:  All Aggregations Combine Different Measurements With Varying Accuracies
Systemic Problem:  All Aggregations Leave Out Important Components
Systemic Problem:  All Aggregations Ignore Complex & Synergistic Interactions of Value and Risk
Systemic Problem:  Disaggregating of Value or Cost is Generally Arbitrary

While looking at the following diet guides, it dawned on me that perhaps accounting reports should be more like food labeling and comparison tables/charts rather than the traditional bottom line reporting.  The problem with accounting is bottom-line reporting of selective and ill-conceived aggregates such as earnings-per-share or debt/equity.  Suppose spinach has an e.p.s. of 4.67 in comparison to 5.62 for Kale.  The aggregations all depend upon how components are measured, how they are weighted (e.g., Vitamin A versus Folate weighting coefficients), and what components are included/excluded (e.g., Vitamin A is included below, but Vitamin B components are ignored).  The same is true of e.p.s. in financial reporting.   The "bottom line" depends in a complex way upon how components are measured and weighted as well as upon what components are included/excluded.  

In a similar manner, accounting aggregations all depend upon how components are measured, weighted, and included/excluded.  Cash is measured with great accuracy whereas goodwill impairment is highly inaccurate, thereby causing greater error range when cash and goodwill are added together in balance sheets.   Similarly, in the "New Economy" where intangible intellectual capital is soaring in value relative to traditional tangible assets, the intangibles left off the balance sheet may be far more important that the combined value of everything included in the balance sheet.

An even larger problem is that the value and risk of diet components depend heavily upon complex and synergistic relationships.  For example, research shows that after the body hits its maximum threshold of Vitamin C, it simply throws off the excess.  Kale far surpasses endive in Vitamin C content, but this is irrelevant in a diet overflowing in Vitamin C from other sources such as citrus fruits.  Some persons may be allergic to components that are of greater value to other persons.

In a similar manner accounting valuations are greatly complicated by synergistic complexities.  A patent in the hands of one company may be all but useless in the hands of another company.  Indeed some companies buy up patents just to squelch newer technology that threatens existing products.  Similarly, financial risk is not a fixed thing.  It is a very dynamic threat that is based upon all sorts of contingencies such as world events and media coverage that can interact heavily with the level of risk at any point in time.

For similar reasons disaggregating of values/costs is generally arbitrary.  Firstly there is the famous problem of joint production cost allocation arbitrariness noted in the early writings of John Stuart Mill (The Principles of Political Economy) and Alfred Marshall (The Principles of Economics).  Then there is the problem of synergistic complexities noted above.  For example, suppose spinach sells for $5 per bunch.  Any attempt to disaggregate that $5 into additive values of nutrients will be arbitrary, because nutrients in combination may be worth more or less than the sum of disaggregated values of each nutrient.  This gives rise to the systemic problem of consolidation goodwill when two or more companies are combined into one whole.

Bob Jensen's threads on media rankings of colleges and universities ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#BusinessSchoolRankings


"The Education Giant Adapts:  Pearson is the world’s largest book publisher. Now it wants to be a one-stop shop for digital education," by Jessica Leber, MIT's Technology Review, November 23, 2012 --- Click Here
http://www.technologyreview.com/news/506361/the-education-giant-adapts/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-daily-all&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20121123

Textbook Price Comparisons --- http://www.gettextbooks.com/

Personally, I recommend that students fist check the used book prices at Amazon.--- http://www.amazon.com/
Whenever I can I prefer to buy from Amazon just to avoid having my credit card on hundreds of databases around the world.


"Psychologists Release Emotion-On-Demand Plug In For Virtual Characters:  Downloadable facial expressions for virtual characters are guaranteed to convey specific emotions, say psychologists," MIT's Technology Review, November 22, 2012 --- Click Here
http://www.technologyreview.com/view/507786/psychologists-release-emotion-on-demand-plug-in-for-virtual-characters/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-daily-all&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20121123 

Also see http://arxiv.org/abs/1211.4500

Downloadable Expressions --- http://www.joostbroekens.com/

Bob Jensen's threads on visualizing multivariate data (including faces) ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/352wpvisual/000datavisualization.htm


The History of Film — 2000 Movies Across 100 Years — Presented in One Big Zoomable Graphic ---
http://www.openculture.com/2012/11/the_history_of_film_--_2000_movies_across_100_years_--_presented_in_one_big_zoomable_graphic.html

Jensen Comment
This is one way to get ideas for movies to download from Netflix and other film sites.


"UCLA Pulls Videos From Course Sites After Copyright Challenge," by Jill Laster, Chronicle of Higher Education, February 2, 2010 ---
http://chronicle.com/blogPost/UCLA-Pulls-Videos-From-Course/21013/?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

"Judge Throws Out Copyright Lawsuit Over UCLA's Streaming of Videos to Students," by Charles Huckabee, Chronicle of Higher Education, Noivember 26, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Judge-Throws-Out-Lawsuit-Over/135932/?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

A federal judge in California has for the second time thrown out a lawsuit that accused the University of California at Los Angeles of violating copyright law by streaming videos online.

Judge Consuelo B. Marshall of the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles had previously dismissed the lawsuit in October 2011, but she allowed the plaintiffs, Ambrose Video Publishing Inc. and the Association for Information Media and Equipment, a trade group, to file a second amended complaint. In a ruling issued last Tuesday, she rejected the second amended complaint.

The plaintiffs contended that UCLA had acted illegally in copying DVD's of Shakespeare plays acquired from Ambrose and streaming them online for faculty and students to use in courses. UCLA argued that streaming the videos was permissible under the fair-use principle, which can allow reproductions for teaching, and the Teach Act, which allows limited use of copyrighted materials for online education.

In her ruling, Judge Marshall said the plaintiffs had failed to provide adequate support for their infringement claim. The ruling hinges largely on findings that the plaintiffs lacked standing and that the defendants had sovereign or qualified immunity. But in a section of the ruling, Judge Marshall also considered four factors relating to the fair-use arguments.

One of those factors weighed in favor of not finding fair use, she wrote, "because the entire works were streamed, not just portions." But, on balance, she wrote, "the court concludes that there is, at a minimum, ambiguity as to whether defendants' streaming constitutes fair use." She added: "Notably, no court has considered whether streaming videos only to students enrolled in a class constitutes fair use, which reinforces the ambiguity of the law in this area."

A lawyer for the defendants, who include the Regents of the University of California and several individuals, said the ruling was "a complete victory."

The lawyer, R. James Slaughter of Keker & Van Nest LLP, told the news service Law360 that the ruling "confirms what UCLA has long believed: that streaming previously purchased video content over its intranet for educational purposes is not a copyright violation or a violation of any contract."

Lawyers for the plaintiffs were not immediately available for comment.

The case is Association for Information Media and Equipment et al. v. Regents of the University of California et al. (No. 2:10-cv-09378-CBM), in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Bob Jensen's threads on the dreaded DMCA ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm#Copyright


1200 Years of Housing Bubbles ---
http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2012/11/grantham-biggest-housing-bubble-since-807-a-d-has-burst/


Dumber Lawyers
"Another Drop in LSAT Test-Takers," Inside Higher Ed, November 20, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2012/11/20/another-drop-lsat-test-takers

"Not a New Problem: How the State of the Legal Profession Has Been Secretly in Decline for Quite Some Time," by Marc Gans, SSRN, June 24, 2012 ---
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2173144

 My goal was to provide an in-depth analysis of the job market for new law graduates over time, as well as the state of the legal field as a whole. Using historical records, I reached the following results:

Bob Jensen's threads on careers are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#careers


From the Scout Report on November 23, 2012

New study claims humans are evolving to become less intelligent

Dumb and Dumber - Study Says Humans Are Slowly Losing Their Smarts
http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/11/13/dumb-and-dumber-study-says-humans-are-slowly-losing-their-smarts?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=pulsenews

Our Fragile Intellect, Parts I and II
http://www.cell.com/trends/genetics/searchresults?searchText=gerald+crabtree&submit_search=Search&searchBy=fulltext

17 Things That Make You Dumber
http://www.businessinsider.com/17-things-that-make-you-dumber-2012-8?op=1

The Movie Hollywood Doesn’t Want You to See
http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/movies/2006/09/the_movie_hollywood_doesnt_want_you_to_see.html

Are Humans Getting Dumber?
http://io9.com/5960176/are-humans-getting-dumber

Synthetic Synapse Could Take Us One Step Closer to an Artificial Brain
http://io9.com/5917334/synthetic-synapse-could-take-us-one-step-closer-to-an-artificial-brain

"We're Probably Not Getting Dumber," NeuroSkeptic, November 16, 2012 --- Click Here
http://neuroskeptic.blogspot.com/2012/11/were-probably-not-getting-dumber.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Neuroskeptic+%28Neuroskeptic%29&utm_content=Google+Reader


Visualizing Global Corruption (Infographic) --- http://globalsociology.com/2012/11/14/visualizing-corruption-infographics-compared/

Hit the arrow button to start the video.

Visualization of Multivariate Data (including faces) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/352wpvisual/000datavisualization.htm 


"Making Sense of All the New (2012) Laptop Flavors," by Walter Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, November 23, 2012
http://professional.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323713104578131092136289494.html

"Mossberg’s Annual Holiday Laptop Buyers’ Guide (Video)," The Wall Street Journal, November 23, 2012
http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2012/11/23/mossbergs-annual-holiday-laptop-buyers-guide/?mod=WSJBlog&mod=

Bob Jensen's technology links ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm


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

"Tax Time:  Why we pay," by Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, November 26, 2012 ---
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/11/26/121126fa_fact_lepore

Bob Jensen's taxation helpers ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#010304Taxation


"A Trillion-Dollar Transfer Of Wealth Is About To Hit Silicon Valley,"  by Dan Lyons, ReadWriteWeb, November 20, 2012 ---
http://readwrite.com/2012/11/20/a-trillion-dollar-transfer-of-wealth-is-about-to-hit-silicon-valley

Jensen Comment
Perhaps this article is a bit naive. Those cash-rich long-time Silicon Valley firms are instead more likely to buy up the competition. In a sense this is a "transfer of wealth," but this is not the context of the article regarding smaller and more innovative companies.


"Sky City: China to Build World's Tallest Building, 220 Stories, in 90 Days," by Mike Shedlock, Townhall, November 2012 ---
http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/mikeshedlock/2012/11/21/sky_city_china_to_build_worlds_tallest_building_220_stories_in_90_days

Jensen Comment
Building a building in 90 days? Hummm. Does this count the years of building prefabricated modules that will only take 90 days to assemble?

This reminds me of the unique Hilton Palacio Del Rio Hotel in San Antonio. It too was assembled in record time in 1968. But assembling merely entailed lifting modularized concrete rooms into place with a crane. The rooms contained all the plumbing fixtures, carpets, curtains, and furniture.

Hilton Palacio Del Rio Hotel --- http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/texas/hilton-palacio-del-rio-SATPDHF/index.html
Note the pictures.

"21-Story Modular Hotel Raised The Roof for Texas World Fair in 1968," modular.org ---
http://www.modular.org/htmlpage.aspx?htmlpageid=400

The Hilton Palacio del Rio Hotel is a milestone, not only for the City of San Antonio, but for the modular construction industry as well. Built by H.B. Zachry Company (now Zachry Construction Corporation) across the street from the site of HemisFair, the Texas World's Exposition of 1968, the 500-room deluxe hotel was designed, completed and occupied in an unprecedented period of 202 working days. This is an achievement of which H.B. Zachry Sr. and each of his workers can well be proud.

Of the Palacio del Rio's 21 stories, the first four were built of conventional, reinforced concrete for support facilities. At the same time, an elevator and utility core, also of reinforced concrete, were slip formed to a full height of 230 feet. From the fifth floor to the 20th, modules were stacked and connected by welding of steel embedments.

The 496 rooms were placed by crane in 46 days. The 21st floor, an area which contains a grand ballroom and other required public space, was constructed of light steel and enclosed by an aluminum window hall. The building is served by six elevators (four public and two freight), has a swimming pool on its fifth floor and occupies a half an acre site in downtown San Antonio.

