New Bookmarks
Year 2001 Quarter 1:  January 1-March 31 Additions to Bob Jensen's Bookmarks
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

You can change the viewing size of fonts by clicking on the View menu item in your browser.
For the January 1-March 31, 2001 Additions and Summaries scroll down this document 
For the other editions go to
For the full set of Bob Jensen's Bookmarks go to
    (The full set is never up to date with the latest additions to my New Bookmarks.)

Click here to go to Bob Jensen's home page

Choose a Date for Additions to the Bookmarks File

March 30, 2001        March 16, 2001           March 9, 2001           March 1, 2001

February 23, 2001    February 16, 2001       February 09, 2001     February 01, 2001

January 26, 2001      January 19, 2001        January 12, 2001       January 5, 2001 


Scroll down this page to view this week's new bookmarks. 

For earlier editions of New Bookmarks, go to 

I maintain threads on various topics at 

Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter --- Search Site.
This search engine may get you some hits from other professors at Trinity University included with Bob Jensen's documents, but this may be to your benefit.

Whenever a commercial product or service is mentioned anywhere in Bob Jensen's website, there is no advertising fee or other remuneration to Bob Jensen.  This website is intended to be a public service.  I am grateful to Trinity University for serving up my ramblings.

March 30, 2001

Quotes of the Week

If you're not riding the wave of'll find yourself beneath it.
As quoted on the bottom of email messages from Steve Gilmore.

Epitaph:  Though I have passed on, salesmen phone my apartment around dinnertime.
From the Dead Letter Office (See below)

If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.

A pat on the back is only a short distance from a kick in the pants.

Every problem solved introduces a new unsolved problem.

Flying is hours, and hours, and hours and hours of sheer boredom interrupted by a few moments of stark terror.
Sgt. Merrill Manlove (after his single engine Beechcraft Bonanza iced up and forced a scary but successful landing in Terra Haute, Michigan.

A marriage is made in heaven, but . . . so are thunder and lightening.

Wow High Tech University and Wow Soaring Nation of the Week

I just returned from a week of lecturing in Mexico at both the Monterrey Tech onsite campus and the Monterrey Tech Virtual University.  I want to say that I am impressed by what is happening in Monterrey Tech and in Mexico in general.  See 

Adobe Systems on Monday announced Atmosphere, a set of new software and tools for authoring and viewing three-dimensional Web sites --- 

Have you experienced the beta version of Internet Explorer yet? IE 6 features all kinds of CSS and privacy enhancements, plus full support for the XSL 1.0 standard, a built-in MP3 player, the ability to turn off meta refreshes, and more --- 

For CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) see 

For XSL (eXstensible Style Sheet) language see 

My links to MP3 can be found at  
(You have to scroll down a bit after you arrive at the above spot.)

On the negative side of IE6, Web site privacy rating capability and cookie management features need work --- 

Education Technology Update From Syllabus News on March 27, 2001

eCollege Releases Campus Author Tool

eCollege, an eLearning software and services provider, recently announced the availability of its Campus Author tool, enabling administrators to change and update their online campuses in real time, without any knowledge of HTML. The tool is already being used by 12 institutions. Campus Author is another use of eCollege's Visual Editor tool that has already been implemented in its course delivery system and adopted by faculty to edit and format online courses. Campus Author provides administrators 24x7 (this means every hour of every day) access to and control of their eCollege-powered online campus, whether the institution uses the company's CampusPortal, Premium Campus Gateway, or Campus Gateway. Using the tool, administrators can view their edits in a preview mode before the changes go live.

For more information, visit .

Note that eCollege is a heavily capitalized company that serves up quality courses from various major state universities.
For courses available online see 

There are not many respected doctoral programs online, but eCollege led me to the Doctoral Program in Pharmacology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.  

How is the University of Arizona delivering searchable streaming video?

Education Technology Update from Syllabus News on March 27, 2001

Virage, Inc., a provider of software and services that enable video for strategic online applications, recently announced that the University of Arizona is using the Virage Internet Video Application Platform to provide searchable streaming video of select courses at a university Web site. The initiative, which is part of the university's Virtual Adaptive Learning Architecture (VALA) research grant and the Faculty Center for Instructional Innovation (FCII), demonstrates an improved method of capturing, containing, and circulating information within academic institutions. Under the initiative, professors have the option of videotaping classroom lectures and streaming the video content in a searchable online format from a University of Arizona Web site, where students can then search for specific course material and review lectures at any time. The university is currently streaming 8 classes and plans to expand the technology into the new integrated learning center when it opens for the Spring 2002 semester. In addition to university classroom activities, the project is also archiving programs from the local PBS affiliate including a daily news program.

For more information, visit

A new accounting research paper entitled "The Knowledge Scorecard" is available from Baruch Lev at 

Takeaway Points in the Paper

Top of the Line Evaluations of e-Learning Programs --- Lguide at 
(The evaluations are not free, but the listings of programs are free.) empowers e-learning decisions for business professionals. As a leading e-learning research and consulting organization, we offer in-depth, authoritative analysis of e-learning products and services. We have developed a sophisticated methodology for reviewing Web-based training, and have reviewed over 1,500 products to date. We leverage this industry expertise in several ways: we provide e-learning consulting services to corporate clients, and we offer a subscription site with access to a full library of e-learning research and analysis, and we publish stand-alone research reports on the e-learning industry. Leading associations, publications, and companies in the e-learning industry have come to rely on us as a definitive source of e-learning research and analysis, including the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), Online Learning magazine, Click2Learn, THINQ, and

You can sign up for a free trial view of Lguide reviews.  Categories of online courses in the area of "Business" are as follows:

Accounting and Finance
Customer Service
Human Resources
International Business
Management Skills
Managing People
Managing Performance
Managing Teams
Organizational Development
Project Management
Safety and Health/OSHA
Sales, Marketing, and Business Development
Small Business and Nonprofit Management
Supply Chain Management

Lguide Releases the First Authoritative Analysis and Directory of E-Learning Publishers 
(The price is relatively high for academe --- $999.99.  Do you really want that penny back in change?  However, the report may be a useful reference in a college library, especially for colleges toying with content and delivery ideas for online courses.   This report provides rankings by content, which is something that is very difficult or impossible to find elsewhere at the present time.)

Report examines the present state of the industry and future trends, evaluating 40 top e-learning publishers and their courseware, and includes a comprehensive industry directory.

Tacoma, WA (March 12, 2001)-- Lguide, a leading independent e-learning research and consulting firm, today announced the release of a groundbreaking research report: "E-Learning Course Publishers: A Comparative Analysis and Industry Directory." The first of its kind, this report allows both e-learning consumers and industry members to understand who's who and which companies have the best products in a very confusing marketplace.

Reaction to the report from corporate training managers has been overwhelmingly positive.

"Lguide's E-Learning Course Publishers: Comparative Analysis and Industry Directory is an excellent source for ALL the information you need when considering the purchase of online training content," said Deborah Bauer, Director of Development Services for Dell Computer Corporation. "It provides in-depth information by content or vendor as well as graphs that give you an excellent overview by subject area. I've worked with teams of folks over many weeks just to compile a small fraction of all the data contained in this report."

Industry analysts are unanimous in their praise of the report. The report provides "a comprehensive roadmap," which "ought to result in the continued advance of e-learning," said Trace Urden, e-learning analyst for WR Hambrecht and Co. Piper Jaffray analyst Mark Marostica called the report a "very comprehensive, easy-to-follow resource, and a must have guidebook for anyone who is faced with the daunting challenge of evaluating the myriad of e-learning offerings on the market."

Wow Portals of the Week

Important Knowledge Portals for Business Educators and Researchers
Some of the portals added to 

Also see Bob Jensen's Threads on Knowledge Portals at 


Rutgers University's Research & Reference Gateway: Research Guides: Business 

While the Dana Library is designated the business research library of the Rutgers University Libraries, materials in business and related areas can also be found at the Alexander Library, with its strong United States, foreign and international documents collections; the Kilmer Library, serving the School of Business in New Brunswick; the Robeson Library, which supports the School of Business in Camden; and the School of Management and Labor Relations Library, which focuses on industrial relations.

For example, the Accounting option above leads you to the following links:

Page Contents:


Harvard Business School's Project Finance

I am repeating a notice on Harvard's Project Finance that I put in the March 16 edition of New Bookmarks, because this will one day be a very important portal even though its glossary disappoints me at the moment.

Harvard Business School Project Finance Portal 
     (the HBS Project Finance Portal's Glossary is at
      I found this glossary to be very disappointing from a portal that is in other respects outstanding.)
     A better set of glossaries can be found at 

Some of Harvard's Project Finance Portal links are called "General Project Finance Links" at 

Global Development Project Finance & Project Management Information  This site is designed to assist project sponsors, developers, service providers, and other professionals in completing project finance transactions.  It also contains 1000's of useful links.

Institute of International Project Financing

International Project Finance Association

Project Finance Glossary  PrivateFinance is the ultimate resource for online PFI/PPP news, research and market information, and supports business-to-business services by uniting buyers and sellers and enabling online transactions.

Turin Group

The main Project Finance Website is at 


The University of Kansas International Business Resource Connection 

The IBRC, a business outreach program of the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) within the School of Business at the University of Kansas, was created to encourage trade opportunities and expand international business education. Through strategic alliances with major partners (including the U.S. Department of Education and the Kauffman Foundation), private sector affiliates, faculty and students at the University of Kansas, the IBRC assists small and medium-sized Kansas companies explore available trade opportunities and broaden international business skills. Particular emphasis is placed on the emerging role of electronic communication resources (the Internet) in developing international business opportunities for firms located in the heartland of the United States.

Also, don't forget Paul Pacter's great international accounting site at 


Helpers for Marketing Students and Educators --- --- 

Home Page

Market Scope
The Ivory Tower

Marketing Resources


Marketing FAQs

Other marketing links can be found at 


One opinion on the top 10 investment resource sites. --- 

Top Ten Financial Portals

     1. Yahoo Finance
     2. MSN MoneyCentral
     4Wall Street City
     5Inter@ctive Investor
     6Motley Fool
     7Wall Street Research Net
   10Silicon Investor

Other top investment and finance portals

Yahoo's picks of the top finance web sites --- 

Top 50 Financial Websites --- 

Advanced Stock Information (note that ratios are available)

Enter a symbol and click "go!" to get the following information: Stock Prices, Options, Stock Splits, Charts, Live Stock Quotes, Stock Performance, Earnings Estimates, Analyst Opinions, Company Performance, Stock Valuation, Broker Reports, Company Profile, Earnings Release Dates, Latest News, Fundamentals, Intraday Charts, Forum Discussions, Technical Charts, Annual Reports, Significant Events, Institutional Ownership, Financial Ratios, Insider Trading, SEC Filings, Financial Statements, Stock Dividends, Competition, Momentum Rating, Management Discussion, Conference Calls, Short Interest, and more.

From the Scout Report --- 

The owners of this lucrative URL address have sponsored a Web directory created by a "team of 50 research analysts [that] has sifted through the Web to find relevant sites for our handcrafted Directory." All Websites in this 30-category directory have been annotated. The annotations, however, tend to be very terse and a bit vague. First time users are encouraged to skim over the excellent site guide, which gives a step-by-step manual for using the site as well as in-depth explanations of the terminology and taxonomy.

Financial Risk Links --- 

Center for Financial Research & Analysis, Inc.

CFRA, Inc. Launches Free On-Line Service for Academic Community

Rockville, MD - August 1 - The Center for Financial Research & Analysis (CFRA, Inc.), a leading provider of independent research to over 2,000 institutional investors, will now offer an academic version of its product to professors and their students. Since there is no cost for this service, its use is restricted for research and teaching purposes.

What's included with the Academic Version?

1. Access to all educational pieces in our database. 2. Access to selected company-specific reports that focus on quality of earnings issues 3. Weekly e-mail notification of new companies added to the database

Who qualifies for this service and how can you sign up?

All professors teaching courses in financial accounting, auditing, and finance qualify. To sign up, click on the URL  and register. Then sign and fax the agreement to (301) 984 8617. Once activated, you will have access to the Academic Version of CFRA's database.

About CFRA

CFRA has become known internationally for its pioneering research ferreting out companies with operational problems that use unusual accounting practices to camouflage such practices. Founded in 1994 by Dr. Howard M. Schilit following a 20 year career as an accounting professor (author of FINANCIAL SHENANIGANS: How to Detect Accounting Gimmicks and Fraud in Financial Reports)  CFRA provides a daily on-line news wire of financial analysis and a database on over 900 companies. Its mission is to warn investors and creditors about companies experiencing operational problems and particularly those that employ unusual or aggressive accounting practices to camouflage such problems.

Howard Schilit  
301-984-1001 ext. 105

Investment Tutorials and Glossary
From the Scout Report on March 22, 2001

Investopedia Tutorials 

Investopedia (reviewed in the September 7, 2000 _Scout Report for Business & Economics_) presents this wonderful collection of investment education tutorials. Tutorials are divided into two sections. The Building Blocks section provides investment basics including reading financial tables, retirement planning, and the P/E ratio. The intermediate tutorials offered in More Advanced Tutorials section include the Federal Reserve, inflation, and buying on margin. The tutorials are information-rich, clearly written, and link to terms found in the Investopedia glossary. However, they lack accompanying illustrations, save for a few charts and graphs.

Learn 2 Read the US Stock Market Page 

Mutual Fund Investing Helpers from Consumer Reports "Survival of the Fittest" 

ABCs of  Figuring Interest 

Two federal laws have been passed to minimize some of the confusion consumers face when they borrow or lend money. The Truth in Lending Act, passed in 1968, has made it easier for consumers to comparison shop when they borrow money. Similarly, the purpose of the Truth in Savings Act, passed in 1991, is to assist consumers in comparing deposit accounts offered by depository institutions.

Provisions of the Truth in Lending Act have been implemented through the Federal Reserve's Regulation Z, which defines creditor responsibilities. Most importantly, creditors are required to disclose both the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) and the total dollar Finance Charge to the borrowing consumer. Simply put, the APR is the relative cost of credit expressed in percentage terms on the basis of one year. Just as "unit pricing" gives the consumer a basis for comparing prices of different-sized packages of the same product, the APR enables the consumer to compare the prices of different loans regardless of the amount, maturity, or other terms.

Similarly, provisions of the Truth in Savings Act have been implemented through the Federal Reserve's Regulation DD. These provisions include a requirement that depository institutions disclose an annual percentage yield (APY) for interest-bearing deposit accounts. Like the APR, an APY will provide a uniform basis for comparison by indicating, in percentage terms on the basis of one year, how much interest a consumer receives on a deposit account.

While federal laws make it easier to comparison shop for credit and deposit accounts, a variety of methods continue to be used to calculate the amount of interest paid or earned by a consumer. To make an informed decision, it is useful to understand the relationships between these different methods.

Education Statistics Quarterly_ 

For other links, go to "Education Statistics" at 

Has anybody seen a comparison review of Endnote versus eGems? It would appear that Endnote is mainly focused on the writing of a paper or book, whereas eGems is more focused on ease of grabbing and classifying scraps (gems) of information that you encounter in Web browsing or computer document reading in general. As they say in Texas, I "fix'in" to try one or the other or both, but before doing so, it would be nice to get feedback from current users.

Endnote 4 is a software product used by authors to manage bibliographies.  You can download a trial version and a tutorial from 

More than 250,000 researchers, scholarly writers, students, and librarians use EndNote to search online bibliographic databases, organize their references, and create bibliographies instantly and automatically. Instead of spending hours typing bibliographies, or using index cards to organize their references, they do it the easy way--by using EndNote! EndNote for Windows and Macintosh is a valuable all-in-one tool that integrates the following tasks into one program:

Remember my Wow Site of the Week on March 2.  It was eGems at 

Everyday, you come across valuable gems of information. The problem is, they're usually scattered far and wide — throughout web sites, emails, desktop applications, databases, graphics and virtual libraries.

eGems™ Collector Pro lets you change those rich nuggets of research into powerful gems of knowledge — quickly, easily and without losing their accompanying source. You simply "grab and drop" discrete pieces of information as you find and need them.

eGems™ Collector Pro helps researchers, writers, analysts, professors and students work faster and more efficiently. It's absolutely invaluable for anyone who re-uses verifiable information! Take a look at the many features and benefits!

Reply from Jim McKinney [mckinney@WAM.UMD.EDU

There is also ProCite, Endnote's direct competitor to consider.

The Procite homepage is at 

Reply from Roger Debreceny [rogerd@NETBOX.COM

Actually ProCite is now in the same stable as EndNote (see ) along with Reference Manager .. ISI Research. EndNote was sold by Niles Research, the original developer.

I have been a user of ProCite and then EndNote for many years. I use it for every paper I write as well as for the preparation of teaching materials. I also make extensive use of the Internet connectivity.

A bibliographic database is one of the most important tools that an academic can use .. I'm always amazed how many colleagues have either not heard of EndNote or, if they have heard of it, don't use it. I can only assume that PhD programs do not have a skills element?

Idea Site of the Week

Although is a medical review site, it has some features that academic associations and commercial providers (such as CPA Review providers) might consider implementing --- 

Chances are somewhere through your medical school career, you’ve used a gross anatomy book with blue boxes emphasizing clinical relevance, a pink checkerboard-covered review book for pathology, and a question/answer series of books that go by the name of “Recall.” That’s us…. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. For over 100 years, students have relied on us for quality medical school course and board review products. In fact, we make a science out of review.

Now, we meet your needs even further with The purpose of the site is to be the Internet resource offering you personalized educational tools for your success through professional schooling and beyond. We offer a variety of online review products with the same high quality you have come to expect from our print products. is partnered with, a leading service provider to the medical student community, to offer you even more.

Lippincott Williams & Wilkins is a global publisher of medical, nursing, and allied health information resources in book, journal, newsletter, looseleaf, and electronic media formats. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins is a unit of Wolters Kluwer International Health & Science (WKIHS). WKIHS is a group of leading publishing companies offering specialized publications and software in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, science, and related areas. WKIHS also includes Ovid Technologies, New York; Facts and Comparisons, St. Louis; Adis International, Auckland, New Zealand; and Kluwer Academic Publishing, The Netherlands. The Company is headquartered in historic Old City Philadelphia and continues to maintain offices in Baltimore, MD; New York, NY; Hagerstown, MD; as well as London, Australia, and Hong Kong. is staffed out of the Baltimore office.

Unlimited monthly access to the irevu Bank, a database with more than 5,500 questions for USMLE Step 1 and Step 2
Personal assessment based on cumulative score tracking
Diagnostic 180, a comprehensive 3-hour/180-question simulated test for both USMLE Step 1 and Step 2
PDA downloads of our best-selling Recall Series for the Palm™, TRGPro™, Visor™, and Pocket PC

Take the tour or jump right in by visiting our product selection. From the publishers you trust for the best in review—Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

From Syllabus e-News on March 20, 2001

O'Reilly Network Provides JavaScript Web Resources

A new Web site provides developers with JavaScript and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) resources, enabling them to create richer and more sophisticated Web sites. The site is part of the O'Reilly Network, located at , an online resource for open and emerging technologies. The Java Script and CSS site features JavaScript experts' practical articles linked to a library of useful samples of programming code, as well as out-of-box solutions for applications. It also includes an RSS JavaScript feed pulling content from a wide variety of sites and newsgroups, the O'Reilly JavaScript/CSS book catalog, reader "Talk Backs," and feature articles. Two additional columns are the JavaScript and Web Design column, and the weekly JavaScript and CSS column.

* Increased Accessibility for Physically Disabled Computer Users

Gyration, a supplier of wireless, motion-sensing input devices, recently announced a new partnership with Boost Technology, a manufacturer of products for the assistive technology market. Boost Technology's signature product, a head-controlled computer mouse called the Tracer, will incorporate Gyration's GyroPoint Technology, a unique method by which an inertial motion sensor detects natural movement to control a cursor on a remote display. Users suffering from debilitating diseases and other physical conditions that make traditional means of cursor control difficult or impossible will enjoy precise control and a seamless user interface. The Tracer will also adopt Gyration's RF technology, providing reliable communication without line-of- sight limitations for the user.

For more information, visit  or .

Techlearn 2001 at features the following learning system demonstrations.

Technical Learning Demos Linked at 
Product demos
Building E-Business (Harvard Business School Publishing)
Element K (Element K)
KnowledgeNet EXPRESS (KnowledgeNet)
KnowledgeNet INTERACTIVE (KnowledgeNet)
KnowledgeNet LIVE (KnowledgeNet)
learningVista (TM) - a new learning management solution (GlobalLearningSystems)
Lectora Publisher (Trivantis Corporation)
Microsoft LRN Courses ( (
MoneyMaker - The Simulator for Sales Professionals (Intermezzon)
Oracle iLearning - Learning Community Management System (Oracle Corporation)
Prime eLearning System™ (™ )
SkillSoft NetUniversity, SkillPort and Web Based Courseware (SkillSoft )
VIS Custom e-Learning Services (VIS Corporation)

The Techlearn 2001 website also features a long listing of E-learning products and services at 

Assessment Tools
Audio Video Equipment
Auditing Tools
Books and Printed Materials
Collaboration Systems
Consulting Services
Development Services
Enterprise Learning Systems
Instructional Design Services
Learning Management Systems
Learning Service Providers
Performance Support Systems
Streaming Technology
Technology Delivered Learning
Virtual Classroom Systems

"Binge-Drinking-Related Consequences in College Students: Role of Drinking Beliefs and Mother—Teen Communications<"
by Rob Turrisi, Kimberly A. Wiersma, and Kelli K. Hughes in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, December 2000, 342-355.

The present research contrasted theoretical models depicting the nature of the relation among drinking beliefs, drinking tendencies, and behavioral consequences in 266 incoming freshman college students. It also examined the theoretical relations between mother—teen communications and drinking beliefs relevant to behavioral consequences. The findings revealed direct relations between binge-drinking consequences and the drinking beliefs: Alcohol can make positive transformations, can enhance social behavior, and can increase negative affect and normative approval. Direct relations were not observed between consequences and the drinking beliefs regarding physical risk and health orientation. Finally, the present research found consistent support for the relation between mother—teen communications and drinking beliefs relevant to binge-drinking consequences.

Rental software from --- 

We provide innovative digital distribution and content management solutions to administrators, faculty, and software/text publishers for higher education.

Our industry-leading technologies and full customer service are helping the academic community in the transition to the Internet age with secure electronic software distribution, volume license management, semester-based software licensing, and multi-media course materials.

Secure, simple and leading-edge, e-academy helps you bring digital content to higher education with a clear vision to reduce costs and enhance service to academic communities.

A Yahoo Pick of the Week on March 19, 2001

21 Dog Years: Doing Time @ --- 

Actor and playwright Mike Daisey witnessed quite a bit during his two-year stint at, and because his Non-Disclosure Agreement recently expired, Mike is free to share many of those experiences with the public. If you live in the greater Seattle area, you can go see the one-man stage show (through March 31st), but don't worry if you're not a denizen of the Northwest -- there's plenty of interesting fodder on the web site about the "slavishly love idealistic mouthbreathers, sixty-hour weeks, and the cult of personality that is Jeff Bezos." Don't miss the fan letters -- quite a few people write in with personal experiences of the dot-com rise and fall. And if you have about an hour to kill, watch the webcast of the show.

Forwarded by Dick Burr:

Author(s): Baker, Nicholson. 
Title: The author vs. the library. San Francisco Public Library's controversial weeding of collection 
Source: The New Yorker v. 72 (Oct. 14 1996) p. 50-3+ Journal

Abstract: The San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) is a case study of what can happen when telecommunications enthusiasts attempt to transform big old research libraries into high-traffic showplaces for information technology. Such changes, happening to varying degrees in a number of U.S. cities, devour unforecastably large amounts of money. For that reason, the SFPL is essentially broke, despite receiving a good percentage of the city budget each year from the "Preserving Libraries Fund." It would be churlish to highlight the shortcomings of the SFPL's plans to become a "library of the future" by moving to a new building were it not for the fact that it has, by a conservative estimate, sent more than 200,000 books to landfills. When it was realized that the New Main Library would not be able to house the present stock, let alone any new accessions, the solution was to "weed" the library's collection. Many of the discarded books were old, out of print, hard to find, and valuable. The writer discusses the library's tactics and his own efforts to combat them.

LegalZoom Legal Documentation Service --- 

Take care of common legal matters from your home or office! Created by top attorneys, LegalZoom uses the latest technology to help you prepare reliable legal documents online.

Once you complete a simple questionnaire, your documents will be prepared within 48 hours. We even review your documents and file them with the courts at no additional cost.

Choose a Procedure Copyrights Corporations Divorce Living Trust Living Wills LLCs Prenuptials Restraining Orders Trademarks Wills

Helpers in Tax Season from Scott Bonacker

This is some of the information I found on the internet, any additions to the list or comments would be welcome.

A survey of used clothing values can be purchased at:  For their press releases see: 

There are also some free guides at: 

Scott Bonacker, CPA McCullough, Officer & Company, LLC Springfield, Missouri

The new worm is capable of changing network settings, stealing passwords and eliminating security measures, setting up an infected machine for further attacks. 

Computer security experts have unearthed a new worm that they say is spreading rapidly on the Internet and is capable of changing network settings, stealing passwords and eliminating some security measures, setting up the infected machine for further attacks.

Known as the Lion worm, the virus spreads through an application called "randb," which infects Linux machines running version 8 of the BIND DNS software, one of several iterations that are known to have numerous security vulnerabilities.

Lion scans random networks, probing TCP port 53, looking for potential targets.

The Columbia Encyclopedia is now online (free) at 

Also see the following from Bob Jensen's Bookmarks at 

Eyewitness Encyclopedia (over 40,000 pictures and 2 million terms) --- 
eBLAST : Encyclopædia Britannica's Internet Guide
Encyclopedia of the New Economy
The Funk & Wagnalls Knowledge Center
The Canadian Encyclopedia (History) 
Alternative Cultures
NatureServe - an encyclopedia of North American plants, animals, and ecology. --- -- encyclopedia of Western signs and ideograms

Great resource site for educators

I think that everyone has hit the nail on the head. What is the purpose of a listserv, if you can't read the e-mails, get an idea or respond to an idea? I use the listserv, daily, in my job and it relates very nice to what I am doing. So, I do appreciate the listserv and the all of the recommended info. Speaking of all of that, here is a site where I find lots of great ideas: 

Steven Gilmore [joryyroj@HOTMAIL.COM
Department of Education & Cultural Affairs Curriculum Technology Specialist 
700 Governors Dr. 
Pierre, SD 57501 (605) 773-2489...Office (605) 280-1248

Non-hierarchical Website Navigation

OLAP, as defined in my Technology Glossary, stands for Online Analytical Processing database designs in which data can be analyzed from a multidimensional point of view. A great example is given online at the FedScope Website of the U.S. Government. Whereas a relational database can be thought of as two-dimensional, a multidimensional database considers each data attribute (such as product, geographic sales region, and time period) as a separate "dimension." OLAP software can locate the intersection of dimensions (all products sold in the Eastern region above a certain price during a certain time period) and display them. Attributes such as time periods can be broken down into sub-attributes.

I recall that somebody requested information regarding non-hierarchical organization of data and information in Websites. For example, reference was given to The Brain at 

I stumbled upon a rather unique website that organizes data in a way that may interest some of you. It has possibilities for online training and education site designs. The site is called FedScope from the Office of Personnel Management of the U.S. Government --- 

FedScope is an On Line Analytic Processing tool which provides a free and easy way to access and analyze a large array of Federal employment data on your own.  

FedScope uses multidimensional data sources called "Cubes".  A FedScope cube brings together 13 key dimensions (data elements) on the Federal workforce and lets you explore any combination of the data: up, down, and across the dimensions.

You can easily

Online Glossary of Online Terms from the Office of Personnel Management of the U.S. Government ---
(This glossary has a somewhat unique design for online users.)

The U.S. Government has some other outstanding examples of Website design, including the revamped SEC site at  and the ever-popular IRS site at 

From Phil Livingston in FEI Express on March 26, 2001

In case you missed it, FEI was featured prominently in Friday's Wall Street Journal. The subject was the growing use of pro forma earnings in press releases. In a recent meeting with the SEC, leaders from our Committee on Corporate Reporting agreed to explore the development of a best practices recommendation for earnings press releases. While many companies have legitimate reasons for employing pro forma earnings, many others are omitting or burying the actual GAAP results. Our best practices statement is in draft form, but should be available on our website ( ) within the next month. To read the article, search Friday's edition at

Last week, I had the pleasure of moderating a great discussion with four leading CFOs. Harry Harczak of CDW Computers offered his insight into how CDW achieved and maintained its place on the list of America's best companies to work for. Rebecca Maskey of Click Commerce discussed her company's current search for a new enterprise financial reporting system, as well as the cost and the planning involved. Cary McMillan of Sara Lee talked about the CFO's role in providing "passionate objectivity" for the challenges facing management teams. And finally, Joan Ryan of Tellabs talked about the M&A environment in the telecommunications industry, and gave her thoughts about current market conditions. Three of the four interviews are available online today on our Video Center: . Check back for updates as we add more.

Kathy Zirolli of AETNA recently created a great summary of FEI/CCR responses to audit committee questions. It includes examples of what other companies are doing regarding the threshold for audit committee approval of non-audit services, and audit committee recommendations that the audited financial statements be included in the company's 10-K. Read the document on the FEI site, at

Comic Strips
From the University of Southern Mississippi
This history of Curious George, The Life and Work of H. A. and Margret Rey --- 

Comic Strips
Charles M. Schulz Museum --- Snoopy and the gang ---  

Women In American History --- 

What are ADRs? 

Because there can be problems in dealing in unfamiliar foreign markets, Depositary Receipts were devised as a method of trading international securities (equity or debt) within the U.S.

This involves depositing the ordinary securities from the foreign market with a bank (called the depositary), who will then issue certificates in the U.S. that represent (and are backed by) the deposited securities. These certificates are freely traded and are commonly called American Depositary Receipts (or Depositary Receipts for short, or sometimes Global Depositary Receipts for marketing purposes).

The attractions of ADRs

The main appeal is that they are U.S. securities: this means that they are covered by U.S. securities regulations; trade and settlement is similar to any other U.S. security; and quoted prices and dividends are in U.S. Dollars.

Because of the above, investment by funds and institutions is possible, where perhaps they would otherwise be prevented from investing directly in foreign markets.

Investing directly in international securities may incur global custodian fees - these are not required with ADRs.

ADR prices and liquidity will track very closely the underlying security as any deviation will be quickly corrected by traders exploiting an easy arbitrage opportunity. Although ADRs may have been devised originally for U.S. investors, all of their attractions can be equally applicable for foreign investors.

For example, an investor in Kuwait may be interested in buying shares in Telefonica De Argentina, in which case the U.S. traded Depositary Receipts may be more attractive than dealing direct in the Argentine market.

In addition to the advantages above, the investor would be able to look at price history charts and follow real-time prices (as with any other U.S. security), transaction fees could be less and the foreign currency investment may be more competitive than converting funds to Argentine Dollars directly.

