Tidbits on March 24, 2005
Bob Jensen at Trinity University 

For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 
Archives of Tidits: Tidbits Directory --- 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/.

Bob Jensen's home page is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/

Campaign for Trinity University --- http://www.trinity.edu/departments/public_relations/case_statement/index.htm 

It is easy to ask questions about technology; it is more difficult to ask the right questions. Only by asking the right question will we get the right answer.
Diana Oblinger --- http://www.educause.edu/apps/er/erm05/erm05211.asp




This is a nice and concise software review for creating Web pages and Web sites

Click here to view the Comparison Chart. (pdf) ---
http://i.cmpnet.com/techlearning/archives/2005/03/05.03.Reviews_chart%20only.pdf


New Cell Phone Virus
Two weeks ago, antivirus companies discovered CommWarrior, the first significant mobile-phone worm to be released "in the wild." The previous phone viruses you might have heard about were all pretty harmless. Cabir, which also made the news last month, uses Bluetooth to hop from one phone to others physically nearby. As Slate explained, that technique limits the virus's ability to spread quickly—for Cabir to propagate, it has to be within 30 feet of a vulnerable Bluetooth phone. CommWarrior is far more contagious. When it invades your phone, the worm rifles through your contacts list and mails a copy of itself to victims as a "multimedia message." That's a classic social-engineering trick: When a message comes from a friend, you're much more likely to open it and get infected. Besides passing itself along to the next guy, CommWarrior doesn't do much. The virus' only payload is a flashing message—"OTMOP03KAM HET!"—that translates as "No to brain-deads!" in Russian.
Clive Thompson, "The Perfect Worm: Coming soon, a cell-phone virus that will wreck your life,"  Slate, March 22, 2005 --- http://slate.msn.com/id/2115118/

 


Is your university missing out on an opportunity for a $1,000,000 science teacher?
Because the emphasis of the Hughes awards is on programs that could be spread nationally, the impact may be seen soon on campuses without their own “million dollar professors.” And if you missed out last time, there’s a chance to join that elite group. The institute is now
accepting nominations for a second group of awards — again, up to 20 people will receive $1 million.  For a good example of how $1 million can change things, talk to Jo Handelsman, a professor of plant pathology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. With her grant, she is focusing on two projects, both of which involve evangelizing on new approaches to science education that will be felt far from Madison. One project involves changing how graduate students and postdocs learn to teach, so that they start their careers with better techniques than they experienced as undergraduates. The other project involves an intense Madison seminar over the summer to help teams of professors learn to revamp their introductory biology courses.
Scott Jaschik, "A Scientific (Teaching) Revolution," Inside Higher Ed, March 23, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/03/23/hughes

Education lags technology:  "The enemy is us"
Meanwhile, we’ve reached a critical juncture in our institutional commitments to educational technology. Advances in networking and software design finally allow educators to do far more than merely automate the traditional lecture course. Over the last several years, higher education leaders have outfitted their campuses with fat pipelines and high-speed connectivity. Increasingly, their students come to campus equipped with the latest in commercially available PCs and laptops. Hard drives are bigger, graphics accelerators speed up 3D image display, and faster processing chips simulate real-world physics with relative ease.
Marilyn M. Lombardi, "Standing on the Plateau," EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 40, no. 2 (March/April 2005): 68–69 --- http://www.educause.edu/apps/er/erm05/erm0528.asp


Education in the distant future
I believe we are headed to a more individualized and learner-centered model of higher education. I envision students having a voluminous menu of postsecondary education options and mixing and matching among these options throughout their adult lives. I see the combination of brain research and software development producing learning materials and pedagogical methods geared to each student’s learning style. And I suspect the profusion of learners choosing among the plentitude of postsecondary options, each offering education in its own fashion, will cause those of us in higher education to deemphasize degrees in favor of competencies. At the same time, I worry that colleges and universities will be left out of these changes because our governance processes are so slow and the new technologies represent such a sharp departure from the notion of the personalized education of the ideal college—described in 1871 by U.S. President (and Williams College alumnus) James A. Garfield as having Mark Hopkins, the nineteenth-century president of Williams College, on one end of a log and a student on the other.
Arthur Levine, "All That Glitters," EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 40, no. 2 (March/April 2005): 8–9 --- http://www.educause.edu/apps/er/erm05/erm0525.asp