By giving the room a pre-determined magnetic heading and by "feathering" the vertical propeller, the operator atop the "flying" room controlled the direction of each unit as it was being hoisted to a precise location.

The hotel's room modules were pre-cast from light-weight structural concrete. Before arriving on the construction site, each room was fully decorated, including color TV, AM/FM radios, beds, carpeting, bottle openers, automatic coffee makers, ash trays, etc. The units are 32 feet 8 inches and 29 feet 8 inches long, 13 feet wide and 9 feet 6 inches high. They weigh 35 tons each and were manufactured at a plant located eight miles from the project site.

Zachry set up a production line consisting of two rows of eight room-size forms that produced eight complete units daily. The working crews were composed, as an average, of more than 100 men who completed a designated task 496 times.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
When "building" a high rise where does the start time begin?

Student Project
It would be interesting for students in teams to tackle the costing differences between modularization construction versus more conventional construction. For example, modularization probably entails more inventory and inventory financing costs since many of those modules have to sit idle after completion while awaiting the construction and furnishing of the other modules.

I assume at first blush that at the time the  Hilton Palacio Del Rio Hotel was built, modularization was not cost effective. Otherwise the many hotels build since then would've adopted modularization. Since they did not, I assume that modularization has, until now at least, been too expensive.


"Never Lose Your Wallet:  Your iPhone could help you find your wallet.," by David Zax, MIT's Technology Review, November 20, 2012 --- Click Here
http://www.technologyreview.com/view/507701/never-lose-your-wallet/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-daily-all&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20121121

Jensen Comment
If the iPhone can find your wallet, finding your car keys and your kids can't be far behind. Maybe the wives of generals will even find their husbands. San Antonio car owners might even locate their stolen cars before they cross the Rio Grande --- but that only takes about three hours and then the cars are gone forever. Interestingly, many stolen cars flow through Mexico into the sink hole of Belize just like Saudi Arabia is the sink hole for stolen luxury cars in Europe.


Coal is Still King, Sober Look, November 19, 2012 ---
http://soberlook.com/2012/11/rail-freight-prices-rise-firms-able-to.html


Video
How a Crossword Puzzle is Made: Behind the Scenes with The New York Times
---
http://www.openculture.com/2012/11/how_a_crossword_puzzle_is_made_behind_the_scenes_with_the_new_york_times_.html

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting crossword puzzles and other edutainment games ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment

Make Your Own Crosswords for Fun and Learning

June 4. 2008 message from Andrew PRIEST [a.priest@ECU.EDU.AU]

I thought I would share this email which came from one of our librarians. It may be of interest.

Regards

Andrew

Hi Andrew

I came across this free website http://www.eclipsecrossword.com/samples.html  which allows you (anyone) to make up a crossword on any topic.

They had examples of crosswords which have been setup for Accounting which I thought was rather cute & an alternative to quizzes http://www.accountingcrosswords.com /

Regards

Maureen

Jensen Comment
Here's a neat interactive Javascript crossword made using Eclipse --- http://lschwake.tripod.com/crosswords/acc22cross.html
Click on one of the boxes to get started.

Some of Bob Jensen's Former Tidbits:

Somewhat related is the Crossword Construction Kit (not free) --- http://www.crosswordkit.com/
Other word games --- http://www.puzzleconnection.com/

Discovery Channel School's PuzzleMaker (free) --- http://puzzlemaker.school.discovery.com
This puzzle-generation tool helps create and print customized word search, crossword and math puzzles using your own word lists.

AccountingCrosswords.com (with many subtopics) --- http://www.accountingcrosswords.com/
Example:  Payroll Accounting Crossword Puzzle --- http://www.accountingcoach.com/crossword-puzzles/payroll-empty.html

Brenda Kennedy's k-12 Accounting Crosswords ---
http://ww2.nps.k12.va.us/education/components/docmgr/default.php?sectiondetailid=34838

Crossword Bank (with a section on taxation) --- Click Here 

Payroll Accounting Crossword Puzzle --- http://www.accountingcoach.com/crossword-puzzles/payroll-empty.html

Basic Accounting Example --- Click Here

Computer defeats humans at the NYT’s crossword Puzzles
Crossword-solving computer program WebCrow has defeated 25 human competitors in a puzzle competition in Riva del Garda, Italy. The program took both first- and second-place honors in the contest, which was staged as part of the European Conference on Artificial Intelligence, New Scientist reported Thursday. The two English puzzles were taken from The New York Times and The Washington Post, while two Italian puzzles were taken from newspapers in the country. A fifth puzzle featured clues in both languages taken from all four sources. "It exceeded our expectations because there were around 15 Americans in the competition," said Marco Ernandes, who created WebCrow along with Giovanni Angelini and Marco Gori. "Now we'd like to test it against more people with English as their first language."
"Computer defeats humans at crossword," PhysOrg, September 1, 2006 --- http://physorg.com/news76345125.html

Question
Will daily working of crossword puzzles and similar mental exercise deter the rate of cognitive decline in older brains?

The last two paragraphs below are important.

"Oops! Mental Training, Crosswords Fail to Slow Decline of Aging Brain," by Sharon Begley, The Wall Street Journal, April 21, 2006; Page B1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/science_journal.html

If you thought recent clinical trials of reduced-fat diets and breast cancer, or calcium/vitamin D and hip fractures, were disappointing when the intervention failed to live up to its billing, you haven't seen studies of whether mental training slows the rate of cognitive decline resulting from aging.

The largest such study, called Active, was launched in 1998 and is still going. It trained 2,832 adults, aged 65 years old to 94, in memory, reasoning or visual attention and perception. Disappointment ensued. Though the trainees did better on the skill they practiced, that didn't translate to improvement on the others (memory training didn't sharpen reasoning, for instance).

Worse, when the trainees were tested years later, performance fell more than it did in the untrained group, according to a new analysis by Timothy Salthouse of the University of Virginia, a veteran of studies on aging and cognition. That probably reflects the fact that if performance rises it has further to fall, he says.

But there is a larger issue. "There is no convincing empirical evidence that mental activity slows the rate of cognitive decline," he concludes from an exhaustive review of decades of studies. "The research I reviewed is just not consistent with the idea that engaging in mentally stimulating activities as you age prevents or slows cognitive decline."

Many scientists, not to mention the rest of us, believe it does. The "mental exercise" hypothesis has been around since 1920, and studies find that higher mental activity -- more hours per week spent reading, doing crossword puzzles, learning a language or the like -- is associated with better cognitive function. That has spawned the idea that, to keep your brain young(ish), you should partake of intellectual challenges.

But this logic has a hole big enough to drive a truck through. Just because older adults who are more mentally active are sharper than peers who are cognitive couch potatoes doesn't mean mental activity in old age raises cognitive performances, let alone slows the rate of decline. To conclude that it does confuses correlation with causation.

Consider an alternative that is gaining scientific support. Say you enter old age (by which I mean your 30s, when mental functioning starts heading south, accelerating in your 50s) with a "cognitive reserve" -- a cushion of smarts. If so, you are likely to be able to remember appointments, balance a checkbook and understand Medicare Part D (OK, maybe not) well into your 60s and 70s. But not because your brain falls apart more slowly. Instead, you started off so far above the threshold where impaired thinking and memory affect your ability to function that normal decline leaves you still all right.

The Active study isn't the only reason scientists are rethinking the use-it-and-you-won't-lose-it idea. In the Seattle Longitudinal Study, older adults received five hours of training on spatial rotation (what would a shape look like if it turned?) or logic (given three patterns, which of four choices comes next?). As in Active, people got better on what they practiced.

But seven years later, their performance had declined just as steeply (though, again, from a higher starting point) as the performance of people with no training, scientists reported last year. That supports the cognitive reserve idea -- if you enter middle age with a good memory and reasoning skills you stay sharp longer -- not the mental-exercise hypothesis.

Even in the most mentally engaged elderly -- chess experts, professors, doctors -- mental function declines as steeply as in people to whom mental exercise means choosing which TV show to watch. Again, profs and docs enter old age with a brain functioning so far above the minimum that even with the equal rate of decline they do better than folks with no cognitive cushion.

Crossword puzzles do not live up to the hope people invest in them, either. Age-related decline is very similar in people whether or not they wrestled with 24 Downs, Prof. Salthouse and his colleagues find in a recent study. There is "no evidence" that puzzle fans have "a slower rate of age-related decline in reasoning," he says.

Evaluating use-it-and-you-won't-lose-it in a new journal, Perspectives on Psychological Science, he ends on a grim note: There is "little scientific evidence that engagement in mentally stimulating activities alters the rate of mental aging." He regards the belief as "more of an optimistic hope than an empirical reality."

But don't write off mental exercise yet. True, neither one-time training nor regular mental challenges such as crosswords slow the rate of cognitive decline. But they do show that "older adults can be made to perform better on almost anything they can be trained on," says Michael Marsiske of the University of Florida, who helped run the Active study. "We're still detecting differences seven years after the training."

In practical terms, although mental function continues to decline even after mental training, the latter can give old brains enough of a boost that they nevertheless remain higher functioning than untrained brains. A number of scientists think they understand what kind of training provides the biggest, most enduring boost. Next week, I'll look at their ideas.

 


Does anybody think this is potentially scary? Much depends upon potential privacy data in the Big Data collected
From Jerry Trite's E-Business Blog on November 16, 2012 --- http://trites-e-business.blogspot.com/

Location Based Marketing Moves Ahead

Cisco announced last week a new technology that can be used to track customers in or near their stores. It uses the customers' cell phone signals, transforming them into WiFi signals, which can then be transmitted back to the store WiFi and analyzed. The technology can track their location quite accurately. In addition, if the customer has previously purchased at that store and agreed to a store promotional campaign, the technology can bring up their past history of shopping and their preferences. All of this big data is then analyzed and used to offer the shoppers special deals on the spot. It's a classic location-based marketing exercise using big data analysis techniques. It's a technology that has a very bright future, since smart phones are holding more and more information and are about to be used for payments, adding additional information to the mix

Cisco Brings Location-Based Big Data To Shopping ---
http://www.informationweek.com/big-data/news/big-data-analytics/cisco-brings-locationbased-big-data-to-shopping/240142146

 


"Content Discovery Demystified," by Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed, November 21, 2012 ---
 http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2012/11/21/essay-study-how-researchers-get-access-scholarly-articles

Scholarly publishing consultants Tracy Gardner and Simon Inger recently concluded a large-scale study of how researchers navigate the flood of digitized scholarly content. Renew Training, the British company they run, will sell you the complete data set for a mere £1000 (that's $1,592), or the same information in a deluxe Excel spreadsheet, outfitted with specially designed an analytic features, for £2,500 (a cool $3,981). Anyone whose curiosity is merely idle or penniless must settle for the “survey edition” of the consultants' own analysis, in PDF, which is free.

As you would expect, it's more of an advertisement than a report, with graphs that hint at how much data they have, and how many kinds of it, from around the world. Gardner and Inger’s own report, “How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals,” is available in e-book format at a reasonable price – so I sprang for a copy and have culled some of their findings for this week’s column.

The key word here being some, because even the consultants’ non-exhaustive crunching of the numbers is pretty overwhelming. Between May and July of this year, they collected responses from more than 19,000 interview subjects spanning the populated world. The questions covered various situations in which someone might go looking for scholarly articles in a digital format and the considerable range of ways of going about it. Two-thirds of respondents were from academic institutions – with a large majority (three out of four) identifying themselves as researchers.

Roughly two-thirds of the respondents were from North America and Europe, and the interview itself was conducted in English. But enough participants came from the medical, corporate, and government sectors, and from countries in Africa, Oceania, and South America, to make the study something other than a report on Anglo-American academe. In addition, Gardner and Inger conducted a similar survey in 2008 (albeit with a much smaller harvest of data, from around 400 respondents). They also draw on a study they conducted in 2005 as consultants for another group.

The trends, then. The range and size of digitally published scholarship keep growing, and a number of tools or approaches have developed for accessing material. Researchers rely on university library sites, abstracting and indexing (A&I) services, compilations of links assembled by learned societies or research teams, social networks, and search engines both general (Yahoo) and focused (Google Scholar). You might bookmark a favorite journal, or sign up for an e-mail alert when the table of contents for a new issue is out, or use the journal publisher’s website to find an article. 