The types of ADR A similarity obviously exists between ADRs and covered warrants (or OTC options) As with the latter, there is frequently nothing to stop anybody buying some shares in a company and then issuing Depositary Receipts representing those shares - without consulting, or acting with the accord, of the company itself. These are termed unsponsored Depositary Receipts, and in the early days of the ADR market they were quite common. Today, however, nearly all ADRs are sponsored, whereby companies sign a Deposit Agreement with a bank acting as the depositary.

There are then a few different types (or levels) of ADR:

Sponsored Level 1: this is the simplest method for foreign companies to issue tradable securities in the U.S. markets. The ADRs are not listed, and are traded over-the-counter (OTC). The attraction to the companies of not listing is that they do not have to adapt any reporting procedures to comply with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) or Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) disclosure.

Sponsored Level 2: if the company wishes the shares to be listed then they have to satisfy the procedures mentioned above, and further comply with the listing rules of whichever exchange they choose. This stage actually comprises many different levels, depending on the type of visibility the company desires - and therefore the type of listing they choose.

Private placement (144A): instead of publicly traded securities, a company may wish to make a private placement to large institutional investors in the U.S. (which will not require SEC registration). The ADR market There are now over 1,500 ADRs from over 50 countries; and the majority of these are OTC (Level 1 type). In many cases the ADRs may constitute 5-15% of the total shareholder base for a company.

The depositaries for the ADRs tend to be concentrated among a very few banks; the most active of which are: Bank of New York, Citibank, and Morgan Guaranty Trust.

ADR Holders Find They Have Unequal Rights By Craig Karmin The Wall Street Journal, 03/01/01 Page C1


From WSJEducatorsReviews [] on March 8, 2001

TOPICS: American depositary receipts (ADRs), shareholder rights, financial accounting, financial statement analysis, managerial accounting

Holders of American Depositary Receipts in BP Amoco are finding that they don't have all the rights of local shareholders in the firm.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: 1. What is an American Depositary Receipt or ADR? How many foreign companies offer ADRs? What is the total value of these ADRs? How much did foreign companies raise through ADRs last year?

2. Read the short description of ADRs at the following website:   about How many levels of ADRs are there? How do you think foreign firms choose between the different levels of ADRs?

3. Compare and contrast the rights of owning an ADR versus owning a share in the company. Why do U.S. investors find investing in ADRs more attractive than buying shares directly?

4. Why do you think ADR owners have different rights regarding sponsoring shareholder resolutions and voting on them than ordinary shareholders? Suppose they were given the same rights as ordinary shareholders, what voting rights should the financial institution issuing the ADRs (and owning the underlying shares) have? How should a conflict of voting desires between the ADR owner and the issuing institution be handled by the foreign firm?

5. What is the difference between a sponsored and an unsponsored ADR? Would your answers to the previous question (4) be affected by whether the ADR were sponsored or unsponsored?

Wow Idea to Help Educators:  A Message to All Journal Editors
The above WSJ service is great for suggesting how educators can use selected WSJ articles in the classroom.  The Journal of American History does something similar for using its articles in the classroom.  

Teaching the Journal of American History --- 

Teaching the JAH uses online tools to bridge the gap between the latest scholarly research in U.S. history and the practice of classroom teaching. JAH authors demonstrate how featured articles might be taught in a U.S. history survey course.

Speaking of history --- Everything Postmodern --- 

Dear Prof. Jensen

First a thank you for your efforts to share as much of your work and thinking as you can by way of what is served up on your website. As I worked to familiarize myself with changes in the accounting standards area as they relate to financial instruments and to think a bit about how and what to present to my fourth year undergrads in the last five sessions in a special topics in accounting course your site was invaluable.

My approach will lean heavily on the approach that Alex Milburn took when he updated the financial instruments section of Ross Skinners' "Accounting Standards in Evolution" for the revised Skinner and Milburn version - Why the interest, History of standard setting developments in this area including why Canadian standards are currently so far off the mark, Developments in the US including SFAS 133 and the Exposure Draft 204B. Finally I'd like to take up the JWG's Draft Standard.

Have you some thoughts on that standard and how it might be fine-tuned for application within the US? What a fine opportunity for students to experience standard setting in action.

Now I must return to sorting out how I'll present the key conceptual developments so that my students have the basic concepts, issues and theory in place. I'd like for them to be able to wade into whatever application of the "global" standard that eventually confronts them with a some solid footings.

(Added in a second message)
Here are a couple of URLs for two files that will update you the Canadian side of FI issues and on where we were (are) with respect to standards for Financial Instruments. 

Ian Hutchinson [
Associate Professor 
Fred C. Manning School of Business 
Room 209, Rhodes Hall Acadia University Wolfville, NS B0P1X0

The book by Milborn and Skinner is as follows:
Accounting Standards in Evolution, 2nd ed., 672pp. 
ISBN: 0130880159 Publisher: Prentice Hall Pub. Date: June 2000

For a summary of the JWG debates, go to the white papers noted below:

If an item is viewed as a financial instrument rather than inventory, the accounting becomes more complicated under SFAS 115.  Traders in financial instruments adjust such instruments to fair value with all changes in value passing through current earnings.  Business firms who are not deemed to be traders must designate the instrument as either available-for-sale (AFS) or hold-to-maturity (HTM).  A HTM instrument is maintained at original cost.  An AFS financial instrument must be marked-to-market, but the changes in value pass through OCI rather than current earnings until the instrument is actually sold or otherwise expires.   Under international standards, the IASC requires fair value adjustments for most financial instruments.  This has led to strong reaction from businesses around the world, especially banks.  There are now two major working group debates.  In 1999 the Joint Working Group of the Banking Associations sharply rebuffed the IAS 39 fair value accounting in two white papers that can be downloaded from

FASB's Exposure Draft for Fair Value Adjustments to all Financial Instruments On December 14, 1999 the FASB issued Exposure Draft 204-B entitled Reporting Financial Instruments and Certain Related Assets and Liabilities at Fair Value. This document can be downloaded from 

I want to thank Professor Hutchinson (see above) for reminding me of the important contributions of Ross Skinner.

Wow Accounting Theorist of the Week --- Ross Skinner, Retired Partner in Clarkson Gordon, now E&Y in Canada

Ross Skinner --- 

Ross M. Skinner, FCA has been for many decades the pre-eminent thought leader in the Canadian accounting profession. He was the National Director of Accounting for Clarkson, Gordon & Co. (now Ernst & Young) for fifteen years. He is a former Chair of the Accounting and Auditing Research Committee of The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, a former Chair of the Financial Disclosure Advisory Board of the Ontario Securities Commission, author of Analytical Auditing (1966), Accounting Principles: A Canadian Viewpoint (1972), Pension Accounting (1980), and Accounting Standards in Evolution (1987). He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Brock University in 1979, the Award of Outstanding Merit by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario in 1984, the Certificate of Merit of The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants in 1985, and was elected to the Accounting Hall of Fame in 1999. E-mail address:

Note from Bob Jensen
Ross Skinner was inducted into The Accounting Hall of Fame in August 2000 --- 

Dr. Hutchinson mentions Ross Skinner's work, so I thought it might be helpful to provide several of online items.

"GreenGene Comments," by Ross Skinner --- 

"Judgment in Jeopardy:  Why detailed rules will never replace a chartered accountant's professional judgment in financial reporting," by Ross Skinner, CA Magazine, November 1995 --- 

The subject of the critical editorial was the elasticity of generally accepted accounting principles. "Like a child's balloon, a company can make its earnings or assets grow bigger or smaller under GAAP, provided its accountants blow or suck hard enough," wrote Diane Francis in the January 29, 1994 issue of The Financial Post. "When challenged about a loose presentation, the accountant often replies, 'Show me where it says I can't do that.'" Her solution? "If the accountants are becoming rule-oriented, give them tighter rules within GAAP. That's the answer."

The complaint, then, is that those responsible for financial reporting are playing games with the rules or they are not applying proper judgment when there is room for judgment. The solution proposed by The Financial Post is to take away that room. But is there really a problem? Is it as simple as biased judgment? And if it is, will the proposed solution work?

Hard evidence is lacking to answer these questions, but the editorial correctly notes that some regulators are quite concerned about slanted financial reporting. If regulators and other knowledgeable people in the financial community are concerned, accountants should be concerned. But before a remedy is prescribed, a thorough diagnosis of the malady is advisable.

There is an IASB (formerly IASC) discussion paper on discounting at 

Possible Outcomes of the Project



"Unaccountable Discounting" by Chris Robinson at 

Financial accounting routinely discounts future amounts for financial statement presentation. Managerial accounting uses discounted cash flows as part of the decision-making process. Business has accepted this practice as the best way to make decisions, based on the net present value rule. Only technical details are debated. Discounting hides serious ethical and environmental issues, and there is a good case that we should not discount many future values at all. The ethical assumptions that are shown to be problematic are: perpetual growth; complete markets and intergenerational equity; and, technological externalities and their pricing in human society and Nature.

In my opinion, Professor Robinson's paper is an excellent paper for debate in the social sciences.   His argument in a nutshell is that the discount rate should be zero for R&D or other investments that may seriously harm or destroy future generations.  With a zero discount the "cost" of those harms will not be reduced to an amount that justifies investing and developing harmful products.

If companies reported environmental liabilities at undiscounted amounts, we would be less likely to ignore the message that we are destroying our future. Lest you think I am too alarmist, let me remind you of an aphorism that exists in different words in different societies:  Mother Nature Laughs Last

Examples of investments that worry Professor Robinson are nuclear power plants and developments of antibiotics (that may in turn lead to ever increasing strains of powerful microbes against which future generations will be defenseless)

The fatal flaw in this argument lies inside finance theory itself. Arbitrage is possible only when markets are complete -- the identical consumption stream can be replicated in two markets, but at different prices. If there is no way to replicate a given consumption stream, then the market price is not necessarily "right," whatever right would mean. For example, there is no insurance policy available to pay the residents of my home city, Toronto, if a nuclear plant discharges a large quantity of radioactive waste into Lake Ontario. The entire area would become uninhabitable, many people would die and the damage would be incalculable. If we use the language of finance, we say that no Arrow-Debreu security exists that pays off in this specific state of nature.

Discounting the future damage is a silly exercise, but let me do it anyway. Suppose we estimated the damage at $1 trillion, real dollars. Further, let us suppose that it doesn't happen for 200 years, and so it is a future unborn generation that suffers the consequences of this radioactive spill. Finally, accept a real discount rate of 5% as reasonable, using current finance practice. If we are certain that the spill will happen, the expected present value is $57.8 million. If this were a standard capital budgeting problem, we would not invest more than that amount in additional safety systems, or in finding alternative energy sources.

The above illustration is indeed silly for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that investments in nuclear power cannot be evaluated with deterministic models that do not relate interactive and highly uncertain benefits with risks.  There are also environmental risks of not investing in nuclear power (e.g., global warming, depletion of oil and gas, energy prices that depress or destroy economic development and crop production, excessive migrations to temperate climates, destruction of rain forests for fuel and crop land, etc.)  

A better example not touched upon by Professor Robinson is the current issue of genetic engineering.  Seed can be genetically engineered to make production more bountiful and disease resistant.  For an example, go to the document called "Aussie Scientists Crack Barley" at .  

Genetic engineering of crops (e.g., yellow rice correcting for Vitamin A deficiencies in nations having poor nutrition) can save millions of lives today and improve the nutrition of billions of hungry people.  But there are enormous risks of fooling with Mother Nature's ecosystem.  It is questionable whether Professor Robinson's  proposed zero discount rate in a deterministic cash flow model is an appropriate tool for such complex issues of how many present human beings to sacrifice for the sake of untold future human beings.  Of course his worry is that simplistic discounting (with nonzero rates) will be used without proper inputs for global risks.  This is food for thought in courses devoted to ecosystem worries.  The analytical paradox, however, lies in the lack of sophistication of any known tool, including present value discounting, in a very complex and highly interactive world where human sacrifices must be made to preserve a rather fragile ecosystem embedded in a present-day econsystem.

I wrote a module about the complex issues of genetic engineering in the January 19, 1999 edition of New Bookmarks at 

On February 23 you should have received an email providing the URLs to slide presentations from Donald Gray from the University of Wisconsin Foundation speaking on fund raising and Robert Johnson from the Arthur Andersen office in Atlanta speaking on the new economy. 

We have just added a presentation from Liv A. Watson from BDO Seidman speaking on what financial executives need to know about XBRL. All the slides are available online from: 

Craig [Craig Polhemus, American Accounting Association]

Bill Gates on Monday unveiled a set of technologies that he hopes will advance Microsoft's .Net strategy and its goal of providing services anywhere --- 

From InformationWeek Online on March 20, 2001
Note Bill Gate's praise of the "XML Revolution."

** Microsoft To Launch HailStorm

Microsoft plans next year to launch middleware called HailStorm that would let its own applications and those built by independent software developers share data about a PC user's payment preferences, personal contacts, and calendar entries. It's the sort of behind-the-scenes communication between software programs that Microsoft calls .Net, which aims to expand the company's purview beyond Windows PCs to generate new revenue. Rather than tying information about a user's address, application settings, and other preferences to applications using the traditional Windows method of associating objects in a client-server architecture, HailStorm will rely on storing that data in XML documents, and calling it across the Internet via Microsoft's Simple Object Access Protocol.

"The kind of dreams people have had about interoperability in this industry will finally be fulfilled by the XML revolution," Bill Gates, Microsoft's chairman and chief software architect, said at an event to reveal the initiative Monday. "It's really a necessary part of this revolution that we have services like HailStorm."

On Monday, companies showed what these Web services could look like. American Express Co. showed an online bookstore application in which notifications of incoming orders would be displayed on a user's PC desktop running Microsoft's upcoming Windows XP operating system. XP would include Microsoft Passport, a digital wallet service available Monday that authenticates users with E-commerce sites and automatically fills in their payment information. And Groove Networks CEO Ray Ozzie demonstrated how users of Groove's peer-to-peer collaboration app could populate a list of people they wanted to invite to a session, from Microsoft's instant-messaging buddy list. HailStorm services could supply Groove with a central store of users and contacts, which the startup needs to propagate its app, Ozzie said.

The key to getting this type of integration to work across applications and platforms, of course, will be gathering a "critical mass" of software and customers, Gates said. "Stitching these islands together is about having a standard schema--in fact, a very rich schema--in which your information is stored." An early specification of the HailStorm schema, the set of XML fields that Microsoft and independent software developers need to agree upon to build apps such as these, is available today. Microsoft plans more complete alpha software by this summer, a beta version of the HailStorm schema by the end of this year, and live services on the Internet next year.

Microsoft's still working out pricing details, but plans to give away some services to consumers and implement fees for heavy users or those wanting special technical support. There'll be some revenue from licensing fees to developers and network service providers. And Microsoft may combine sales of HailStorm services with subscription versions of Office, which the company is developing. Such scenarios could be years away, though. First up: getting data from of Microsoft's MSN services such as Hotmail encoded into XML. Microsoft group VP Bob Muglia also promised not to mine, publish, sell, or target advertisements to data the company gathers while developing HailStorm.

Potential users of the platform are skeptical about Microsoft's commitment to openness, pointing to Java as an example of broken interoperability promises --- 

Microsoft's chairman and chief software architect outlined a brave new world at WinHEC, touting Windows XP, the Tablet PC, "HailStorm" and .Net. --- 

Forwarded by Aaron Konstam (I like the Windoze spelling)

I've been using UltraEdit on the Windoze end for years now. It automatically detects Unix format text files. If you open a text file in Unix format and edit it, it will be saved in the same format unless you tell it otherwise. You can also save DOS text files as Unix format files and vice versa.

Not only that, but it is a great programmer's editor, with syntax highlighting, smart indents, and the ability to use spaces instead of tabs; too many other features to mention here. (I'm already sounding too much like an advertisement.)

UltraEdit is shareware and can be found at  .

Good luck, Jay DeKing

Embezzlement: How to Avoid Every Business Owner's Nightmare By John W. Stewart, CPA, CFE 

It has been suggested that many employees view embezzlement as an informal employee benefit. Some sociologists have even suggested that chronic pilferage might actually have a positive effect on morale, and therefore increase productivity. So who is committing all these crimes? It may not be who you think.

Some statistics from a recent study conducted by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners suggest the following:

1. Losses from fraud caused by managers and executives were 16 times greater than those caused by rank and file employees 2. Losses caused by men were 4 times greater than those caused by women. 3. Losses caused by people 60 and older were 28 times those caused by people 25 and under. 4. Losses caused by people with post-graduate degrees were 5 times more than those caused by high school graduates.

What is the common thread running through these findings? These are all people in positions of trust with access to the company's assets. One truism I have always followed is that your most trusted employee is often the one who is the embezzler. If you think about it for a moment that statement makes a lot of sense. The one you really don't trust won't be put into a position to have access to your assets but your most trusted employee already has access and now only needs a motive.

"Congressional audit takes IRS to task," By Troy Wolverton ---,4586,2697298,00.html 

Last year, the Internal Revenue Service left its e-filing system all but open to hackers, according to a report released Thursday by the General Accounting Office. Worse yet, the IRS had no way of telling whether its systems actually had been broken into, according to the GAO, the investigative arm of Congress.

"IRS did not adequately secure access to its electronic filing systems or to the electronically transmitted tax return data those systems contained," the GAO said in its report. "We demonstrated that unauthorized individuals, both internal and external to IRS, could have viewed and modified taxpayer data."

Secrets of the SAT 

Think your e-business doesn't owe sales taxes? Think again. States are gearing up to collect taxes already due. To avoid paying steep back taxes later, make sure you comply with current laws now --- 

Now they're really dreaming! (by the way, REM means Rapid Eye Movement during dreams)
"Turning Vivid Dreams Into Reality," by Donna Tapellini,1282,41478,00.html 

Researchers at Stanford University are now developing software to help people become aware that they are having a dream so that they can then live out their fantasies during REM sleep

Oneironauts, or lucid dreamers, are conscious when they are having a dream and can control how the dream develops. During lucid dreams, people are "awake" within their dreams, and can sometimes direct what happens next in the dream.

With enough practice you can fly, visit exotic places, experience vivid colors, or eat all the ice cream you want, all without taking your head off the pillow.

Being awake during a dream may seem like a contradiction, but to those involved in lucid dream research, it's all, well, crystal clear.

"Lucid dreaming lets you make use of the dream state that comes to you every night to have a stimulating reality," said Dr. Stephen LaBerge, founder of the Lucidity Institute at Stanford University, a research lab that teaches people how to have a lucid dream.

LaBerge said that controlling dreams can also have therapeutic value. Potentially, he said, people can overcome nightmares that haunt them repeatedly. It may even help a person improve in sports, enhance self-confidence or confront problems that elude being solved in waking life.

Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming, a book co-authored by LaBerge and Howard Rheingold, is one of many books to help wannabe lucid dreamers get started. The Lucidity Institute offers a variety of tools for people set on taking charge of their subconscious life.

The Institute's SuperNovaDreamer kit includes a copy of LaBerge's book, and the kit recommends reading a few chapters before getting started. The book asks that you learn to recognize "dreamsigns," or signals within a dream that alert you to your altered state. One common dreamsign: elements within your dream are out of context. Objects are not where they belong within a room, or certain people are in locations they normally wouldn't be -- how often do your parents drop in at the office?

The Munch Museum (Art History) --- 

One of the museum's main tasks is to display its vast collection of works of art to the public. Besides disseminating knowledge on the 'classical' Munch, the museum has organized a series of exhibitions on changing themes which help to fill in the gaps in our picture of the artist. Exhibitions such as Munch and Photography, Munch and His Models, Edvard Munch´s Portraits, Munch and France, Munch and Ibsen and Munch and the Workers were all based on new research.

Internal Accounting Engineering site at 

Dear Colleagues Lucia and Robert:

Greetings to you both - from me, Professor Emeritus, here in San Jose, California. During my years at San Francisco State University, I worked on my research project about Internal Accounting. Your names I got in the AAA information about new accounting development. Will you kindly see my website - which revers just to the need of changing the Internal - Managerial Cost accounting in our Universities.

Please click on this line: IAE Home Page

You will see my website - and I surely hope you will take time to read it. We here in USA need to start a new Internal accounting procedure - our dear Professors Horngren, Schillinglaw, Anthony, etc. are still teaching the same way they started some 25 years ago. Please, I believe that we have to change to more modern and more adequate presentation of Internal Accounting.

Le me hear from you.

God bless you there.

Sincerely yours, Emanuel Schwarz Professor Emeritus, Ph.D.

Author of the Research project: Internal Accounting Read about this extraordinary approach of managerial accounting|type~3|Data1~3259 

Dover Publications (books, eBooks) --- 

The only place on earth where you'll find Dover's entire collection of unique, value-priced books, in-stock and ready to ship. Our site presently accepts orders for shipment to U.S. addresses.

We’re busy converting some of your favorite Dover titles into e-book format. Sign up for our ebook update service and we’ll send you an email as soon as titles (and these great benefits) become available. Instant access to sample chapters. Complete collections right on your PC. Free ebooks that you can share with your friends.

Trinity University's Student Managed Fund --- 

"Cloning Around," Mar 15th 2001, From The Economist print edition, March 15, 2001 --- 

As to cost, Dr Trounson estimates that it will take at least $1m to clone a human, given the equipment, labour and hundreds of human eggs that will be required to get a single, live birth. There are enough infertile couples desperate to reproduce, enough small sects eager to keep their numbers up and their gene pools pure, and enough megalomaniacs intent on replicating themselves, to make money the least of would-be cloners’ problems. Indeed, Dr Zavos claims the consortium has more than enough cash to do its work, and up to 700 volunteers ready to take part. Few scientists believe that the group will reach its goal within the next two years, but many acknowledge that the technology will one day permit human reproductive cloning. Whether society will condone it is an entirely different matter.

WAP means web access by phone.

"Combating WAP's Bad Rap,"  by Elisa Batista,1367,42421,00.html 

However, don't blame WAP as a technology for the lack of interest in the phones, analysts say. Perhaps WAP developers are to blame for over-hyping the technology and then receiving a black eye for it, but some think the real limitation of WAP is the lack of compelling content written in its wireless markup language (WML).

"Right now there are no services out there worth the incredible hassle to use," said Minerva Hobbs, a director at technology research firm Answerthink (ANSR). "No one has paid attention to the user. What do you users want? What's worth paying for?"

Added Jerry Kaufman, president for Alexander Resources in Dallas, Texas: "In reality WAP is nothing more than a standard protocol. It's important to view it in that context -- that it's one of many. It's not a product or service, though people talk about it as if it actually does something.... It's a way of skinnying down information and allowing people to access information and it does nothing by itself. What (critics of WAP) have been unable to do is differentiate the poor design of a website or content."

And that's exactly what WAP supporters are out to prove at this week's Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association trade show in Las Vegas. Over 800 exhibitors from all over the world will cram the Sands Expo & Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev., this week to tout their handheld devices and sites offered in all protocols and standards, not just WAP.

But some businesses, including U.K.-based nGame are poised to woo and snag WAP users in America. NGame will work with U.S.-based AirFlash to offer users games they can play with WAP phones users in any part of the world.

NGame will also work with Yahoo, Sprint PCS, AT&T PocketNet and PowerTV to offer its games via digital television.

Curtis Wick, a director at handset manufacturer LG InfoComm USA, said the "black eye" WAP has received will "heal" when more content, especially location-based services like the ability to get directions or find a restaurant from where the user is standing, is developed.

"When the WAP Forum adopts next-generation (WAP technology) it will provide more graphics, and timing won't be a concern," he said.

The Dead Letter Office --- 
You can read the dead letters and even submit your own dead letter.  Categories include the following:

Most touching
Most insightful

Interior Desecrating --- 

A quote from Larry Gindler
"Internet domain names are a wild and crazy thing. Anyone can register just about anything that isn't already taken. The "official" rules can be found at  ."

The Hollywood 10 (from the era of communism paranoia) 

Activities Based Costing 
ABC Technologies at 

Founded in 1989, ABC Technologies is, and has always been the leader in Activity-Based Costing and performance management software, services and solutions. We currently serve a global audience with our offices in 14 countries. Our products and services include Oros Analyitics, a suite of tools providing keen insights for decision-makers. Products are supported by a full range of client support services, training, education and project knowledge management solutions.

ABC Technologies solutions improve the effectiveness and accountability of major companies and organizations from manufacturing and services to public sector. As the world leader in Activity-Based management solutions, ABC Technologies has:

Approximately 60% of our staff are focused on product development, application services, and technical support.

The NY Times on the Web has improved navigation and search functionality.  See these new features for yourself at --- 

How far will John Freyer go?
All My Life For Sale 

Timeframes (History, Art, Photograpyhy) --- National Library of New Zealand 

Photographs that bug you out!
Roger Eritja: Fotographia de Natura --- 

Listen up ya'all (musical performances) 
South by Southwest 2001 --- hoe-downs deep in the heart of Texas --- 

Cognitors are not popular with Illinois CPAs
Forwarded by Linda Specht --- 

Dreamcatcher - listen to the latest from Stephen King --- 
This Website has a great illustration of Flash animation design, audio.

Admit One --- the movie industry and film reviews 
This Website has a great illustration of Flash animation design, audio.

The Role of Brand Names in Higher Education
Forwarded by Glenn Meyer

Interesting article: 

"A Student Is Not an Input,"  by Michele Tolela Myers, NY Times, March 26, 2001

A business professor told a group of us at one recent conference that to run a successful organization you had better make decisions on the basis of being "best in the world," and if you couldn't be best in the world in something, then you outsourced the function or got rid of the unit that didn't measure up. Have we really come to believe that we can only measure ourselves in relation to others, and that value and goodness are only measured against something outside the self? Do we really want to teach our children that life is all about beating the competition?

As we in the academy begin to use business-speak fluently, we become accustomed to thinking in commercialized terms about education. We talk no longer as public intellectuals, but as entrepreneurs. And we thus encourage instead of fight the disturbing trend that makes education a consumer good rather than a public good. If we think this way, our decisions will be driven, at least in part, by consumers' tastes. Are we ready to think that we should only teach what students want or be driven out of business?

Physics is hard, it is costly, it is undersubscribed. Should it be taught only in engineering schools? I don't think so. Should we not teach math because everyone can get a cheap calculator? Should we stop teaching foreign languages because English has become the international language? And what about the arts, literature, philosophy? Many might think them impractical.

I think we have a responsibility to insist that education is more than learning job skills, that it is also the bedrock of a democracy. I think we must be very careful that in the race to become wealthier, more prestigious, and to be ranked Number One, we don't lose sight of the real purpose of education, which is to make people free — to give them the grounding they need to think for themselves and participate as intelligent members of a free society. Obsolete or naive? I surely hope not.

Those of us that have been on campus for more than 15 years can remember when the author of this article (Michele Myers) and her husband were both on the faculty at Trinity University. Michele Myers is now the president of Sarah Lawrence College.

Creative Kitchen from the U.K. --- 

Delia also erves up the U.K. recipes --- 

It is so sad to have such great recipes from the land where people are currently afraid of what they eat.

Tow Truck Driver Recovery Archives 

Sigh!  If they only had recovery archives for working papers in academe.

Dear Prof. Jensen:

I have provided below* a news article from the "Daily Tax Report" (3/19/2001) on the FASB derivatives panel's recent meeting on derivatives initiatives. Will you be writing up any of the DIG items for your Web page or doing anything on them that we might use in an upcoming issue of the "Derivatives Report"?

Thank you, Barbara Campbell

*Daily Tax Report No. 53 Page G-2 Monday March 19, 2001 ISSN 1522-8800 Tax, Budget & Accounting Accounting FASB Derivatives Panel Progress Limited During Last Meeting Chaired by Leisenring

NORWALK, Conn.--A special panel of the Financial Accounting Standards Board intended to help craft guidance on derivatives accounting made only limited progress March 15 in the last meeting of the group chaired by James Leisenring.

Left unresolved or partially resolved by the Derivatives Implementation Group were at least six issues arising from questions about how to apply FASB Statement No. 133. The standard went into effect for most companies in January.

Fully resolved was DIG Agenda Item No. 15-4. That item focuses on embedded derivatives and, more specifically, embedded volumetric options in contracts that might otherwise be outside the scope of FASB No. 133 because they amount to normal purchases or normal sales.

Partially resolved were two items:

[Image] No. 6-2, on impairment writedowns of long-lived assets and the interaction between FASB No. 133 and FASB Statement No. 121, on impairment of long-lived assets; and

[Image] No. 15-5, on when an embedded derivative in a preferred stock hybrid instrument should be split out and accounted for separately.

Item 15-5 was completed except for provisions on stock features involving participating dividends.

In other action at DIG's meeting, the group and FASB's staff elected to drop an issue, Agenda Item No. 15-6, on the application of paragraph 15 of the derivatives rules to trade contracts with emerging economies.

Leisenring's Swan Song at DIG

Leisenring, the former vice chairman of FASB, plans to leave the board's staff in April. At that time he will join the newly restructured International Accounting Standards Board. IASB has its offices in London.

Since stepping down from FASB last June because of term limits, Leisenring has served as the board's director of international activities. He retained chairmanship of DIG, a position he first took while he served as the board's vice chairman.

In noting his impending departure in introductory comments March 15, Leisenring talked of plans for more meetings of the derivatives group. A meeting may be held in April or, more probably, in June.

He sought to counter speculation that DIG would be folding up its tent. "The process continues," he said.

However, as companies have formally begun to apply the derivatives rules that were years in the making, the group and FASB's staff intends "to be increasingly selective" about which issues make it onto the panel's agenda, Leisenring said.

EITF Involvement Discounted

He discussed--and discounted--the near-term possibility of FASB's Emerging Issues Task Force taking on the arcane derivatives accounting questions that are the bread and butter of the derivatives panel. "We don't want to have EITF to be overwhelmed" with DIG issues, Leisenring.

Like the derivatives group, EITF is a group made up of professionals from accounting firms, investment and commercial banks, and financial services companies. The panels assist FASB and its staff in writing guidance on relatively narrow accounting issues. Some of DIG's members also serve on the Emerging Issues Task Force.

In a brief interview, Leisenring suggested to BNA that it is "absolutely inevitable" that new derivatives accounting issues are going to come up, particularly in the third quarter of this year, as firms begin to apply FASB No. 133 in earnest.

Timothy Lucas, FASB's director of technical activities, is to be the new chairman of DIG. Lucas also serves as the nonvoting chairman of EITF.

Board Clears DIG Guidance

In related action March 14, FASB cleared seven items of derivatives accounting guidance that were drawn up by FASB's staff with the assistance of DIG. FASB's formal clearance of such guidance renders the items final and part of authoritative accounting literature.

FASB altered the scope of one of those items (Issue No. B25), on embedded derivatives and deferred variable annuity contracts, before not objecting to it.

The cleared portion of that item addresses variable annuities that involve a period-certain payment and, separately, those that have a fully life-contingent payment, and not variable annuities marked by both elements. FASB plans to address those variable annuity contracts that have both features later.

The seven derivatives accounting items cleared by FASB are to be posted on the board's World Wide Web site between April 6 and April 10, said Robert Wilkins, the staff manager of the long-term effort that yielded FASB No. 133.

Other, more tentative guidance--including the few items resolved by DIG March 15--are to be posted on the site in coming weeks also, he said. [Image]

By Steve Burkholder

Barring an unforeseen "show stopper," Microsoft expects to release beta 2 to testers Friday. The OS is being pitched to consumers as the "next revolution." 