Educators should place a higher priority on interdisciplinary perspectives
In 1981, Boyer, who was then president of the Carnegie Foundation, and Levine, who would become president of Teacher's College at Columbia University, argued that educators place a higher priority on interdisciplinary perspectives and move to more holistic teaching methods. They asserted that intellectual and social forces were pushing faculty to become narrowly committed to their core disciplines at the expense of undergraduate education.
Rita Jordan, Professor and Head, Department of Management, U.S. Air Force Academy, AACSB eNewsline --- http://www.aacsb.edu/publications/enewsline/Vol-4/Issue-3/dc-jordan.asp 


Some accounting professors may want to dust off their old green eyeshades
"We beg, we borrow, we steal, we grovel, we scour the world" to find accountants with five-plus years of experience in public accounting, says Mark Friedman, New York-based managing director and head of U.S. experienced recruitment at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Hiring across the board at the firm is running nearly 30% above the levels of last year, he says.   Recruiters estimate that pay is up 10% or more. The base salary for a junior partner with 10 to 12 years' experience, one recruiter says, is $500,000. Experienced team leaders can command 20% more than a year ago, as can those with expertise in forensic accounting, in which accountants look for financial missteps and figure out how to fix what went wrong.
Suzanne McGee, "CPA Recruitment Intensifies As Accounting Rules Evolve," The Wall Street Journal, March 22, 2005; Page B6 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111145137773485691,00.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace
Bob Jensen’s threads on accountancy careers are at


"Next-Generation Educational Software: Why We Need It and a Research Agenda for Getting It," by Andries van Dam, Sascha Becker, and Rosemary Michelle Simpson, EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 40, no. 2 (March/April 2005): 26–43 --- http://www.educause.edu/apps/er/erm05/erm0521.asp

The dream of universal access to high-quality, personalized educational content that is available both synchronously and asynchronously remains unrealized. For more than four decades, it has been said that information technology would be a key enabling technology for making this dream a reality by providing the ability to produce compelling and individualized content, the means for delivering it, and effective feedback and assessment mechanisms. Although IT has certainly had some impact, it has become a cliché to note that education is the last field to take systematic advantage of IT. There have been some notable successes of innovative software (e.g., the graphing calculator, the Geometer’s Sketchpad, and the World Wide Web as an information-storage and -delivery vehicle), but we continue to teach—and students continue to learn—in ways that are virtually unchanged since the invention of the blackboard.

There are many widely accepted reasons for the lack of dramatic improvement:

  • Inadequate investment in appropriate research and development of authoring tools and new forms of content
  • Inadequate investment in the creation of new dynamic and interactive content that takes proper advantage of digital hypermedia and simulation capabilities (as opposed to repurposed print content) at all educational levels and across the spectrum of disciplines
  • Inadequate investment in appropriate IT deployment in schools (e.g., although PCs are available in K-12, there are too few of them, they are underpowered, and they have little content beyond traditional “drill-and-kill” computer-aided instruction, or CAI; at the postsecondary level there is more availability of computers and software, plus routine use of the Internet, but still a dearth of innovative content that leverages the power of the medium)
  • Inadequate support for teacher education in IT tools and techniques and for the incorporation of IT-based content into the curriculum
  • The general conservatism of educational institutions

Despite this disappointing record, we remain optimistic. The dramatic advances in hardware technology, especially during the last decade, provide extraordinary new capabilities, and the desire to “do something” to address the need for lifelong, on-demand learning is finally being widely recognized. The ubiquity and accessibility of the Internet has given rise to a new kind of learning community and environment, one that was predicted by Tim Berners-Lee in his 1995 address to the MIT/Brown Vannevar Bush Symposium1 and that John Seely Brown elaborated into the rich notion of a learning ecology in his seminal article “Growing Up Digital: How the Web Changes Work, Education, and the Ways People Learn.”2 There is great hope that this emergent learning environment will in time pervade all organizations, binding learners and teachers together in informal, ever-changing, adaptive learning communities.

Here we will first recapitulate some well-known technology . . . 

Continued in article


There is an apparent disconnect between the culture of library organizations and that of Net Gen students
The University of Southern California’s Leavey Library logged 1.4 million visits last year.1 That remarkable statistic illustrates how much a library can become part of campus life if it is designed with genuine understanding of the needs of Net Generation (Net Gen) students. This understanding relates not just to the physical facility of the library but to all of the things that a library encompasses: content, access, enduring collections, and services. Libraries have been adjusting their collections, services, and environments to the digital world for at least 20 years. Even prior to ubiquitous use of the Internet, libraries were using technology for access to scholarly databases, for circulation systems, and for online catalogs. With the explosion of Internet technology, libraries incorporated a wide array of digital content resources into their offerings; updated the network, wiring, and wireless infrastructures of their buildings; and designed new virtual and in-person services. However, technology has resulted in more modernization than transformation. There is an apparent disconnect between the culture of library organizations and that of Net Gen students. This chapter will explore how libraries might better adapt to the needs of Net Gen students in a number of specific areas.
"Net Generation Students and Libraries," by Joan K. Lippencott,  EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 40, no. 2 (March/April 2005)
 