The survey questions cover three research “behaviors” common across the disciplines: (1) following up a citation, (2) browsing in the core journals in a given field, and (3) looking for articles on a specific subject. As indicated, quite a few ways of carrying out these tasks are now available. Some approaches are better-developed in one field than another. The survey shows that researchers in the life sciences use the National Institutes of Health's bibliographical database PubMed “almost exclusively,” while the e-mailed table-of-contents (ToC) notifications for chemistry journals are rich enough in information for their readers to find them valuable.

And ease of access to sorting-and-channeling methods varies from one part of the world to the next. A researcher in a poor country is likely to use the search feature on a publisher’s website (bookmarked for just that purpose) for the simple reason that doing so is free – while someone working in a major research library may have access to numerous bibliographical tools so well-integrated into the digital catalog that users barely notice them as such.

North American researchers “are most likely to use an academic search engine or the library web pages if they have a citation,” the reports notes, “whilst Europeans are more likely to go the journal’s homepage.” Humanities scholars “rely much more on library web pages and especially aggregated collections of journals” than do researchers in the life sciences.

Comments made by social scientists reveal that they use “a much more varied list of resources” for following up citations, including one respondent who relied on “my husband’s library because mine is so bad.”

When browsing around the journals in their field, researchers in the field of education “are greater users of academic search engines and of web pages maintained by key research groups” than are people working in other areas. “Social scientists appear to use journal aggregations less than those in the humanities for reading the latest articles.” And all of them rank “library web pages and journal aggregations more highly” than do people in medicine and the physical and life sciences. One respondent indicated that it wasn’t really necessary to look through recent issues of journals in mathematics because “nowadays virtually all leading research in math is uploaded to arXiv.”

Specialized bibliographical databases “are still the most popular resource” for someone trying to read up on a particular topic, “and allowing for a margin of error [this preference] shows no significant change over time.” The web pages compiled by scholarly societies and research groups “have both shown a slight upward trend” in that regard, “which may be due to changes in publisher marketing strategies resulting in readers becoming more familiar publisher and society brands.”



Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2012/11/21/essay-study-how-researchers-get-access-scholarly-articles#ixzz2CrbCVYNO
Inside Higher Ed
 
Scholarly publishing consultants Tracy Gardner and Simon Inger recently concluded a large-scale study of how researchers navigate the flood of digitized scholarly content. Renew Training, the British company they run, will sell you the complete data set for a mere £1000 (that's $1,592), or the same information in a deluxe Excel spreadsheet, outfitted with specially designed an analytic features, for £2,500 (a cool $3,981). Anyone whose curiosity is merely idle or penniless must settle for the “survey edition” of the consultants' own analysis, in PDF, which is free.

As you would expect, it's more of an advertisement than a report, with graphs that hint at how much data they have, and how many kinds of it, from around the world. Gardner and Inger’s own report, “How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals,” is available in e-book format at a reasonable price – so I sprang for a copy and have culled some of their findings for this week’s column.

The key word here being some, because even the consultants’ non-exhaustive crunching of the numbers is pretty overwhelming. Between May and July of this year, they collected responses from more than 19,000 interview subjects spanning the populated world. The questions covered various situations in which someone might go looking for scholarly articles in a digital format and the considerable range of ways of going about it. Two-thirds of respondents were from academic institutions – with a large majority (three out of four) identifying themselves as researchers.

Roughly two-thirds of the respondents were from North America and Europe, and the interview itself was conducted in English. But enough participants came from the medical, corporate, and government sectors, and from countries in Africa, Oceania, and South America, to make the study something other than a report on Anglo-American academe. In addition, Gardner and Inger conducted a similar survey in 2008 (albeit with a much smaller harvest of data, from around 400 respondents). They also draw on a study they conducted in 2005 as consultants for another group.

The trends, then. The range and size of digitally published scholarship keep growing, and a number of tools or approaches have developed for accessing material. Researchers rely on university library sites, abstracting and indexing (A&I) services, compilations of links assembled by learned societies or research teams, social networks, and search engines both general (Yahoo) and focused (Google Scholar). You might bookmark a favorite journal, or sign up for an e-mail alert when the table of contents for a new issue is out, or use the journal publisher’s website to find an article. 

The survey questions cover three research “behaviors” common across the disciplines: (1) following up a citation, (2) browsing in the core journals in a given field, and (3) looking for articles on a specific subject. As indicated, quite a few ways of carrying out these tasks are now available. Some approaches are better-developed in one field than another. The survey shows that researchers in the life sciences use the National Institutes of Health's bibliographical database PubMed “almost exclusively,” while the e-mailed table-of-contents (ToC) notifications for chemistry journals are rich enough in information for their readers to find them valuable.

And ease of access to sorting-and-channeling methods varies from one part of the world to the next. A researcher in a poor country is likely to use the search feature on a publisher’s website (bookmarked for just that purpose) for the simple reason that doing so is free – while someone working in a major research library may have access to numerous bibliographical tools so well-integrated into the digital catalog that users barely notice them as such.

North American researchers “are most likely to use an academic search engine or the library web pages if they have a citation,” the reports notes, “whilst Europeans are more likely to go the journal’s homepage.” Humanities scholars “rely much more on library web pages and especially aggregated collections of journals” than do researchers in the life sciences.

Comments made by social scientists reveal that they use “a much more varied list of resources” for following up citations, including one respondent who relied on “my husband’s library because mine is so bad.”

When browsing around the journals in their field, researchers in the field of education “are greater users of academic search engines and of web pages maintained by key research groups” than are people working in other areas. “Social scientists appear to use journal aggregations less than those in the humanities for reading the latest articles.” And all of them rank “library web pages and journal aggregations more highly” than do people in medicine and the physical and life sciences. One respondent indicated that it wasn’t really necessary to look through recent issues of journals in mathematics because “nowadays virtually all leading research in math is uploaded to arXiv.”

Specialized bibliographical databases “are still the most popular resource” for someone trying to read up on a particular topic, “and allowing for a margin of error [this preference] shows no significant change over time.” The web pages compiled by scholarly societies and research groups “have both shown a slight upward trend” in that regard, “which may be due to changes in publisher marketing strategies resulting in readers becoming more familiar publisher and society brands.”



Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2012/11/21/essay-study-how-researchers-get-access-scholarly-articles#ixzz2CrbCVYNO
Inside Higher Ed
 


Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2012/11/21/essay-study-how-researchers-get-access-scholarly-articles#ixzz2CrbCVYNO
Inside Higher Ed
 


Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2012/11/21/essay-study-how-researchers-get-access-scholarly-articles#ixzz2CrbPN9qK
Inside Higher Ed
 
Scholarly publishing consultants Tracy Gardner and Simon Inger recently concluded a large-scale study of how researchers navigate the flood of digitized scholarly content. Renew Training, the British company they run, will sell you the complete data set for a mere £1000 (that's $1,592), or the same information in a deluxe Excel spreadsheet, outfitted with specially designed an analytic features, for £2,500 (a cool $3,981). Anyone whose curiosity is merely idle or penniless must settle for the “survey edition” of the consultants' own analysis, in PDF, which is free.

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2012/11/21/essay-study-how-researchers-get-access-scholarly-articles#ixzz2Crbk96mO
Inside Higher Ed
 

Scholarly publishing consultants Tracy Gardner and Simon Inger recently concluded a large-scale study of how researchers navigate the flood of digitized scholarly content. Renew Training, the British company they run, will sell you the complete data set for a mere £1000 (that's $1,592), or the same information in a deluxe Excel spreadsheet, outfitted with specially designed an analytic features, for £2,500 (a cool $3,981). Anyone whose curiosity is merely idle or penniless must settle for the “survey edition” of the consultants' own analysis, in PDF, which is free.

As you would expect, it's more of an advertisement than a report, with graphs that hint at how much data they have, and how many kinds of it, from around the world. Gardner and Inger’s own report, “How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals,” is available in e-book format at a reasonable price – so I sprang for a copy and have culled some of their findings for this week’s column.

The key word here being some, because even the consultants’ non-exhaustive crunching of the numbers is pretty overwhelming. Between May and July of this year, they collected responses from more than 19,000 interview subjects spanning the populated world. The questions covered various situations in which someone might go looking for scholarly articles in a digital format and the considerable range of ways of going about it. Two-thirds of respondents were from academic institutions – with a large majority (three out of four) identifying themselves as researchers.

Roughly two-thirds of the respondents were from North America and Europe, and the interview itself was conducted in English. But enough participants came from the medical, corporate, and government sectors, and from countries in Africa, Oceania, and South America, to make the study something other than a report on Anglo-American academe. In addition, Gardner and Inger conducted a similar survey in 2008 (albeit with a much smaller harvest of data, from around 400 respondents). They also draw on a study they conducted in 2005 as consultants for another group.

The trends, then. The range and size of digitally published scholarship keep growing, and a number of tools or approaches have developed for accessing material. Researchers rely on university library sites, abstracting and indexing (A&I) services, compilations of links assembled by learned societies or research teams, social networks, and search engines both general (Yahoo) and focused (Google Scholar). You might bookmark a favorite journal, or sign up for an e-mail alert when the table of contents for a new issue is out, or use the journal publisher’s website to find an article. 

The survey questions cover three research “behaviors” common across the disciplines: (1) following up a citation, (2) browsing in the core journals in a given field, and (3) looking for articles on a specific subject. As indicated, quite a few ways of carrying out these tasks are now available. Some approaches are better-developed in one field than another. The survey shows that researchers in the life sciences use the National Institutes of Health's bibliographical database PubMed “almost exclusively,” while the e-mailed table-of-contents (ToC) notifications for chemistry journals are rich enough in information for their readers to find them valuable.

And ease of access to sorting-and-channeling methods varies from one part of the world to the next. A researcher in a poor country is likely to use the search feature on a publisher’s website (bookmarked for just that purpose) for the simple reason that doing so is free – while someone working in a major research library may have access to numerous bibliographical tools so well-integrated into the digital catalog that users barely notice them as such.

North American researchers “are most likely to use an academic search engine or the library web pages if they have a citation,” the reports notes, “whilst Europeans are more likely to go the journal’s homepage.” Humanities scholars “rely much more on library web pages and especially aggregated collections of journals” than do researchers in the life sciences.

Comments made by social scientists reveal that they use “a much more varied list of resources” for following up citations, including one respondent who relied on “my husband’s library because mine is so bad.”

When browsing around the journals in their field, researchers in the field of education “are greater users of academic search engines and of web pages maintained by key research groups” than are people working in other areas. “Social scientists appear to use journal aggregations less than those in the humanities for reading the latest articles.” And all of them rank “library web pages and journal aggregations more highly” than do people in medicine and the physical and life sciences. One respondent indicated that it wasn’t really necessary to look through recent issues of journals in mathematics because “nowadays virtually all leading research in math is uploaded to arXiv.”

Specialized bibliographical databases “are still the most popular resource” for someone trying to read up on a particular topic, “and allowing for a margin of error [this preference] shows no significant change over time.” The web pages compiled by scholarly societies and research groups “have both shown a slight upward trend” in that regard, “which may be due to changes in publisher marketing strategies resulting in readers becoming more familiar publisher and society brands.”

The rise of academic search engines is a new factor -- and while there are others, such as Microsoft Academic Search, the bar graphs show Google Scholar looming over all competitors like a skyscraper over huts. And that’s not even counting the general-purpose Google search engine, which remains a standard tool for academic researchers.

One interesting point that the authors extract from the comments of participants is that many scholars remain unclear on the difference between a search engine and, say, a specialized bibliographical database. Unfortunately the survey seems not to have included information on respondents’ ages, though it would be interesting to know if that is a factor in recognizing such distinctions.