Leaning Oak Forge (photographic history of the blacksmith trade) 

Forwarded by Dr. Wolff

This is a good website to bookmark. It gives background and advice re hoaxes --- 

Trends of the U.S. population 

Some books on web design --- 

Some books on Flash animations --- 

Some illustrations of flash cartoons --- Giantheads --- 

Some tips on helping kids learn (great Shockwave and Flash animations) --- 

How to author flash animations --- 

Some Flash FAQs from FAY Studieos

View Most Frequently Asked Questions
View Most Frequently Asked Questions - Part 2
View Most Frequently Asked Questions - Part 3
View Most Frequently Asked Questions - Part 4
View Most Frequently Asked Questions - Part 5
View Most Frequently Asked Questions - Part 6
View Most Frequently Asked Questions - Part 7
View Most Frequently Asked Questions - Part 8
View Most Frequently Asked Questions - Part 9

Another Flash tutorial of possible interest --- 

Other Websites devoted to Flash and Flash developers --- 

Hi Amy,

See the above module for some Flash helpers.

Audio recording depends upon your hardware and your version of Windows at hand (I assume you are running Windows on a PC). Microsoft has an audio recorder in most versions of Windows, but for versions other than Windows ME, the dumb sound recorder is limited to 60 seconds of recording. There are ways of tricking it to record longer files (e.g., by recording over a longer WAV file), but these are all a genuine pain in the tail. I suspect the 60-second limit was a proud effort by Microsoft in the past to show that Bill Gates is not always trying to kill off competitors. In the case of audio recording the leading competitors are SoundBlaster (from Creative Labs) and Turtle Beach.

To find your sound recorder, click on My Computer, Control Panel, Multimedia. You should find the Windows Sound Recorder. Of course you will first have to find that little jack in the back of your computer where you must plug in a microphone. If you have a sound card such as SoundBlaster, by all means use this great hardware having its own plugs and software. If you don't have a sound card added to your computer, I suggest that you contact your tech support folks and ask them what they recommend. SoundBlaster is probably the best option. See 

In the meantime you can try the hardware and software that came with your computer (other than the microphone that is not usually packaged with the computer).

Most Windows audio recorders record WAV files. These take up useless space, and it is a good idea these days to convert the WAV file that you recorded into an MP3 file.

My amateur tips on MP3 compression of WAV files can be found at  
(You have to scroll down a bit after you arrive at the above spot.)

Audio/video recording is easier and better on a MAC, but then very few accounting educators run on a MAC these days.

To insert MP3 or WAV files into a HTM Web document, merely link to the audio file from a button or hotword.  To see a picture you link to the picture.  To hear an audio file, link to that file.  Making it play automatically without having to click on the file is much more complicated.

In Flash, you may have troubles with sound playback for a number of reasons.  Flash plays back wav files in certain sample rates : 11, 22 and 44 kHz - 8 and 16 bit stereo or mono. If the file does not play properly, it is possible that the WAV file was recorded differently. Sometimes WAV files will not run at all in Flash because of the way they were recorded

A tutorial that may help you with flash audio is available at 
Especially note Page 7 of this tutorial with respect to inserting MP3 files into Flash files.

Another Flash tutorial of possible interest --- 

Other Websites devoted to Flash and Flash developers --- 

We look forward to "hearing" from you Amy.

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: Amy Dunbar [mailto:ADunbar@SBA.UCONN.EDU]  

Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2001 5:10 PM 
To: AECM@LISTSERV.LOYOLA.EDU Subject: How do you record audio

I hope this isn't a "duh" question, but I don't know how to make an audio clip. I want to just insert some audio clips on web pages. I can insert clips on pdf files using Acrobat, but I want to put the clips in flash files or other web pages. Any suggestions?

Amy Dunbar 

Reply from Ronald R. Tidd [rrtidd@MTU.EDU

A few additional links for anyone who shares Amy's interest in recording:  

To add background audio into the webpage, just use the embed tag like this: <embed src="youraudiofile.wav" loop="how many times you want to loop or infinite">

Also note that if you record narration in a PowerPoint slideshow, it generates a sound file that is separate from the slideshow. Thus, you could use that application's recording utility to record sound and it is not subject to the time limits of the MS Windows recorder. HOWEVER, they are huge files (WAV format).

Ron Ronald R. Tidd, Ph.D.,
CPA (inactive)

Reply from Scott Bonacker [scottbonacker@MOCCPA.COM

I bought a piece of software called "Total Recorder" at . This little jewel will make WAV files from any source. I have plugged my handheld cassette into the audio in port and recorded old tapes, and I have even recorded realaudio as it was played from a website. Pretty much anything that gets sent to an audio output can be captured. Then, the file is yours to do with as you wish. This is just one of many such, but I chose it based on the descriptions I was able to find.

There is also a product called Text Aloud at,,00173O,.html 

that you might want to take a look at.


Scott Bonacker, 
CPA McCullough, Officer & Company, LLC Springfield, Missouri

Reply from Richard J. Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU

Amy: Bob Jensen discussed how to create wav files. To convert wav to realaudio you need a product like RealProducer  . You should have access to a Realserver and following are instructions from my web host to handle realmedia, that would be applicable to any web host:

Dear Customer,

RealMedia has been setup on your account. We have created a directory on our G2 server, which you will use to upload your Real Media (RM) files. The directory name is the same as your domain name. For example, if your domain is setup a directory called ""

You may use any ftp application to transfer your files to the RealAudio server: WS_FTP, CuteFTP, etc. When uploading your files, use as the remote host/address. Use the original username and password that Interland assigned you. Once logged onto the G2 server, you will need to find the directory that was setup for you. Double click on the directory and transfer the RM files to that location. You may create subdirectories within the domain directory in order to organize your RM files.

Once the RM files are on the G2 server, you will need to create a RAM file. The RAM file, when activated, points the RM files on the server. We call it the pointer file. Each RM file must have a corresponding RAM file. To create a RAM file, open any text editor such as Notepad and type:

1. rtsp:// 
Example: rtsp://

Save the file with .RAM extension (hamburger.ram). DO NOT SAVE IT AS A TEXT (.TXT) FILE! Now upload the RAM file to your web server, with the rest of your website files (.html, .gif, .jpg). Do not upload the RAM file to the G2 server--your media will not work properly.

Next you will need to create a link on your website to the RAM file, which points to the RA or RM files on the RealAudio server. To do this, simply use html code:

1. <a href="">MediaClip</a>

When the link is clicked on your website, it then links the hamburger.ram, which points the hamburger.rm on the G2 server. Here's how it looks:

1. <a href="">MediaClip</a> 
2. rtsp:// 
3. hamburgers.rm is then launched in the browser.

*Remember that if you create subdirectories on the RealAudio server or your website, you must referrence them in your RAM file and html code:

RAM: rtsp://

HTML: <a href="">MediaClip</a> 

As far as Flash, you just create another layer in the fla file, and insert the sound file in the frame you want. Flash will convert the fla file to swf and create the html page to upload to your server. You can see a couple of examples of Flash embedded in a Toolbook DHTML page at www.VirtualPublishing.NET/fa2001.htm 

Richard J. Campbell www.VirtualPublishing.NET  

Global Warming: Early Warning Signs --- 

The Sonoma State University  library has a new automated retrieval system that makes books easier to find. But the utterly random nature of the operation has some librarians unnerved ---,1284,41905,00.html 

The online catalog system, called Snoopy, is Web-based, so students can order a book from anywhere and the machine will retrieve their chosen book. For example, a search for "trees" in the Snoopy database returns this book title, which is stored in the ARS: Trees and Shrubs of Mariana, Caroline, and Marshall Islands.

If a student selects this book, computers in the ARS room are alerted.

A skinny yellow crane barrels down the track and rolls by what looks like a gigantic filing cabinet. It stops at the appropriate box, and a robotic arm pulls the bin out of the metal rack. The crane slides to the front, slamming to a halt in front of the librarian, and lowers the box to the workstation.

The bins are separated into six sections, with each section holding between 10 and 25 books. A computer has stored the location of each book by section. The librarian retrieves the information, then manually picks up the book.

The UN Works --- success stories exist in spite of the wrangling --- 

Why don't you publish your own book?
Traditional book publishers said Juliet Waldron's book was too romantic, too historical, too something. So she self-published it, and now it's been honored with an Independent Ebook Award ---,1284,42624,00.html 

Mozart's Wife was too romantic for one New York publishing house, and too historical for another. Others told her it was too sophisticated. Editors told her over and over that they loved her voice but had no idea how to position her book.

She finally realized that the problem was not with her book but with marketing issues. That's when Waldron looked into e-publishing, despite protests from her agent.

Waldron's belief in her work was rewarded Saturday when she won the Independent Ebook Award for best fiction. Mozart's Wife was one of five works, out of more than 200 submissions, honored at the first Independent Ebook Awards in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"There are not many readers yet, for the technology is still working itself out," Waldron said. "E-authors and e-publishers are like baby birds."

The awards are as follows. Fiction: Mozart's Wife, by Juliet Waldron (Online Originals).

Non-fiction: The Spirit of the Internet, by Lawrence Hagerty (Matrix Masters).

Children: Nessie and the Living Stone, by Lois June Wickstrom and Jean Lorrah (CrossroadsPub.Com).

Short Fiction: The Cavemen in the Hedges, by Stacey Richter (first appeared in Zoetrope: All-Story).

Digital Storytelling: Homecoming, by Pamela Gay (self-published).

Electronic Libraries

Six leading e-libraries are as follows:  

For more information, visit .

University of Chicago listing of electronic books and journals --- 

The Michigan Electronic Library --- 

Electronic Texta and Publishing Resources ---

For more information on electronic books and libraries, go to 

Expedition to Galapagos --- 

From SyllabusNews on March 27, 2001

Maximized Software recently released beta 1 of GoPOP, a POP server that runs on a user's PC and enables remote access to Outlook e-mail from anywhere in the world with any standard remote e-mail client. Users can retrieve their Outlook e-mail with any type of device: PDA, cell phone, pager, or laptop. GoPOP also eliminates the need to keep multiple copies of e-mail messages on different servers. Without GoPOP, users need to set up inconvenient solutions in order to read e-mail while away from their computer. Common solutions include setting up a "shadow" account with Yahoo! or HotMail, or configuring Outlook to "leave messages on server." With the release of GoPOP, Microsoft Outlook becomes the single source for all of the user's e-mail.

GoPOP beta 1 is available for immediate download at 

Moundville Archaelogical Park --- Native American History --- 

You can even buy a diploma for degrees not even available from "the" Trinity University or various other legitimate institutions with the name "Trinity College." For the snake oil diploma in four-to-six weeks, go to 

Since this particular diploma mill seems to hail from the British Isles, it might even look like "ya got yer sheepskin from dat genuine Trinity College in Dublin me lad."  The fees are as follows:

Bachelors  (BA, BCom, BSc. etc) Degree      $ US 255 / £160
Bachelors Degree with honours      $ US 310 / £195
Masters Degree      $ US 440 / £275
Doctorate Award      $ US 600 / £375
Bachelors and Masters Degrees in the same subject      $ US 650 / £410
Masters and Doctorate Awards in the same subject      $ US 935 / £585
Bachelors, Masters and Doctorate in the same subject      $ US 1110 / £995
Self Study all inclusive MBA course      $ US 630 / £395
Self Study all inclusive MComm course      $ US 720 / £450
Transcripts      $ US 55 / £35*
Notarisation of Certificate      $ US 55 / £35**

A quotation with "Ethical Considerations": 

It should be said that no-one is trying to "degrade" the efforts of those who have succeeded in completing a "traditional" degree course, especially in an Engineering subject or indeed any other subject for that matter. Rather many employers and agencies often fail to adequately answer that question as to why a degree qualification is preferable to a lifetime of experience in many subjects?

Clearly however, there are subjects where a formal degree qualification is a precursor to the practice of a particular profession, the Medical profession is probably the immediate example and Trinity does not award such degrees. However Trinity does award degrees in Alternative Medicine.

If your chosen subject is not listed please don't despair, Trinity will consider awarding degrees in any subject, given your experience. If you are unsure, email us.

Ethical Considerations

Is there an ethical question involved? Only in as much as there is no formal course or examination as the award is based on your previous studies, seminars, independent or correspondence course studies, workshops, language skills and any other learning process. And of course your life experiences with work. Read about " Non-Traditional Education <../nontra.htm> "

The pitfalls are that a potential employer must be sure that you know your subject, there is no point applying for a position in which you have no knowledge or experience of, yet why should you be precluded from having a chance at interview on the basis of a paper qualification.

With regard to potential UK "students" the British Parliament 1988 Education Act states that "The awards made by overseas educational establishments should be recognised, and the assessment and recognition of such qualifications would be a matter for the individual employer and professional bodies, other educational institutions, etc. in accordance with their own needs and criteria."

So there it is, you obtain a degree based on your CV/resume, it’s perfectly legal as long as it does not claim to be from a DES (Department of Education & Science - UK) registered establishment or British University  **************************************************

Usually I chuckle at adds for such things in the classified advertisement sections of magazines.  I once read one add where you could get a PhD degree in less than a week for $350 from some school in Salt Lake City. But when snake oil sellers commence to sell your diploma look-alikes online, it is no longer a chuckling matter. Trinity University officials are reporting communications from some very confused people around the world. One example is from a purported Trinity University "alumnus" is seeking help from the Career Counseling Department at Trinity University.:

Are there other such sites as this using the names of other legitimate universities? See 

Dance Fundamentals --- 

Gleim Publications is now offering a CMA/CFM Academic Site License completely FREE to colleges and universities. This program is similar to the current Gleim CPA Academic Site License in that each school will receive their network version of the software. Each student will have his or her own log-in so each individual's performance history can be tracked separately. This will allow full-time students at your college or university to purchase Gleim's CMA/CFM Review books and software at approximately 50% off retail. Upon confirmation of the purchase of any 5 (book and software set), Gleim will donate one complete set of audio lectures for placement in the department office, media center, or library reserve. To read more about the program and to print the necessary forms, please visit  or contact .

OC3 Review Materials

OC3 works with college and university Accounting Departments to provide both live review programs and materials for CMA/CFM preparation. The company offers discount and revenue sharing arrangements tailored to the needs of your group. To learn more about these programs, please contact Mike McLean at .

Rigos CMA/CFM Review

Rigos CMA/CFM Review offers CMA/CFM review courses through independent affiliate arrangements. The company is looking for colleges, universities, or groups of college professors who are interested in operating their own course. The company would grant an area exclusive agreement to represent Rigos CMA/CFM Review; the books would not otherwise be available in this market. The materials, provided at nominal cost, include a bound text, software containing practice questions and Magic Memory Outlines, and an instructional video (5 hours per exam part). For more information on these programs, please visit <> or contact Jim Rigos at  

Welcome to the March 20th edition of the ENews Internet Essentials newsletter for the financial professional. --- 

1. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Makes XBRL History 
2. XBRL Launches in Spain 
3. Newtec Updates XBRL Demo 
4. Good News for PDA Road Warriors 
5. Updated XBRL Software Tools Page 
6. Steve Ballmer: XML is the "Next Revolution" 
7. XML NEWS! Live Feed for all News about XML

Welcome to the March 25th edition of the ENews Internet Essentials newsletter for the financial professional. This week, the news features the IMA National Conference with three XBRL events, a polished 4.3 MB MP3 song about KPMG, IRS and XML news.--- :

1. XBRL Coming Events 
2. Big Plans for XBRL at IMA National Convention in New Orleans 
3. Is The IRS Auditing Less? Not Really 
4. KPMG Introduces (Insert Drum roll) an MP3 Song 
5. XML: A Brief Introduction 
6. Updated XBRL Tools Page 
7. How To View Over 100 Past Issues 
8. XML NEWS! Live Feed for all News about XML

Forwarded by Dick Haar

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to generation, says that "when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount."

In modern education and government, however, a whole range of far more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:

1. Buying a stronger whip.

2. Changing Riders.

3. Threatening the horse with termination.

4. Appointing a committee to study the horse.

5. Arranging to visit other countries to see how others ride dead horses.

6. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.

7. Reclassifying the dead horse as "living impaired."

8. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.

9. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase the speed.

10. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse's performance.

11. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse's performance.

12. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead, and therefore, contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses.

13. Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses.

14. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position

Forwarded by Aaron Konstam.  Blame him for the repeats from previous editions of New Bookmarks.


* If you're too open minded, your brains will fall out.

* Age is a very high price to pay for maturity.

* Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, if he gets angry, he'll be a mile away - and barefoot.

* Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you a mechanic.

* Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

* A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

* A closed mouth gathers no feet.

* If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.

* My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.

* Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.

* It is easier to get forgiveness than permission.

* For every action, there is an equal and opposite government program.

The husband was not home at his usual hour, and the wife was fuming. Her outrage increased as the clock ticked later and later. Finally, at about 3:00 AM she heard a noise at the front door. As she stood at the top of the stairs, there was her husband - as drunk as a skunk and trying to navigate his way up the stairs.

"Do you realize what time it is?" she yelled.

He answered, "Don't get excited, I'm late because I bought something for the house."

Immediately her attitude changed, and as she ran down the stairs to meet him halfway, she asked excitedly, "What did you buy for the house, dear?"

"A round of drinks!" replied the drunken slob.


In March 2000 Forbes named as the Best Website on the Web ---
Some top accountancy links ---


How stuff works --- 


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

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March 16, 2001

There will not be an edition of New Bookmarks for March 23.  I will be conducting classes at Monterrey Tech in Mexico, March 18-24.  Please resist all urges to send me email during that week.  I will be out of contact while out of the country.

Please say a prayer for my very good close friend and neighbor Dr. Anthony (Tony) Digiovani who is now fighting for his life in the N.E. Baptist Hospital in San Antonio.

Quotes of the Week

Accounting standards are too important to be left to accountants.
A quotation by a U.S. member of Congress as quoted by Dennis Beresford in "Congress Looks at Accounting for Business Combinations," Accounting Horizons, March 2001, p. 73

Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the hell happened.
Author Unknown (forwarded by Dick Haar)

Now everything we never went to the library to look up, we can not look up in the convenience of our own home on the Internet.
Joe Martin, Willy 'N Ethel Comic Strip, March 11, 2001

You are never an expert in your own hometown.
An IT Director  said this to me in Salem Oregon when I was on a consulting trip.  She had a computer science degree from UC Berkeley.  I asked her why, given her advanced skills, her university brought me in as an IT consultant?

A consultant is an ordinary person a long way from home
Murphy's Law

If two wrongs don't make a right, try three.
Murphy's Law

Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence.
Murphy's Law

If you're coasting, you're going downhill.
Murphy's Law

Whatever hits the fan will be evenly distributed.
Murphy's Law

Any story can be made to fit any facts by means of appropriate additional assumptions.
Murphy's Law
We might say the same things about economics, accounting, and finance research.

Assumption is the mother of all foul-ups.
Murphy's Law
I think my mother said something about assuming she could have a baby.

The only winner in the War of 1812 was Tchaikovsky
Murphy's Law

Half of being smart is knowing your're dumb at it.
Murphy's Law

If you can't convince (teach) them, confuse them.
Murphy's Law
This should be the sign over my office door.

Important Wall Street Journal Special Report, e-Commerce in Education, Section R, March 12, 2001 --- 

This section should be read by all professionals in higher education.  It brings us up to date on trends in distance education both in private corporations and traditional colleges and universities.  It is a great source for updating my threads and road show on such topics at 

There is too much in this Special Report to summarize in one module of New Bookmarks.  The Table of Contents is as follows:

Big money is pouring into the business of education. But it's too soon to tell whether there will be any payoff.

Traditional universities are taking to the Net with a wide range of strategies.

A look at all the different ways companies hope to make money from online education.

Venture capitalists have dramatically increased their investments in e-learning.

Private virtual universities challenge many of the assumptions long held by educators. Their own challenge: survival.

Libraries aren't going away. But they are going to be very different.

Traditional academic publishers are scrambling to adapt to the online world.

An entrepreneur wants to bring U.S. universities to Spaniards -- in their own language.

The future of e-commerce will no doubt be littered with failed education companies.

Companies that teach English in Asia see their business quickly being transformed by the Web.

A Dutch university aims to teach students on the run, developing, in conjunction with several companies, Europe's first common wireless standard geared toward education applications.

Switzerland is putting the Internet to work to relieve crowded universities and improve teaching practices -- both while keeping down costs.

Thanks to technology, K-12 will never look the same. Companies are plying a host of new offerings -- from hardware and interactive software to Internet-related tools -- to schools.

Novelist Reynolds Price talks about teaching, writing and the literary merits of e-mail.

Online instruction gives people the chance to learn just about anything, from the comfort of their own home. Anybody want to be a beekeeper?

Online classes can be tough to find, hard to sign up for -- and a bore once you get there.

Schools may find they have the computer equipment, but no way to use it. Here's how one school and a networking firm found an answer. Do's and Don'ts Of Web Classes How can first-time Web students succeed in the world of online education? See a list of tips to embrace and pitfalls to avoid.

Fettes College plans to start broadcasting live and recorded classroom lectures over the Internet to paid subscribers by year's end. Will it succeed?

What was your online learning experience like? Can the online campus ever replace the real one? What improvements are needed? Join an online discussion.

What do you think the classroom of the future will look like? How can educators, parents and students make the best use of new technology? Join an online discussion.

Can online education companies be profitable and educate students at the same time? Which companies do you think will prosper in the online education field? Join an online discussion.

The Internet does not change everything. Some of the world's foremost thinkers ponder the intersection of technology and education.

Why some critics give Web-based education less-than-stellar grades.

What will college look like in the not-so-distant future? Crookston, Minn., provides an early glimpse.

Former Sen. Kerrey and current Rep. Isakson reflect on the government's role in fostering e-learning.

A few selected quotations are shown below:

Entrepreneurs and investors have jumped into the world of online education, pumping some $6 billion into the sector since 1990 -- almost half of it since 1999.

The knowledge-enterprise industry now measures some $735 billion, which includes spending on a host of things, such as textbooks, software and services, according to Merrill Lynch. Analysts there expect the online component of that to grow to $25.3 billion by 2003 from $3.6 billion in 1999. Within that, domestic online corporate learning is expected to grow fastest: from $1.1 billion in 1999 to $11.4 billion in 2003 -- a compounded annual growth rate of 79%. Two other key sectors -- kindergarten-through-12th grade and higher education -- anticipate annual growth rates of over 50%.

Consider what's happening at Westview High School in Poway, Calif. This time next year, classrooms there will be stocked with computers, and a wireless network will allow students to access the Internet through their laptops from anywhere on school grounds. In addition, hand-held devices will be ubiquitous, as will virtual classrooms, so students can log on to the Internet for assignments and participate in chat rooms with students from other schools across the globe

The potential for the K-12 e-learning market is huge, analysts say (shown in millions)

Segment Current Market Potential Market
Content $20 $4,000
E-commerce 175 657,000
Infrastructure 1,000 7,000
Supplemental services 10 5,000


What schools and parents spend on education, versus their total online spending, in billions

  Education Products/Services Online Spending 1999 Online Spending 2003*
Schools $70.00 $0.075 $2.00
Parents 7.00 0.050 0.75


Sources: Merrill Lynch estimates; International Data Corp.

Their strategies are as varied as the schools. Some institutions, such as Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania, have formed partnerships with e-learning companies like ( of Deerfield, Ill., or Pensare Inc., based in Los Altos, Calif., to bring their courses and professors online. Others have decided to go it alone, developing and offering their own online courses. Some schools, including New York University and Cornell University, have spun off their e-learning programs as for-profit ventures.

With the economic slowdown and the venture-capital spigot turned off, the question now is a simple one: Can these marriages of conventional education and e-commerce survive? Can these for-profit arms actually turn a profit? And if so, at what price?

"If you have a good product and figure out how to market it and deliver it, then you should be significantly competitive in the marketplace," says Michael Goldstein, head of the educational-institutions practice at Dow Lohnes & Albertson, a law firm in Washington, D.C. "That will be difficult to do, and there are no clear models yet in the marketplace."

Consider ( Launched last year with a $20 million investment from Columbia, Fathom offers a mixture of free information -- articles, reference works and links to other sites -- and access to for-fee online courses, all aimed at the "lifelong learner." (Fathom takes a cut of the fee as its payment.) On the handsomely designed site, a surfer can search among about 600 online courses offered by a variety of schools, including the University of Washington and Michigan State University.

Surfers can also follow "knowledge trails" -- a series of related links on such topics as arts and architecture, business and finance or science and engineering, among others.

Here's a safe-and-steady business plan. The nation's for-profit higher-education companies have been around for years, and they are nothing like a typical football-obsessed college. Students who enroll in these institutions care about one thing: classes. They are in their mid-30s. They don't want frat parties. They want better jobs. These schools read the want ads closely, and they respond by offering courses in subjects such as finance, management, nursing and information technology.

In this business model, student tuition fees are the primary revenue source. The beauty of this for investors is that the students are locked into a series of courses over an extended period, giving the companies a reliable income stream.

These companies "know where their revenues are coming from way in advance," says Jay Tracey, chief investment officer at Berger Funds. In an unsteady stock market, he says, "predictability and visibility become more important to investors than the rate of growth." The Denver mutual-fund concern has invested in DeVry Inc. (, a for-profit degree-granting enterprise, as well as SmartForce, in corporate training.

The largest private (and accredited) institution of higher education:

To get investors to pay more attention to its Internet business, Apollo Group Inc. (, a Phoenix-based education holding company, issued a tracking stock last year for its University of Phoenix Online unit, which has served students over the Web for more than a decade. While some tracking stocks haven't fared well, this one did. Thanks largely to the fact that it's a proven, profitable business in a sea of Internet red ink, the IPO finished the year at more than double its September initial offering price of $14. And the parent company's stock jumped 145% for the year.

In the offline world, Apollo operates sites around the country to conduct classes, often in rented facilities. Classes are held mostly at night, so students can attend after work. When students "enroll in a degree program, we are counting on them taking five or six courses or more -- so that's a repeat-revenue model for us," says Terri Heddegard, an Apollo vice president.

Apollo says the online unit's enrollment has surged to 19,000 students, up 65% from a year earlier, out of a total of 83,000 students in all forums including physical class sites. The online students take classes at home, using e-mail and Web message boards to work on group projects. The online-class tuition cost runs $400 to $495 a credit, about 20% more expensive than tuition for the brick-and-mortar classes, Apollo says.

For the fiscal first quarter, ended Nov. 30, the online institution reported net income of $5.6 million, or six cents a share, on revenue of $34 million. Including results from its online arm, Apollo posted profit of $25 million, or 38 cents a share, on revenue of $177 million for the same period.


Wow Site of the Week --- ISWORLD at 

[What's New] [Top Resources] [Research] [Teaching] [Professional Activities][Country Pages] [ISWorld List Digest] [About ISWorld]

We will provide information management scholars and practitioners with a single entry point to resources related to information systems technology and promote the development of an international information infrastructure that will dramatically improve the world's ability to use information systems for creating, disseminating, and applying knowledge. Our vision has been sharpened by several metaphors which are accessible. Below are our objectives and a overview of our target community.

I want to thank Gary Holstrum for reminding me that the ISWORLD Website is really a Wow site.

B-School Site of the Week

I was not aware that BusinessWeek maintained such an extensive Website called B-Schools ---

Getting Into B-School
MBA Rankings & Profiles
Business Week's exclusive B-School rankings — new for 2000! — plus information on MBA programs worldwide

Part-Time MBA Profiles
Business Week's profiles of 250 part-time and distance-learning MBA programs in the U.S. and the world

ROI Calculator
Find out what an MBA is really worth compared with other investments

Admissions Q&As
Interviews on admissions — as well as financial aid and career placement — with administrators from 50 programs

MBA Programs
Executive MBA Programs

MBA Programs
Executive MBA Programs

Facts & Figs
Create your own comparison tables using our new interactive database packed with statistics on MBA programs worldwide

Improve your score! This brand-new area features information on how to conquer the GMAT. You'll find expert advice, sample questions, and more

B-School Life
MBA Journals
Students with a variety of backgrounds and different objectives report regularly on their B-School experiences

Reading List
What are some of today's top professors and executives reading for work or pleasure?

Financial Aid Q&As
Interviews on financial aid with administrators from dozens of MBA programs

Career Moves
Career Advice
BW Online's career channel

Executive Programs
BW's ranking of the top 20 exec-ed providers worldwide, and more

Placement Q&As
Interviews on career placement with administrators from dozens of MBA programs

Company Research
Check out a potential employer with information on more than 4,000 companies.

Compare Salaries
Does your pay match the market rate? How much should you ask your new employer for? Find out here


"Brain Drain at the B-Schools:  Why they're scrambling to find qualified faculty," by Jennifer Merritt,  BusinessWeek, March 5, 2001, p. 106

A figure in this article shows the growth in PhD degrees as follows over the past decade:

What is more amazing is the fact that only 1,104 PhDs were granted in 1999, and only half of those individuals entered academe for a career.

I don't have the 1999 data for accounting PhDs, but Jim Hasselback reports the following PhD accountancy degrees awarded:

Source:  Prentice Hall Accounting Faculty Directory,  2000-2001, Page -2


New Accounting PhDs


There seems to be a downward supply in a market of rising demand.  It appears that accounting education is in even worse shape that business education in general.

A passage in the above BusinessWeek article reads as follows:

On top of dwindling PhDs, faculty are being lured away by big salaries at consulting firms, think tanks, and even other B-schools.  "We're getting into a sort of worldwide free agency," says Edward A. Snyder, dean of University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business Administration.  With several schools competing for the same people, B-schools are learning about the war for talent the hard way.

Just ask Nancy Rothbard, an assistant professor of management at University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.  The 1998 PhD had interviews at 13 schools and got offers from seven when she hit the job market in 2000 after a two-year fellowship.  "There are so many choices now, it's a little overwhelming."  Just to snare someone like Rothbard means offering a salary upwards of $130,000, not including research support and other perks.  That's nearly double the starting salary of, say, a history PhD.

When faculty positions don't get filled, B-school professors are often asked to teach extra classes, leaving less time for research, a must-have for achieving tenure.  "We spend a lot of time recruiting--time we could spend doing what we're here to do," says Craig R. Fox, an associate professor of management at Fuqua, where many professors have pitched in during the school's expansion.

Reply from Zane Swanson

Hi, My email system setup will not let me post messages to AECM. That Business Week article selection was missing a key point. You should consider the large proportion of business faculty who are eligible for retirement or approaching retirement or in phased retirements. Deans are probably estatic about the stock market crash because the decline in portfolio value of senior faculty will discourage them from retirement. On the hand, a future turn around in the stock market will intensify the loss of senior people.

Zane Swanson [

Reply from Cathy Sowden [

Dear Bob 

We are suffering the self same crisis in South Africa, probably exacerbated by the tumbling currency. What educational institutions need to overcome is not only the competition from commerce and industry in the local arena, but also the fact that staff are living in a global village now and that when they retire, it is more likely than not that they will be living in a country different to the one in which they were born. They will need sufficient savings and in a 'real currency' in order to 'survive old age'. As a result countries in Africa (especially SA) are suffering a severe brain drain leaving very few properly qualified staff to man the large govt institutions that are growing in tandem with the exploding population.