You can forward your own slang
A monster online dictionary of the rich colourful language we call slang... all from a British perspective, with new slang added every month. If you are unable to immediately find the term you are looking for, try the slang search. A short essay giving an outline of the parameters of this site and brief information on slang can be accessed on the introduction page ---  http://www.peevish.co.uk/slang/index.htm
(Forwarded by David Coy)


Reducing pollution is a priority in China
A solar-energy collecting tube invented by a professor at Tsinghua University could make solar power more practical. The glass vacuum heat collector has an aluminum nitride coating that absorbs solar energy. Each of the coating’s multiple layers absorbs a different wavelength of light, turning it into heat. The collector can capture 50 to 60 percent of incoming solar energy, which can then be used to heat water or air. Tsinghua has applied for more than 30 patents on the device, which is already offered commercially in China, Switzerland, Japan, and Germany.  In another energy efficiency project, the research group for clean-energy automobiles at the College of ­Automotive Engineering at Shanghai Tongji University is developing what it calls the “Chunhui” (or “Spring Sunlight”) series of cars, which have independent electric drives for each of their four wheels. The Chunhui cars are powered by lithium batteries and hydrogen fuel cells; their only emission is water vapor.
Elsie Chan, "China," MIT's Technology Review, April 2005 --- http://www2.technologyreview.com/articles/05/04/issue/feature_gp_china.asp?trk=nl

Also see "Nuclear Power Is the Answer To China's Energy Needs ," by Canice Chan, The Wall Street Journal, March 22, 2005 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111144723579485592,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep


Just another day on the fraud beat
The Securities and Exchange Commission slapped Time Warner Inc. with a $300 million fine, its second-biggest fine in history, and issued a stinging rebuke of the company's conduct, capping a three-year investigation into accounting practices at the media titan . . . The SEC yesterday filed a complaint against Time Warner, at the same time it announced the settlement, that charged Time Warner with overstating online advertising revenue and the number of AOL's Internet subscribers, as well as aiding and abetting three other securities frauds. It also charged Time Warner with violating a cease-and-desist order against the America Online division issued in 2000.  "Some of the misconduct occurred while the ink on a prior commission cease-and-desist order was barely dry," said SEC Director of Enforcement Stephen M. Cutler in a statement. "Such an institutional failure calls for strong sanctions."
Julia Angwin, "SEC Fines Time Warner $300 Million," The Wall Street Journal, March 22, 2005; Page A3 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111142076929485150,00.html?mod=todays_us_page_one
Bob Jensen's threads on revenue accounting are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce/eitf01.htm


Median GMAT scores in accredited institutions --- http://www.aacsb.edu/publications/enewsline/Vol-4/Issue-3/dd-mediangmatchart.asp 


It may no longer be based solely on merit at Cal:  Top finalists may not get scholarhips
Faculty committee at the University of California says that the way the National Merit Scholarship Program chooses winners is unfair and that its practice of giving scholarships regardless of need is "contrary to U.C. standards and philosophy."  Eligibility for merit scholarships is determined solely by scores on the Preliminary SAT exam, formally the PSAT/NMSQT. Of more than 1.3 million 11th-grade students who take the exam each year, about 16,000 are chosen as Merit semifinalists. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation, a nonprofit company in Evanston, Ill., then uses student essays, high school records, recommendations from school principals and scores from a second test, the SAT, to reduce the pool to 15,000 finalists.
Karen W. Arenson, "Faculty Panel at Cal Faults Way to Pick Merit Scholars," The New York Times, March 22, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/22/education/22merit.html?oref=login


From the land of the not-so-free
Yet another battle in the ongoing war between Chinese authorities and Internet freedoms has culminated with Beijing's Tsinghua University online-discussion forum being closed to non-students. Off-campus users, such as alumni, made up a large portion of the site's visitors, so the decision's impact will not be small. But this incident just shows once again that Chinese netizens will not be easily defeated.  What is most notable about this recent repression attempt has been the Chinese reaction: The restriction of Tsinghua's forum has been followed by reports of protests, both virtual and real. Messages protesting the closing off of the forum have spread through the Chinese blogosphere, and there are photos circulating on the Internet that claim to be of protests by Tsinghua students.
"Another Chinese Internet Battle," The Wall Street Journal,  March 23, 2005 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111153019822086799,00.html?mod=opinion%5Fmain%5Feurope%5Fasia