As I said, the e-book version is reasonably priced, and well within reach of anyone intrigued by this column's aerial survey. The publishers and information managers who can afford the full-dress, all-the-data version, which will allow comparison between the research preferences of Malaysian physicists and German historians, and so forth, will be able to extract from it information on how better to engineer access to their content by the specific research constituencies using it.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on how scholars search the Web ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Searchh.htm#Scholars

Bob Jensen's search helpers ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Searchh.htm


"Big Data "Eurekas!" Don't Just Happen," by Jill Dyche, Harvard Business Review Blog, November 20, 2012 --- Click Here
http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/11/eureka_doesnt_just_happen.html?referral=00563&cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-daily_alert-_-alert_date&utm_source=newsletter_daily_alert&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alert_date

The common thread running through many of big data's most promising explorations is discovery. Traditional database inquiry requires some level of hypothesis, but mining big data reveals relationships and patterns that we didn't even know to look for. In this taxonomy of analytics, which comes from my book e-Data (Addison Wesley, 2000). the bottom layer represents the most common type of database inquiry, the standard business intelligence report, evolving toward more advanced types of analytics requiring individuals with more sophisticated skills working with successively lower levels of hypothesis:

View graphic

The pyramid is capped by Knowledge Discovery, the detection of patterns in data. As I wrote, "These patterns are too specific and seemingly arbitrary to specify, and the analyst would be playing a perpetual guessing-game trying to figure out all the possible patterns in the database. Instead, special knowledge discovery software tools find the patterns and tell the analyst what--and where--they are."

Hence, you could be mining data on breast cancer cells expecting to see trends in cell proliferation rates. But, to your surprise, you also discover that surrounding non-cancerous cells are also contributing to cancer cell growth. The Stanford University researchers who made this discovery didn't know to look at the non-cancerous cells. But through low-hypothesis exploration, they found it.

Most companies have mastered the pyramid's bottom two layers. Indeed many senior managers cite the third tier, representing predictive analytics, as the logical next step in their quest to be data-driven. But few companies possess the right combination of skills, technologies, and new delivery models to reach the pinnacle.

Executives too frequently assume there's no time (let alone budget) for knowledge discovery. Indeed, the very term suggests an academic exercise with no tangible business payback. But big data discovery efforts can result in startling and highly actionable findings. A retailer we work with loaded 12 years' worth of purchase transactions into a Hadoop cluster to uncover relationships in the data that had gone unnoticed. The company discovered new correlations between products that ended up together in shoppers' carts. The findings drove innovative product placement and shelf space management decisions. The result was a 16% jump in revenue per shopping cart in the first month of the trial.

This kind of "eureka" doesn't just happen. Business leaders have to foster a culture of discovery, allotting resources for big data proofs-of-concept and surrendering expectations for their outcomes. It also means training the new batch of data scientists to leverage the technologies that enable such discovery, and then translating the findings into business actions whose outcomes are then measured. Running discovery trials on big data should be a continuous process, where the results may feed more traditional business intelligence or drive additional discovery tests.

Sometimes this means isolating big data efforts from traditional analytics programs where delivery processes and organizational roles are already entrenched. Recently a commercial lines insurer reassigned senior data analysts from various business units to staff an initiative aimed at exploring the attributes of fraudsters, mining hundreds of terabytes of social network interactions, customer profiles, and claims history. The team found that "loose affiliations" with low-income friends was an indicator a higher propensity to file fraudulent claims. The group of analysts evolved into an informal knowledge discovery SWAT team that reconvened whenever new data types or business processes invited fresh discovery efforts.

Continued in article

 
"Mechanical Turk and the Limits of Big Data:  The Internet is transforming how researchers perform experiments across the social sciences," by Walter Frick, MIT's Technology Review, November 1, 2012 --- Click Here
 http://www.technologyreview.com/view/506731/mechanical-turk-and-the-limits-of-big-data/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-daily-all&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20121102

 

Bob Jensen's threads on what went wrong in accountics research are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Theory01.htm


"MOOCs on the Move: How Coursera Is Disrupting the Traditional Classroom," Knowledge@Wharton, November 7, 2012 ---
http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=3109

During the past decade, the distribution of content over the Internet and its consumption on computers and mobile devices has disrupted several industries -- newspapers, book publishing, music and films, among others. Now education joins that list, thanks to the emergence of massive open online courses, or MOOCs. These courses, which are offered for free to tens of thousands of students, cover topics ranging from artificial intelligence and computer science to music and poetry appreciation. As millions of students around the world flock to participate in MOOCs, universities are being compelled to rethink what it means to teach and to learn in a networked, globally connected world. During the past 18 months, many educational institutions have initiated or joined ventures that can help them explore, experiment in and gradually understand this phenomenon.

Among the most active MOOC providers today is Coursera, a start-up that offers some 200 online courses to 1.5 million students. It does so by providing a technical platform to 33 educational institutions, including the University of Pennsylvania. Other MOOC initiatives include Udacity, which originated at Stanford, and edX, a venture of Harvard and MIT. How do MOOCs deal with the challenge of scale posed by the massive numbers of students they attract? How do they retain and evaluate their students? How can they monetize their free content? Knowledge@Wharton posed these questions and more to Daphne Koller, co-founder of Coursera, during her recent campus visit.

Watch the Video

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on MOOCs, MITx, and EdX courses given free online by prestigious universities ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Those courses offered for grades and credit are not free.


"Video: Self Taught Teen Prodigy from Sierra Leon Wows MIT Engineers ," by Uveal Blues, November 20, 2012 ---
http://uvealblues.blogspot.com/2012/11/self-taught-teen-prodigy-from-sierra.html


"Elite Online Courses for Cash and Credit," by Steve Kolowich , Inside Higher Ed, November 16, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/11/16/top-tier-universities-band-together-offer-credit-bearing-fully-online-courses

A consortium of 10 top-tier universities will soon offer fully online, credit-bearing undergraduate courses through a partnership with 2U, a company that facilitates online learning.

Any students enrolled at an “undergraduate experience anywhere in the world” will be eligible to take the courses, according to Chip Paucek, the CEO of 2U, which until recently was called 2tor. The first courses are slated to make their debut in the fall.

After a year in which the top universities in the world have clambered to offer massive open online courses (MOOCs) for no credit, this new project marks yet another turning point in online education. It is the first known example of top universities offering fully online, credit-bearing courses to undergraduates who are not actually enrolled at the institutions that are offering them.

“We want to be part of the experiment, and we feel that the time is right,” says J. Lynn Zimmerman, senior vice provost for undergraduate and continuing education at Emory University, which will be part of the consortium.

“I don’t think the idea of offering credit online is, anymore at least, such a strange one,” says Ed Macias, the provost at Washington University in St. Louis, another member. “I think the issue everybody is facing is how to do it.”

The elite-branded, massive courses now being rolled out through Coursera and edX have set the stage for the 2U consortium, but the online courses from the consortium will not be MOOCs. The idea is to replicate not only the content and assessment mechanisms of traditional courses, but also the social intimacy.

Like 2U’s existing credit-bearing graduate programs — at Georgetown University, the University of Southern California and elsewhere — the new undergraduate courses will include a mix of recorded lectures and online course materials and live, instructor-led, video-based discussion sections. The sections will aim to mimic a seminar-like environment where students can look their classmates and instructors in the face and engage with them directly.

There will be selective admissions criteria for each course, and the students who enroll will have to pay. The universities, not the company, will set the admissions criteria for each course, says Jeremy Johnson, president of undergraduate programs at 2U.

Same with prices. In some cases students may pay roughly market rate. Duke University, for example, does not calculate its tuition on a credit-hour basis, but the price of taking one of its 2U courses will probably work out to about the equivalent of an on-campus course, says Peter Lange, the provost. (At Duke, that is about $5,500 per course.) Lange and others say the details of pricing have not been set.

In return 2U and its partners are promising a high-touch virtual classroom experience that approaches, if not equals, the social and intellectual rigor of a typical course at Duke or any of the company’s other partners. And upon completion the students will receive the equivalent number of credits — with the institution’s seal of approval. The company and the universities will share any revenue that comes from the project.

In addition to Duke, Emory and Washington University, the institutions currently on board as of today’s announcement are Brandeis University, Northwestern University, the Universities of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Notre Dame, and Rochester, Vanderbilt University, and Wake Forest University.

2U says it plans to add “a handful” of partners prior to the formal opening next fall. But ultimately the extent of the consortium’s growth, like the admissions standards and the prices, will be the purview of a governing body within the consortium itself, according to Johnson. And he expects them to keep selective company.

“This is really intended to be a consortium of like-minded institutions that have a similar approach to academic integrity and rigor,” he says. “They intend for it to be small. I can’t imagine it growing to any more than two or two-and-a-half times its current size.”

Something else that will be left in the hands of individual universities is how the availability of credit-bearing online courses could affect under-enrolled courses on their local campuses.

Several of 2U’s institutional partners say they expect their own students to take online courses from other universities in the consortium — particularly if the timing of an offering does not jibe with a student’s own schedule. The official name for the consortium is Semester Online, which emphasizes the parallels to study-abroad programs. Students “will be able to work, travel, participate in off-campus research programs or manage personal commitments that in the past would have meant putting their studies on hold,” says a news release.

At the same time, the slate of online courses could also make it easier for some members to farm out certain low-demand courses to peer schools.

“We’ve definitely had faculty members ask about that,” says Johnson. “My understanding, from the existing consortium members, is that is not their intent,” he adds. “But I couldn’t say one way or another whether that is or is not going to happen.”

One way many institutions are planning to use the consortium is as a research project. Keith E. Whitfield, the vice provost for academic affairs at Duke, has been appointed to head a new task force on assessing the university's new online ventures -- including both the 2U courses and the MOOCs that Duke is offering through Coursera.

The mouse-click data logged by 2U’s online platform will generate rich data sets from which Duke’s task force — which draws heavily from Whitfield’s own psychology and neuroscience department — hopes to learn more than the university ever has about how its students learn, according to the vice provost.

For example, “Is there a minimum amount of time on task, or time reviewing course materials, where people were able to do well on the assessments?” he says. “Which resources work best? Are there things that work in the online world and not in class? … And what are the things in a traditional class that we can’t repeat online?”

Although they are not designed to achieve the scale of MOOCs, if successful the Semester Online courses could allow their home institutions to gradually expand their enrollments, and tuition revenue, without having to buy new property and build new buildings. And although the first courses will be taught by regular professors at the universities, the faculty that might eventually be hired to teach online "would not have to be hired in the same mode or set of expectations" as are those who typically teach on campus, says Zimmerman.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on MOOCs, MITx, and EdX courses from prestigious universities ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI


"Fight in New Zealand Over a University's Priorities," Inside Higher Ed, November 18, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2012/11/19/fight-new-zealand-over-universitys-priorities


A study reveals that many Twitter followers might in fact not be human

From the Scout Report on November 16, 2012

Beware the tweeting crowds
http://www.economist.com/blogs/schumpeter/2012/11/social-media-followers

How fake are your Twitter followers?
http://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/london-life/how-fake-are-your-twitter-followers-8211517.html

Analysis of Twitter followers of leading international companies
http://www.camisanicalzolari.com/MCC-Twitter-ENG.pdf

Status People Fake Follower Check
http://fakers.statuspeople.com/

Twitter Guide Book
http://mashable.com/guidebook/twitter/

The Beginner's Guide to Social Media
http://mashable.com/2012/06/12/social-media-beginners-guide/

Bob Jensen's threads on social networking ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm


When you adopt the standards and the values of someone else … you surrender your own integrity. You become, to the extent of your surrender, less of a human being.
Eleanor Roosevelt (see below)

The following link would make an interesting debate, especially in the context of Kant's Categorical Imperative---
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Categorical_imperitive

It is of interest in accounting theory where we are confronted with conformity (standards) issues that sometimes stand in the way of innovation and utility maximization.

"Eleanor Roosevelt on Happiness, Conformity, and Integrity," by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings, November 16, 2012 ---
http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/11/16/eleanor-roosevelt-on-happiness-conformity-and-integrity/


R Project --- http://www.r-project.org/
Free Download for Windows --- http://cran.r-project.org/bin/windows/base/

“R is really important to the point that it’s hard to overvalue it,” said Daryl Pregibon, a research scientist at Google, which uses the software widely. “It allows statisticians to do very intricate and complicated analyses without knowing the blood and guts of computing systems.”
Ashley Vance, "Data Analysts Captivated by R’s Power," The New York Times, January 6, 2009 ---
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/07/technology/business-computing/07program.html?_r=0

"You Too Can Be Nate Silver ," Bloomberg Business Week, November 9, 2012 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-11-09/you-too-can-be-nate-silver

Well, it would seem we have identified the week in which being a big data wonk became cool. After all, there’s Nate Silver—the Electoral College Oracle—being feted on The Daily Show and across the Web for collecting polling data and then massaging it with a clever algorithm. Now everyone wants to hang out with the skinny, kinda nervous dude who knows his way around R. (R? Look it up. You’ll need this for cocktail parties from here on out.)