Research???? What is research???

I am a chartered accountant who has been in academics for 8 years out of a passion for education, but whose passion is beginning to wilt through frustrated attempts to study further (8 years and no sabatical - I have given that idea up and am planning to do it at night), financial constraints (we're generally paid roughly one tenth of the figure you quoted) and physical exhaustion.

I run 1 class (academically and administratively) of 600 students, and a smaller class of 200. Marking alone is a nightmare!

Our School of Financial Accounting has roughly 2 500 mainstream students and is run by 6 academics and 2 admin staff. The area of management is burgeoning and the biggest money spinner at our university, but compensating staff for the extra burden is still savagely argued by those in the Arts etc. Within 2 years, out of our staff complement of 6, 4 have left (admittedly replaced - but only after a few months of anguish) - but the question remains of how long they will hold out?

Lecturing in the field of management it seems means: extra admin and more contact time with classes no research, which means job security is lost you are well qualified to join Commerce and Industry but have opted for education, at huge opportunity cost to yourself lecturing in SA means that you take a salary knock almost on a monthly basis as the currency tumbles and have to consider what will happen in your old age when your meagre savings turn into peanuts! Anyway - it was nice to offload a little of my frustrations - hope you found it useful info though.

Kind regards - Cathy 
Senior Lecturer 

International Accounting Standards

Thank you Stela Colun

Hello, Mr Jensen

PricewaterhouseCoopers has on its web site a draft entitled "International Accounting Standards - Illustrative Financial Statements". I will send it to you. Please have a look on it and tell me what means LC. I suspect that this is the reporting currency of the group which may be chosen by one's person.

Thank you, 
Stela Colun [

Although Stela attached a copy of the great document, she did not provide the PwC link, I found the link to be 

Incidentally, if you are interested in a mass of documents and illustrations on international accounting standards, go to the PwC homepage and conduct a search for "international accounting."  This is a knowledge portal of sorts, although an index and/or mapping to categories would help a great deal.  The PwC homepage is at 

The soaring problem of accounting for intangibles.

Unseen Wealth by Steven M. H. Wallman, Brookings Task Force on intang, Margaret M. Blair,

Intangibles are harder to measure, harder to quantify, often more difficult to manage, evaluate, and account for than tangible assets. There is no common language for sharing information about intangible sources of value, and the language used tends to be descriptive rather than quantitative and concrete. Unseen Wealth stresses the importance of developing standards for identifying, measuring, and accounting for intangible assets, and recommends actions to government and business for improving the quality and quantity of available information about intangible investments. The book articulates a three-pronged set of reforms to help companies construct better business and reporting models, improve the quality of financial reporting, and clarify intellectual property right laws.

Unseen Wealth was developed by the Brookings Task Force on Intangibles, which includes business leaders, consultants, accounting professionals, economists, intellectual property lawyers, and policy analysts --- 

  Roger Debreceny [rogerd@NETBOX.COM

A great website for papers on accounting for intangibles is the Baruch Lev website at 

Thank you for sharing Ulrich Hommel --- 

Real options capture the value of managerial flexibility to adapt decisions in response to unexpected market developments.

Companies create shareholder value by identifying, managing and exercising real options associated with their investment portfolio.

The real options method applies financial options theory to quantify the value of management flexibility in a world of uncertainty. If used as a conceptual tool, it allows management to characterize and communicate the strategic value of an investment project.

Traditional methods (e.g. net present value) fail to accurately capture the economic value of investments in an environment of widespread uncertainty and rapid change.

The real options method represents the new state-of-the-art technique for the valuation and management of strategic investments.

The real option method enables corporate decision-makers to leverage uncertainty and limit downside risk.

This site is maintained by Ulrich Hommel and the Chair of Investment and Risk Management of the European Business School (Oestrich- Winkel) as a free service to the scientific and management community. 

Also see Bob Jensen's Threads on Real Options, Option Pricing Theory, and Arbitrage Pricing Theory --- 

A lawsuit filed late last week against Oracle and its Chairman and CEO Larry Ellison alleges the software company overstated earnings potential and understated operating problems, causing its shares to decline sharply --- 

Also at issue is the nearly $900 million in Oracle shares that Ellison dumped shortly before Oracle's third-quarter projections were released.

The suit, filed in a U.S. District Court in San Francisco, alleges that Ellison "had the motive and opportunity to perpetrate the fraudulent scheme and course of business" to sell his shares as high as $32 per share -- 50 percent higher than the $15.75 price at which Oracle's shares closed on March 2.

From The Washington Post, March 11, 2001 --- 

You download the disposable-card technology and an icon at the bottom of the computer screen tells you it's there. The next time you're Web shopping and see something you want, you carry the item to the site's checkout page. But instead of entering your own, permanent credit card number, you click on the icon for your disposable card.

The card pops onto your screen and you enter your name and password. You then get a one-time number for the single purchase you intend to make. Once used, it isn't good any more. Your real number is hidden away at the bank, where you hope hackers can't go.

It's like writing a check. "It can't be put through twice," said research analyst Moriah Campbell-Holt of Gomez Advisors in Waltham, Mass., which rates Web companies. Hackers who steal the number steal air.

Only holders of real cards from Amex, Discover and MBNA can sign up for these free disposable cards. If the cards turn out to be popular, you can count on other banks to offer them.

An important finance  and economics site from Harvard University

From the Scout Report on March 8, 2001

Project Finance Portal 

The Baker Library at the Harvard Business School (HBS) has created this all-encompassing portal intended to serve as a reference guide for project finance students, faculty, and researchers. The resources on the site are divided into two main sections. The Research and Publications list is directed at the academic community and includes bibliographies of articles, books and book chapters, and trade magazines, as well as syllabi from business and law school courses from the top schools around the world, case studies, and rating agency information. The other section, Project Finance Links, functions as a standard portal, with over 800 annotated links to related Websites. All references to books, case studies, and articles are linked to the Harvard Business School online catalog for easier access by the HBS community. For librarians and Webmasters, the Project Finance Portal will serve as a stellar model of a portal for a library community.

Bob Jensen's threads on resources ar  haphazardly maintained at 

Wow Accounting Professor's Bookmarks --- Alan Sangster's links at 

 Artificial Intelligence Pages on World Wide Web

Information Systems Pages on World Wide Web

Edweb - a must visit site or all WEB users

Engines for Education The Institute for Learning Sciences hyper book

NCET - The National Council for Educational Technology

Information Technology Training Initiative

St John's Gopher (Learning Styles - especially Dunn & Dunn)

American Accounting Association Gopher

Computer Science Bibliographic Database

The International Journal of Applied Expert Systems

New Review of Applied Expert Systems Home Page

IEEE - CAIA 95 Workshop on World Wide Web
Web World Conference 1995

Information for HTML writers
HTML Assistant Files
Weblint HTML code checker

City Net Browser Checkup

Carlos' FORMS Tutorial

Internet Tools

 ELM - Electronic Mail for Unix


WWWSTAT and GWSTAT - statistics and graphic statistics generator for URL usage


Roadmap for the Information Superhighway: Internet training workshop Well worth visiting for everyone using the Internet, not just beginners!

 Internet Tools

ELM - Electronic Mail for Unix

WWWSTAT and GWSTAT - statistics and graphic statistics generator for URL usage

 Roadmap for the Information Superhighway: Internet training workshop Well worth visiting for everyone using the Internet, not just beginners!

Thank you for sharing Alan.  The links you provide in each category are tremendous!

I want to thank Gary Holstrum for reminding me that Alan Sangster's  Website is really a helpful website.

Wow Accounting Professor Course Materials of the Week --- from Jushua Livnat at NYU

Course materials for an E-Commerce accounting and valuation course are available 

Joshua Livnat [

Course materials include the following topics:

1. Introduction.

2. Evaluation of business models.

3. Valuation of E-Commerce companies.

4. Bricks & clicks.

Thank you Joshua for sharing these materials.

Hi Bob,

Great Site!!!!!!!!!

I am a two-time Emmy winner, novelist and attorney (big deal)

I would love you to review my novel, Mahogany Row, which just became available on and will be nationally released soon. It has been an e-book at and is now a paperback.

If you want more informaton or would like to read the first chapter, you can check it out at .

You can check me out and the book at 

Can I send you a copy? Please provide your snail mail address.

Thanks, Wayne Keeley

Hi Bob,

Just found your site. What a great resource! I'd like to invite you to check out XC Publishing  for possible inclusion on your web page. We offer high-quality fantasy, science fiction, romance, mystery, historical, adventure, cross-genre novels and selected nonfiction e-books to our readers. Our e-books are provided in as many file formats as possible. We also offer special book-related extras such as maps, games, newsletters and more at our website.

I noticed that your site seems to focus on non-fiction. If you ever decide to include fiction, however, we'd be delighted to find room on your page.

BTW, my day job is in the Finance dept. of city government. ;-)


Xina Marie Uhl [
Your Source for XC-lent eBooks & More!

The "site" that Ms Uhl refers to contains my threads on electronic books --- 

Hi Dan,

I think you make some good points, and you've covered all bases by allowing for combined use of CDs and the Web. However, the year is no longer 1910 for CD-ROMs and the Web. It is more like 1950 with superhighways and jet planes on the drawing boards. There will be no CD horses on the superhighways of the Year 2010.  However, you may be positioned properly for the Year 1950 (Webwise).

You're assuming it's still the year 1910 when new-fangled automobiles frightening horses drawing carriages on the street. The "horseless carriages" in 1910 were in many ways inferior (they had to be crank started, they were slow, and they had flat tires about every ten miles). One problem faced by horseless carriages was that the roads were built for horses rather than automobiles. By analogy, the Web is still inferior (for multimedia) to that horse carriage called the CD-ROM. One reason is that the Internet roads were not suited for multimedia (although Internet 2 superhighways are under construction) --- see 

Someday I would like to pit you and Barry Rice in a heavy debate. Barry has never, to my knowledge, held forth much hope for the future of CD-ROMs. In fact he repeatedly claims their future is dead.

Seriously Dan, you make some good points. Since your materials do not contain heavy audio and video, I'm not certain that CD-ROMs offer all that much crucial advantage to your otherwise outstanding Financial Accounting Tutor. One problem is that to do some of the things you want to do, DHTML or JavaScript code must be written for everything that Toolbook will do automatically. 

I think that you will find that most things that you do in Toolbook can be done on the Web. However, you will have to abandon Toolbook to get them to work due to the limitations of Neuron for Toolbook playback. And you may have to write more code. For example, for JavaScript drag-and-drop, see For an illustration, see 

Your points should make for some interesting debate on the AECM. I hope readers will go to 

Keep up the good work. Note that you were my Wow Accounting Professor of the Week on February 23 at 

Bob (Robert E.) Jensen Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212 Voice: (210) 999-7347 Fax: (210) 999-8134 Email: 

-----Original Message----- 
From: Dan Gode []  
Sent: Friday, March 09, 2001 7:27 PM 
To: Subject: Your comments will be appreciated


I have created a document to defend why I am still CD-ROM based. You may not agree with everything in the document but I would still very much appreciate any feedback that you may have. The document is at: 

Please let me know what you think.


Reply 1 from Dan Gode


I was away in London for a week. So I missed your Feb 23 post. Thanks a lot for nominating me.

My point is not CD-ROM vs the web, my point is really about Windows Native application vs. one running entirely within the browser. I agree that the CD-ROM as a distribution medium will go away shortly. In fact, I would very much prefer if the CD went away tomorrow and everyone agreed to a secure download format that could not be resent over the net to others. This will help us reduce the inventory nightmare.

However, I am not at all enthusiastic for a browser only application at least for the next 2-3 years. An application that uses the full power of an operating system will always be superior to one that relies solely on a browser. I am waiting for .Net from Microsoft to see how much of the operating system can be harnessed via the web. Making an application work entirely in a browser via a corporate firewall is a nightmare, and I am talking from actual experience with corporate clients.

I am going to rewrite the document tonight because it looks like I am advocating CD-ROMs for distribution, which I am not.

I have yet to see a serious application written to work entirely within a browser that offers the full set of interactivity features. I will try Javascript but I believe that you need an authoring system of some sort. Writing code without a good authoring system results in a maintenance nightmare.

In five years, the bulk of the browsers on the net may be powerful enough so that a browser only application will work. History tells us that tools without scripting can never produce the quality that one can get with scripting. And, good scripting requires good tools and I have yet to see one specifically designed for on-line learning.

Thanks for your comments. They will help me rewrite the page.



I have updated my page at  based partly on your comments. This page is not about whether CD-ROM or the web should be used for distributing applications. This choice is pretty clear. For large applications (> 30 Mb) that do not require frequent updates, CD- ROMs are better while for smaller applications requiring frequent updates the web is better. We would actually prefer to make FAcT downloadable via the web if the downloads could be protected from redistribution. (The Napster controversy is a current example of the debate.) This is why our trial version is downloadable but not the full version.

This page is about the choice between applications that run directly on an operating system ("Native applications") and applications that run with a browser ("Browser-based" applications). Industry incorrectly refers to this choice as CD vs. the web and I simply used that language in my earlier message to you.

I am not sure if the wagon vs. cars analogy is correct. I have been hearing that everything will be distributed via the web for a while. As the networks get faster, the applications get bigger, and the media capacities also get bigger. Yesterday, we had CDs and now we have DVDs that can store upto 4 GB. I simply do not foresee how 4 GB will be easily downloadable via the web in the near future. Yes, my application is not large now but it will be after I am done adding some audio and video.

Another analogy is instructive. Hard disks were supposed to go away and we were supposed to get thin clients with all applications running on the networks. At least this is what Sun and Oracle badly wanted and still hope for to challenge Microsoft's monopoly. However, hard disks have gotten bigger and faster and are still with us and Microsoft applications come on CD-ROMs.

"Everything on the web" was part of the mantra that drove NASDAQ to 5,000. We are now faced with a sobering reality. Web-based e-learning was supposed to be the next "killer app" according to CISCO CEO John Chambers (a person who obviously wants all data to flow through the networks repeatedly). I believed in web-based e-learning too. However, none of the pure play e- learning companies that are publicly listed make any money and I am beginning to doubt if people correctly estimate the costs of developing and marketing e-learning materials.

I did check out the Javascript drag-and-drop that you mention. However, it still does not support what I want. I also looked at the Javascript API at  but the authors claim that it has problems with Netscape browsers and that it is difficult to modify or debug.

I don't want to sound like I am stuck in 1994 before the internet arrived. I am constantly on the lookout for browser-based solutions but I have not yet found something that can be used to support a reliable application that can be made available today at a reasonable cost. I have limited funds and cannot be like Amazon that has been losing money for the last five years in order to "build" its business.

Dan Gode, Stern School of Business [dgode@STERN.NYU.EDU

What kind of language is XSLT? --- 

An analysis and overview Michael H. Kay (

February 2001

What kind of a language is XSLT, what is it for, and why was it designed the way it is? These questions get many different answers, and beginners are often confused because the language is so different from anything they are used to. This article tries to put XSLT in context. Without trying to teach you to write XSLT style sheets, it explains where the language comes from, what it's good at, and why you should use it.

I originally wrote this article to provide the necessary background for a technical article about Saxon, intended to provide insights into the implementation techniques used in a typical XSLT processor, and therefore to help users maximize the performance of their style sheets. But the editorial team at developerWorks persuaded me that this introduction would be interesting a much wider audience, and that it was worth publishing separately as a free-standing description of the XSLT language.

What is XSLT? The XSLT language was defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and version 1.0 of the language was published as a Recommendation on November 16, 1999 (see Resources). I have provided a comprehensive specification and user guide for the language in my book XSLT Programmers' Reference and I don't intend to cover the same ground in this paper. Rather, the aim is simply to give an understanding of where XSLT fits in to the grand scheme of things.

The role of XSLT XSLT has its origins in the aspiration to separate information content from presentation on the Web. HTML, as originally defined, achieved a degree of device independence by defining presentation in terms of abstractions such as paragraphs, emphasis, and numbered lists. As the Web became more commercial, publishers wanted the same control over quality of output that they had with the printed medium. This gradually led to an increasing use of concrete presentation controls such as explicit fonts and absolute positioning of material on the page. The unfortunate but entirely predictable side effect was that it became increasingly difficult to deliver the same content to alternative devices such as digital TV sets and WAP phones (repurposing in the jargon of the publishing trade).

Drawing on experience with SGML in the print publishing world, XML was defined early in 1998 as a markup language to represent structured content independent of its presentation. Unlike HTML, which uses a fixed set of concepts (such as paragraphs, lists, and tables), the tags used in XML markup are entirely user defined, and the intention is that they should relate to objects in the domain of interest (such as people, places, prices, and dates). Whereas the elements in HTML are essentially typographic (albeit at a level of abstraction), the aim with XML is that the elements should describe real-world objects. For example, Listing 1 shows an XML document representing the results of a soccer tournament.

Bob Jensen's threads entitled XML, XHTML, XBRL, XForm, XSLT, and RDF Watch can be found at 

Blackboard Tips on Exam/Quiz Security
I added the following messages to my tips on Blackboard at 
Look under "Scenario 2 --- Professor Quizalot."

A useful feature in Blackboard is that it allows quizzes that randomly select question blocks from question pools. As long as the question pools are larger than the quiz, each student gets a different quiz. Multiple pools can be accessed for each quiz so that topical coverage and difficulty is consistent across students. I use blackboard for weekly quizzes to motivate students to stay current, but the midterm and the final are administered in class.

I also find essay questions on blackboard to be useful for days that a case discussion is scheduled. I can review students' answers before class to see how they are thinking about a case. I have blackboard randomly select from a question pool of pre-assigned questions so students don't know which specific questions they are going to see but they can prepare answers to a larger set of question before starting the quiz. I have received very positive feedback from students that it helps them to be better prepared for class discussion. It is also less work and easier to administer than continuously collecting, grading, and returning case write-ups.

 Leslie Kren
Associate Professor
School of Business University of WI - Milwaukee Milwaukee, WI 53201 office: 414 229-6075 fax: 414 229-6957 

-----Original Message-----
From: Dan Stone
Sent: 3/13/01 8:27 AM Subject:
Re: AECM Digest - 11 Mar 2001 to 12 Mar 2001 (#2001-65)

Hi all,
Re: the blackboard question. I do all quizzes and exams (including the final) in class using blackboard and laptops. Students love this because they get immediate feedback on the objective portions of the exam -- we go over the exam as soon as everyone completes it. I love it because the grading is automatic.

Security is no more or less of an issue than for in-class paper exams. The major risk is the network / system. If it goes down then you've lost the class session (unless you generate paper copies of the exam -- which I do for major exams). To date, I've been lucky and had no major network problems.

Dan Stone,
Gatton Endowed Chair of Accounting,
Univ. of Kentucky,
Von Allmen School of Accountancy, 355 Business & Economics, Lexington, KY 40506-0034 * internet:   www: accf ac_14.html  phone: 859-257-3788, fax: 859-257-3654, office: 425G Business & Economics office: 425G Business & Economics

David Winter's exhaustive archive of FAQs, historical essays, equipment photographs, and biographies digs deep into the history of video games.  
Pong-Story --- 

Ultimate Arcade --- 

How to avoid (not avoid) being audited by the IRS
From the AccountingWeb on March 9, 2001

In case you were looking for a good way to get the attention of the IRS, here are 16 red flags that the IRS claims will trigger an audit faster than you can say, "Greetings, Taxpayer..." 

The IRS will automatically disallow these items if they appear on your tax return:

To stay buried comfortably inside the huge pile of 2000 tax returns, mind the following:

With a claim for $6 billion, Minnesota firm Department 56 Inc. is attempting to lay blame on (Arthur) Andersen for a consulting job that went awry. 

There has been an explosion in web-based accounting resources and accounting related services. What can you do to utilize the Internet to maximize your business and to help your clients succeed? Tim Anglim of the Forensic Group shared his ideas on this timely topic in an AccountingWEB workshop presentation. 

Helpful accounting and business links from the Texas Society of CPAs --- 

Hello XXXXX,

For your help with rules in 53 countries, in another message I will provide you with some information regarding a document called GAAP 2000: A Survey of Accounting Rules in 53 Countries.  That may help you compare accounting rules between countries.

There are two types of traded securities in stock exchanges and debt markets: (1) Financial Instruments and (2) Derivative Financial Instruments.

Financial instruments are accounted for in the U.S. primarily under FAS 115 rules with changes the accounting with respect to classifications as to whether the financial instruments are to be held-to-maturity, available-for-sale, or trading securities (when accounting for a securities dealer). The FAS 115 standard is not free, but can be purchased from 

The main international standard for financial instruments is IAS 32 from the IASC. This is not a free document, but you can order it from 

FASB's Exposure Draft for Fair Value Adjustments to all Financial Instruments On December 14, 1999 the FASB issued Exposure Draft 204-B entitled Reporting Financial Instruments and Certain Related Assets and Liabilities at Fair Value. This document can be downloaded free from 

If an item is viewed as a financial instrument rather than inventory, the accounting becomes more complicated under SFAS 115. Traders in financial instruments adjust such instruments to fair value with all changes in value passing through current earnings. Business firms who are not deemed to be traders must designate the instrument as either available-for-sale (AFS) or hold-to-maturity (HTM). A HTM instrument is maintained at original cost. An AFS financial instrument must be marked-to-market, but the changes in value pass through OCI rather than current earnings until the instrument is actually sold or otherwise expires. Under international standards, the IASC requires fair value adjustments for most financial instruments. This has led to strong reaction from businesses around the world, especially banks. There are now two major working group debates. In 1999 the Joint Working Group of the Banking Associations sharply rebuffed the IAS 39 fair value accounting in two white papers that can be downloaded from .

Financial Instruments: Issues Relating to Banks (strongly argues for required fair value adjustments of financial instruments). The issue date is August 31, 1999. .

Accounting for financial Instruments for Banks (concludes that a modified form of historical cost is optimal for bank accounting). The issue date is October 4, 1999 .

Derivative financial instruments have their own accounting rules apart from the rules for financial instruments. Derivative financial rules are specified in FAS 133 in the U.S. and IAS 39 in the international standards of the IASC (which has now become the IASB). You can read more about these two standards at 

Of course the topic of accounting for securities is covered in various other IASB and FASB standards. You may want to do an advanced search in Google using such exact phrases as "Securities Accounting" and "Financial Instruments Accounting." The search site is at 

I hope this helps.

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
Sent: Friday, March 09, 2001 2:37 AM To: 
Subject: Doctorate thesis

Dear Dr Jensen,

My name is XXXXX and I'm BB years old. I work at YYYYY Bucharest, Romania and in the same time I'm doing a doctorate thesis entitled "ZZZZZ" regarding accounting of securities. One of its chapters is dealing with using the accounting information in stock exchange analysis. What I would like to ask you is that: can you advise me what to read and where I can find books regarding the mentioned subject? If you can help me, I will be very glad, in fact I am already grateful for using your Investment Words Dictionary which I printed form the site.

I will also would like to speak with you about equity and debt securities, derivatives etc.

Thank you, your sincerely XXXXX.

I use the Perry and Schneider text in my Accounting and Information Systems course.  It is a great text if you want to introduce MS Access relational database applications into accounting information systems.

From Double Entries March 7, 2001

This week’s news in Double Entries is sponsored by South-Western’s Accounting Team. Visit to learn more about James T. Perry and Gary P. Schneider’s Building Accounting Systems Using Access 2000 (2001 South-Western), teaching students how to develop, audit, and use accounting systems so the information contained within them can then be used by managers and decision makers.

Thank you to everyone, who helped me put together my plan. This list has been a great wealth of information for me, and I really appreciated all of your help. While I filtered through your suggestions, the two best sites I came accross that answered all of my questions were these. I thought I would share them with you to return the favor. 

and the other site was sites for teachers at 

Again, all of you have been a huge help. Thanks for everything.


Jory Pai  Dallas HS Dallas, TX 75025

Most accountants probably have no idea how much space it takes to store money.  Let's start with pennys.
The MegaPenny Project --- 

From the Scout Report on March 6, 2001

The Journal Locator in Psychology and the Social Sciences  

US Mirror  

UK Mirror 

Canadian Social Research Links 

National Anthropological Archives (Smithsonian) --- 

Also from the Scout Report on March 6, 2001

Online Papers on Consciousness 

Created and maintained by David Chalmers, a professor of philosophy at the University of Arizona, this Website offers a directory of links to over 700 online papers on issues of consciousness. The table of contents offers the papers in 34 loose categories such as the concept of consciousness, materialism and dualism, the self and personal identity, consciousness and artificial intelligence, the Turing test, consciousness in the history of psychology, visual consciousness, and implicit learning. The site also provides links to bibliographies of about 2,000 papers posted on other sites. Held primarily at University and institutional Websites, most of the papers seem to be in HTML or ASCII formats. Some papers may be in .pdf or other text display formats.

The Small Business Administration web site has good information on how to do a business plan. In my view most of the books are useless because they focus on the mechanics of the business plan. A business plan is a story about a venture you are trying to create, so it is a story about what you plan to do.

Here is the SBA site. 

Germain Boer [Germain.Boer@OWEN.VANDERBILT.EDU

Palo Alto Software has a product called Business Plan Pro. It walks you through the creation of a business plan. You can view sample plans on their website ( ). There may be enough sample material on the site to walk your student through the process and the major components of the plan.

Tom Romaniak 
Acquisitions Editor 
Atomic Dog Publishing, Inc.  (608) 286-1531

Art history --- Musee Marmottan Monet - hosts the world's largest Claude Monet
collection. --- 

Bambi Live
The now-famous photograph snapped by a firefighter in the Bitteroot National Forest in Montana --- 

From Phil Livingston, President of Financial Executives International (FEI)
On the subject of the FASB Exposure Draft (ED) on Revised Exposure Draft: Business Combinations and Intangible Assets—Accounting for Goodwill issued February 14, 2001.

* The ED requires impairment testing of goodwill at the "Reporting Unit" level, which makes the definition of a reporting unit a key concept in the ED. The ED defines a Reporting Unit as "the lowest level of an entity that is a business and that can be distinguished, physically and operationally and for internal reporting purposes, from the other activities, operations, and assets of the entity" and the Board notes that a Reporting Unit is "often the lowest level of an entity at which operating plans are prepared and profitability is measured for assessing management performance." CCR believes that the time and effort necessary to comply with the requirements of the Benchmark Assessment (see below) which have to be performed for each Reporting Unit (and updated for changes in conditions) makes it important that each company be able to determine the appropriate level that balances benefits and costs. The Committee believes that for most large companies the right level should !

be reportable operating segments determined under FAS 131, the FASB's segment reporting standard. CCR further believes that companies should be permitted to define Reporting Units at a level beneath the reportable operating segment, provided that the company documents its policy for determining Reporting Units and applies that policy consistently.

* The ED requires a "Benchmark Assessment" to be performed for all Reporting Units within 6 months of the ED's effective date (quite likely this will be July 1, 2001). In performing the Benchmark Assessment, a company must (1) define what its Reporting Units are, (2) identify the goodwill, assets and liabilities associated with each Reporting Unit, (3) document the key expectations related to future performance of the Reporting Unit, (4) document the model and key assumptions that will be used to measure the fair value of the Reporting Unit, (5) measure the fair value of the Reporting Unit as of the date of acquisition or reorganization or the adoption of the new standard, (6) compare the carrying amount of its net assets (including goodwill) with the fair value of the Reporting Unit calculated in step 5. (7) If the carrying amount of net assets exceeds the fair value of the Reporting Unit the company must reassess its valuation model, assumptions, and the amount of goodwill!

allocated to the reporting unit. If appropriate, changes are made and the fair value is recomputed. If at the end of this process the fair value of the Reporting Unit is still less than the carrying amount of its net assets, the Reporting Unit should be tested for impairment. CCR believes that the Benchmark Assessment process will costly and time consuming to perform even for a relatively small number of reporting units. CCR observes that cost/benefit considerations increasingly come into play as the number of Reporting Units grows. In addition, when Reporting Units are defined at a low level, it is much more likely that organization changes will precipitate a new round of Benchmark Assessments. CCR also questions whether the fair value measurement of the Reporting Unit is a necessary step in the Benchmark Assessment, unless there is evidence that an impairment exists.

* The ED provides an extensive list of impairment indicators that would precipitate testing of goodwill for impairment. CCR requests that the Board clarify the context for assessing whether the existence of such indicators are "significant". Specifically, CCR believes that is only in those circumstances in which the events in question are expected to result in a significant decrease in net cash flows that an assessment should be undertaken. Without such guidance, the occurrence of certain events may require companies to perform impairment assessments when it is clearly unnecessary. For example, the introduction of a similar product by a competitor that is expected to significantly reduce revenues for a very low margin product, even if the gross revenues were significant, would not normally be an event that would warrant impairment testing.

* In measuring the amount of the impairment loss, the ED requires the following steps: (1) measure the fair value of the Reporting Unit (including goodwill) (2) measure the fair value of the Reporting Unit's net assets (excluding goodwill) (3) The implied fair value of goodwill is deemed to be the difference between these two values. The amount of the impairment write-down is the difference between the implied fair value of goodwill and its carrying amount. CCR believes that it is untenable to expect companies to regularly estimate the fair value of individual recognized assets and liabilities in attempting to determine the implied fair value of goodwill. While the objective of the exercise may be conceptually appealing to the Board, CCR's experience with such appraisals in the context of business acquisitions would suggest that any benefit from more precise impairment measurements is far outweighed by the prohibitive costs of retaining and regularly engaging outside valuat!

ion experts. It would be far more reasonable, practical and cost effective to use book values of reported assets in determining the amount of the impairment.

* The ED requires a separate intangible asset to be recognized if it meets the definition of an asset in Concepts Statement 5 and (a) control over the future economic benefits of the asset results from contractual or other legal rights or (b) the asset is capable of being separated or divided and sold, transferred, licensed, rented, or exchanged. CCR believes that the Board needs to further clarify that definition. While adding the concepts of separability, legal/contractual rights, and ability to sell to the definition is helpful, the ED then muddies the waters significantly by stating that such intangibles need not meet the latter requirement individually - they would still meet the definition if they could be sold as part of a group of related assets. CCR understands that this nuance is intended to capture core deposit intangibles but suspects that it will sweep in other intangibles as well that really should be part of goodwill.

* The revised ED does not address the categories of intangibles (limited life intangibles vs. those with indefinite lives) defined in the original ED issued in 1999. CCR is aware that the Board has reached new decisions in this area but has, for whatever reason, chosen not to expose them for public comment. We believe that the definition of intangibles with indefinite lives from the earlier ED should be clarified to include those intangibles that, while specifically identifiable, share the same characteristics as goodwill.

* The ED's transition requirements preclude accounting change treatment for the inevitable impairments that will result from this significantly different approach to recognizing impairment of goodwill. CCR understands that the Board followed a similar approach to transition when it issued FAS 121. The Committee had two observations on this decision: first, the undiscounted impairment trigger under FAS 121 was unlikely to result in many "instant" impairments upon adoption since it was an approach that was followed by most companies; second, if the recognition of an impairment is not an accounting change then what is it? It is not a change in estimate or a change in the reporting entity. And yet there can be no doubt that the ED's fair value impairment trigger will result in pervasive and potentially significant impairment write-downs upon adoption. CCR also believes that companies will require a longer transition period to perform the Benchmark Assessment to all of its Reporting Units than the 6 months provided for in the ED. CCR believes companies should be allowed at least one year to complete this assessment.