Tax craziness in Michigan
The better course would be for Michigan legislators to approve tax cuts for manufacturers, dump the job-destroying tax hikes, and balance the state budget with spending restraint. Better yet, they could finish the job that was started under previous Governor John Engler of phasing down, and eventually phasing out, the SBT.   In the meantime, there's a perverse logic in Ms. Granholm's belief that her plan will create new jobs by cutting taxes on the industries that are laying off workers and raising taxes on the professional service industries that actually are hiring them. The Granholm plan may well keep Michigan Number One -- in high taxes, business relocations, and job losses.

"Michigan Is for Taxers," The Wall Street Journal, March 23, 2005; Page A14 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111153958769787116,00.html?mod=todays_us_opinion


Tune in digitally at MSU
The campus radio station at Michigan State University now broadcasts digital, high-definition signals, making it one of the first university stations to use the emerging technology. Currently there are about 200 primarily commercial stations around the United States broadcasting high-definition signals, which are much clearer than analog signals. High-definition receivers are finding their way into homes and cars, and major broadcasting companies are reportedly considering upgrading another 1,500 stations to use digital transmitters. Digital transmissions also add a data component that can include information such as song title or cover art from a song’s album. Gary A. Reid, general manager of Michigan State’s station, said he looks forward to experimenting with the data signal to learn what uses might be appropriate or valuable to the community, such as campus news, sports scores, or weather. Michigan State bought the digital transmitter when its analog transmitter was failing, and Reid said the digital transmitter, which cost $90,000, cost only about $20,000 more than a comparable analog unit.
Chronicle of Higher Education --- http://chronicle.com/prm/weekly/v51/i15/15a03102.htm
Also see http://www.educause.edu/apps/er/erm05/erm0524.asp


The French will be utterly exhausted
After weeks of angry debate and street protests, French lawmakers effectively dismantled the country's 35-hour workweek by voting to allow employers to increase working hours.  The National Assembly yesterday approved a bill permitting employers to negotiate deals with staff to increase working time by 220 hours a year in return for better pay. The bill effectively clears the way for the gradual erosion of the 35-hour week, a flagship policy of the former Socialist-led government that gave many people more time off but added to concerns about France's declining competitiveness.
Associated Press, "French No Longer Entitled to 35-Hour Workweek," The Wall Street Journal,  March 23, 2005; Page A13 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111150639516786335,00.html?mod=todays_us_page_one


Forget steroid abuse among athletes:  The bad addiction is donuts
Miami Heat star Shaquille O'Neal will testify before a Congressional committee investigating rumors of widespread doughnut abuse in the National Basketball Association, the chairman of the committee confirmed today.  With a new study showing that 200 out of 426 NBA players are overweight, the probe into doughnut abuse is "long overdue" said Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA), chairman of the House Government Reform Committee.
Andy Borowitz, "Krispy Kreme calls government hearings a ‘witch-hunt’," Jewish World Review, March 23, 2005 --- http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0305/borowitz032305.php3


Not so carefully researched
Begin with the simplest errors of fact. The aggregate value of global trade was not $4 billion when President Clinton took office; it was $4 trillion, according to the OECD. The Palestinians have not had "several" prime ministers since 2003; they've had two. Richard Perle has never been a member of the Bush administration. The Iraqi National Museum was not significantly looted in April 2003; Britain's leftist Guardian newspaper put paid to that legend in 2003. Israelis did not support the dovish Geneva Accords by 53.3%; the actual figure was 31%, while a plurality of 38% opposed them. The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 not 1989. Trivia, really, but when Ms. Soderberg snickers about how candidate Bush struggled through a foreign-policy pop quiz in 2000, one is compelled to snicker back.   Next are larger, but equally basic, errors of analysis. "It is now believed that [Abu Musab] Zarqawi operates independently, and even in competition with bin Laden." She must have missed Zarqawi's declaration of fealty to Osama bin Laden in October. (Bin Laden certainly noticed it: He recently ordered Zarqawi to widen the scope of his efforts beyond Iraq.) "While [Ahmed] Chalabi was popular in certain powerful circles in Washington, he had virtually no support in Iraq." Funny, then, that Mr. Chalabi did well enough in January's elections to be in serious contention for the premiership. "The war in Iraq drew the Bush administration's focus away from Afghanistan during the critical two years following the overthrow of the Taliban, making the job there infinitely harder." Infinitely? Ten million Afghan voters missed that nuance.