If you don’t have time to attend the soon-to-be-planned Nate Silver’s Datapalooza, you can still have a crack at becoming the big data star around the office. That’s because the data fiends in Silicon Valley have been hard at work creating software that lets mere mortals run complex information analysis jobs. Some of the best examples of this type of technology can be seen at the Alteryx Analytics Gallery, where you can find ready-made apps for poring over data ranging from census figures to how a merger between two companies may play out.

Alteryx’s main business revolves around selling software that helps people submit big data sets and then choose from a menu of analytical operations to perform on the information. The idea is to remove some of the coding grunt work that has surrounded data analysis jobs for decades. “This has been the world of statisticians and Ph.D.s and not the people on the front lines trying to make good business decisions,” says George Mathew, the president and chief operating officer at Alteryx. “We wanted to change that.”

Customers using Alteryx’s software will find some huge, preloaded data sets like information from the 2010 Census and marketing services company Experian’s consumer profiling data. Then you can literally drag and drop analysis functions such as regression models from a menu to apply them to the data and receive a pretty report at the end. Companies can, of course, supply their own data, making it possible for, say, an executive at a retailer to take data from 900 million point of sale transactions, 2.5 million loyalty cards, and 500,000 Likes on Facebook (FB) and try to determine what the value of Facebook Likes might be on a given store.

The Analytics Gallery is a spot where people can find prepackaged data analytics apps and have some fun poking around on the information. Ahead of the presidential election, for example, there were models available that let you see how particular zip codes might vote based on polling numbers and things like census data. The Presidential Election App predicted Obama’s win with Silver-like accuracy.

One of the newer apps has been tuned for Facebook employees trying to cash in on the company’s initial public offering. It helps you find the ideal house based on how many Facebook shares you’re willing to sell, how close you want to live to the company headquarters, and the usual bedrooms and bathrooms desired.

Alteryx’s Mathew hopes these types of apps will prove that more people can become data analysis whizzes if they’re given the right tools. He says there are 200,000 so-called data scientists in the world, who regularly command more than $200,000 per year in salary. These are your Nate Silvers. Then, there are 2.5 million people in the workforce that have enough statistics, business, and math knowledge to do some serious data crunching with a bit of technological help. “I think there’s a tremendous arbitrage opportunity here,” Mathew says.

Hear that, Silver?

 

Probability Resources
http://mathdl.maa.org/mathDL/61/?pa=newCollection&sa=viewCoursePage&courseId=9

Jensen Comment
To my knowledge, Nate Silver is not a collector of raw data. He is a data aggregator using databases collected by others. As such he's totally dependent upon the depth and quality of data points in those databases. He's best known for aggregating baseball and political poll databases ---
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nate_Silver

Insider Trading Issues
Another issue is whether Nate's findings are self-serving in some way in the sense that players fare better or worse as a result of Nate's predictions. This seems to be less likely in baseball than in political polls. There are various degrees of insider trading in life. To the extent that inside players of a game can alter the databases upon with aggregators like Nate depend, the more dysfunctional highly publicized predictions such as those of Nate Silver become.

 
"Mechanical Turk and the Limits of Big Data:  The Internet is transforming how researchers perform experiments across the social sciences," by Walter Frick, MIT's Technology Review, November 1, 2012 --- Click Here
 http://www.technologyreview.com/view/506731/mechanical-turk-and-the-limits-of-big-data/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-daily-all&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20121102

 

Herein lies Nate's problem.
Baseball databases are pretty independent, reliable, and very deep about collecting almost everything about professional baseball games apart from personal data of players such as most medical data and other very personal data on players and managers. Players cannot fudge most baseball statistics in a self-serving way.

But with political poll databases, it's a whole new ballgame.

This is my thread with David Johnstone reported at:
My Free Speech Political Quotations and Commentaries Directory and Log ---
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/Political/PoliticalQuotationsCommentaries.htm

 

The dates and messages are in reverse order.

On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 4:01 PM, David Johnstone <david.johnstone@sydney.edu.au> wrote:

Dear Bob, I did not know any of this background, so thank you for putting things into clear perspective.

 

One technical point (that does not answer your criticisms totally) is that the Bayes mechanism of using likelihood p(signal|event) to find p(event|signal) is that built-in bias in the signal is accounted for logically in determining just how strong it is.

 

I didn’t forward the message to AECM because I did not think the crowd is keen for more Bayesian spruiking from me, and because I did not know too much about this Silver man. Your points make it clear that caution was justified.

 

I did know that you would be a good barometer though!

 

One thing I will say on another point, accounting as a discipline does not properly understand Bayes theorem, despite the amount of Bayesian argument/modelling. This is remarkable given that accounting is a signalling discipline. Foster was right when he started his Fin Stmt Analysis text with Ch.1 on Bayes and the value of info. I am just finishing up a couple of papers on this, so will send soon.

 

All the best, david

 

From: Bob Jensen [mailto:rjensen@trinity.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 10:09 PM
To: David Johnstone
Subject: Re: FW: print this FW: The real winner in the US elections: Thomas Bayes

 

I have no suggestions on how best to leverage Silver's success that you've not thought of already. Perhaps you should forward this message to the AECM.


For me, there's a huge flaw in Silver's political forecasting. That is the flaw of not being in control of the data collection. He's an aggregator of polls conducted by others, and these polls have a huge moral hazard of engineering elections the way they conduct their polls.


Also, there are bothersome predictions of Silver in the past where he's accused of lack of independence himself --- e.g., his prediction of that Scott Brown would lose when in fact Scott Brown won in the first replacement of Ed Kennedy's longtime Senate seat.


I think Silver's on more solid ground in baseball where he's less biased and is less dependent upon flawed basic data.'


He may be on more solid ground if he pays more attention to primary elections within a given party where the liberal-conservative biases are less pronounced.


Thanks David,
It's always great to learn from a pro.

On Tue, Nov 13, 2012 at 7:04 PM, David Johnstone <david.johnstone@sydney.edu.au> wrote:

Dear Bob you might like this.  David

-----Original Message-----
From: ISBA Webmaster [mailto:hans@stat.duke.edu]
Sent: Friday, November 09, 2012 3:34 AM
To: news@bayesian.org
Subject: The real winner in the US elections: Thomas Bayes

As we all know, last night was the US presidential election.  In one sense, President Obama was the winner.  But in another sense, the real winner was Bayesian analysis, which scored a public relations coup.

In 2008, Nate Silver developed a Bayesian model to forecast the U.S.
general election results. He won fame for correctly predicting 49 of 50 states, as well as every Senate race.  This brought him a New York Times column and a much higher profile.

This time around, his consistent predictions that Obama was in front earned him a considerable backlash among pundits.  While a few criticisms had merit, most were mathematically illiterate, indignantly mocking the idea that the race was anything other than a tossup.  Now the results are in, and he has predicted all 50 states correctly.

People with our quantitative background can easily find flaws with this metric. For example, a majority of states were easy to call -- nobody is surprised by the results in Texas or California.  More seriously, his "call" for Florida was a 50.3% probability, essentially the proverbial "coin toss".  Serious analysis has to chalk Florida up to luck.

Nevertheless, the broader point is that Nate's high-profile Bayesian model just experienced a very visible success. Even better, he recently authored a book-length popular exposition of the Bayesian approach.  I purchased that book, "The Signal and the Noise," on a recent flight.  It's excellent
reading: more technical than McGrayne's recent entry, but no less accessible or engaging.

How can ISBA leverage Silver's success to bring Bayes to a wider audience?


************************************************************************
ISBA now maintains the bayes-news and Valencia email lists; you are receiving this message as you have opted-in to receive email from bayes-news, the Valencia list or the ISBA forums. To opt out or change your email subscriptions please login at http://bayesian.org/user. Go to the My Account menu and select Forum Email Integration. Check the forums to which you wish to subscribe, then save your settings. You may view past and present content at any time by visiting http://bayesian.org/forum

 

 


Video: Nobel laureate and Stanford Professor Myron S. Scholes says some countries are likely to leave the euro so they can become more competitive.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwGHcrjs3iE&utm_source=Stanford+Business+Re%3AThink&utm_campaign=1451d355ee-RTIssue2&utm_medium=email
Myron Scholes is also one of two Nobel laureates brought down by the largest hedge fund failure in history (what PBS Nova called The Trillion Dollar Bet) ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm#LTCM

Jensen Question
Can the same theory apply to having California leave the dollar zone?

 
"Is Britain the Next Greece? The U.K. debt plight is worse than the worst. And there’s nothing that politicians or John Maynard Keynes can do about it," by Andrew Sawers, cfo.com, November 7, 2012 ---
 http://www3.cfo.com/article/2012/11/the-economy_john-maynard-keynes-general-theory-debt-britain-greece

Leaning to the Left in the Academy:  Generalization to Specialization Impacts on General Education "Smorgasbord" of Requirements

"Moving Further to the Left," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, October 24, 2012 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/10/24/survey-finds-professors-already-liberal-have-moved-further-left

Academics, on average, lean to the left. A survey being released today suggests that they are moving even more in that direction.

Obviously the pushing out of conservatism varies between instructors, courses, curricula, and universities, but one of the noteworthy impacts not discussed much is the replacement of generalized economics courses in the Gen Ed requirements and elective smorgasbord of seminars in the common core.

Stanford Introductory Seminars ---
http://www.stanford.edu/dept/undergrad/cgi-bin/drupal_ual/sites/default/files/common/docs/sis_IntroSemsCatalog1213.pdf

For example note those Introductory Seminar courses in Economics

There are many other Introductory Seminar courses taught by many departments on the Stanford Campus. See the course index beginning on --- Page  123 of the above pdf catalog of Introductory Seminar courses for the 2012/13 academic year at Stanford University. When scanning all those Introductory Seminar courses I conclude the following

  1. The majority of courses are not obviously political at all and hence do not necessarily lean to the left.
  2. Among the courses that I would deem partly or entirely political, I suspect all are hot button topics of liberals such as those dealing with inequality, welfare, feminism, African American women, African American social movements, ecology, environmentalism, human rights, race, etc.

My Main Points
Prior to the 1990s, the common curriculum in virtually all universities for the first two years was mostly comprised of generalized overview courses and introductory courses to many of the disciplines in which students could choose to major and/or minor. Since the 1990s most universities are following the leads of top schools like Harvard and Stanford by replacing many of the generalized overview courses in the common curriculum with what normally would've been more specialized advanced courses further down the road in a given major.

The goal of replacing general overview common core courses with a smorgasbord of specialized and narrowly-focused seminars is generally to stimulate young minds to think more creatively about enormous societal issues early on and to get away from traditional "common core" understandings to be shared by virtually all undergraduates.

But the smorgasbord of choices comes at a price.
The most heavy price is that the common building blocks leading into intermediate and advanced courses in a major have been pushed further up the education ladder, thereby forcing those intermediate courses to teach more basic things and advanced courses to teach more intermediate things.

For example, the following two mathematics Introductory Seminar courses dramatically illustrate my point:

Having these two discussion math seminars in the first or second year of college may set the gray cells to thinking, but they are not basic introductory courses for math, science, or engineering majors who must take math-related intermediate and advanced courses that follow in their chosen majors. Not all majors (including math majors) will choose either of these courses from among the vast smorgasbord of other Introductory Seminar courses. Hence, instructors of intermediate and advanced courses in any discipline cannot really build upon these seminars since most of the students in their courses will not have even had either one of those Introductory Seminars. That's the price of having a smorgasbord instead of a more rigid menu.

Another price is that it's possible for a graduating seniors to share almost nothing in common. A few graduates may be experts on Shakespeare while most others have not learned a single thing about Shakespeare since they were in high school. A few may be experts on the U.S. Constitution while most others have never studied one line of the Constitution after four or five years of college. A few may graduate having studied poetry extensively while most others managed to graduate from college without having studied a single poem.