Watch for the full comment letter on our site

From Bob Jensen:  You can download the Amended Exposure Draft free (in PDF format) from 

Dynamic page content is often invisible to most search engine spiders, so it never gets indexed. Increase the traffic to your dynamic site by making your valuable content visible to search engine spiders. 

Do you know what your students are doing at this moment?  --- Zilo knows all --- 
This is (great? questionable?) source material for a college newspaper.

National IT Salary Survey (Careers) --- 

This survey was prepared by the editors at InformationWeek, InternetWeek, Network Computing, Planet IT, TechWeb, Wall Street & Technology, Insurance & Technology, Sys Admin, Dr Dobbs, and Software Development with technical assistance from Hewitt Associates LLC, a global management consulting firm that regularly conducts professional compensation and benefits studies.

The data will be used to support upcoming stories about IT compensation, job responsibilities, and job satisfaction. We’ll also publish the results on the Web beginning in late April in a format you can use to compare your salary and benefits with those of your peers. It’s a great way to prepare for your next salary review - or that of the people you manage. Until then you can view the 2000 results. This 27-question survey takes about 10 minutes to complete.

To fill out the questionnaire, Go to: 

The Year 2000 results are posted at 

Art of Magic --- 

Is today's Internet damaging the integrity of content? There's some great stuff, sure. However, it's vastly outweighed by badly written, out-of-date, inaccurate, and sometimes deliberately misleading content. 

Humpback Whales ---- 

Despite the recent buzz around Napster and the potential of peer-to-peer networking, most IT managers are taking a wait-and-see approach to the new technology --- 

Online music beyond Napster ZDNet Downloads guru Preston Galla offers up a grab bag of great programs for listening to and handling digital music online. 

Bob Jensen's P2P threads are at 

Kyocera just released a PDA smartphone, starting a trend that looks like it'll be hot by year's end. But will consumers adopt the new gadgets or opt to carry multiple devices?,1367,42266,00.html 

Devices that include the dual functions of personal digital assistants and cell phones are apparently the next wireless craze, but even the industry admits these new toys won't replace cell phones and handheld devices anytime soon.

Nonetheless, Verizon Wireless (VZ) now sells Kyocera Wireless' (KYO) converged PDA cell phone powered by the Palm (PALM) operating system. The phone has received much fanfare; ads are popping up everywhere.

"A lot of people's initial reaction is it's a little big, but when they play with it they say it's cool," said Delly Tamer, president and CEO of comparison shopping site "It has a lot to offer for its size –- it's intuitive to learn and for business professionals it's a good device." Email Newsletter --- March 12, 2001

Computer hardware and software store CompUSA knows its customers are generally more tech savvy than those of other businesses, so when the time came to update its marketing strategy, an answer became clear: mobile digital coupons.

CompUSA has teamed with AvantGo, a provider of mobile infrastructure and services, to provide the coupons. They appear on AvantGo users' handheld devices, which can be brought into a CompUSA store and shown to a cashier for discounts.

CompUSA says handheld users are important customers. "We find that a customer who buys a handheld is very involved in technology and interested in finding out what's available not just for the handheld, but what's the latest and greatest technology," says John Lostroscio, VP of merchandising/ general merchandise manager at CompUSA in Dallas. "This is a great way to get to them."

Already 28,000 customers have seen the ad and 11,000 have saved the channel in their handheld devices to have promotions automatically routed to them from CompUSA, the company says. "Then there will always be a path to that channel," says Lostroscio, "and as we change out the products and stuff, those customers will always get that download." Email Newsletter --- March 12, 2001

Drug and alcohol abusers can now get counseling online. 
EGetgoing, a for-profit affiliate of CRC Health, last week 
launched Web-based, anti-drug and alcohol E-learning and support 
programs for people new to dependency treatment and those seeking 
to extend treatment they've already had.
Participants are shipped CD-ROMs, headphones, and a microphone 
for use in anonymous online group therapy. They can see and hear 
the moderator and be heard by other participants. They also get 
their own Web page for personalized help, and have one-on-one 
access to their counselor if need be. 
EGetgoing's program isn't meant to substitute for residential 
treatment when it's available, stresses Barry Karlin, founder and 
CEO of eGetgoing and CRC. Customers are mainly companies, 
treatment providers, and criminal justice programs.
The Web address is 

Send a Rude Mountain animated card --- 

Chinese Women: An Introduction to the English Language Literature on Women's Studies in China -- University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries 

Gateway to America's Capital
Explore DC  (Washington DC travel, sites, events) 
Our nation's capital is one of my favorite places to spend vacation time.  

Addiction Search and Research --- 

Making Sense of Modern Art (animations and video) --- 

Now this is more to my liking!
Picturing the Century: One Hundred Years of Photography from the National Archives 

A Literary History of the American West --- 

Historical Atlas of the Twentieth Century 

The Author's Guild is planning a formal protest against, which puts cheaper, used book offerings alongside the new ones. Also: Poor fiction sales prompt to go nonfiction, a publshing house offers free downloads and other sites give authors more control ---,1284,42350,00.html 

The Story of Africa -- History from the BBC --- 

What do most personal computers spend most of the time doing? Absolutely nothing. But quite a few small vendors are out to change that—by tying thousands of PCs together in order to create a virtual supercomputer.

This approach of distributed computing (sometimes called parallel computing) is best known for SETI@Home. The University of California at Berkeley program invites us all to lend our computing resources—now said to total three million computers worldwide—to analyze data from radio telescopes trained to listen for extra-terrestrial intelligence. (The software acts as a screen saver, doing its business in the background.)

Closer to home, startup vendors now compete to sell aggregated computer services and the necessary infrastructure to businesses. A few even have paying customers in compute-intensive industries such as bioinformatics and financial analysis. 

Hi Bob

As the current Chair of the AICPA Professor / Practitioner Case Development Program Task Force, I want to thank you for your past contributions to the program. Despite the "sunset" last year of the AICPA Accounting Educator's Conference, the Case Development Program continues to be alive and well. This program has been well received in the past, and as we re-energize our promotion of the Program we would like your assistance in updating our files. We want to ensure all materials distributed under this program are current and effective. Our focus is to:

· Make all cases available electronically through the AICPA's website, for greater educator access; · Ensure that the available cases and solutions are "current" with regard to professional guidance.

Please take a moment to complete the attached questionnaire regarding your case(s).

In the future, case submissions will be considered for presentation opportunities (with AICPA support) at such meetings as the AAA Annual Meeting, the Colloquium on Change in Accounting Education organized by Paul Solomon, and the annual Federation of Schools of Accountancy meeting. In addition, existing cases that are updated or current will also be considered for presentation opportunities as one of our "classic" cases. We appreciate your past participation in the program and hope you will provide future case submissions.

Please return the questionnaire to Leticia Romeo at the AICPA ( by March 30, 2001, or indicate by when you can reply.

To respond electronically to this survey, first save the document (e.g., to your hard drive), open the file in Word and insert your response, and save again before attaching as a file to your e-mail.


Lynford Graham 

Linda Specht, who teaches auditing at Trinity University, called my attention to the article below.
Today's CPA (From the Texas Society of CPAs, Jan/Feb 2001, pp. 26-30, Ames, Lindberg, & Razaki, "Auditing the Internet" ). This provides a good example of application of the attestation standards,

Divorce is a messy business! Only this time the new single dropped the first name rather than the last.
Goodbye Arthur, Hello Andersen ---
Goodbye Andersen Consulting, Hello Accenture

The firm was originally named for its founder, an accounting professor at Northwestern University who moved into public accounting in 1913. The Big Five firm said it will phase out the use of Arthur Andersen in the coming months.

Everything under the Andersen umbrella, including its business consulting practice, will be branded under the Andersen name going forward, spokeswoman Julie Hallinan said. The move officially retires the Andersen Consulting name, which AA won the rights to under the historic August ruling by Guillermo Gamba. 

Founder Arthur Andersen

Gamba's decision forced Andersen Consulting, which became Accenture Jan.1, to give up the Andersen name and required the consulting firm to pay about $1 billion to the partners at Arthur Andersen. That money, which consisted of regularly scheduled payments between the firms, had been held in escrow since the arbitration began in December 1997.

"Using Andersen as our global brand better aligns with our strategic commitment to continually enhance the breadth and depth of our capabilities," Joseph F. Berardino, managing partner and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "We want to be known for our total commitment to client service and our unique ability to provide sophisticated, integrated solutions."

The acronym for Arthur Andersen was once AA
Now it's just an A
Andersen Consulting had its day
Accenturate entered the scene with its own A
The divorce gave forth to an AA and an A
Now we have an A and another A
Sometimes things just go that way

But Department 56 owners think naming is all just play
What they insist, if they have their way,
Is that A must pay, and A must also pay

And by any name, there is a new $6 billion (Senator Everett Dirksen would have called that real money) lawsuit to light up the lives of global lawyers:

In a 69-page complaint, Department 56, a collectibles company known for its line of holiday and home décor products, alleges that the company was crippled as a result of the battle between Arthur Andersen and Andersen Consulting (now known as Accenture). Department 56 alleges that Chicago-based Arthur Andersen was more interested in building its own information technology consulting business to compete with Andersen Consulting and didn't have the experience to lead the project.

Department 56 thought it was getting the expertise of Arthur Andersen and Andersen Consulting when it proceeded with Arthur Andersen's plan in 1996 to replace the company's world-wide operating systems only to find the system didn't work when it was turned on in January 1999.

In a prepared statement, Department 56 Chairwoman and CEO Susan Engel said, "Lulled by their reputation and portrayal of self-proclaimed expertise, only too late did we learn that Arthur Andersen didn't have the qualifications to do this type of work and was actually forbidden from accepting it based on agreements it had signed with its partner firm Andersen Consulting and documents filed with the SEC."

That's not "Accenturating the positive" --- its more like "Decenturating the negative."   And don't mess with Mr. In Between.


Find a house or house sitter for your sabbatical leave -- 

Helping academic communities around the world find or list houses or apartments for rent, exchange or house-sit when on sabbatical leave, research trip, exchange program, relocation or vacations.

From InformationWeek Email Newsletter --- March 12, 2001

E-mail filters are great for stemming the flow of unwanted pornography and ads, but are they too good? We here at the InformationWeek Daily last week got a peek at one possible filter future when hundreds of our newsletters were bounced back because of a story we wrote.

Software at Nortel Networks, Motorola, and Citicorp scanned our March 7 Daily and said "no, thanks." And while we'd love to tell you about the offending content, we really want loyal readers at those companies to get this edition, too. Let's just say that one of the words rhymes with "fire us." The story also mentioned, shall we say, the L*ve B*g.

John Pescatore, a Gartner analyst, says even individual characters and character strings are spooking the watchdogs. The problem is that filters--increasingly common components in our lives--are too unsophisticated, Pescatore says. Most see no difference between a newsletter story about "uncouth coding" and real, live "unrequested malicious programming," if you get our drift.

The solution is behavioral filters, or software that doesn't just scan E-mail; it watches what it does or what its attachments do once activated and (presumably) before any damage is done. "It's almost like we are becoming Web psychologists," says Pete Lindstrom, a Hurwitz Group analyst. The good news is that behavioral software is already out from companies such as Finjan Software, Pelican Security, Aladdin Knowledge Systems, and Okena, he says.

The bad news is that IS departments literally don't know what they're missing when using more dogmatic filters, says Tom Bartel, Web-design director of E-mail-distribution house MessageMedia Inc. In the meantime, bear with us when you read sometimes-cryptic stories about "criminal cracker products" like the most recent "rhymes-with-rude wife" outbreak.

The National Infrastructure Protection Center says organized attacks on e-commerce sites have resulted in the theft of more than 1 million credit-card numbers --- 

Lots and lots of data --- 
National Center for Charitable Statistics 

From Syllabus News on March 13, 2001

Recognix recently made available on its Web site ( ) a free service to help high school and college students master the intricacies of mathematics. MathXpert is a learning tool which shows students how to solve an algebra, trigonometry, or calculus mathematics problem. Students may practice with MathXpert problems, which are included with the program, or they may enter their own problems. The program was developed by Professor Michael Beeson of San Jose State University (a graduate of Cal Tech and Stanford Universities) after fifteen years of research. From a set of approximately 800 operations, the logic engine of the MathXpert programs is able to select the sequence of mathematical operations that need to be applied to arrive at a solution. MathXpert is available as a free online service to students, as a single user application program to be installed on the user's computer, and as a net- work application to be installed on a school network. For more information, visit .

Epoch Integration Inc., a consulting and development company, today announced the launch of PageMeBack, a free Web-based service that allows individuals and businesses to publish Internet content for users with wireless e-mail devices. Located at , PageMeBack is built on Epoch Integration's Ellipse platform, a Java- and XML-based architecture that enables transaction processing from, and content delivery to, any device that supports e-mail. By visiting the site, anyone can build a PageMeBack Web site that can be accessed by millions of wireless e-mail device users. No HTML coding or programming of any kind is required, and users do not have to worry about setting up any hosting.

Internet Catalogue (Shopping, Marketing) --- 

Spencer F. Katt marvels at Microsoft's misleading open-source machinations --- 

Canadian Financial Network 

Trojans on one type or another have been getting us into trouble since the glory days in ancient Greece

From InformationWeek Online on March 15, 2001

Virus writers too busy to learn assembly or Visual Basic Scripts now have a new tool to help them orchestrate system attacks without having to know the first thing about programming. Developers of the ubiquitous back-door hacking program SubSeven, which gives cybervandals nearly carte blanche over a victim's computer, have made version 2.2 of their software generally available. Version 2.2 sports new support for proxies, the ability to monitor any random port, a new graphical user interface, and will broadcast compromised system information to various Web sites using the Common Gateway Interface. SubSeven creators also plan to release a software developers' kit that will provide a modular development approach, making it easier for users to sneak past antivirus software.

Because of the new proxy support, "hackers will also have less to worry about when it comes to being traced," says Chris Rouland, director of the X-Force vulnerability research team for Internet Security Systems Inc.

SubSeven has been used in the past to create "zombies" on remote systems that are "awakened" in unison to launch a distributed denial-of-service attack. The new notification features, SubSeven developers hope, will provide a widely used manifest of SubSeven-infected systems that can be distributed among users of the development tool, potentially creating larger and more dangerous attacks than previously possible.

Once a machine is infected with SubSeven, the Trojan installs itself to the Windows directory with the identical name of the file from which it originally ran. Then it installs its dynamic link library to the Windows system directory. It also alters the Windows registry so SubSeven is executed every time Windows boots. Rouland says the new version also provides a way for each keystroke on a victim's system to be logged and E-mailed back to the attacker. "This is a way they can gather passwords and other data," he says. "From a hacker perspective, it's really a useful toolkit.

eLabs Report, March 13, 2001
"Technology Freedoms Are Eroding," By Jim Rapoza 

A recent story suggested that Microsoft barred an unnamed lab from publishing the results of tests it ran-tests that purportedly showed SQL Server 2000 running better on Windows NT 4.0 than it did on Windows 2000.

Microsoft isn't alone in this kind of behavior: Oracle acted similarly many years ago when independent, unbiased benchmarking exposed its databases as complete performance dogs. Following Oracle's lead, most database vendors began including terms in their licensing agreements that precluded the publication of benchmark results. The legality of these restrictions is dubious, but few individuals or labs would risk challenging the vendors. Ziff Davis publications have published benchmarks without vendor approval, and our decisions have often led to icy relations with vendors.

The other downside to these vendor impositions is that comparative tests of rival databases on similar hardware configurations have become almost extinct. A business can run tests itself, but most companies lack the resources that large testing labs have. So would-be buyers and other interested parties are forced to rely on either trustworthy but incomplete testing by objective small internal labs or on thorough tests using specific configuration and tuning parameters preapproved by vendors. Never mind that the vendors' carefully engineered settings might be unmatched in any real-world implementations.

The other issue that is bothering me is also an old one, but with some new twists. Many of you might remember the legal case against DeCSS, a program that made it possible to play DVDs on a Linux system. The thorny issue with this program was that to make it possible to play a DVD, the program had to break the DVD's encryption protection. A court fight ensued, and a misinformed judge ordered sites to stop providing or linking to the DeCSS code.
To read more about the DeCSS controversy, please click here.

March 11th edition of the ENews Internet Essentials newsletter for the financial professional. --- 

1. XML joins the IT workforce 
3. ebXML Comes Clean with SOAP 
4. An XML Query Language Is Born 
5. Michael Kay: How XSLT Works 
6. XML: HTML Done Right 
7. XML NEWS! Live Feed for all News about XML

The best place to start (for learning about XML) is a Scientific American article,  written by Jon Bosak and Tim Bray. Bosak and Bray were on the original XML working group. The article is short, readable and lays out the basic concepts of XML.

Next, try my XML resource page, located at . At that site, I have gathered several articles that focus on the users side to XML. For books, I recommend XML, A Manager's Guide by Kevin Dick (Addison Wesley). Good luck.

Forwarded by my Norwegian cousin

Varning! Nort Dakotuh Norvegian e-mail virus!

Computer Virus Warning!

By opening dis message you have just received da "NORVEGIAN VIRUS." Since ve do not haf any programming experience and do not know how to actually damage your computer, dis Virus verks on da honor system. Please forward dis Virus to eferyvone on your mailing list and den manually delete all of da files on your hard drive.

Tank you for your cooperation.

Sven and Ole

Forwarded by Dr. D.

Hello, welcome to the Psychiatric Hotline.  
If you are obsessive-compulsive, please press 1 repeatedly.
If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 2.
If you have multiple personalities, please press 3, 4, 5, and 6.
If you are paranoid-delusional, we know who you are and what you want --- just stay on the line until we can trace the call.
If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a little voice will tell you which number to press.
If you are manic-depressive, it doesn't matter which number you press --- no one will answer.

Phoons illustrate how silly things can get on the Internet!

This pose is called the "Phoon". You can find at least one Phoon in every picture of
every category below. People from around the world send in their Phoon pictures. You can,

Forwarded by Bob Overn

This is a true story and it won the 1999 Criminal Darwin Award.

This is why lawyers and insurance companies are so popular.  A Charlotte, NC man, having purchased a box of very rare, very expensive cigars,insured them against fire among other things. Within a month of having smoked his entire stockpile of cigars and without having made even his first premium payment on the policy, the man filed a claim against the insurance company.

In his claim, the man stated the cigars were lost "in a series of small fires."  The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason: that the man had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion. The man sued...and won!

In delivering the ruling, the judge agreed that the claim was frivolous. He stated nevertheless that the man held a policy from the company in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable and also guaranteed that it would insure against fire, without defining what is considered to be "unacceptable fire," and was obligated to pay the claim.

Rather than endure a lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid the man $15,000.00 for the rare cigars he had lost in the"fires."


After the man cashed the check, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of ARSON. With his insurance claim and testimony from the previous case being used against him, the man was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and was sentenced to 24 months in jail, along with a $24,000.00 fine.

Forwarded by Aaron Konstam

A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining and wants it back the minute it begins to rain.

An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn't happen today.

A statistician is someone who is good with numbers but lacks the personality to be an accountant.

A programmer is someone who solves a problem you didn't know you had in a way you don't understand.

A mathematician is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn't there.

A lawyer is a person who writes a 10,000-word document and calls it a "brief."

A psychologist is someone who watches everyone else when a beautiful girl enters the room. (Yeah, sure!)

A professor is one who talks in someone else's sleep.

A committee is a body that keeps minutes and wastes hours.

Archeologist: A man whose career lies in ruins.

Forwarded by Debbie Bowling

Dr. Jensen, here's another story I had to pass on to you. It's such a touching story.


-----Original Message----- From: []  
Sent: Friday, March 09, 2001 3:06 AM 
Subject: Insight of the Day

March is disability awareness month. This weeks story comes from the movie "Kids Like These".

Welcome to Holland

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability to try and help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this...

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may even learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

HOLLAND?!?!?!? you say. What do you mean Holland? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy.

But, there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guidebooks. You must learn a whole new language. You will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. It's just a different place. It's slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for awhile and you catch your breath, you look around. You begin to notice that Holland has windmills, Holland has tulips, Holland even has Rembrandts.

Everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there and for the rest of your life you will say, "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned." And the pain of that will never, ever, go away, because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.

But, if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.

---------------- Insight of the Day - it's Free!

And that's the way it was on March 16, 2001 with a little help from my friends.  If you are an accounting practitioner or educator, please do not forget to scan


In March 2000 Forbes named as the Best Website on the Web ---
Some top accountancy links ---


How stuff works --- 


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

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March 9, 2001

Quotes of the Week

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.
Andre Gide

Only three things can happen with a forward pass, two of them are bad.
Woody Hayes expressing his preference that his Ohio State University teams drive ahead on the ground.
I always wondered where offensive and defensive pass interference penalties could fit into this threesome of "Completed," "Intercepted," or "Incomplete.".  Perhaps Coach Hayes thought they offset each other.

In any hierarchy, each individual rises to his or her level of incompetence and then remains there.
Murphy's Law

It does not matter if you fall down as long as you pick up something from the floor while getting up.
Murphy's Law

The race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet.
Murphy's Law

On a beautiful day like this, it's hard to believe anyone can be unhappy --- but we will work on it.
Murphy's Law

Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.
Murphy's Law

People can be divided into three groups:
those who make things happen,
those who watch things happen, and
those who wonder what happened.

Murphy's Law
The fourth is comprised of those who are unaware of most things that happen

The idea is to die young as late as possible.
Murphy's Law

A man should be greater than the sum of his parts.
Murphy's Law

Heavy Duty Theory for the Week

Many moons ago, Stewart Myers and I were in a doctoral program together at Stanford University.  After graduation, Stewart became one of the most outstanding economics and financial researchers of the world --- 

The term "real options" can be attributed to the Stewart Myers ("Determinants of Capital Borrowing", Journal of Financial Economics, Vol..5, 1977).  The theory of real options extends the concept of financial options (in particular call options) into the realm of capital budgeting under uncertainty and valuation of corporate assets or entire corporations.

The real options approach is dynamic in the sense that includes the effect of uncertainty along the time, and what/how/when the relevant real options shall be exercised.  Some argue that real options do little more than can be done with dynamic programming of investment states under uncertainty, real options add a rich economic theory to capital investing under uncertainty.

The real options problem can be viewed as a problem of optimization under uncertainty of a real asset (project, firm, land, etc.) given the available options.  Since I have been asked to teach a bit about real options theory while I am lecturing at Monterrey Tech March 18-23, I thought I might share a bit of my source material that I discovered on the Web.

Thank you for sharing Ulrich Hommel --- 

Real options capture the value of managerial flexibility to adapt decisions in response to unexpected market developments.

Companies create shareholder value by identifying, managing and exercising real options associated with their investment portfolio.

The real options method applies financial options theory to quantify the value of management flexibility in a world of uncertainty. If used as a conceptual tool, it allows management to characterize and communicate the strategic value of an investment project.

Traditional methods (e.g. net present value) fail to accurately capture the economic value of investments in an environment of widespread uncertainty and rapid change.

The real options method represents the new state-of-the-art technique for the valuation and management of strategic investments.

The real option method enables corporate decision-makers to leverage uncertainty and limit downside risk.

This site is maintained by Ulrich Hommel and the Chair of Investment and Risk Management of the European Business School (Oestrich- Winkel) as a free service to the scientific and management community. If you have any information on the real options method that you wish to make available to the public via this web site, please contact

M.Sc. Dissertation Abstract: Real Options in R&D Capital Budgeting - A Case Study at Pharmacy & Upjohn. By M.Sc. Gunnar Kallberg and M.Sc. Peter Laurin, from Gothenburg School of Economics and Commercial Law, Department of Economics, Sweden. The abstract can be found under Item 5 at 

Despite the wide use of the traditional capital budgeting techniques NPV, IRR, and Payback time among organizations, criticism have been raised against the static use of them. The techniques only use tangible factors and do not take into account intangible factors such as future competitive advantage, future opportunities, and managerial flexibility. A relatively new technique to capital budgeting is the real option approach. This approach has the potential to include the value of the project from active management and strategic interactions using the valuation technique for financial options.

The main objective of this thesis is to numerically analyze the value of an option approach in the capital budgeting of R&D investments. The results of the option approach will be compared with the results from traditional NPV approach. This will be done by constructing a valuation model and this model will then be numerically applied to a pharmaceutical R&D project at Pharmacia & Upjohn.

The model that we have constructed includes both the binomial and the Black & Scholes formula for the valuation of options. The binomial method is used in valuing the development phase of the R&D project and the Black & Scholes formula is used when valuing a follow-on project. A common spreadsheet program has been used to construct the model.

If you can overlook some of the English grammar mistakes (mainly when the authors' native language is something other than English), take a look at the following helpful free documents on the use of real options in capital budgeting.  

Real Options --- 

A great Website on real options --- 

Note especially the Visual FAQ's on Real Options --- 

Underlying all of this is Options Pricing Models and Arbitrage Pricing Theory.  In that realm, I have an aged (yellowed?) 1984 working paper that journal editors claimed they could just not understand and would not touch with a ten foot pole.  Am I the only one who finds my stuff to be crystal clear?

Working Paper 149
Does a Ross Economy Lunch Really Cost as Much as Hirshleifer Cuisine Complete With Sigma Squared for Dessert?

You can find more about such things in papers and books that really did get published in such journals as those listed below:  

It seems to be a Trinity University connection in the March 2001 edition of New Bookmarks.  Dick Burr is the Chair of the Department of Business Administration and Alistair Fraser spent a memorable year (while on leave of absence from Penn State) on the Trinity University campus.

"External Resources for Business Administration," by Annette Craven, Pat LeMay Burr, and Richard M. Burr, Syllabus, March 2001, 33-36. The article is not yet online, but eventually it will be posted to 
This article is filled with links in such categories as the following:

"Web Visualization for Teachers," by Alistair B. Fraser, Syllabus, March 2001, 18-20.  The article is not yet online, but eventually it will be posted to 

That computers and the Web will have a powerful influence on teaching now seems evident.  Teachers use the Web to post syllabi, assignments, and notes; offer links to supporting resources; and use course management systems to handle quizzes, administrative feedback, scheduling, and chats.

Yet there is little in these uses that provides anything new -- they merely represent a different, sometimes more convenient, way of doing what had previously been done satisfactorily by other means.  For example, for most instructors, the Web has provided a high-technology way to transfer the cost of printing lecture notes from the teacher to the student.

Further, rather than being pedagogically significant, our instructional use of the Web is primarily for course administration and distribution.  But what we administer and what we distribute remains essentially unchanged -- material conceived under the inherent constraints of a much older medium of communication.  It is reasonable to ask, rather than moving already created content to the Web, how can we use this new communications medium to provide pedagogical value added?

To bring the distinction between Web pedagogy and Web distribution into sharper focus, I repeat the rule I published in the Chronicle of Higher Education (Aug. 6, 1999, B8): The extent to which a student gains the same pedagogical benefit from a printout of your Web resources as from the resources themselves is the extent to which one has accomplished nothing of pedagogical value by using the Web.

Wow IT Solution of the Decade --- The Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)  and Supply Chain Management System at the University of Illinois System (Chicago, Urbana-Champaign, and Springfield).  Interestingly, the system chosen is not (as of yet) a well-known ERP system.  After a careful study of alternative systems, the relatively unknown SCT ERP system was chosen..  See 

This system is under development and will eventually cover over 250 fields of study, 5,000 faculty, and nearly 50,000 employees.   Like its counterpart in industry, this ERP system will drill down from the top to the very bottom of the organization in organizing, planning, administration, and delivery of education, research, and service.


The University Administrative Systems Project (ASP) -- to select and implement an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution -- is progressing well. In the last three months we have gathered a great deal of information about how integrated software suites really work at other universities. We have also engaged in extensive discussions with our functional and technical experts about whether and how our University might benefit from such a solution. The project remains on schedule with the plan we presented in our May newsletter article on ERP systems. In that article we also explained the apparent advantages of ERP software systems and the reasons for the University's interest in them. What we have learned suggests that these systems, while complex and challenging to implement, do deliver attractive capabilities that warrant thorough investigation.

Campus and University leadership have monitored the project closely, and continue to support the plan to replace all financial, human resources, and student information systems with a single, integrated suite of software applications. The next steps in this process will provide the detailed information required by management in order to make an informed systems replacement decision. The following ERP project status update discusses recent activities and previews future steps.

Recent Activities

The System Strategy Assessment Team (SSAT) and related functional teams have completed the information-gathering process and are moving to the evaluation phase. During the information-gathering phase, team members visited other educational institutions that are implementing ERP solutions, to discuss product capabilities, and the challenges presented by such an undertaking. Project teams studied other schools' Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for ERP systems, examined a cross section of the vendor product market, and prepared requirements lists.

A major project milestone just reached is the issuance of a University of Illinois RFP for an ERP software suite. This is significant for two reasons. First, the RFP is the culmination of efforts of more than one hundred University employees representing student administration, human resources and payroll, business affairs, and AITS, working together to document the vision for the ERP. This is the largest and most successful collaborative effort of administrative and student services units conducted at the University of Illinois in recent memory. Second, this is the first time the University has issued a major RFP via electronic posting and the first time we have encouraged vendor response in kind.

Information-Gathering Stage and Lessons Learned

The information-gathering stage brought our teams into contact with other institutions in the ERP implementation process. Perhaps the most valuable information we gathered relates to "Lessons Learned"-- what to do and what not to do in assessing and implementing ERP products. Our colleagues at other schools were quite candid about their experiences. They provided information to help appraise what we need in a system and what today's systems can provide. They gave us advice and told us of pitfalls. While they confirmed that ERP implementations are difficult, in every case they expressed agreement with the decision to pursue the integrated suite solution.

One particularly significant recommendation was to create an effective decision-support system to complement the new transaction processing systems. Transaction processing is an ERP product's strong point. In the June article on Data Warehousing, we explained that the University is assembling resources and a steering structure to implement a decision-support environment. Tightly linked to the ERP effort, this environment will complement the ERP and consolidate our vast stores of historical data.

Evaluation Stage

We have completed our preliminary information-gathering and progressed to the project's formal evaluation phase. We have issued an RFP, and will evaluate vendor responses in terms of their product's ability to meet our stated needs. The RFP contains both a Crucial Requirements and a Scenarios section. Responses to crucial requirements are designed to reveal general product suitability with respect to functionality and potential improvement in services. The scenarios are designed to elicit more detailed information about product functionality and performance in an environment like ours. The evaluation stage extends from the receipt of completed proposals in early September, through the end of the scenario presentations by vendors in mid-October. Completed proposals will pass through multiple evaluation phases, each designed to assess vendor and product in increasing detail. In the last phase, those vendors that meet the University's general requirements will present their scenarios. Finally, the SSAT will recommend its vendor selection to the Vice Presidents and their respective University management teams. The President and University Officers will review the information presented to them and recommend action to the Board of Trustees at its November meeting.