Brett Stephens' review of The Superpower Myth, by Nancy Soderberg (John Wiley & Sons, 404 pages, $27.95), The Wall Street Journal, March 22, 2005 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111144763489585598,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep


Five children in critical condition with kidney failure may have picked up a rare infection at petting zoos, health officials said.
"State Probes Kidney Failure In Children After Petting Zoos," Local6.com, March 23, 2004 --- http://www.local6.com/news/4309606/detail.html


Put it in writing in the form of a living will or advance medical directive.
There is a lesson for all of us in the tragic Schiavo case: if you want to exclude politicians from the end-of-life decisions you and your family must make regarding a terminally-ill loved one or, as in the case of Terri Schiavo, a family member who has suffered a catastrophic accident; if you don't want to be used as a political cause celebre by political and religious organizations - express your end-of-life views to your family and loved ones and, better, put it in writing in the form of a living will or advance medical directive.
"ACLU of Florida Welcomes Judge Whittemore’s Ruling in the Schiavo Case," ACLU, March 22, 2005 --- http://www.aclu.org/Privacy/Privacy.cfm?ID=17800&c=27
Jensen Comment:  In spite of my not agreeing with the ACLU on some issues, this is good advice.  And it's important for all adults to declare their wishes at any age rather than wait until they are senior citizens.


Murder and Rape in the Name of Honor?
Known cases of murder and rape committed to protect a family's honour are on the rise across Europe, forcing police to explore the reasons behind such crimes and how to stop them, officials said  At a two-day conference in London, British police spearheaded a campaign to fight so-called honour-based violence, typically committed against women to protect a family's reputation. The problem is greatest in Islamic communities in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa, but it has spread as families migrate, bringing their traditional values with them.
"Cases of 'honour crimes' on the rise across Europe: British police," Yahoo News, March 22, 2005 --- http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20050322/wl_uk_afp/britaincrimeislam


We will provide the sniper rifles and cannons to kill us
Fifteen years ago, Osama bin Laden sent one of his operatives to the United States to buy and bring back two-dozen .50-caliber rifles, a gun that can kill someone from over a mile away and even bring down an airplane.   In spite of all the recent efforts to curb terrorism, bin Laden could do the same thing today, because buying and shipping the world’s most powerful sniper rifle is not as difficult as you might think
Ed Bradley, "Buying Big Guns? No Big Deal," CBS Sixty Minutes, March 23, 2005 --- http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/03/18/60minutes/main681562.shtml


Make every word a hyperword?
A researcher at University College London wants to change the basic functioning of the Web, allowing readers of Web pages to change those pages—similar to wikis—and making every word a “hyperword.” The Liquid Information project is the brainchild of Frode Hegland, who is collaborating with Doug Engelbart, inventor of the computer mouse. Hegland's vision of the Web is one in which consumers of content can also be producers of content. Users would be able to make connections, add links, and change the way information is presented. On an example page, Hegland has modified a CNN Web page such that users can hover over any word to display a menu of choices, including getting a definition of the word, performing a Google search for the word, and highlighting instances of the word in various colors. Hegland said that we need to replace the current Web, which consists of “handmade, one-way links” with what he calls “deep legibility” so that users can “make connections, explicit or otherwise.” Hegland conceded that a Web like the one he envisions would require smart users. But, he added, “people are pretty smart. The days of baby steps when everything is shown to users are over.”

Wired News --- http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,66382,00.html




Forwarded by Dick Haar

When Mozart passed away, he was buried in a churchyard. A couple days later, the town drunk was walking through the cemetery and heard some strange noise coming from the area where Mozart was buried. Terrified, the drunk ran and got the priest to come and listen to it. The priest bent close to the grave and heard some faint, unrecognizable music coming from the grave.

Frightened, the priest ran and got the town magistrate. When the magistrate arrived, he bent his ear to the grave, listened for a moment, and said, "Ah, yes, that's Mozart's Ninth Symphony, being played backwards."

He listened a while longer and said, "There's the Eighth Symphony, and it's backwards, too. Most puzzling." So the magistrate kept listening. "There's the Seventh...the Sixth...the Fifth...." Suddenly, the realization of what was happening dawned on the magistrate; he stood up and announced to the crowd that had gathered in the cemetery, "My fellow citizens, there's nothing to worry about. It's just Mozart decomposing."




For earlier editions of New Bookmark s go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 
Archives of Tidits: Tidbits Directory --- 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/.

Bob Jensen's home page is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/

 

Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob) http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-999-7347 Fax: 210-999-8134  Email:  rjensen@trinity.edu  

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