Perhaps this is as it should be, but I often wonder whether such Introductory Seminars are more the product of faculty turf wars as much as curriculum interests of the students. But I will not speculate further down this avenue.

I also suspect that theories of conservatism are not given a fair shake in any of Stanford's introductory seminars. But I will not speculate further down this avenue.

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

 


GM sets the Spark off
"General Motors Raises Its Ante on Electric Cars:  The Detroit automaker will soon debut its first all-electric vehicle, a fast-charging vehicle that also rides well," by Jessica Leber, MIT's Technology Review, November 16, 2012 --- Click Here
http://www.technologyreview.com/news/507566/general-motors-raises-its-ante-on-electric-cars/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-daily-all&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20121119

Why It Matters

Initial sales of electric cars have been sluggish, so the next generation of the vehicles will be crucial for the future of the technology.

Charged up: The compact electric Chevrolet Spark is due to hit dealerships in 2013.

The Chevrolet Spark EV isn’t General Motors’ first pure electric vehicle—that would be the EV1, which was quashed in 2003. But this time around, GM is more serious about these vehicles.

GM showed off the battery-powered car and let journalists make test drives this week prior to its debut November 28 at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Compact, powerful, and easy to maneuver, the Spark EV looks like a good next step for GM into plug-in vehicles. However, its price has yet to be revealed. That will be crucial, because there has been limited demand for costly electric cars that can’t go long distances without being recharged.

The Spark joins a list of all-electric cars that includes the Nissan Leaf, the Ford Focus Electric, and Tesla’s Model S. Sales of these plug-in electric vehicles, as well as electric-and-gas models like the Chevy Volt, are important not only for the carmakers, but also to establish markets for advanced battery technologies and battery charging infrastructure.

By 2017, GM wants to build as many as 500,000 cars a year with electrification technologies, said Mary Barra, senior vice president for global product development. That’s not trivial, considering that today GM sells nine million vehicles annually. In addition to the Spark EV, which will begin with small production runs for limited U.S. and Korean markets, GM plans to make plug-in hybrids like the Chevy Volt and cars with “eAssist technology,” which is a form of hybrid technology. However, Barra says, GM will focus mainly on developing plug-in technologies rather than the traditional gasoline engine hybrids, where Toyota and Ford have made larger investments.

Even as GM plans to send the Chevy Spark EV to dealerships in the middle of next year, the company is still struggling with the Volt, which, unlike the Spark, has a small gasoline tank to extend its battery range. The Volt has had a slow start since its 2010 debut (see “As GM Volt Sales Increase, That Doesn’t Mean It’s Successful”). GM won’t be close to its goal of selling 60,000 Volts this year. Last month it sold fewer than 3,000.

But the Spark could help justify GM’s earlier investments. Its electric powertrain, which will be manufactured in Maryland, borrows heavily from the Volt. GM engineers tinkered with the design to achieve more horsepower and faster acceleration. For example, they custom-shaped each square copper wire inside the motor’s coil. Their goal is to broaden the car’s appeal by selling its “fun-to-drive factor.” I found that getting the car from 0 to 45 miles an hour down a short stretch of road required only a pleasantly light touch on the pedal.

. . .

In hopes of reducing “range anxiety,” or the worry about running out of charge, GM is making the Spark the first car on the market to use a new North American “fast-charging” standard, approved in October. In special charging stations equipped with the technology, a driver could power 80 percent of the battery in 20 minutes—compared to seven hours for a full charge at home. None of these fast-charging stations are on the road yet, but General Motors expects some will come online by the time the Spark gets into dealerships.

Jensen Comment
The Spark may make an excellent commuting alternative for many persons, but for distance travel there are serious drawbacks. The biggest worry is getting stranded where there are no power outlets for miles and miles. Tow trucks of the future may well have emergency charging technology, but it's still a pain waiting a hour or more for a tow truck to bring you some juice. The Volt looks like a better alternative except that the luxury-car price of a Volt, the limited electric power range that drops to less than 30 miles in cold weather, and the poor gas mileage have virtually eliminated the future of Volt production and sales.

Cost savings are dubious for people who are single and now get by with only one car. The only alternatives are to invest in two cars or use gasoline car rental services when longer trips are planned.

The bottom line is that, at this point in time, the Spark might be more trouble than it's worth for most car buyers except for commuters who already own multiple cars for their families.

Possible Cost Accounting Student Projects
Cost accounting students in teams might be assigned the task of comparing the Spark versus the Volt versus gasoline and diesel automobile alternatives under various lifestyle scenarios. One uncertainty in this equation is how states will adjust licensing fees for electric cars and serious hybrids that no longer contribute toward road maintenance costs with each gallon of gas purchased.

Another complication is the varying cost of electric power across the 50 states. California, with its new carbon tax, will have very high electric charging rates and gasoline prices. It will be hard to compare the cost of Spark ownership in California with other states like Delaware. And then there are states like Texas where there are miles and miles of open spaces having no towns. It will take a very long time before Texas lines its highways with emergency charging stations. The same can be said for many other states like New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Montana, Alaska, etc.

Another complication is the varying cost of electric power across the 50 states. California, with its new carbon tax, will have very high electric charging rates and gasoline prices. It will be hard to compare the cost of Spark ownership in California with other states like Delaware. And then there are states like Texas where there are miles and miles of open spaces having no towns. It will take a very long time before Texas lines its highways with emergency charging stations. The same can be said for many other states like New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Montana, Alaska, etc.


David Johnstone and I have a private thread going on Nate Silver.

He gave me permission to share this with the AECM.

 
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: David Johnstone <david.johnstone@sydney.edu.au>
Date: Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 4:27 PM
Subject: RE: FW: print this FW: The real winner in the US elections: Thomas Bayes
To: Bob Jensen <rjensen@trinity.edu>


 

No of course go ahead Bob, thankyou.

 

From: Bob Jensen [mailto:rjensen@trinity.edu]
Sent: Thursday, November 15, 2012 10:22 PM


To: David Johnstone
Subject: Re: FW: print this FW: The real winner in the US elections: Thomas Bayes

 

 

Hi David,

 

I think this thread will be of value to the AECM.

 

Would you mind if I forward it to the AECM?

 

Thanks.
Bob

On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 6:03 PM, David Johnstone <david.johnstone@sydney.edu.au> wrote:

Dear Bob, will do what you say, and I have Silver’s book waiting to read.

 

The Bayes mechansism is the right logic and still your point remains – i.e. if the “likelihoods” (their Bayesian name) (here p(signal|Dems win) and p(signal|Repubs win), for a given defined signal, can be improved in the sense that they differ more from each other in amount, perhaps by better polling devices or whatever, then the Bayes result will allow for this, and profit from it, in a stronger posterior probability.

 

Cheers again

 

I'll bet you never heard of some of these top Medical MBA specialty programs (based on a small sample study)
"Johnson & Johnson's Go-To Business Schools," Posted by: Louis Lavelle, Bloomberg Business Week, November 8, 2012 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-11-08/johnson-and-johnsons-go-to-business-schools ,

Bob Jensen's threads on careers ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#careers

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting and business school rankings ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#BusinessSchoolRankings


From: Bob Jensen [mailto:rjensen@trinity.edu]
Sent: Thursday, November 15, 2012 9:46 AM


To: David Johnstone
Subject: Re: FW: print this FW: The real winner in the US elections: Thomas Bayes

 

Hi David,

 

I agree that accountants, including me, are pretty ignorant of anything outside the GLM and their purchased databases.

 

 

My priors are that most of the polls are biased (in varying degrees in terms of particular polls and a given poll at certain points in time). The bias often is not even deliberate but more of a function of when voters are sampled on a cost-benefit basis. For example, respondents might answer differently on the phone than when confronted face-to-face where it's sometimes easier to detect lying. I know some folks who lie on the phone to political pollsters just to add error to the poll outcomes. It's malace rather than truth.

 

A huge problem is how to deal with randomly sampled respondents who simply slam the phone down refusing to participate in the poll. What error does this add to the poll outcomes. I believe that this phone slamming error varies with geographically and temporally. For example, voters in New England or Wyoming may be more inclined to phone slam than  voters in Cleveland. Also a person receiving the third phone call in a week may be more inclined to phone slam vis-a-vis that first call.

 

There are also some mysterious "weightings" in some polls were Democrat respondents are weighted more heavily than Republicans and vice versa. I think this is common because of the problem of reaching some street people, nursing home patients, and students who are not easy to contact by phone (e.g., in dorms). Pollsters sometimes try to weight to compensate for that type of polling error.

 

I'm also suspicious of those polls that repeatedly reported 51% for Candidate X and 48% for Candidate Y. Do the pollsters really think that anybody with brains thinks the uncommitted independents are only 1% of the voting population? Give us a break!

 

There also is a problem in that there is probably more voting fraud on election day where some voting machines (like those in Cleveland in the 2012 election) and where those old Acorn folks give some voters multiple fake picture IDs and then pay them $10 for each time they vote.

 

I don't think your Bayesian devices for detecting bias dig deep enough into the bad data in the databases themselves.

 

 

Like I said, if you really want to make a better case for Silvers and Bayes, confine yourself to Silver's marvelous baseball studies having less biased fundamental data.

Venturing into political polls is tantamount to being sucked into quicksand.

 

I think you should post some of your excellent scholarship on this to the AECM. It would be especially enlightening if you reveal what you learned about about Bayes and baseball after reading Siver's book.



 

On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 4:01 PM, David Johnstone <david.johnstone@sydney.edu.au> wrote:

Dear Bob, I did not know any of this background, so thankyou for putting things into clear perspective.

 

One technical point (that does not answer your criticisms totally) is that the Bayes mechanism of using likelihood p(signal|event) to find p(event|signal) is that built-in bias in the signal is accounted for logically in determining just how strong it is.

 

I didn’t forward the message to AECM because I did not think the crowd is keen for more Bayesian spruiking from me, and because I did not know too much about this Silver man. Your points make it clear that caution was justified.

 

I did know that you would be a good barometer though!

 

One thing I will say on another point, accounting as a discipline does not properly understand Bayes theorem, despite the amount of Bayesian argument/modelling. This is remarkable given that accounting is a signalling discipline. Foster was right when he started his Fin Stmt Analysis text with Ch.1 on Bayes and the value of info. I am just finishing up a couple of papers on this, so will send soon.

 

All the best, david


Question
How would this differ from "The Making of an Accounting Professor?"

"The Making of a Philosophy Professor," by John Kaag, Chronicle of Higher Education's Chronicle Review, November 26, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/The-Making-of-a-Philosophy/135876/?cid=cr&utm_source=cr&utm_medium=en


An Accounting Review Article is Retracted

One of the article that Dan mentions has been retracted, according to
http://aaajournals.org/doi/abs/10.2308/accr-10326?af=R 

Retraction: A Field Experiment Comparing the Outcomes of Three Fraud Brainstorming Procedures: Nominal Group, Round Robin, and Open Discussion

James E. Hunton, Anna Gold Bentley University and Erasmus University Erasmus University This article was originally published in 2010 in The Accounting Review 85 (3) 911–935; DOI: 10/2308/accr.2010.85.3.911.

The authors confirmed a misstatement in the article and were unable to provide supporting information requested by the editor and publisher. Accordingly, the article has been retracted.

 

November 15, 2012 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Richard,

 
Is this the first example of a retracted TAR, JAR, and JAE article in since the 1960s?
 
 
Thank you for the heads up on the Hinton and Gold article. This is sad, because Steve Kachelmeier pointed out this article to me last year as an example of where the researchers used real-world experimentation data using subjects from a large CPA firm as opposed to students. Another factor that surprised me was was sample size of  supposedly 2,614 auditors.
 