Future Steps and a Look Back

Now that the ERP RFP has been issued, the SSAT and functional teams are laying the groundwork for the ERP implementation. We are drafting a companion RFP to acquire services from Implementation Partners (IPs), who will be needed to assist with the organization and execution of the system after it is chosen. The RFP for IP services will detail specific requirements relating to project management, business process re-engineering, and training administration. Our goal is to maximize reliance on University personnel to manage and execute the project by acquiring only need-specific supplemental support from consultants. This approach will also help University staff develop product expertise in a timely fashion, and allow them to assume progressively more responsibility for system operation and maintenance.

Enthusiasm remains high among team members as we begin the evaluation and selection processes. A great deal of work remains to be done, but everyone involved shares the belief that it is important and will yield positive results. Be assured that we will continue to provide updates as the project progresses.

For a brief summary see "Enterprise Resource Planning:  An IT Solution, Syllabus, March 2001, p. 40. The article is not yet online, but eventually it will be posted to 

Bob Jensen's threads on ERP can be found at 

I grew up as a Norwegian descendent where most Iowa farms were owned by Scandinavian immigrants.  We always knew the Swedes were different --- looks like they're still different.

They're inventing, designing and creating things at the Interactive Institute in Stockholm. It's all pretty freeform -- a place where bright people get together and build stuff. ---,1282,41928,00.html 

To researchers at the semi-private Interactive Institute, these aren't frivolous pursuits. They're part of a unique partnership between scientists, artists, computer programmers and others aimed at creating new paradigms for incorporating technology into daily life.

The institute does not have a vision," said Michael Thomsen, the institute's research director. "We don't have one person saying this is the way things are going to go. We have a bunch of people wondering how the hell things will turn out."

By contrast, Thomsen says, the MIT Media Lab -- an early role model for the institute -- has been deeply influenced by Nicholas Negroponte's vision of convergent computers, entertainment and publishing. Unlike MIT, none of the researchers at the Interactive Institute have academic duties associated with their work there.

"There's an explicit orientation (at the institute) toward doing things that are not just technologically advanced or commercially viable, but that also connect to contemporary social needs and problems," said Lucy Suchman, professor of sociology and technology at Lancaster University in England. "That's quite different from the approach in the United States."

The Future of the Web

"Web develops amazing new tangles," by Kevin Many, USA Today, March 1, 2001 --- 

Up to now, the Net has been almost completely about viewing content or buying products over the Web, using a browser on a personal computer. In the next wave, the browser will no longer be a solo act. It will become part of an ensemble of software and hardware that uses the connections of the Internet to do much more than has yet been possible. "It's a movement to a more holistic and complex environment," says Kim Polese, chairman of Marimba, which makes software that helps run computer networks. "People think the Internet and the Web are the same thing. They're not."

A couple of years out:

Here's a more detailed look at how the Internet experience is changing.

Most users connect to the Internet to get on the Web and get their e-mail. But saying the Web is the Internet is like saying that broadcast TV is the same as over-the-air radio waves. Obviously, that's not true. Radio waves can carry many kinds of signals, from FM radio to cellphone conversations to the cries of babies over wireless monitors in homes. Broadcast TV is just one big, compelling piece of the radio pie.

Much more than Web pages

The Net carries Web pages, but it can also carry much more — in fact, almost anything that can be made digital. So far, the browser has been used as a gateway for almost any kind of Internet use. For instance, you play music from Internet radio stations by using a browser to find the station, then clicking on a link to pull the signal into your computer.

But Internet radio is a good example of how the browser-and-PC model is becoming less necessary. Kerbango makes a stand-alone Internet radio. 3Com bought Kerbango for $80 million last year and plans to make a major push. The device, which costs $300 and looks like an art deco radio, finds Net radio stations using its own software, then plays the music on its speakers. The Kerbango radio does nothing else. But it's certainly an Internet device.

"Browsing isn't bad, and it won't go away. But the browser will become part of a larger context," says Craig Mundie, executive vice president of Microsoft.

On PCs, non-browser software will become more a part of using the Net. Existing examples of this kind of software are the RealPlayer, which pulls in and shows Internet video, and Napster, which uses the Internet to find and download music. Once either of those is loaded on your PC, they work independently of the browser. They use the Net to do one task very well.

More such software is coming, some big and some incidental. On the big scale is Groove, the new software from Ray Ozzie, inventor of Lotus Notes. Groove lets groups of users — all of whom have to have Groove — work together or share digital stuff over the Internet. It's like supercharged ICQ: Once everyone's on, the group can chat, draw, work on a document, talk by voice or view the same photos. The browser, in fact, gets subsumed by Groove. One function allows a Groove user to lead a browsing session. The other users will see the same thing on their browsers. Analysts believe Groove could be as important a development as Lotus Notes was in the early 1990s — and Notes now has 68 million users.

On the incidental scale are little marketing gadgets created for brands such as Miller Lite and Absolut vodka. Miller's Beer Pager lets you shoot a message to a group of friends, presumably to get everyone to meet for beer. They're no more than Internet toys, but they're spreading quickly.

Look for more stand-alone Net gadgets over the next year. Some will be peer-to-peer search engines that look for information on other PCs instead of only on big servers. Others might be focused on such areas as fantasy sports leagues. As is always the case with new Net inventions, some will be busts and a few will turn into winners.

Web sites that work

While an officer at Oracle, Marc Benioff wondered . . .  
More at 

The dot-com debacle turns into a boon for business schools as droves of pink-slippers head back to class ---,1367,42006,00.html 
This is an audio (interview) file that asserts a rise in demand for online business education.

From the Brookings Institution
Government's 50 Greatest Endeavors (from the years 1950-2000)--- 

The top ten are as follows:

Helper Site of the Week
British Columbia (Canada) Centre for Curriculum, Transfer and Technology --- 

Curriculum Development

Educational Technology

Learning Outcomes


Secondary to Post-secondary Transitions

In particular, note Bruce Landon's summary of Online Delivery Applications systems which I have been referencing for some time --- 

Also see --- 

Table of Contents

Peer Review Group
Integrated & Component Applications
Comparison Tables
Evaluation Engine Approach
Comprehensiveness and Extensibility
Case Studies


This project was initiated in 1996 by a call for proposals to the B.C. post-secondary system from the Standing Committee on Educational Technology (SCOET). Dr. Bruce Landon's proposal was selected as it provides quantitative and qualitative data on online instructional software applications. His original and rigorous research model allows:

The evaluation data was obtained by soliciting raters from across North America and beyond to evaluate the software applications. Raters were asked to complete a short electronic survey that was submitted to Bruce Landon. Information was also gathered from software vendors and from examining case studies at various educational institutions.

After the site had been functioning for a year several facts became evident. The general organization of the site was appreciated by many of those who used the site and over 100 related sites that have linked to this site. Also that the application feature comparisons were visited most often by users of the site. It also turned out that the attempt to solicit raters for evaluation data had produced only a very small sample - too small to be meaningfully used in evaluating applications.

Using the site traffic data and the e-mail comments from users and sponsors the site was redesigned in the fall of 1998 to better accommodate the way that was being used and to accommodate additional online applications using a Side by Side feature and Technical Information comparison approach in place of dividing the applications into integrated and component groups so that they would fit on a table. By tracking the usage of the side by side comparisons it is now easier to identify the more popular comparisons and orgainize the list around actual user interest.

The evaluations ratings are now tied to the side by side comparisons so hopefully the Evaluation Engine will be more useful to those users needing to make a choice as a stand alone form that can be downloaded and used locally. The feature weightings can be customized to the needs of the specific decision.

Bob Jensen's threads on course software can be found at the following websites:

Wow Accounting Helper Site of the Week
Paul is a former student during my years at Michigan State University and has been project director of various FASB and IASC accounting standards before joining Deloitte on special assignment in Hong Kong.

Hello Bob,

As part of my work at Deloitte here in Hong Kong, I have developed IASPLUS, which is both a web site ( and a quarterly printed newsletter (the latter is available on the website in electronic form).  The website and newsletter are devoted to the development, dissemination, understanding, and use of International Accounting Standards.  Both include country-specific information -- currently limited to Asia but soon to be expanded to include Europe and beyond.

I thought these might be of interest for your bookmarks.

I enjoyed our panel together at the AAA.  I hope to see you this summer at the Atlanta meeting.

Paul Pacter

Reply from John Phillips [jphillip@UOG9.UOG.EDU] on March 7

This is a great site it provides details not only on IAS but on the countries of the world as to their accounting standards and CPA organizations

From CIT Infobits Newletter (edited by Carolyn Kotlas [] ) on March 2, 2001

In January 2001, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) released DISTANCE EDUCATION GUIDELINES FOR GOOD PRACTICE, a "set of quality standards for distance education in colleges and universities . . . based on both a survey of [200] AFT members who teach distance learning classes and previous studies by AFT." The entire report and the practitioner survey is available online (in PDF format) at 

Is Anyone Making Money on Distance Education?  

The answer is that enormous revenues are being generated by the most prestigious universities that ventured into both degree and training programs (such as Stanford, Columbia, and Duke universities) --- see 

"Is Anyone Making Money on Distance Education?  Colleges struggle to figure out how much they are spending on online programs. by Sarah Carr, The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 16, 2001 --- 

"From the very beginning, we had to combat the myth that online learning is cheaper to produce and cheaper to deliver than face-to-face curricula," says Robert E. Myers, the executive vice president of the University of Maryland's University College. "But I think we are finding that as people become more sophisticated and knowledgeable about the online-education space, there are fewer and fewer people out there that you have to disabuse of the myth that online is cheaper."

In fact, several distance-education leaders predict that some administrators will slow or stop their expansion into online learning as they develop a better sense of the costs.

And many college officials are at least trying to explore various assumptions about distance learning by focusing on costs. "There probably have been some that felt that this was the panacea, the silver bullet for responding to increasing demands for higher education," adds Bruce N. Chaloux, the director of the Southern Regional Education Board's Electronic Campus. "But I don't know that anyone has reached the conclusion that this is indeed the case. That is why the whole issue of what it costs to do this has become so important."

The twin issues of the cost of online education and its potential profitability are analyzed in detail by six new studies commissioned by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Reports based on the studies, which were among the first of their kind, explore the financial costs and potential profitability of distance learning at six universities, all of which have received grants from the foundation's Asynchronous Learning Network to develop online programs. The reports were presented at a seminar last summer.

The researchers who conducted the studies tackled the issues in strikingly different ways, but their reports point to two broad conclusions: The universities aren't losing a lot of money on distance learning, but they aren't making much either -- at least not yet. And how well the programs appear to be doing depends, in part, on how their costs and revenues are defined. Those often-thorny questions are increasingly important as institutions decide whether it is financially feasible to expand their fledgling distance-learning efforts over the next few years.

Most of the reports -- based on studies conducted at the Rochester Institute of Technology, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Maryland's University College, and Drexel, Pace, and Pennsylvania State Universities -- reveal that the universities are hovering close to the break-even point with their distance-learning programs.

In most cases, the studies relied on estimated-cost projections because university accounting procedures were not always well suited to a case-study approach.

"Author Says Colleges Must Reallocate Money to Academic Technology, By Florence Olsen, The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 27, 2001 ---
From an interview with A.W. Bates, author of Managing Technological Change: Strategies for University and College Leaders published by Jossey Bass in November, 1999. His previous book, Technology, Open Learning and Distance Education, Routledge, 1995, won UCEA’s Charles Wedemeyer award for the best book on distance education published in 1995.  Tony Bates has been responsible since June 1995 for developing distance education programs and flexible delivery of credit and non-credit programs at the University of British Columbia,

Q: Some proponents of information technology say their aim is to broaden access to higher education, enhance its quality, and lower the cost of teaching and learning. Which of these aims might be the most difficult to achieve?

A: (Bates) Reducing costs is the hardest part, at least initially. It's like retooling an industry. You have to do things differently, and there are high costs in doing that. The second reason is the amount of time that faculty have to spend learning how to use the new technology. It has to be done, but it means that people aren't doing other things like research and standing in front of a class teaching.

Q: Course-management systems, then, really haven't automated course production to the level yet where faculty members can just focus on the content?

A: (Bates) Quite the opposite. What they've done is drag a lot of faculty into activities that they're not trained for and that take them away from their research and teaching. It's misleading of companies like WebCT and Blackboard to advertise, Get your course up in 15 minutes. Sure you can get it up in 15 minutes, but after that you can spend the rest of your life trying to get it right.

Q: Will there be a time when academic programs can save money by using information technology?

A: (Bates) I think so. But again, it won't be as great as we think, because the technology keeps changing. Organizations will get better at managing this. The real problem at the moment is that most faculty don't have enough technical support.

A few institutions, like the University of Central Florida, have managed to move [technology for teaching] into the mainstream by making it relatively easy. Professors can see the benefits of working in a different way, which is encouraging, and it hasn't led to huge extra costs for the university.

One area that interests me is the indirect impact of learning technologies on cost savings. Although we have a very large campus at the University of British Columbia, we have a limitation now on how many new buildings we can put up. If you cut down from three lectures a week to one lecture a week, and you do this systematically, then you might be able to reduce considerably the use of classroom space and car-parking space. But very often it would mean going outside the academic budget and into other budgets. We need a lot more research into the consequences of that.

I'm sure we're not very different from most big research universities. Nearly half of our teaching budget involves indirect costs -- heating, lighting, classrooms, the library, and so on. We don't know what the indirect costs are for online teaching. There are infrastructure costs, but a lot of the costs we see listed as necessary indirect costs for classroom teaching don't apply to online teaching.

The other problem with [reallocation] in a university is that you can't do it in a top-down way. So a lot of what we're trying to do is get [people to buy in to the idea, particularly faculty members]. We feel in a way we've done that now. Over the last 12 months, we've had a lot of consultation, we've had faculty workshops on learning technologies, on where those fit into their overall teaching plans.

Bob Jensen's threads on costs and faculty compensation in distance education can be found at 

Journal of International Forum of Educational Technology & Society and IEEE Learning Technology Task Force --- 

"Prospect of a Technology-based Learner Interface for Schools,"  by Arthur Recesso, Educational Technology & Society 4(1) 2001 ISSN 1436-4522 --- 
(Includes a module on development costs.)

The International Forum of Educational Technology and Society (IFETS) hosted an online discussion about the potential for the development and widespread implementation of a technology-based learner interface. The following is a summary of the discussion, which took place from October 23 to November 9, 2000 on the IFETS listserv. This was an open forum with participant's backgrounds ranging from private industry to public education academia. In the context of a K-12 school implementation there were several issues raised. A technology-based learner interface to be used successfully in a classroom would have to overcome barriers presented by teacher training, costs, and providing a system conducive to facilitating effective instruction.

Many of the top search engines now accept payment for improved listings or fast appraisal of your site for inclusion in their directories. One expert believes the payments are commercially worthwhile. Here he looks at the options for six top search engines. 

Google --- is one of the largest and most used engines. It is fast, accurate, and one of the most visited Web sites today. Literally thousands of searches are conducted on Google every day for your keywords related to your site. You can now advertise on Google very affordably using their AdWords program. Your AdWords text ads appear on search result pages for the keywords you buy, and can be targeted by language and country. So, to reach collectors of tin toys you might buy the keywords "toy collector," "tin toys," etc.

Pricing for AdWords is based on the position in which they're shown. Google positions your ad based on how many users click on it over time. Current rates are $15, $12, $10 (per thousand ads shown) for positions 1, 2, and 3 respectively, and $8 per thousand for positions 4 through 8. Accounts are opened with a credit card and no minimum deposit is required.

The trick is to choose very targeted keywords that will trigger your ad (yes, you can do that). Which means that only very targeted buyers will ever see your ad and your conversion ratio will be incredibly high. You can set how much you wish to spend. Google takes the money from your credit card after you owe $50, by which time your ad will have been displayed roughly 5,000 times. If your keywords are highly targeted, many of the people who see your ad will become buyers and you will get your return before you even pay Google!

Because there are thousands of searches a day, Google alone can be one of your biggest sales drivers with its great AdWords program. For more details, see the Google AdWords pages - they have plenty of tips. Your listing shows up in about an hour. Remember, it is more effective to target about 20 keywords, specific and related to your site, than it is to use just one.

Goto --- is another powerful pay-per-listing search engine. The trick is to pay for the top position, or at least a top three position. Depending on your product, how much gross profit you make out of it and what your conversion ratio is, you may be able to profit from the top spot.

Why is the top spot so important? is actually a relatively small search engine compared to the others. Its power does not come from people searching the site itself. It comes from the partners. Their top search results reach 75% of all Internet users through their affiliate partner network, which includes America Online, Microsoft Internet Explorer, EarthLink, Lycos, and AltaVista. But these partner sites only show's top one to three results for any search. So look for the top spot if your gross margin can allow it.

The good thing about is that they only charge you for a click-through, so you only pay when someone clicks on your link. Top spots can cost you anything from 0.01 cents to over $4 depending on the keyword. Your listing shows up in about 3 days. Again, it is more effective to have about 20 keywords than just one.

DMOZ --- 

Although strictly speaking it is a directory rather than an engine,, or the open directory project, powers the search results of several of the top search engines. It is free to get listed and takes about 3 weeks to get indexed once you submit, then a couple of months for your listing to start showing up on the engines that use DMOZ. The most important thing to try to do is to have a domain name that is high on the alphabetic order (starts with a number or an 'a') and also include your primary keyword phrase - the one most people use to find your site - in your Web site name (title) and its description.

Yahoo --- 

Yahoo has immense reach. Without doubt, you must be in Yahoo. It can bring you up to 50% of your traffic or more! Fortunately, you can now get listed in Yahoo in seven days for a cost of just $199 - often worthwhile. You should get back your investment in a matter of days. The most important thing is to have a domain name that is high on the alphabetic order (starts with a number or an 'a') and also to include your primary keyword phrase - the one most people use to find your site - in your Web site name (title) and its description.

Once you get listed, you should also sign up to have your site become a sponsored site within Yahoo. It costs $25 to $300 or more a month at the time of writing, depending on the category. Sponsored sites appear in a separate, clearly demarcated listing box, located on appropriate category pages in the Directory at the top - which means more traffic.

LookSmart --- 

LookSmart may not be used much directly, but its listings reach over 83% of the Internet through its partner network. Its listings actually reach a much wider audience than Yahoo!.  LookSmart currently provides its search solutions to leading Internet portals, 370 ISPs and 600,000 Web sites including the Microsoft Network, AltaVista, Excite@Home, iWon, Time Warner, Sony, British Telecom, US West, AltaVista, Netscape Netcenter and NetZero. Now that is power! Again, without doubt, you must be in LookSmart, and being in it can bring up to 50% of your traffic or more.

Fortunately, you can now be listed in LookSmart in 2 days for a cost of $199 - very worthwhile for what LookSmart will give you. Its partner sites will pick your listing up shortly after you are listed, usually within a few days or weeks. Again it's best to have a domain name that is high on the alphabetic order (starts with a number or an 'a') and also to include your primary keyword phrase in your Web site name and its description.

DirectHit/AskJeeves ---

DirectHit/AskJeeves also has a paid text ads system similar to Google's. Your link appears alongside their search results for every search topic you sponsor, right where Ask Jeeves users are looking for the best link to follow. Your link also appears alongside search results on Web sites that participate in the Jeeves Text Sponsorship Network, including MSN, Searchalot,, SuperCyberSearch, and Direct Hit. Your ads appear in a few days and you just need a minimum deposit of $25 to start.

Bob Jensen's search helpers are at 

Physics Today (Good stuff from  American Institute of Physics) --- 

What good is wireless Internet access if you can't access anything with it? Two companies are looking at very different ways for wireless Web surfers to get to the addresses they want. 

You can bet that there's probably one or more music distributions run by students at your university!

"Crackers Attuned to Schools" ---,1367,42083,00.html 
Colleges are sanctuaries for students and crackers alike. Indiana University discovers a music distribution service running on its network. Also: Judge Jackson gets railed for his behavior in the Microsoft antitrust trial, and face-scanning technology heads to the polls in Uganda.

Reading on a PDA or e-book may never be the same. With new electronic ink displays, handheld devices may become lighter, thinner and easier to read than ever before ---,1282,42056,00.html 

E Ink and Philips Components announced plans this week to jointly develop high-resolution electronic ink displays for handheld devices such as PDAs and electronic books.

The high-contrast, low-power displays could lead to PDAs, cell phones, pagers, e-books and other handheld devices that are lighter and more readable than ever before, said Russ Wilcox, vice president and general manager for E Ink.

Under the agreement, Philips Venture Capital and Philips Components will invest $7.5 million in E Ink to help advance research and development.

In return, Philips Components secured exclusive global rights to manufacture and sell handheld devices using E Ink's technology. The companies plan to develop a prototype later this year that they expect to be available to consumers by 2003.

As anyone who has arduously squinted while reading text on a laptop or Palm handheld knows, the electronic display industry has been dominated by liquid crystal displays (LCDs) that can be difficult to read.

Electronic ink, which combines the look of ink on paper with the dynamic capability of an electronic display, could revolutionize the way that text is displayed, Wilcox said.

E Ink's technology contains millions of black and white particles in microcapsules that, when electrically charged, either sink to the bottom or float to the top. The ink can be coated over large areas cheaply and continually updated with new information, and it works on virtually any surface, from plastic to metal and paper.

Last year, E Ink became the first company to bring electronic ink to market, beating Xerox PARC's Gyricon Media, which researched the technology for more than two decades.

In mid-December, Lucent Technologies and E Ink unveiled their first commercial product called Immedia -- large indoor signs that can be changed automatically by remote two-way pagers controlled through the Internet.

So far E Ink has focused on developing these large text displays. But the agreement with Philips marks a fundamental shift toward creating high-resolution, graphical electronic displays.

E Ink hopes to use Philips' global reach to seep into the handheld display market, which is expected to exceed $10 billion over the next few years, according to DisplaySearch.

The e Ink homepage is at 

Electronic ink products are redefining how information is displayed. Information that was once static can now be dynamic. And the dynamic information of today will no longer be confined to rigid flat glass screens. With electronic ink, information can be displayed on any surface, wherever it's needed.

With such a vast range of opportunities, E Ink has chosen to focus product and technology development on three major needs:


Personal Devices

Publishing with Paper 2.0

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books can be found at 

AECMers: A preview of etextbook publishing using Adobe Acrobat / (now ) / PDF merchant technology - not all links and resources are up and running yet.


You will need the current version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. 

But here is how it works: 1. You can download the sample, (1.0 megs) view a few pages, and click the Buy button to unlock the product. 2. On the page listed above I have other resources, that will be locked up after a preview period. 3. The movie 600K is downloadable to your hard drive.

I will be announcing a live web conference on "techie teaching tips" sometime next week. Anyone who wants to participate should email me privately with "Web Conference" as the subject.

Richard J. Campbell www.VitualPublishing.NET  mailto:campbell@VirtualPublishing.NET 

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books can be found at 

NASA's Visible Earth (Astronomy, Science, Photography) --- 

Barnes & Noble Wizes Up

Barnes & Noble College Bookstores will actively market WizeUp Digital Textbooks at many of the colleges and universities it serves through both in-store and cyber-store promotions. The promotions include sampling of collateral materials, displays, product placement, promotional shelf-talkers and other co-branded signage, Internet marketing, and seamless e-commerce integration between the two companies for specific university class programs.

WizeUp Digital Textbooks produces digital editions of some of the largest and most prestigious college textbooks that professors use in classrooms around the country every day. Applying its advanced e-publishing technology to the printed textbook, WizeUp has been able to establish partnerships with virtually every major publisher in higher education including Pearson Education, Thomson Learning, Harcourt College Publishers, McGraw Hill, among others.

WizeUp follows the printed textbooks page-by-page, graphic-by-graphic, but provides students with technological features such as a powerful search tool, electronic note taking, a digital highlighter, bookmarking for creating custom hyperlinks, and additional multimedia enhancements and capabilities. WizeUp produces textbooks across virtually every major discipline including liberal arts, sciences, and business.

About WizeUp Based in New York City, WizeUp Digital Textbooks ( ) is the leading developer of digital educational content-including digital textbooks, training materials, and other related educational content-for both the higher education and corporate marketplaces. The company is dedicated to serving the educational community with innovative new e-learning solutions. Additional information is available by visiting

Beth Taylor [

You can read more about Wizeup and other electronic book alternatives at  

The latest in personal finance: Now you can have your own offshore bank for only $9,999 and without a background check -- or so the Internet ad promises. Senate investigators smell a money-laundering scheme ---,1367,42089,00.html 

This U.S. Department of Commerce Website has a wealth of data and news --- 

Commerce Organizations

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Grants, Reference

Business Development
Contracting Opportunities, Disadvantaged Businesses, Publications, ...

Economic Analysis
Bureau of Economic Analysis, Demographics, Economic Data, ...

Economic Development
Innovative Programs

Environmental Management
Conservation, National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS), Publications, ...

Exporting, Industries and Sectors Information, Technology

International Trade
Bureau of Export Administration, Defense Trade, Export Controls and Regulations, ...

Electronic Commerce
Programs/Initiatives, Publications and Reports, Statistics

Employment and Internship Opportunities

Laws and Regulations
Economic Development, Exporting

Patents and Trademarks

Programs and Initiatives
Quality, Relief and Reconstruction

Science and Technology
Internet, Science, Spectrum Mgmt, ...

Statistics and Research


Dear ABE Members:

On Behalf of the Board of Directors of the Academy of Business Education, I am pleased to announce the appointment Prof. Donald P. Robin (pronounced "row’ban") as the new editor of the Journal of the Academy of Business Education. Don is the J. Tylee Wilson Professor of Business Ethics and Professor of Marketing at Wake Forest University.

Effective April 2, 2001, all manuscript submissions to the journal should be sent to the new editor at:

Donald Robin The Wayne Calloway School P.O. Box 7285 Reynolda Station Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, NC 27109-7285 Phone: 336-758-5904 Fax: 336-758-6133 Email:

I am very confident that the journal will rise to new heights under Don's editorship. He is an accomplished scholar that brings many talents to the job. I hope you will all support Don in whatever way you can.


Jean Heck ABE President

Note from Jensen
I hope many of you will join us in listening to speakers and wild Elk at a ski lodge near Jackson Hole, Wyoming during the ABE annual meetings September 20-22, 2001 ---
I like ABE meetings, because many of the presentations are interesting war stories about learning and technology in education. 

From Neal Hannon

Hi Bob,

Jim Kaplan, owner of, has compiled an updated Napster site from the auditor's viewpoint. The information should make a nice contribution to your already comprehensive files on Napster. The site takes file sharing risks seriously and exposes the risks companies take on when users open their systems to virtually anyone.


What should you be doing as an AUDITOR? · talk to your computing management about just how secure the firewall is in your organisation · if they say it's "all under control" make sure you CHECK that it is! · you have no firewall? then make sure all the shares are REMOVED when connecting to the Internet. · start examining WHAT is installed on your PC's i.e.; is it authorised, legal and the sort of software tools you want installed on your PC's · increase your vigilance over software auditing and desktop management · re-inforce desktop compliance policies over software downloading and use of unauthorised/illegal software · conduct spot raids to ensure software compliance · repeat the audit cycle on a regular basis 


Bob Jensen's Threads on the P2P, PDE, Collaboration, and the Napster/Wrapster/Gnutella/Pointera/FreeNet Paradigm Shift in Web Serving and Searching are at 

Australian Travel Posters 1930s - 1950s (Marketing, Graphics Art, Photography) --- 
(I liked the section on "Uniquely Australian.")

From the American Accounting Association ( Janet Cassagio [] )

The Teaching and Curriculum Section is pleased to announce that the Winter 2001 edition of The Accounting Educator, the Section Newsletter, is available on the T&C web site at: 

Thank you Bette for sharing your story about your neighbor's cat.

Thoughts on Partnering from Bette Kozlowski, Vice-Chair - Practice 

On a recent visit, my father shared with me the most unbelievable story about the neighbor's cat. My parents were putting groceries away and somehow the neighbor's cat climbed into the freezer. After discovering the cat in the freezer a short time later, much to their relief, the cat still showed signs of life, though the breathing was very faint. They called the vet who told them to put a drop of gasoline on the cat's tongue. My father placed the drop of gasoline on the tongue and the cat jumped up and ran all around the garage. My father was amazed at the transformation; however, without warning, the cat arched in the air and fell over. It ran out of gas.

I share this tale with you because there are a lot of analogies to our profession. Is your accounting program frozen requiring an injection of some magic potion to bring it back to life? Are your students running around like scared cats afraid to commit to the accounting profession? The talk at many of our conferences this year has been about the decline in the number of quality students choosing accounting as a major.

I don't need to tell you that this is a huge concern to both practitioners and academians. The issue also provides us with wonderful opportunities to partner together as a profession to educate potential students about the unlimited opportunities that an accounting degree affords them. It is not unusual for me to have a faculty ask me to talk to a sophomore unsure of the profession or to host a student for an office visit to get a taste of the profession. Fortunately, to date, the tactic is successful and accounting is chosen as the major. How long has it been since you've invited a practitioner into the classroom to teach a subject, critique group presentations, or share their work experiences? What is the drop of gasoline that you're putting on your students' tongues to wake them up to accounting? As a profession, we need to put on our sales hats to reach out to high school programs, freshman and sophomores, together. Exposing and educating students to the profession is but one way we will reclaim our position as the business degree of choice.

Are teens what the media makes them to be (marketing, advertising, culture)

The Merchants of Cool --- 

The FEI Express, March 1, 2001 --- 

Risk Management - Earnings At Risk, Value At Risk
Kelsey Biggers, CEO of, spoke at length about the processes involved in measuring earnings and value at risk and his company's role in the measurement process. Biggers, a former Bankers Trust executive, noted that provides market risk exposure measurement and hosts that information on an application service provider (ASP), issuing regular reports to clients.

Biggers said measurisk allows "forward-looking stress testing across all asset classes" and products, including foreign exchange, equity, commodities and interest rates. While those used to be considered silos, he urged the audience not to set up separate hedges across all these areas because some are not well-correlated, leading to the creation of "natural hedging" that can minimize losses across larger portfolios.

He argued that measuring risk can give companies: 1) an understanding, and control, of potential losses; 2) better support for line managers and improved transparency; 3) an opportunity to build an optimum combination of businesses; 4) hedging of aggregate exposures. He noted, however, that the variable that can be measured is risk, not reward, calling risks "exposures you willingly or unwillingly take."

Biggers said the market is evolving from a world of positions to a world of exposures, with positions simply representing an accounting of what you own, while exposure can give a picture of potential gain and loss in the P&L statement.

The measurisk CEO urged the audience to tie exposures to pricing models, then determine risk factors correlated and assessed in terms of correlations. With that information, he said, companies should create large correlations matrices, then run Monte Carlo simulations-thousands of what-if scenarios - to create a distribution of possible outcomes. Earnings at risk, he said, takes value at risk to the earnings statement.

Keynote - Geoff Merszei, VP and Treasurer, Dow Chemical
Merszei noted the enormous changes that treasury has undergone since he started more than 20 years ago. Treasury is now far more than cash management, he said, though the challenges of global competition, the Internet, etc. can be viewed as opportunities, in his view. He ticked off a list of areas where he thinks treasury can now add value - areas like M&A, venture capital, risk management. In addition, "the Internet is a great enabler, allowing us to do more with less."

Risk management is a key function, Merszei said, focusing on the need for treasury to identify, measure and manage risk. Hedging is an important tool here, he said - arguing that failure to hedge is in itself a position. He related Dow's experience with combining the efforts of its Hydrocarbon & Energy business with treasury; the subsequent hedging strategies have paid big dividends.

Merszei touted the enterprise risk management approach, consisting of financial, business/market, operational and "fortuitous" risks, but warned his audience that "no instrument will hedge all your exposures."

The Dow treasurer recapped the company's widely publicized auction of corporate bonds on the Internet, a process he says was bad-mouthed by investment bankers leery of losing "exorbitant" fees. The Dutch auction, done last August, created very different pricing and allocation from a traditional bond offering, but Merszei said he was "thrilled" with the results, adding that the transparency improvement was dramatic.

Merszei argued that integration has become a cornerstone of the technology strategy, surpassing functionality - though he argued that they should coexist. He also urged his audience to think entrepreneurially, which is not the way treasurers are accustomed to thinking. "I would encourage you to experiment, even if it means making mistakes," he said.

David Ross, SFMOMA's director, is the visionary behind "010101: Art in Technological Times." He plays a large role in championing digital art, but he is no stranger to controversy. With a reputation for being too trendy, he irks many in the snooty art world ---,1284,41973,00.html 

Ross believes the contemporary museum's role today is no longer purely as a vehicle for showcasing art, but also as a space to discuss the contrast of values and ideas.

"Art museums around the world today are serving increasingly central roles in their city," Ross said. "At the beginning, I don't think people thought it was going to be that kind of a place. But it's comfortably grown into that role."

"Setting the Standard:  XML On Campus," by Mike Rawlins, Syllabus, March 2001, 30-32 --- the article will eventually be posted to 
This is a nice short summary of XML (very readable) and the two roles that XML will play in academe:

For all of the gloom-and-doom stories we've heard lately about dot-coms and e-commerce firms, a panel of experts at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. recently proclaimed that the death of electronic commerce has been "greatly exaggerated." --- 

The Internet companies that have made it this far have learned a few things about marketing. Here, the CEO of iPrint talks about building a customer base, e-mail marketing, banner ads and the myth of "Internet time.",,8961_598221,00.html 

Art history, Photography, Albumen from Stanford University --- 
(I suggest that you begin with The Gallery, then watch about how the process involves the cracking of eggs.)

Concerns about XML from J. S. Gangolly [gangolly@CSC.ALBANY.EDU

I do not share the author's misgivings regarding XML, though I do have some concerns having to do with the interdependencies between the various languages in the alphabet soup. However, I do have grave concerns about XBRL, though for other reasons.

As new xml applications are developed, interdependencies between them arise. This occurs because each application expects services of other applications. In the absence of contracts between them, much of the functionality desired of the applications collectively by the users falls between the cracks (the usual its-not-my-problem syndrome).

I have no misgivings whatsoever regarding the support for standards by software vendors. Even a sneaky ruthless vendor as Microsoft has xml in its genes now.

I do somewhat agree that business processes can be company-specific. However, XML alphabet soup can exist remarkably well even in the absence of business processes standardisation. Such standardisation can lead to code reuse and economies, but they are not absolutely a must for XML to prosper.

I do have serious misgivings about XBRL, and have stated them elsewhere occasionally (in the XBRL listserv). With my colleagues and a researcher at GE Corporate R&D, we are now in the process of building an alternate model to support XBRL, and hope to have something to share by the end of May. Our work will include a formal model to support a tagset, browser/parser extensions to validate accounting-specific documents

Respectfully submitted,


XML link from E. Scribner [escribne@NMSU.EDU

If you're interested in XML standards development, you might like to skim the ZDNet editorial at:,10228,2689765,00.html 

Folk Art in Bottles --- 

Corporations are under increasing pressure to monitor employees, and employment experts say employees should expect a lot less privacy at work ---,1367,42029,00.html 

Screenshots Description A series of drawings from an isometric perspective, in the style of a computer game. The subject of each drawing is the image, or images, that created a popular cultural event. Historical events (like the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Lorraine Motel) are used interchangeably with fictionalized events (like the picnic scene from The Sound of Music). --- 


Actually I do not have a mailing list per se, but most of my announcements can be followed by subscribing to the AECM at 

The New Bookmarks newsletter can be viewed simply by clicking on 

The latest (March 2) edition went out today at 

Thank you for your interest in my ramblings.

Bob Jensen

"Australia goes stark raving mad over Net censorship," by Kieren McCarthy, The Register, March 6, 2001 --- 

The South Australia Parliament is pushing an Internet censorship bill that will make it an offence for anyone to post any information deemed offensive to children anywhere on the Internet. And it's the police that get to decide what is and isn't offensive.

In what is clearly politicians gone barking mad, fines of up to $10,000 can be levied against any individual that posts material seen as unsuitable for minors. The country's film certification system will be used to rate how strong material is - but the police will NOT have to go through an independent adjudicator, they can decide themselves whether the posting breaks the law.

It is expected that the Bill will be pulled into all other Australian states' legislation in the future.

The basic premise of the legislation appears to be that since kids are able to access Internet sites at any time, then everything on the Internet ought to be acceptable to children. This is clearly bonkers thinking seeing as Australia's laws will have no effect on the rest of the world - which contains more than its fair share of "unsuitable" material. Unless of course Australia is thinking of going China's route and running ISPs through the government and blocking any sites outside the country.

Even crazier is that removal of the content is no defence to the legislation. If it goes up at all, you are guilty. The only exception is ISPs - otherwise the entire Internet in Australia would grind to a halt.

Microsoft wireless OS on new path
Late to the smart-phone operating system game, the company is focusing its forthcoming mobile OS on its loyal customer base: the enterprise --- 

Compare salaries by trade and by city --- 

Top-rated backup and restore utilities --- 

First Monday is probably a site that we all should visit at least once each week.  The main feature is a peer-reviewed and highly respectable  journal called First Monday.  That and other First Monday services are devoted to information technologies, social aspects of the Web, and economics of the Web.  The March issues feature off-site linking behaviors of commercial and non-commercial sites, a look at the current state of online community bonding.

The First Monday homepage is at 

In particular, note the book reviews at 
I provide you a summary of books currently having reviews that are either short or quite detailed.  In any case, I find the reviewers are quite perceptive and critical:

France Belanger and Dianne H. Jordan.
Evaluation and Implementation of Distance Learning: Technologies, Tools and Techniques.
Hershey, Penn.: Idea Group Publishing, 2000.
paper, 256 p., ISBN 1-878-28963-2, US$69.95.
Idea Group:

For anyone already using information technology for distance learning I doubt this book would offer anything new. In fact some might find it somewhat simplistic in parts. I found it didn't add anything new to my understanding. It would undoubtedly be of some use to distance educators considering using some of the technology to "reinvent" their courses or those wishing to develop distance education through the use of technology. For those groups it gives a reasonable overview of the issues and processes they will have to consider, though some may be alienated by the jargon and detail. Unfortunately, though worthy, it is not a book that enthuses me for technology based distance learning. - Wendy Clark

Christine L. Borgman.
From Gutenberg to the Global Information Infrastructure: Access to Information in the Networked World.
Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2000.
cloth, 340 p., ISBN 0-262-02473-X, US$42.00.
MIT Press:

The final chapter considers how we can develop from the present-day Internet to the global information infrastructure. "The first [challenge] lies in scaling the technology, the economics, and the behavior to a network that supports several orders of magnitude more users. The second is to provide access to information in this environment. And the third is to transfer the technology and services to parts of the world with different traditions" (p. 225). Some of the necessary approaches are indicated in the trends for a research agenda for digital libraries that Borgman herself identifies (p. 167). Given the opportunities that computer networks offer for information access, the need for libraries may be questioned. However, libraries play a vital role in information infrastructure, and also fulfill the social role of promoting learning.

Even so, the picture that Borgman paints is of an infrastructure that can be accessed by people in a wide variety of situations for a wide variety of purposes. "Information technologies are converging, computer networks are extending their reach, digital libraries are proliferating, and the user community is growing exponentially. These developments combine to make vastly more information resources available to many more people in many more places" (p. 266).

The challenge that the book sets out is to ensure that the technological challenges are confronted in ways that recognise all the other factors that combine to allow a successful development of the infrastructure. Borgman's book performs a useful service in giving a broad overview of all the kinds of issues that need to be addressed. - Peter J. Beech

Linda Lau (editor).
Distance Learning Technologies: Issues, Trends and Opportunities.
Hershey, Penn.: Idea Group Publishing, 2000.
paper, 264 p., ISBN 1-878-28980-2, US$69.95.
Idea Group:

This was a difficult book to review; in progressing through the book, the reviewer was beset by hope and frustration in equal measure. It covers the field well enough with a spread of academic, business and government settings to pick from, the authors seem well enough versed in their fields, there is plenty of detail. Yet the overall feeling is one of curious disappointment, a sense that the contributors did not have their thinking caps on when they wrote their pieces. Much is said about learning theory and much is said about distance learning technology, but the two never seem to meet up in an integrated way.  Robert Parsons

Daniel P. Bovet and Marco Cesati.
Understanding the Linux Kernel.
Sebastopol, Calif.: O'Reilly & Associates, 2000.
paper, 702 p., ISBN 0-596-00002-2, US$39.95.
O'Reilly & Associates:

Michael H. Brackett.
Data Resource Quality: Turning Bad Habits Into Good Practices.
(Addison-Wesley information technology series)
Boston: Addison-Wesley, 2000.
paper, 354 p., ISBN 0-201-71306-3, US$39.95.

Russell Chun.
Macromedia Flash 5 Advanced for Windows and Macintosh.
(Visual Quickpro Guide)
Berkeley, Calif.: Peachpit Press, 2000.
paper, 440 p. with CD-ROM, ISBN 0-201-72624-6, US$29.99.
Peachpit Press:

Steve Clarke and Brian Lehaney.
Human Centered Methods in Information Systems: Current Research and Practice.
Hershey, Penn.: Idea Group Publishing, 2000.
paper, 241 p., ISBN 1-878-28964-0, US$69.95.
Idea Group:

Derek Franklin and Brooks Patton.
Flash 5! Creative Web Animation.
Berkeley, Calif.: Peachpit Press, 2000.
paper, 540 p. with CD-ROM, ISBN 0-201-71969-X, US$39.99.
Peachpit Press:

Robert D. Galliers, Dorothy E. Leidner, and Bernadette S. H. Baker (editors).
Strategic Information Management: Challenges and Strategies in Managing Information Systems.
Second edition.
Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann, 1999.
paper, 590 p., ISBN 0-750-63975-X, US$42.95.

Michael Gurstein.
Community Informatics: Enabling Communities with Information and Communications Technologies.
Hershey, Penn.: Idea Group Publishing, 2000.
paper, 596 p., ISBN 1-878-28969-1, US$139.95.
Idea Group:

David Harel.
Computers Ltd.: What They Really Can't Do.
Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.
cloth, 221 p., ISBN 0-19-850555-8, US$25.00.
Oxford University Press:

Robin Williams and John Tollett.
The Non-Designer's Web Book.
Second edition.
Berkeley, Calif.: Peachpit Press, 2000.
paper, 303 p., ISBN 0-201-71038-2, US$34.99.
Peachpit Press:

Internet Week March 2, 2001 (email message)

Merrill Lynch Institutionalizes E-Biz

Merrill Lynch was a reluctant latecomer in offering consumer brokerage services on the Internet, but the company is asserting itself as a Wall Street leader in delivering debt, equity, investment banking and other products electronically to institutional clients. How Merrill's Corporate & Institutional Client Group arrived at that perch--and where it's headed in the coming months--is a study in IT management, relationship building and old-fashioned arm twisting.

CICG, a $12.5 billion division that accounts for almost half of Merrill's revenue, has big e-commerce aspirations. The group wants to expand Merrill's base of institutional clients while giving them more personalized information; create a flow of real-time information to all clients; give institutions access to research and other information produced by competing firms; boost demand and liquidity for existing debt and equity instruments; and create new venues for issuing securities.

CICG is building scores of systems and applications to support those efforts. It's also spearheading industry e-marketplaces. --Robert Preston And Jeffrey Schwartz

Read the rest: 

And don't miss the online exclusive interview with business development chief Laurence Tosi: 

Despite Napster's setbacks, peer-to-peer networking remains a promising technology that could help solve serious problems, says John Taschek --- 

Bob Jensen's threads on P2P are at 

Muppet World --- a great site for grownups and kids --- 

The flash animations with audio are fantastic.

FAS 133 News

Hi Angela,

Congratulations on getting the Journal of Accountancy lead article entitled "Practical Issues in Implementing FASB 133." (March 2001) --- 

Now you have an added incentive to finish up the draft on our tutorial paper on FX hedging.

Bob Jensen

Some important new articles on FAS 133 --- 

FAS 133 and All That Hedging. Recent new articles in the GTNews Risk section include:

FAS 133 Update from XXXXX

Dr. Jensen,

I appreciate the update. If you are scheduled to speaker later in the year, please let me know.

There are a couple of new things that I am seeing that may be of interest:

* There is mandate that the hedge transaction be documented at the inception of the hedge. It was more relaxed prior to FAS 133. The SEC is now on board with this also. 

* Deloitte & Touche is requiring that Cash Flow hedge have a regression slope of between .80 and 1.20. This eliminates some hedging transaction from being considered hedges under the new rules. It may also eliminate some of the problems (unexpected results) associated with the using the dollar offset method to calculate the ineffectiveness. 

* The future accounting for transition adjustments and related disclosures. There are going be some surprises here especially associated with interest rate swaps. The rules were not that clearly defined prior to FAS 133. 


I didn't see a bar with beer nuts and dry martinis.

Reebok University (customized workouts for health and fitness) --- 

USA CityLink (Travel and Other Information About U.S. Cities, including hotel reservations, car rentals, etc.) --- 

The Academy Awards (Current and History) from Lycos

Consumer Information Guides --- 

Games for money --- 

Sightseers Guide to Engineering (Pick a state and discover what to see in your travels in that state) --- 

Developers currently testing the new wireless version of Flash Player say it will open doors for building business and entertainment applications --- 

Famine in Afghanistan (Time Magazine provides you with a guided tour) --- 

Financial Risk Management (Forwarded by Scott Bonacker)

The Management Development Institute at the state university here hosts a series of "Breakfast with Champions" meeting during the fall and spring terms. The speaker for the meeting this week was the risk manager for Delta Airlines, and he gave a very clear description of what the function involves, and how it can improve company survival. This is an area that would fall within a CFO's responsibility, and as he explained the planning is not limited to dramatic events like plane crashes (as important as that is) or other insurable events. For example, the majority of business failures are apparently caused by the risk of insufficient revenues becoming a reality.

A web search yields several interesting sites, and if someone could suggest titles of relevant college textbooks I would appreciate it.

Scott Bonacker, CPA McCullough, Officer & Company, LLC Springfield, Missouri 

Risk & Insurance Management Society, Inc. 

The Risk Center (requires registration for limited free trial) 

Nonprofit risk management 

Rogers Ross & Associates (Operational Risk) 

Risk Management Association 

Operational Risk Resources 

Send voice messages.

Impress and freak out your friends, family, or business associates by sending mass robotic phone messages (you choose the voice, male or female!) to up to fifty people via email, your PDA, or your WAP-enabled phone -- courtesy of ImBot, "your Internet messaging robot." Just sign up for the demo, and send up to three messages, free. --- 

"The Webcaster Toolkit," by Chris Courtney at 

Believe it or not, setting up a live Webcasting system doesn't need to break the bank. The key to putting together an effective, low-cost rig is figuring out exactly what you need, and where to find it.

I will focus on a live Webcast setup that will provide acceptable, if not excellent results. Webcam video balls and a cheap old laptop can perform a live Webcast, but if you're at all serious, it's best to aim higher than that. Many people doing live Webcasting are using the same video equipment as those producing video for television, but this is total overkill.

I am using the 300k stream as the average live stream and will discuss audio/video production gear needed to create a good looking stream. This is the equipment we used in the good old days of Webcasting, and it worked well and was reliable. We used RCA jacks instead of (professional) XLR and BNC connections for audio and video, and you knew the serious Webcaster by his or her extensive knowledge of Radio Shack gear.

In this article, I will discuss the basic components of a Webcasting rig, and how these parts work together. The components include cameras and microphones, audio/video monitors, audio/video mixers, audio/video distributors, and encoders.

A British company says it has technology that will connect your car, your toothbrush, your baseball cap -- and lots more -- to the Net, all for the cost of a cheeseburger ---,1282,42104,00.html 

The idea of connecting every toaster, cereal packet and clock radio to the Net has been around for many years, but as long as the hardware to do it cost more than the toaster itself, it wasn't going to happen.

But now a British firm has developed a tiny operating system capable of running on very inexpensive, near-ubiquitous microcontrollers. Other so-called "embedded" operating systems run on much more expensive chips.

Live Devices' unnamed operating system can be shrunk as small as 8 kilobytes -– about the size of a very small graphic on a website -– and still connect to the Net.

"Anything with electricity running through it could be empowered by an embedded operating system of some sort," said IDC analyst Al Gillen. "(Eight kilobytes) is pretty small. You could put it in your belt buckle or your watch."

Live Devices' operating system runs on 8-bit microcontrollers, which are general-purpose chips found in all kinds of electronic products, from thermostats and curling tongs to pagers and cars. They are churned out in the millions at a cost of a few dollars each.

The chips are so inexpensive, Live Devices said Internet connectivity could be added to almost any product for next to nothing. It may even save money by allowing manufacturers to skimp on other components.

In fact, it may sometimes be cheaper to use the Net than ordinary wires.

Live Devices officials say it could cost less to put wireless chips in light switches and light sockets and turn the lights on using the Net than it is to hire an electrician to run wires between them.

From Information Week Newsletter on March 6, 2001

The future is wireless, or so we're told. While vendors work out the formula for devices and services that will put wireless clients into every consumer's hands, at least one wireless networking technology has moved out of the early-adopter stage. Wireless Ethernet, defined by the 802.11b standard, is coming into its own as a common technique to connect clients to networks. It is this genuine maturity that new technologies are pushed to achieve. This is the magic place on the product life curve when companies can begin ordering and installing the technology as a solution rather than as an experiment.

We took five separate 802.11b systems to the Review Bunker at the University of Hawaii's Advanced Network Computing Lab to see whether these products truly are as mature as they seem. We wanted to see whether the wireless networking systems would be easy to integrate into an existing network and easy to forget once they were installed. In short, we wanted to find out whether wireless networking systems can replace standard 10Base-T with no performance or management penalties for users and administrators.

Five companies accepted our invitation to this lab test. Cisco, Enterasys Networks, Intel, Proxim and Symbol Technologies brought network access devices, management software and wireless PC cards to the Review Bunker and helped us put the systems through their paces. In the end, we found that there's a lot of good news in wireless networking, along with one little detail that will cause you some trouble. --Curtis Franklin

Read on to find out how they performed: 


Providers Overcome Bluetooth Blues

Bluetooth--a technology that backers in the wireless and computer industry promise will enable cheap, short-range wireless networking--is set to become a reality after more than two years of development.

By this summer, wireless operators will be selling phones with Bluetooth transceivers, small chips that can communicate at distances up to 30 feet and wirelessly connect to PCs and PDAs.

Wireless service providers are excited about the prospects. They expect gadget fans and road warriors to use their cellular networks to connect Bluetooth-enabled devices to the Internet and corporate LANs.

The coming of age of Bluetooth means more traffic over the network and more demand for wireless services, say wireless operators. --Jonathan Collins,

Read on: 

To speed up software development on its new mobile device architecture, Texas Instruments is investing $100 million in next-generation wireless apps --- 

Sprint, Compuware take on wireless Web

Hoping to make the wireless data experience less cumbersome, the companies are working together to develop customized business apps for the Sprint Wireless Web --- 

With the grand hope of making the wireless data experience more productive and less cumbersome, Sprint PCS Group and Compuware Corp. are working together to develop customized business applications for use on the Sprint Wireless Web.

But the new tools, which will include a variety of vertical and general business applications such as ERP (enterprise resource planning) and CRM (customer relationship management), will face continued resistance from users still wrestling with the usefulness, efficiency and security of wireless applications.

Scheduled to begin rolling out later this year, the tools will be customized according to client needs, said officials at Sprint, in Kansas City, Mo. For example, Compuware will provide advisory, design and implementation services to customers to help them create programs that include wireless meter reading and real-time vehicle tracking for the transportation industry.

In addition to ERP and CRM, applications already in development include sales force automation and remote user support.

Despite the advances, users and vendors agree that the new applications alone won't solve the logistical problems of the wireless-Web carriers.

"If you look at the usability that exists within [Wireless Application Protocol] today, it's horrible," said Paul Toenjes, director of professional services at Compuware, in Farmington Hills, Mich.

Some of the blame for that falls to the carriers, which sold home screen space to numerous portal vendors. As a result, when a cell phone user attempts to access a Web home page on a Sprint phone, he or she must first click through links to America Online, The Microsoft Network, Fidelity, Yahoo or those of several other sites.

Scott passed along the message that our Big Chief is dead!

Gone, but never to be forgotten.,4152,512952,00.html 

Scott Bonacker, CPA McCullough, Officer & Company, LLC Springfield, Missouri 

NEW FEATURES from The Wall Street Journal

Dear Professor Jensen

The company research area of The Wall Street Journal Online has recently been expanded, more than tripling the amount of information available to you to research companies and potential investments. This all-new, easier-to-use version of our popular "Briefing Books" expands our stock quotes and research coverage to more than 25,000 companies world-wide.

This is a deep resource for corporate researchers, personal investors or just plain news junkies. From your first click into the Briefing Books you will get a detailed page that summarizes a company's latest stock price information, news headlines and other key facts. From there, the research stretches on for dozens of pages, covering everything from 10 years of quarterly earnings to insider holdings to executive biographies to audio from analyst conference calls.

As always, the research area is accessible from a search box on the top right of nearly every page in the site, as well as from company links found in articles and portfolios and from the advanced search page

The Briefing Books tap a variety of authoritative sources for financial data and multimedia features. Expanded fundamental data and analytics are provided by Market Guide, a Inc. company. Thomson Financial provides earnings estimates and insider holdings and transactions. CCBN (Corporate Communications Broadcast Network) provides live and archived audio webcasts of analyst conference calls. BigCharts provides the interactive charting and historical stock quotes.

The improved navigation to the company research area also includes links to several supplementary sources of information, including SEC filings, premium research from Multex Investor and archived news and information from Factiva, an online compendium of leading business publications.

And, of course, all these resources are tied to the exclusive news coverage of The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires, making the new Briefing Books the best place on the Web to research companies around the globe.

The upgrade to Briefing Books is the first in a series of improvements we'll be making this year to provide you with the most efficient access to the news and information you need. As always, these changes are based on the comments we get from you, our subscribers. So, keep letting us know what you want by writing to


Neil Budde Editor and Publisher The Wall Street Journal Online Editor

Some Wives are Dangerous
Destructive virus detected on March 6, 2001.  From Information Week Online on March 7.

The latest social engineering attempt by virus writers appears to be pornography. Another Visual Basic virus, discovered Tuesday and called W32/Naked@MM, lures potential victims with the subject line "Naked Wife." The message body reads: "My wife never look like that! ;-)". It carries an attachment, NakedWife.exe.

People clicking on the forbidden fruit and hoping to watch a Flash movie will instead end up sending the virus to all E-mail entries in their Windows address books. The virus then tries to delete all .bmp, .com, .dll, .exe, .ini, and .log files in the Windows and Windows\System directories.

Patrick Nolan, a virus researcher with McAfee's Avert Research Center says that so far, about 18 companies--including some Fortune 500 firms--have reported infections. "This virus has a destructive payload," Nolan says.

He says he's unsure whether this virus will spread like other recent Visual Basic viruses such as the Love Bug. "It's been about an average virus as far as the number of infections reported to us today," he says. One of the virus' mitigating factors is that it requires Visual Basic 6 or higher runtime files. Most major antivirus software can detect it, including McAfee, Sophos, and Symantec. - George V. Hulme

Jochem Hendricks uses an eye scanner to "draw" with his eyes, which are then digitally produced on paper. His work, currently on display at SFMOMA, is part of the new exhibit, "010101: Art in Technological Times." ---,1284,42149,00.html 

"XBRL Sets Stage for Real-Time Financial Reporting," By: Jeffrey Marshall --- 

"Right now this is really just raw potential. That's all it is," says Danaher. But given that the development hurdles look like a matter of time rather than interest, the day of real-time sharing of full financial statements may be close at hand.

Bob Jensen's threads on XML and XBRL are at 

March 4th edition of the ENews Internet Essentials newsletter for the financial professional. This issue is one of the best so far this year. New XBRL London insights, objective assessments of XBRL status, great article about flying and much more --- 

1. Report Writers Join XBRL; XBRL Status Check 
2. Dave Garbutt from FR Solutions on XBRL London 
3. XBRL Overview: PP slides from London 
4. Gail Perry on Creating Excel Macros 
5. PWC sets Date for Split of Consultancy Group 
6. The View From Above 
7. XML NEWS! Live Feed for all News about XML


Let me see if I've got this right.   You want me to go into that room with all those kids and fill their  every waking moment with a love for learning. Not only that, I'm to  instill  a sense of pride in their ethnicity, behaviorally modify disruptive  behavior,  observe them for signs of abuse and T-shirt messages.  

I am to fight the war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, check  their backpacks for guns and raise their self-esteem. I'm to teach them  patriotism, good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, how and where  to  register to vote, how to balance a checkbook and how to apply for a job.  

I am to check their heads occasionally for lice, maintain a safe  environment, recognize signs of potential antisocial behavior, offer  advice,  write letters of recommendation for student employment and scholarships,  encourage respect for the cultural diversity of others, and, oh yeah,  always  make sure that I give the girls in my class 50 percent of my attention.  

I'm required by my contract to be working on my own time summer and  evenings at my own expense toward advance certification and a master's  degree; and after school, I am to attend committee and faculty meetings  and  participate in staff development training to maintain my employment  status.  

I am to be a paragon of virtue larger than life, such that my very  presence  will awe my students into being obedient and respectful of authority. I  am to pledge allegiance to supporting family values, a return to the  basics,  and to my current administration. I am to incorporate technology into the  learning, and monitor all Web sites while providing a personal  relationship  with each student.   I am to decide who might be potentially dangerous and/or liable to commit  crimes in school or who is possibly being abused, and I can be sent to jail  for not mentioning these suspicions.  

I am to make sure all students pass the state and federally mandated  testing and all classes, whether or not they attend school on a regular  basis or  complete any of the work assigned. Plus, I am expected to make sure that  all of the students with handicaps are guaranteed a free and equal  education, regardless of their mental or physical handicap. I am to  communicate  frequently with each student's parent by letter, phone, newsletter and  grade card.  

Then, I'm to do all of this with just a piece of chalk, a computer, a few  books, a bulletin board, a 45 minute more-or-less plan time and a big  smile, all on a starting salary that qualifies my family for food stamps  in  many states.

And in spite of all this, I am not allowed to pray while doing my many duties.

Your child's teacher!

Note from Dick Haar to his wife Gerry:

Husband's note to his wife:

"Doctor's office called: Said Pabst beer is normal."

Say what?

This one is a HILARIOUS solution to an otherwise vexing problem!
Forwarded by Dr. D

 A middle school in Oregon was faced with a unique problem.  A number of girls were beginning to use lipstick and would put it on in the bathroom. That was fine, but after they put on their lipstick they would press their lips to the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints.
 Finally the principal decided that something had to be done. She called all the girls to the bathroom and met them there with the maintenance man.
 She explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the custodian who had to clean the mirrors every night.
 To demonstrate how difficult it was to clean the mirrors, she asked the maintenance guy to clean one of the mirrors.
 He took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it into the toilet and then cleaned the mirror.
 Since then there have been no lip prints on the mirror.

      There are teachers and then there are Teachers....
      There are principALS and then there are principLES.

Forwarded from Auntie Bev

It seems a man in Topeka, Kansas decided to write a book about churches around the country. He started by flying to San Francisco, and started working east from there.  He went to a very large church and began taking pictures, etc. He spots a golden telephone on a wall and is intrigued with a sign which reads "$10,000.00 a minute." Seeking out the pastor he asks about the phone and the sign. The pastor answers that this golden phone is, in fact, a direct line to Heaven and if he pays the price he can talk directly to God. He thanks the pastor and continues on his way.

As he continues to visit churches in Seattle, Boise, Minneapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee, New York, Atlanta, and on around the United States, he finds more phones, with the same sign, and the same answer from each pastor.

Finally, he arrives in Texas. Upon entering a church in Austin, lo and behold, he sees the usual golden telephone. But THIS time, the sign reads "Calls: 25 cents." Fascinated, he requests to talk to the pastor. "Reverend, I have been in cities all across the country and in each church I found this golden telephone, and have been told it is a direct line to Heaven and that I could talk to God, but, in the other churches the cost was $10,000.00 a minute. Your sign reads 25 cents a call. Why?" The pastor, smiling benignly, replies, "Son, you're in Texas now, it's a local call!"

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

Useful stuff your Mom should have told you, but didn't.......

1. Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drips.

2. Use a meat baster to "squeeze" your pancake batter onto the hot griddle and you'll get perfectly shaped pancakes every time.

3. To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.

4. To prevent egg shells from cracking, add a pinch of salt to the water before hard-boiling.

5. Run your hands under cold water before pressing Rice Krispies treats in the pan and the marshmallow won't stick to your fingers.

6. To get the most juice out of fresh lemons, bring them to room temperature and roll them under your palm against the kitchen counter before squeezing.

7. To easily remove burnt on food from your skillet, simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to a boil on stovetop.

8. Spray your Tupperware with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in tomato-based sauces and there won't be any stains.

9. When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead and there won' t be any white mess on the outside of the cake.

10. If you accidentally over-salt a dish while it's still cooking, drop in a peeled potato and it will absorb the excess salt for an instant fix me up."

11. Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.

12. Brush some beaten egg white over pie crust before baking to yield a beautiful glossy finish.

13. Place a slice of apple in hardened brown sugar to soften it.

14. When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corn's natural sweetness.

15. To determine whether an egg is fresh, immerse it in a pan of cool, salted water. If it sinks, it is fresh, but if it rises to the surface, throw it away.

16. Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.

17. Don't throw out all that leftover wine: Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.

18. If you have a problem opening jars: Try using latex dishwashing gloves. They give a non-slip grip that makes opening jars easy.

19. Potatoes will take food stains off your fingers. Just slice and rub raw potato on the stains and rinse with water.

20. To get rid of itch from mosquito bites, try applying soap on the area and you will experience instant relief.

21. Ants, ants, ants everywhere ... Well, they are said to never cross a chalk line. So get your chalk out and draw a line on the floor or wherever ants tend to march. See for yourself.

22. Use air freshener to clean mirrors. It does a good job and better still, leaves a lovely smell to the shine.

23. When you get a splinter, reach for the scotch tape before resorting to tweezers or a needle. Simply put the scotch tape over the splinter, Scotch tape removes the splinters painlessly and easily.