 
Bob Kaplan wrote the following in
"Accounting Scholarship that Advances Professional Knowledge and Practice," AAA Presidential Scholar Address by Robert S. Kaplan, The Accounting Review, March 2011, pp. 372-373

 
Some scholars in public health schools also intervene in practice by conducting large-scale field experiments on real people in their natural habitats to assess the efficacy of new health and safety practices, such as the use of designated drivers to reduce alcohol-influenced accidents. Few academic accounting scholars, in contrast, conduct field experiments on real professionals working in their actual jobs (Hunton and Gold [2010] is an exception). The large-scale statistical studies and field experiments about health and sickness are invaluable, but, unlike in accounting scholarship, they represent only one component in the research repertoire of faculty employed in professional schools of medicine and health sciences.  
 
 
One thing I note is that the article has not been removed from the TAR database. The article still exists with a large "Retracted" stamp that appears over every page of the article
http://aaajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.2308/accr.2010.85.3.911
 
 
I attached the picture of a sample page.
 
 
Would the Techies on the AECM explain this:
The "Retracted" stamp is transparent in terms of copying any passage or table in the article. In other words, the article can be quoted as easily by copy and paste as text without any interference from the "Retracted Stamp." It cannot, however, be copied as a picture without interference from the "Retracted Stamp." 

 
Is this the first example of a retracted TAR, JAR, and JAE article in since the 1960s
 
 
Years ago Les Livingstone was the first person to detect a plagiarized article in TAR (back in the 1960s when we were both doctoral students at Stanford). This was long before digital versions articles could be downloaded. The TAR editor published an apology to the original authors in the next edition of TAR. The article first appeared in Management Science and was plagiarized in total for TAR by a Norwegian (sigh).
 
 
Not much can be done to warn readers about hard copy articles if they are subsequently "retracted." One thing that can be done these days is to have an AAA Website that lists retracted publications in all AAA journals. The Hunton and Gold article may be the only one since the 1960s.
 


Respectfully,
Bob Jensen

 

 


"The looming shortfall in public pension costs," by Robert Novy-Marx and Josh Rauh, The Washington Post, October 10, 2012 --- Click Here
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-looming-shortfall-in-public-pension-costs/2012/10/19/5b394cdc-0ced-11e2-bd1a-b868e65d57eb_story.html?utm_source=Stanford+Business+Re%3AThink&utm_campaign=1451d355ee-RTIssue2&utm_medium=email

How much will the underfunded pension benefits of government employees cost taxpayers? The answer is usually given in trillions of dollars, and the implications of such figures are difficult for most people to comprehend. These calculations also generally reflect only legacy liabilities — what would be owed if pensions were frozen today. Yet with each passing day, the problem grows as states fail to set aside sufficient funds to cover the benefits public employees are earning.

In a recent paper, we bring the problem closer to home. We studied how much additional money would have to be devoted annually to state and local pension systems to achieve full funding in 30 years, a standard period over which governments target fully funded pensions. Or, to put a finer point on it, we researched: How much will your taxes have to increase?

Robert Novy-Marx is an assistant professor of finance at the University of Rochester’s Simon Graduate School of Business. Joshua Rauh is a professor of finance at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

"The Revenue Demands of Public Employee Pension Promises," by Robert Novy-Marx and Joshua D. Rauh, SSRN, September 16, 2012 ---
http://papers.ssrn.com/SOL3/PAPERS.CFM?ABSTRACT_ID=1973668

We calculate increases in contributions required to achieve full funding of state and local pension systems in the U.S. over 30 years. Without policy changes, contributions would have to increase by 2.5 times, reaching 14.1% of the total own-revenue generated by state and local governments. This represents a tax increase of $1,385 per household per year, around half of which goes to pay down legacy liabilities while half funds the cost of new promises. We examine sensitivity to asset return assumptions, wage correlations, the treatment of workers not currently in Social Security, and endogenous geographical shifts

Bob Jensen's threads on underfunded pensions and bad accounting rules ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Theory02.htm#Pensions

Bob Jensen's threads on the sad state of governmental accounting ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Theory02.htm#GovernmentalAccounting


From the Scout Report on November 16, 2012

SoundGecko ---  http://soundgecko.com/ 

Want to listen to any article on the go? It's all very possible with SoundGecko. This application will create an audio version of web articles, pages, and so on with just a few easy steps. Essentially, it's a text-to-audio service that lets users enjoy written content on the go. The free version allows users to listen to up to 30 web articles or pages per day, and subscribe to one RSS feed. This version is compatible with all operating systems, and it includes a demonstration and FAQ area.


ResumeBuilder --- http://www.resumebuilder.org/ 

Creating a new resume can be a daunting experience, but Resume Builder is a great way to ease any tensions associated with this particular activity. Visitors can view a demonstration here, and they will note that they can get started by just entering their occupation: the program will suggest the best template for finishing the task. Also, visitors can search thousands of professional phrases suggested by ResumeBuilder to enhance their unique document. Finally, visitors can share their resume via a range of social media tools, such as Facebook and Twitter. This version is compatible with all operating systems.


A study reveals that many Twitter followers might in fact not be human

Beware the tweeting crowds
http://www.economist.com/blogs/schumpeter/2012/11/social-media-followers

How fake are your Twitter followers?
http://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/london-life/how-fake-are-your-twitter-followers-8211517.html

Analysis of Twitter followers of leading international companies
http://www.camisanicalzolari.com/MCC-Twitter-ENG.pdf

Status People Fake Follower Check
http://fakers.statuspeople.com/

Twitter Guide Book
http://mashable.com/guidebook/twitter/

The Beginner's Guide to Social Media
http://mashable.com/2012/06/12/social-media-beginners-guide/

From the Scout Report on November 23, 2012

ScreenSnag  --- http://www.wolfcoders.com/screensnag/ 

Looking to grab a slice of your computer screen for later use? ScreenSnag has got you covered. This version allows users to capture the entire screen (or just a defined section) with a single click. Visitors can also use the Timer option to perform captures at select intervals. This version is compatible with computers running Windows XP and newer.


WallSwitch 1.2.1 --- http://wallswitch.codeplex.com/ 

Maybe you're growing tired of your desktop wallpaper. Never fear, as WallSwitch can prevent things from getting stale. Visitors can use their photo folders or other images as fodder for the WallSwitch program, which will cycle them through at various intervals. Also, there is a collage mode, which offers another way to display images. The program also has cross-fading transitions and the ability to apply color effects to the selected images. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000 and newer.

 


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


Education Tutorials

Khan Academy --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khan_Academy
Khan Academy Home Page --- http://www.khanacademy.org/

Khan Academy Releases New App for iPhone & iPod Touch, Giving You Mobile Access to 3600 Videos ---
http://www.openculture.com/2012/11/khan_academy_releases_new_app_for_iphone_ipod_touch.html

On March 11, 2012 CBS Sixty Minutes broadcast a great module on the Khan Academy ---
Khan Academy: The future of education?  Click Here
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57394905/khan-academy-the-future-of-education/?tag=contentMain;cbsCarousel

 

Introducing 200 Free Educational Resources for K-12 Students: Spread the Word & Tell Us Your Favorites ---
http://www.openculture.com/2012/11/introducing_200_free_educational_resources_for_k-12_students_video_lessons_web_sites_apps_more.html
Bob Jensen's threads on free educational resources for higher education ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy --- http://plato.stanford.edu/

"Why Memorize a Poem?" by Catherine Robson, Chronicle of Higher Education's Chronicle Review, November 26, 2012 ---
http://chronicle.com/article/Why-Memorize-a-Poem-/135878/?cid=cr&utm_source=cr&utm_medium=en

Jensen Comment
I suggest starting out by memorizing a relatively short metered poem such as a Shakespeare sonnet in iambic pentameter or a Robert Frost poem such as Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening in iambic tetrameter. I think it's so much harder to write metered poetry, and believe it when I say that I've seriously tried in vain to do so ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2007/tidbits070905.htm

 

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

More at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2007/tidbits070905.htm

 

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


Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

Futurity --- http://www.futurity.org/

The History and Nature of Science --- http://www.nsta.org/publications/news/story.aspx?id=49969

BBC Science in Action: Podcasts & Downloads --- http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/scia

American Chemical Society - Chemistry Education Resources  --- Click Here
http://portal.acs.org/portal/acs/corg/content?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=PP_TRANSITIONMAIN&node_id=127&use_sec=false&sec_url_var=region1&__uuid=53f90531-d56e-491c-9c8b-fae64f0e2f0c

Learn Chemistry: Chemistry Resources for Teachers ---
http://www.rsc.org/learn-chemistry/resource/listing?searchtext=&fcategory=all&filter=all&Audience=AUD00000001&displayname=teachers

Monterey Bay Aquarium: Podcast, Videos & Web Cams ---
http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/efc/cam_menu.aspx?c=dd

Berkeley Lab: Center for Science and Engineering Education --- http://csee.lbl.gov/

Hidden Treasure: The National Library of Medicine ---
http://collections.nlm.nih.gov/ext/pub/HIDDENTREASURE_NLM_BlastBooks.pdf

Solar System Exploration: Fast Lesson Finder --- http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/educ/lessons.cfm

Inventing a Better Mousetrap: Patent Models from the Rothschild Collection --- 
http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/archive/2011/rothschild/

A Devil of a Disease (Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD), which has decimated the Tasmanian devil population since 1996) ---
http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/collection/detail.asp?case_id=661&id=661

 VetPulse (Veterinary Medicine and Surgery) ---  http://www.vetpulse.tv/

Natural Resources Canada: Earth Sciences --- http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/earth-sciences/home

Venice --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venice
Video:  Venice is Way Under Water… (worst flooding in 150 years) ---
http://www.openculture.com/2012/11/venice_is_way_under_water.html

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

Futurity --- http://www.futurity.org/

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy --- http://plato.stanford.edu/

Social Media and Political Engagement --- http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Political-Engagement.aspx

International Association for Identification (Crime records) --- http://iai.lib.wvu.edu/

The Economic Value of Citizenship For Immigrants in the United States
http://carnegie.org/fileadmin/Media/Publications/mpi_econ_value_citizenship_01.pdf

Migration Information Source (immigration) --- http://www.migrationinformation.org/?mpi

The Underwater Cuban Missile Crisis: Soviet Submarines and the Risk of Nuclear War ---
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB399/

Foreign Policy: The Cuban Missile Crises --- http://www.foreignpolicy.com/cubanmissilecrisis

Mapping Staten Island --- http://mappingstatenisland.mcny.org/

A Chronicle of the China Trade: The Papers of Augustine Heard & Co., 1840-1877 --- http://www.library.hbs.edu/hc/heard/

Knitting Industry http://www.knittingindustry.com/

Knitting Together (yarn, lace, fabrics, cloth) --- http://www.knittingtogether.org.uk/cat.asp?cat=599

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


Law and Legal Studies

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


Math Tutorials

Probability Resources
http://mathdl.maa.org/mathDL/61/?pa=newCollection&sa=viewCoursePage&courseId=9

R Project --- http://www.r-project.org/
Free Download for Windows --- http://cran.r-project.org/bin/windows/base/

Mathematics Books on FreeBooks.com --- http://www.freebookcentre.net/SpecialCat/Free-Mathematics-Books-Download.html

“R is really important to the point that it’s hard to overvalue it,” said Daryl Pregibon, a research scientist at Google, which uses the software widely. “It allows statisticians to do very intricate and complicated analyses without knowing the blood and guts of computing systems.”
Ashley Vance, "Data Analysts Captivated by R’s Power," The New York Times, January 6, 2009 ---
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/07/technology/business-computing/07program.html?_r=0

"You Too Can Be Nate Silver ," Bloomberg Business Week, November 9, 2012 ---
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-11-09/you-too-can-be-nate-silver

"Mechanical Turk and the Limits of Big Data:  The Internet is transforming how researchers perform experiments across the social sciences," by Walter Frick, MIT's Technology Review, November 1, 2012 --- Click Here
 http://www.technologyreview.com/view/506731/mechanical-turk-and-the-limits-of-big-data/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-daily-all&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20121102

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


History Tutorials

Futurity --- http://www.futurity.org/

Historic GM Automobiles --- http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?feature=endscreen&=R=1&v=RvVmDsWnMOk

Forgotten Detroit (buildings) --- http://www.forgottendetroit.com/

Ansel Adams: Photography from the Mountains to the Sea - at the National Maritime Museum, London until 28 April 2013
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20304829
Thank you Roger Collins for the heads up.

The History of Film — 2000 Movies Across 100 Years — Presented in One Big Zoomable Graphic ---
http://www.openculture.com/2012/11/the_history_of_film_--_2000_movies_across_100_years_--_presented_in_one_big_zoomable_graphic.html

UCLA Film & Television Archive --- http://www.cinema.ucla.edu/

A Tourist's Album of Japan ---
http://cdi.uvm.edu/collections/getCollection.xql?pid=japanesetourist&title=A Tourist's Album of Japan

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy --- http://plato.stanford.edu/

Photography of Ludwig Wittgenstein Released by Archives at Cambridge ---
http://www.openculture.com/2012/11/photography_of_ludwig_wittgenstein.html

Neue Gallerie: Online Collection (Germany, Austria) --- http://www.neuegalerie.org/collection

British Women Romantic Poets (1789-1832) --- http://digital.lib.ucdavis.edu/projects/bwrp/

Poetic Likeness: Modern American Poets (Portraits of Great Artists) --- http://www.npg.si.edu/exhibit/poets/

Spiritual Journeys (Jesuits History) --- http://libraries.slu.edu/a/digital_collections/spiritual-journeys/index.html

International Association for Identification (Crime records) --- http://iai.lib.wvu.edu/

Knitting Industry http://www.knittingindustry.com/

A Chronicle of the China Trade: The Papers of Augustine Heard & Co., 1840-1877 --- http://www.library.hbs.edu/hc/heard/

California State Archives --- http://www.sos.ca.gov/archives/

Online Archive of California --- http://www.oac.cdlib.org/

The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture --- http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/

Shared History: Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas ---
 http://scipio.uark.edu/cdm4/index_HappyHollow.php?CISOROOT=/HappyHollow

The Ten Best American (Liberal) Essays Since 1950, According to Robert Atwan ---
http://www.openculture.com/2012/11/the_ten_best_american_essays_since_1950.html

Farm, Field and Fireside: Agricultural Newspaper Collection ---
http://www.library.illinois.edu/dnc/Default/Skins/FFF/Client.asp?Skin=FFF&AW=1352715795606&AppName=2

Mapping Staten Island --- http://mappingstatenisland.mcny.org/

Savannah College of Art and Design: Museum of Art --- http://www.scadmoa.org/

Toledo's Attic --- http://www.toledosattic.org/

Ohio's Digital Resource Commons http://drc.ohiolink.edu/

Oury Family Papers (rural Arizona family history) ---
http://www.library.arizona.edu/contentdm/oury/index.php

Morris K. Udall: Oral History Project [pdf, Real Player] http://content.library.arizona.edu/collections/mo_udall_oralhist/

Jack Sheaffer Collection (Arizona) --- http://www.library.arizona.edu/contentdm/jsheaffer/

Arizona Regional Image Archive --- http://aria.arizona.edu

From the Ground Up (Kansas student art history studies) ---  http://www.groundsite.org/

Inventing a Better Mousetrap: Patent Models from the Rothschild Collection --- 
http://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/archive/2011/rothschild/

Google Revisits the Fall of the Iron Curtain in New Online Exhibition ---
http://www.openculture.com/2012/11/google_fall_of_the_iron_curtain.html

Germany Under Reconstruction --- http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/History/subcollections/GerReconAbout.html

The Underwater Cuban Missile Crisis: Soviet Submarines and the Risk of Nuclear War ---
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB399/

Foreign Policy: The Cuban Missile Crises --- http://www.foreignpolicy.com/cubanmissilecrisis

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  

Boston University Digital Common (wide ranging topics, including travel and hospitality) --- http://dcommon.bu.edu/xmlui/
Includes the School of Management

Communities in DCommon

Select a community to browse its collections.

 

 


Language Tutorials

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


Music Tutorials

 

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

Bob Jensen's threads on music performances ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm


Writing Tutorials

Bob Jensen's links to free electronic literature are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy --- http://plato.stanford.edu/

The Writing Center at Harvard University --- http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~wricntr/resources.html

Grammar Girl Tips --- http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/

English Grammar Lessons --- http://www.englishgrammar.org/

From the University of Chicago
Writing in College: A Short Guide to College Writing --- http://writing-program.uchicago.edu/resources/collegewriting/

 

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


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

November 16, 2012

November 17, 2012

November 19, 2012

November 20, 2012

  • Some Teens Risk Health to Build Muscle
  • Worst-Ever West Nile Epidemic: What Happened?
  • Doctor Ethics Survey: What Would Your MD Do?
  • Unemployment Takes Toll on the Heart
  • Nanoparticles Show Potential for Treating MS
  • More Deaths, Illness Linked to Energy Drinks
  • Does Air Pollution Hurt Memory of Older Adults?
  • Children's PeaPod Travel Beds Recalled
  • Smoking Bans Are on the Rise in Big Cities
  • November 21, 2012

    November 22, 2012

    November 26, 2012

    November 27, 2012

     


    Healthcare Video and Cases From PwC
    Why mobile technology may well define the future of healthcare... for everyone. ---
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=qkm_7XUDqIY

    PwC mHealth (read that Mobile Health) Master Site --- http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/healthcare/mhealth/index.jhtml?WT.ac=vt-mhealth#&panel1-1

    Mobile is accelerating trends in healthcare

    Three major trends already happening in healthcare lend themselves to the revolution in mobile technology:

    Ageing population

    Ageing populations and chronic illness are driving regulatory reform. Public sector healthcare is seeking better access and quality, and it's looking to the private sector for innovation and efficiency. mHealth improves access and quality, and offers dramatic innovation and cost reduction.

    Foundations already in place

    The foundations of industrialisation of healthcare are already in place — electronic medical records, remote monitoring and communications. ‘Care anywhere’ is already emerging. The platform for mHealth is set.

    Personalisation

    Healthcare, like other industries, is getting personal. mHealth can offer personal toolkits for predictive, participatory and preventative care.

    At another event in the anniversary series, Balanced Scorecard co-founder Robert Kaplan explained how poor cost measurement is plaguing the U.S. health care system and what can be done to fix it. CGMA Magazine (11/6)

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


    "An Overview of the Affordable Care Act," by Matt Kukla, Scribed, November 2012 ---
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/109391737/An-Overview-of-the-ACA

    As you know, health care has been a highly politicized topic in recent years and become a focal point of theupcoming elections. Solving our health care crisis is crucial to the survival, productivity and well being of boththe U.S. economy and all its citizens. Fortunately, there exists a growing body of evidence from across theworld offering solutions for fixing our health system – evidence that bridges and blends the best of bothpolitical parties for those open minded enough to see it. Yet it is stuck behind the curtain of drama andpartisanship, and I fear the ongoing political theatre will prevent us from utilizing this body of knowledge.I recently finished my PhD in Health Systems Financing, Economics and Policy and returned from working atthe World Health Organization in Geneva. While my background focuses on the U.S. health care system, mostof my work involves reforming health systems in other developed and developing countries. I essentially dealwith (a) how institutional frameworks, governance, and political systems impact health care and (b) howhealth care dollars are collected, pooled, and redistributed / paid among the big three (insurance, individualsand medical providers). Because this is the primary goal of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and given thetremendous amount of misinformation circulating about these issues, I have writtena summary of (a) whatour existing health care system looks like, notably the root causes of rising costs and the uninsured, (b) thetrue content of the Affordable Care Act, (c) what the ACA should have done differently, and (d) someadditional insights into our health care system that you might find prevalent and interesting.I realize that terms like “Evidence” and “Facts” are thrown around so frequently in American society,individuals rarely know which are truly accurate and non-biased. Political parties, special interest groups, andmany Americans are also willing to utilize sound research when it supports their arguments but are keen todebunk it as biased when it does not. As such, I want to ensure your confidence that this write-up is accurateand non-biased. My data comes from my own work and a range of sources including the World Bank, WorldHealth Organization, top academic literature, and the best non-partisan policy think tanks (RAND,Commonwealth Fund, Health Affairs, Kaiser). I have also been critical of many liberal and conservative "talkingpoints" as well as the ACA, while providing the most updated evidence where possible. If you have any questions about these sources or wish to read them, please don’t hesitate to email me.

    The Problem Interestingly, the U.S. health care system is not actually a system, but something that has been put togetherpiecemeal over decades of policymaking. Our political system is built for incremental policymaking at best;thus health care reforms have built on one another only to fill in any existing gaps. Yet we have never steppedback, looked at the big picture and restructured the entire system to be coordinated, efficient or effective. It'slike continuing to put band-aids on a gushing wound, when what's needed is surgery. Or it's like having 40workers operate an assembly line that's meant for 15 people -- instead of removing them and simplifying, weadd more people to manage those 40. The system becomes increasingly layered, inefficient, ineffective,complex and stagnant. The following is a brief overview of what our existing health care system looks like as aresult of this reform process. While there is no silver bullet or single change that will fix our health care system(despite what people tell you), overwhelming evidence from dozens of developed countries and the USsuggests that the following factors account for a significant portion of the growth in our healthcare costs (18percent of GDP vs. 8-13 percent in most other developed countries) and lack of health care coverage (19percent of the population / 49 million vs. 1-2 percent in other countries

    Continued in article

    Healthcare Video and Cases From PwC
    Why mobile technology may well define the future of healthcare... for everyone ---
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=qkm_7XUDqIY

    PwC mHealth (read that Mobile Health) Master Site --- http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/healthcare/mhealth/index.jhtml?WT.ac=vt-mhealth#&panel1-1

    Mobile is accelerating trends in healthcare

    Three major trends already happening in healthcare lend themselves to the revolution in mobile technology:

    Ageing population

    Ageing populations and chronic illness are driving regulatory reform. Public sector healthcare is seeking better access and quality, and it's looking to the private sector for innovation and efficiency. mHealth improves access and quality, and offers dramatic innovation and cost reduction.

    Foundations already in place

    The foundations of industrialisation of healthcare are already in place — electronic medical records, remote monitoring and communications. ‘Care anywhere’ is already emerging. The platform for mHealth is set.

    Personalisation

    Healthcare, like other industries, is getting personal. mHealth can offer personal toolkits for predictive, participatory and preventative care.

     


    Adding Pain to Misery in Medicare Funding of the Future
    "The Dementia Plague:  As the world's population of older people rapidly grows in the coming years, Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia will become a health-care disaster," by Stephen S. Hall, MIT's Technology Review, October 5, 2012 --- Click Here
    http://www.technologyreview.com/featured-story/429494/the-dementia-plague/?utm_campaign=newsletters&utm_source=newsletter-daily-all&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20121005

     

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

     




    Don's Send Your Husband Shopping --- http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=-YFRUSTiFUs#t=65

    We Made It --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyAGE8Y7ojc&feature=youtu.be

    Having sex with your biographer is more fun than having sex with your autobiographer.
    David Petraus (not really)

     




    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 ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TheoryTAR.htm

    The Cult of Statistical Significance: How Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives ---
    http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/DeirdreMcCloskey/StatisticalSignificance01.htm

    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"
    http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/AccounticsDamn.htm
    One more mission in what's left of my life will be to try to change this
    http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/AccounticsDamn.htm 

    What went wrong in accounting/accountics research?  ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm#WhatWentWrong

    The Sad State of Accountancy Doctoral Programs That Do Not Appeal to Most Accountants ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm#DoctoralPrograms

    AN ANALYSIS OF THE EVOLUTION OF RESEARCH CONTRIBUTIONS BY THE ACCOUNTING REVIEW: 1926-2005 ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/395wpTAR/Web/TAR395wp.htm#_msocom_1

    Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm

    Tom Lehrer on Mathematical Models and Statistics ---
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfZWyUXn3So

    Systemic problems of accountancy (especially the vegetable nutrition paradox) that probably will never be solved ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudConclusion.htm#BadNews

     

    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
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks

    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 ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/AccountingNews.htm

    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 ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/AccountingNews.htm

     

    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
    FINANCIAL REPORTING PORTAL
    www.financialexecutives.org/blog

    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

    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.

    Jim Counts CPA.CITP CTFA
    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 ---
    http://www.accounting.rutgers.edu/raw/aah/

    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 ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm#DerivativesFrauds

    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 ---
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm

    More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Pictures.htm

    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