24. Now look what you can do with ALKA Seltzer. Clean a toilet. Drop in two ALKA Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush, and flush. The citric acid and effervescent action clean vitreous china.

25. Clean a vase. To remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase or cruet, fill with water and drop in two ALKA Seltzer tablets. Polish jewelry. Drop two ALKA Seltzer tablets into a glass of water and immerse the jewelry for two minutes. Clean a thermos bottle. Fill the bottle with water, drop in four ALKA Seltzer tablets, and let soak for an hour (or longer, if necessary). Unclog a drain. Clear the sink drain by dropping three ALKA Seltzer tablets down the drain followed by a cup of Heinz White Vinegar. Wait a few minutes, then run the hot water.

And that's the way it was on March 9, 2001 with a little help from my friends.  If you are an accounting practitioner or educator, please do not forget to scan


In March 2000 Forbes named as the Best Website on the Web ---
Some top accountancy links ---


How stuff works --- 


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

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March 2, 2001

Bob Jensen's New Bookmarks on March 2, 2001
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

Quotes of the Week

Knowledge is never neatly organized.
Fathom's Learn About Knowledge Trails --- 

History is salted with mathematician and musician prodigies, but never were there fourteen year old chemists of note.
This is not an exact quotation, but it is the spirit of something said by one of the distinguished invited speakers at Trinity University some years ago.  I am embarrassed to admit that I cannot remember who the speaker was, but his lines to this effect linger in my mind ever since he spoke in Laurie Auditorium.  There are also no fourteen year old accountants of note.  I guess accounting and chemistry knowledge bases are not in the human genetic code.  Put another way, some disciplines thrive on nature's talent whereas others require nurturing's lifetime of drudgery.

As an institutionalist of sorts, he (Walter Adams)  was well aware that, with the passage of time, events and policies were moving against him.  Academic journals now publish the kind of theoretical, highly mathematical articles that he --- a case-study man --- had little use for.  The Nobel Prize has been awarded more for the contributions to economic science than to political economy (in keeping with its official title of "Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel") and perhaps even, as Barbara Bergmann wrote recently, in honor of theoreticians uncovering the obvious."
Roger Spencer, "A Road Less Traveled:  The Institutionalist Walter Adams," Challange, Vol. 44, No. 1, January/February 2001, p. 118.
(For more about "theoreticians uncovering the obvious," scroll down this edition of New Bookmarks.)

A quote forwarded by E. Scribner [escribne@NMSU.EDU

"The real world is only a special case, and not a very interesting one at that."
--C. E. Ferguson

The night can sweat with terror as before
We pieced our thoughts into philosophy,
And planned to bring the world under a rule,
Who are but weasels fighting in a hole.

William Butler Yeats, Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen

Congratulations to Dan Collins (University of Iowa) and Jerry Weygandt (University of Wisconsin) for being selected as the Year 2001 winners of the American Accounting Association's Outstanding Accounting Educator Awards --- 
Their teaching, leadership, and writings have inspired many in our profession.  

Bob Jensen will be presenting a pre-conference workshop on e-Business and e-Education in Rio.

Our web address has been changed

Due to the change in the conference web address, we would like to bring your attention to the 13th Asian-Pacific Conference call for papers and detailed information to the following web address 

Lana Kadoshnikov [

Paul is a former student during my years at Michigan State University and has been project director of various FASB and IASC accounting standards before joining Deloitte on special assignment in Hong Kong.

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: Pacter, Paul (HK - Hong Kong) []  
Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2001 3:05 AM 
To: '' Subject: New international accounting website

Hello Bob,

As part of my work at Deloitte here in Hong Kong, I have developed IASPLUS, which is both a web site (  ) and a quarterly printed newsletter (the latter is available on the website in electronic form). The website and newsletter are devoted to the development, dissemination, understanding, and use of International Accounting Standards. Both include country-specific information -- currently limited to Asia but soon to be expanded to include Europe and beyond.

I thought these might be of interest for your bookmarks.

I enjoyed our panel together at the AAA. I hope to see you this summer at the Atlanta meeting.

Paul Pacter

Wow Flash of the Week --- 

Wow Site of the Week 
A colleague at Trinity University clued me onto this intriguing-sounding  software --- 

Everyday, you come across valuable gems of information. The problem is, they're usually scattered far and wide — throughout web sites, emails, desktop applications, databases, graphics and virtual libraries.

eGems™ Collector Pro lets you change those rich nuggets of research into powerful gems of knowledge — quickly, easily and without losing their accompanying source. You simply "grab and drop" discrete pieces of information as you find and need them.

eGems™ Collector Pro helps researchers, writers, analysts, professors and students work faster and more efficiently. It's absolutely invaluable for anyone who re-uses verifiable information! Take a look at the many features and benefits!

Simple, Non-obtrusive Interface:
Do all your research without leaving your application! eGems Collector automatically works alongside you as you collect information. It integrates seamlessly with your favorite applications without embedding itself in their interface.

Drag and Drop Research:
Wherever you find importa
nt data, eGems Collector lets you collect and drop it wherever you want--while keeping its source path intact. It's as simple as highlighting a passage.

Organize Your eGems:
Build your own digital library rich with "trays" and "chests" full of gems of information. Attach notes. Aggregate and personalize your findings in any way you wish.

Find Data Easily:
Use eGems Collector Pro's advanced search tools to quickly locate the data you need, when you need it.

Share eGems with Others:
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I ordered my copy for under $60 and cannot wait to try it out!

Former Wow Site of the Week --- Things keep happening at Fathom.  There are over 60,000 authenticated references to experts and this knowledge portal is growing exponentially.  Fathom deepens as academia's top knowledge portal ---  

Fathom's member institutions present their immense wealth of knowledge across every area of interest—from business to global affairs, from arts to technology.

Fathom brings you:

Lectures, interviews, articles, performances and exhibits by faculty, researchers and curators from our member institutions. Reference content spanning all disciplines and fields of study. Trails, a new visual way of organizing knowledge thematically by topic. You can use Trails to intuitively navigate content according to your own interests. A community of knowledge seekers gathering in Fathom's Forums. Online courses from Fathom's course partners, offering the best in online education from top research institutions. Recommended books and products to deepen your knowledge. 

Don't miss Fathom's Online Course Demonstration and Learn About Knowledge Trails

Knowledge is never neatly organized.

Founders and Partners of Fathom are High in Prestige

Member Institutions
Columbia University
Cambridge University Press
London School of Economics
The New York Public Library
University of Chicago
University of Michigan
The British Library 
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
Victoria & Albert Musume
Science Museum
Natural History Museum
American Film Institute

For more on portals, go to 

There are very few U.S. Government Websites that are not excellent.  Both the IRS and the SEC are great examples.  And they keep getting better.


You might want to note in Bookmarks that the SEC has a new and improved web site. It allows accountants to go directly to matters that might be of most interest to them. The site is

Now if only the AICPA would finish its promised upgrade.

Dennis Beresford [

In fairness to the AICPA, the Institute has made some courageous and helpful decisions regarding the AICPA Website, not the least of which is to provide both the current and back issues of The Journal of Accountancy for free downloading.

The improved SEC website has a much better table of contents for locating a vast amount of information.  The site is at 

Helper Site of the Week (Thank you for sharing Gail)
From Gail Perry on TheAccountingWeb --- 

Excel Tips
In a recent workshop, CPA and author Gail Perry shared some of her favorite Excel tips. Here are some highlights from that workshop. 

"Creating Excel Macros" 

Tax Scams
Don't fall victim to these save-taxes-quick schemes that always seem to crop up this time of year. Be sure your clients steer clear of these scams as well! 

The AICPA's Year 2000 Supply and Demand for Accounting Graduates 

Following are some of the more significant findings from the report:

• A total of 47,895 accounting bachelor’s and master’s degrees were awarded in l998–99, which represents a 20% decrease from the total number reported for l995–96. The percentage decrease of bachelor’s degrees awarded is almost twice that of master’s degrees.

• Females are increasingly outnumbering males at the bachelor’s level (57% to 43%). For the first time in this series of studies, females outnumbered males also at the master’s level (54% to 46%).

• Minorities accounted for 19% of the total number of accounting bachelor’s and master’s graduates, down from 23% in l995–96. However, the percentage of minority PhDs has increased from 12% to 16% for the same period.

• The percentage of bachelor’s graduates finding jobs in business/industry has dropped relative to those entering public accounting (26% and 34%, respectively). The percentage of master’s graduates entering public accounting (61%) is triple the percentage going into industry (20%).

• Accounting enrollments in bachelor’s and master’s programs have dropped dramatically (22%) from l995–96. Enrollments had already begun to drop from l994–95 to l995–96. A majority of responding schools expect enrollments in accounting bachelor’s programs two years from now to be the same, and they expect enrollments in accounting master’s programs to increase.

• The number of candidates sitting for the CPA exam continued the downward trend from l993, except for an upward surge in l999. This is likely attributable to the fact that the 150-hour law became effective in more than a dozen states in the year 2000. Candidates for the May and November exams in l999 totaled 126,769.

• The total number of accounting graduates with bachelor’s degrees hired by CPA firms decreased slightly in l999, while master’s degrees hires increased.

• The percentage of new accounting graduates hired by the firms was about one-third the percentage of non-accounting graduate hires in l999. 

• Fifty-four percent of the new graduate hires were female; 46% were male.

• Twenty percent of the new graduate hires were minorities, up from 16% in l996.

• The percentage of female CPAs employed by the firms is 34%; minorities accounted for 5% of CPAs employed by the firms.

• Eighty-five percent of the largest firms reported hiring more experienced recruits in l999 than in l998; 53% of the next largest firm-size group said they hired more experienced recruits than in l998.

Although demand for accounting graduates is high and rising, the supply of graduates is DOWN

Snafu's in print (from factual slips to funny spellings in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and elsewhere)
Human Spell Check --- 

The daley wurd: led:  My mentor led me to believe I could perfect the lead by getting the lead out.

The daley wurd: your:  As in, "you're not going to misuse YOUR again, are you?"

The daley wurd: principle:  As in, "The school principal said, 'It's the principle of the thing'."
(To say nothing about the principal is $1,000 per bond in your portfolio.  Isn't English fun?)

Aside from the grammar confusion, do the folks at Budweiser really think this is going to keep the kids out?

Snafus TV-Style
What Were They Thinking (Television's poorly designed and scripted sitcoms) --- 

Example:  The Premise
Family man Dave Crabtree (Jerry Van Dyke) discovers that his mother, Gladys, has been reincarnated as a talking 1928 Porter. In one episode, Gladys sends her son out for friction oil for her "carthritis." When asked if she wants to take a catnap, she cheekily responds, "You mean a carnap." Also starring: Maggie Pierce, Avery Schreiber, Ann Southern.

Snafus Wordwize
Banished Word List --- 

The Business Eccountant is aimed at collegiate educators and students --- 

Welcome to The Business Eccountant magazine published by This website contains weekly business news designed to be of interest to students.

The Business Eccountant tracks news from 40 companies world-wide, as well as giving other business news in brief. You can also access our archive facility dating back to the first issue on December 5 1999.

College educators and librarians can get The Business Eccountant by e-mail each Sunday night. Check out the site for more details and contact information.

Professor of the Week (thank you for sharing, Ralph)
Online Economic Resources from Englishman Ralph Lazer 


Who's Who

Global directory of economics, finance. Covers more than 1000 institutions in OECD countries & Emerging Markets


Continually-updated conference calendar (economics, finance & related fields)

Jobs Academic, professional & official positions globally, as well as graduate placements & student summer internships
Glossary Economics & Financial Glossary (Macro, Micro, Financial Markets, Significant Events, Environmental/Resource)
Central Bank
Continually updated survey of Central Bank Policies (Monetary & Exchange Rate) in OECD & Emerging Markets.


University Economics Departments, University Research Groups, Business Schools


Economics Forecasters & Consultants, Investment Banks, Stock-brokers, Asset Managers, Media, Research, Think Tanks


Central Banks, Finance Ministries, Economy Ministries, Gov't Statistics Offices, Gov't Agencies, International Organisations


Teaching & Learning Resources, Economics Working-papers, Economics Journals

Macroeconomic Data

Macro data by country & region: OECD & Emerging Markets

Financial Market Data

Equity Markets, Bond Markets, FX Markets, Commodity Markets: OECD & Emerging Markets

Your input


Submit sites to the links database, events to the conference channel, positions to the jobs channel, personal details to the Who's Who directory, and terms to the glossary. All submissions assessed by webmaster before being posted

I found the following article interesting.  

"Gift for the Gab," Clay Shirky on new software agents that evolve language --- 

More importantly, the researchers found that successful predators evolved language more efficiently if their communication was limited in length in the beginning and grew over time, rather than being uniformly large from the beginning. Expanding the available message size after the predators learned to use shorter "words" allowed the agents to evolve a functioning language much faster. Limiting the message length also seemed to lead the predators to evolve "words" that had different meanings in different situations. (The authors compared this to the word drive, which is a noun or a verb depending on use.) Most astonishing of all, the authors of the study could not always decipher the agents' language. They knew the predators were saying something useful to each other, since they were getting better at chasing down the prey, but finding a Rosetta Stone for human-agentese proved impossible.

The scientific overlaps in this experiment are enormous -- computer science, linguistics, evolutionary theory, even genetics, as the authors encoded the agents' programs into "chromosomes" and shuffled those chromosomes between generations in a process modeled on reproduction. Practical applications for this work are some time off, but its easy to see how Net-crawling agents with evolved language could become part of the Internet's infrastructure.

With Google indexing only a fraction of the Web's content, agents instructing one another about relevant documents could make superior indexing crawlers. With airline tickets fluctuating in price by the minute, traditional purchasing agents have been ineffective because they prevent supply and demand from being measured in one place and real time. A group of agents that can talk to one another, however, can bring the Chicago Solution -- leave the corn in the fields but aggregate the prices in Chicago -- to distributed electronic markets. And with the growth of peer-to-peer networks like Gnutella and Freenet that resist any sort of centralization, such agents may become a necessary accoutrement to making the network user-friendly, or even user-usable.

Bob Jensen's P2P threads are at 

I am afraid that I don't have a quick and easy answer for stock pay dividends and for working out your specific calculation.  I also hesitate to give advice on the discount rate. 

For some general guidance on the stock pricing analysis, you might try the calculators (or leads to calculators) at following websites:

Calculating volatility --- 

Peter Hoadley's Options Strategy Analysis Tools: Black-Scholes Pricing Analysis ---  

Black-Scholes price for a stock-index option ---

Summary: Stock options/Black-Scholes ---

The following websites may be useful for you for Black-Scholes calculators:

Online calculators --- 

Summary Analysis --- 

A Black-Scholes European Option Calculator --- 

A Black-Scholes American and European Calculator --- 

Various (exotic options) 

-----Original Message----- 
From: XXXX
 Sent: Saturday, February 24, 2001 12:02 PM 
Subject: Valuation of call American call options

I sure hope you can help me! I have read several papers and Investment Books ( Bodie, Kane and Marcus ) regarding the valuation of options. I got your e-mail address off a web site ). Everything seems fine when I reviewing examples but now I have to actually compute the value of several different options. I understand the Black Scholes Formula and can work through the example ( the long formula ) as long as there are no dividends. I am trying to find a formula for an American option assuming the stock pay dividends. I did find a web site ( that calculates the value of the option by keying in the following variables. I would like to see the formula behind this calculation so that I may explain it to the CEO of my company. Do you have a paper on this or a web site that you can direct me to? Or.... can you send me the formula with the following variables in it? I really would appreciate you help! 

Can you answer the following questions for me? I am trying to value the following Option: ( the underlying stock is a dividend paying stock and pays dividends every quarter ) Current stock price = 55 exercise price = 35 Time to expiration = 4.5 years ( the original term = 10 years ) Volatility = 16.5% Risk free rate = 4.5% ( I have assumed this price ) Assume I have 10 options that I have to value and all of them range from 1.76 to 9.5 years to expiration, what is the best security that I can use to obtain the different risk free rates necessary for each option? Div. yield = 3.49% ( .48 each qrt, 55/.48 * 4 = 3.49%)

Also, I plan on comparing the option value to the Adjusted Intrinsic should I take the current price of $55 less exercise price of $35 less the PV of the dividend payments for the next 4.5years? So, for this last part, do I assume the 48 cents will be paid out each quarter for the next 4.5 years and discount this back to today? What discount rate should I use? Again, Thanks for your help.


An accounting theory question raised by The Wall Street Journal Interactive for Accounting Educators

What would be the proper accounting if a utility company entered a hedge transaction specifying the price at which it would purchase electricity versus the spot price?

ARTICLE 1 Power Vacuum: An Issue Briefing On California's Electricity Crisis News Roundup 01/23/2001 ---

* ARTICLE 2 Capital: California Sheds Light on Regulation By David Wessel 02/08/01 Page A1 ---

* ARTICLE 3 'Microturbines' May Get a Surge From Power Crisis in California By Rodney Ho 1/23/01 ---

RELATED ARTICLE: Anatomy of a Jolt: A Timeline of Key Events in California Utility Deregulation Source: The Wall Street Journal and Associated Press 02/08/01 ---:

RELATED ARTICLE: New Coal Stoves Offer an Alternative As Prices for Natural Gas and Oil Soar By Robert Guy Matthews 1/30/01 Page B1 ---

RELATED ARTICLE: California Needs Deregulation Done Right By Daniel McFadden, University of California, Berkeley 02/13/01 Page A26 ---

Internet Economy Indicators (e-Commerce) 


In the bottom of this message, I supply you with some software links to the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) and some other alternatives to AHP. The problem with AHP is that in spite of the endless expounding of eigenvector scaling as "the AHP scaling" by Saaty and Vargas, there are other scaling alternatives such as those pointed out in my paper "COMPARISONS OF EIGENVECTOR, LEAST SQUARES, CHI SQUARE, AND LOGARITHMIC LEAST SQUARES METHODS OF SCALING A RECIPROCAL MATRIX" at The problem is that choice of a scaling method is somewhat arbitrary. This is OK as long as you know (and disclose) the advantages and disadvantages of your choice for AHP scaling.

If you get into this big time, there is expensive software and consulting for AHP. Examples are shown below: 

When life gets complicated you sometimes need complicated and expensive software.

Hope this helps.

Bob (Robert E.) Jensen Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212 Voice: (210) 999-7347 Fax: (210) 999-8134 Email: 

New Additions to ERIC Digests Database 

Resources for library assessment 

Librarians are increasingly turning to the Internet and electronic resources to provide patrons with new services. As electronic resources and services become an increasingly large segment of all library resources and services, librarians must find ways to adequately report their usage.

Finding adequate and accurate measures becomes more important as libraries experience a decline in traditional services such as questions at the reference desk. For many libraries, electronic resources represent an area of growth, and so reflecting their use in library statistics is key to justifying budget requests and demonstrating the importance of the library.

There are many ways of measuring library usage: typically librarians count books circulated, volumes shelved, money spent on acquisitions, gate counts, and questions answered at the reference desk. While these measures are widely accepted, they do not reflect electronic services. To accurately reflect this usage, libraries must at a minimum be able to count and report Web hits, database sessions and searches, and e-mail contacts. Counting these things will force librarians to look at some new tools for assessment.

In this climate, where electronic and print resources and services co-exist, libraries seeking to perform careful analysis of usage and funding will need to use both traditional and new tools. Indeed, this new climate may represent an opportunity for librarians to review all the data that they gather and all of the tools they use to analyze that data. Some of the tools librarians may find helpful are available via the Internet, including software packages for studying Web usage and for performing statistical analyses, sites that provide data for use in benchmarking with comparable libraries, and sites that can help with studying demographics in their community.

Sex On TV: Content and Context --- 

Now that the tax-filing season is underway, visit's newly launched "Your Taxes," a comprehensive guide to many of the questions you may have, not only about the existing tax code, but also on the proposed Bush tax cuts. In collaboration with the experts at TurboTax, "Your Taxes" contains tax forms, calculators and step-by-step information on filing --- 

Bob Jensen provides links to other Websites for help in filing taxes.  Go to 

From InformationWeek Online on February 22, 2001

The big three online tax filing firms--H.D. Vest Inc., H&R Block and Intuit Inc.--have geared up for the 2001 tax season with a flurry of Web initiatives.

Intuit dominated the electronic filing market last year, preparing 70 percent of all online federal tax returns. Intuit, which makes most of its $1 billion in revenue on off-the-shelf software, acquired on Feb. 12 Inc., an online directory for small businesses listing about 5,000 Web applications providers and ASPs, and began making application program interfaces available to software developers through its site. The goal: fuel development of add-on applications for small businesses.

H.D. Vest's strategy is to attract taxpayers to its site. Then, should customers need help or further services, Vest turns them over to tax professionals who then pay a part of their professional fee to H.D. Vest. For business clientele, the company last November unveiled, through which it sets up cobranded Web portals for Vest-affiliated certified public accountants, agents and financial planners.

No. 3 H&R Block, whose $2.8 billion in revenue comes almost entirely from its 9,200 storefronts, had a disastrous 2000 tax season. Performance and scalability woes forced the company to take the entire $18 million cost of its in-house online project off the company's bottom line (InternetWeek, Aug. 28, 2000). This year, company officials insist that Block is back in e-business. --David Lewis

Find out more: 

Best Management Practices (U.K Government Website) --- 

"Cell Phones:  Not Just for Calling" ---,1367,41873,00.html 

Cell phones are the next informational storehouse, yet travelers who need them can't access them on airplanes. Elisa Batista breaks down why the cell phone is banned on airlines, the latest innovations in wireless technology and some rather novel uses for the phones.

Almost everybody in Hong Kong has a cell phone; therefore, discourteous use of the devices is rampant. The government is thinking about installing jamming devices in some public places ---,1284,41975,00.html 

Developers have begun building enterprise applications on a new wireless platform from Qualcomm. Whether users buy into the technology is another matter --- 

Census 2000 Data Access and Use 

Companies need to make consumer privacy a higher priority --- 

Sexual Harassment Resources --- 

Can John Doe Stay Anonymous? In what could have been a watershed case for Internet privacy and free speech activists, a somewhat inconclusive conclusion puts a damper on a victory. By Jeffrey Terraciano. in Politics ---,1283,41714,00.html 

Art History

Over 8,000 Reproductions
Web Gallery of Art 

The Glory of Chinese Printing 

Freenet's Free Thinker by Farhad Manjo ---,1367,41918,00.html 

Freenet maybe be Napster's lesser-known brother, but creator Ian Clarke says his still-evolving service will offer anonymity that protects users from prosecution.

Farhad Manjoo spoke with Clarke about censorhip, privacy, and how Freenet can be used to help open-source software development.

Bob Jensen's threads on P2P and file sharing are at 

A Glossary of Political Economy Terms 

For other online glossaries, go to the following: 

Interactive TV catches on in Europe --- 

      Interactive TV has primitive Web-searching and surfing capabilities compared to an Internet-connected computer, but the service enhances a medium with which people are comfortable.

       Beyond its rich video foundation, iTV is also getting a boost from offerings that leverage the power of networking and instant communication.

       European users can click through to text that enhances video news, check weather forecasts and participate in virtual game shows. Some even bet - in real time - on sports. Or they get notified when a goal has been scored in a soccer game on another channel, in time to switch for the replay.

       Globally, the number of interactive TV connections is expected to grow from 13 million in 2001 to an estimated 226 million in 2006, says Shirley Brown, an analyst at Ovum Consulting.

       The interactive satellite system of Britain’s BSkyB - controlled by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. - boasts nearly 5 million subscribers. The comparable service of France’s Canal Plus has 1.5 million users, and Canal Plus operates similar services in Spain, Italy, Belgium, Poland, Scandinavia and parts of Africa.

       Ovum predicts the number of households worldwide capable of receiving interactive television will grow from 62 million to 357 million by 2006 - while revenue from sales made over interactive TV will grow from about $58 million last year to $44.8 billion.

Pride in the U.S. Flag --- 

From Syllabus News on February 20, 2001

AcquireX, an e-procurement network, recently launched a Web-based education supply marketplace that combines three separate pur- chasing options in one system. AcquireX provides one-stop pro curement by meeting all K-12 and higher education purchasing regulations, whether buying through AcquireX's network, through the institution's preferred vendors, or through bids and quotes. AcquireX also provides comprehensive customer support, inclu ding the handling of returns and other issues.

Following a successful six-month pilot period, feedback from beta customers such as American University in Washington, D.C., and the Spring BranchSchool District in Houston, Texas, led to AcquireX's creation of the three-tiered purchasing options. AcquireX customers may purchase goods and services directly from AcquireX as a "super supplier/aggregator,'' use the AcquireX sealed bids and quotes modules when legally required, or pur-chase goods and services using the AcquireX facilitation module. This module is primarily tailored to accommodate an institution's local vendors and its established sup plier contracts.

For more information, visit .

The President's Agenda for Tax Relief 

Recognizing the possibility of confusion between Statement 125 and its updated requirements in Statement 140 -- both titled "Accounting for Transfers and Servicing of Financial Assets and Extinguishments of Liabilities," the Financial Accounting Standards Board has issued a special report to respond to common questions about what has changed.

Summary --- 

The FASB document is at 

Internet Growth Forecasting --- 

Internet Economy Indicators  ---

I hope you enjoyed the recent APLG Meeting in Fort Lauderdale. The slides from Donald Gray from the University of Wisconsin Foundation speaking on fund raising and Robert Johnson from the Arthur Andersen office in Atlanta speaking on the new economy are available online.

The Donald Gray presentation (4,444k) is posted at: 

The Robert Johnson presentation (429k) is posted at: 

Both PowerPoint slide presentations are linked from the APLG program at: 

Craig Polhemus [
American Accounting Association]

Taxation Aspects of Electronic Commerce --- 

Chartres, Sanctuaire du Monde --- 

It always amazes me when communism and socialism cannot tolerate freedom of the press and other forms of communication.  Fidel Castro controls Cuba's only Internet gateway and all four ISPs. He restricts access to government officials and academics, all of whom know that they are being watched. And yet, Cubans find a way ---,1283,41940,00.html 

USFL - United States Football League (Trivia, Sports History) 

Guidelines for studies of the social and economic impact of HIV/AIDS -- UNAIDS 

"CRM Vendors Pull String on Speech." By Gina Fraone, BuzStrategy Newsletter, February 22, 2001

Consumers have historically shown a natural affection for devices that speak like humans, so it's no wonder that several CRM (customer relationship management) product vendors at DCI's annual CRM conference last week were trying to seduce attendees with the power of speech. Some were showing products that allow salespeople to interact with CRM applications by talking to them. Others were touting applications that allow Web sites to interact with consumers using speech.

Although the idea of applying speech to CRM in this way makes sense, many of these new products suffer from two problems: Speech recognition technology still has holes, and speech-driven applications require more bandwidth than many networks and Web sites can muster.

Two products being demonstrated at the DCI show illustrated these shortcomings. JustTalk, of Ann Arbor, Mich., offers a product that integrates with CRM software so that traveling sales folks can capture, access and share data using speech recognition technology over any phone.

And LipSinc, of Morrisville, N.C., helps businesses create "virtual agents" that can interact with Web site visitors to provide one-way automated voice responses or give live two-way visual communication. LipSinc can even create a digital image of an employee or other character that will interact with Web site visitors.

Online retailer ( ) allows buyers to listen to 30-second snippets of every track before purchasing a CD. Also: Surfing SafariDog goes streaming, an SDMI hacker becomes a security agent, and digital rights management goes cellular. All in Brad King's notebook ---,1367,41982,00.html 

Also see
Labels to Napster: Download This
Napster's Billion Dollar Blues
Antartica Rocks Out on Ice
The State of Music Security
Find it: Lycos Music's MP3 Central

American Song-Poem Music Archives (American History) 
The images and maps are remarkable.  Note Frank Thomas' diary.

Brazil's government is subsidizing a plan to develop stripped-down computers that will cost only $300. Just another example of the country's aggressive attitude toward getting its people connected ---,1284,41785,00.html 

United Nations Environment Network ---- 
(Water, Climate, Land, Biodiversity by Country) 

Tobacco Control Archives --- 

See the accomplishments of the World Bank (actually this site can be classified under Photographic Art) ---  Photo Library 

American Song-Poem Music Archives --- 

Cost Accounting 101

Convenience Stores Create Software To Boost Profitability and Cut Costs," by Ann Zimmerman, The Wall Street Journal, February 15, 2001--- 

The convenience-store industry, under siege from mounting competition, has collaborated to create a software program to cut inventory costs and boost profitability following a yearlong study among retailers, distributors and manufacturers.

The software tool helps retailers more accurately assess an item's profitability by factoring in the operating, labor, inventory and overhead costs of each item. Previously, the industry looked mainly at a product's gross profit, which is the retail price of the item minus its wholesale price.

. . . 

With time at a premium, convenience stores are facing more competition from supermarkets, drugstores and even membership warehouse clubs, which have added gas pumps and quicker checkout methods. The convenience-store industry needs to cut costs to increase its competitive edge.

Previously, "retailers didn't consider the cost of handling a product, which is very significant, but not obvious," says Bill Bishop, president of Willard Bishop Consulting, which conducted the study. "Once you see that an item is not making money, it's easier to make the hard decisions."

Hank Armour, president of West Star Corp., which operates Washington-based Now convenience stores and truck stops, learned from testing the software that he was losing 50 cents on every auto fuse and bulb he sold. A follow-up survey convinced him that customers were willing to spend more on the product, and he raised the price by a dollar.

Before the study, Mr. Armour carried three kinds of laundry detergent. The data convinced him to eliminate two brands and increase the display of the remaining brand. His sales in the category increased 20%, while at the same time his costs fell because he could order the product by the case.

Secrets of the Pharaohs (Egypt, History, Archaeology) --- 

"Firms Must Disclose Effect of Accords Rescinding Stock Purchases, SEC Says," Michael Schroeder and Jonathan Weil, The Wall Street Journal, February 2, 2001 --- 

The Securities and Exchange Commission has advised accountants that companies must disclose the financial impact of special agreements that allow employees to back out of soured stock purchases.

At the request of accounting firms, the SEC recently offered guidance on how such transactions should be explained to shareholders in company financial reports.

The issue applies to employees who decided early last year to exercise the purchase of company stock granted as options at prices much less than the market price at the time, thus creating a big tax bill. But as stock prices declined throughout the year, employees still had the original tax liability. Some companies agreed to bail out the employees by wiping out the transactions as if they hadn't occurred.

In its review, the SEC said companies must disclose how the transactions affected profits and earnings per share, and, in some cases, must be discussed in the "management's discussion and analysis" section of a company's annual financial reports.

I was already going to send a message to the list with this URL: 

Because it is an interesting discussion of copyright issues.

Then I found a link to another copyright website through a link at the bottom of this screen: 

Click on the permission for reprint link at the bottom and take a look at what you get. I'm not sure if that is a way for an author to make some money from posting articles on the WWW, but it might take care of the honor system followers.

Scott Bonacker, CPA McCullough, Officer & Company, LLC Springfield, Missouri  

Time Magazine tells the story of Aids in Africa --- 
Misery marches on.

EPA Green Vehicle Guide (my 1980 Ford stationwagon gets a whopping seven miles to the gallon and puts up a smokescreen) --- 

No joke!  With a little help from the "Rich."
Clinton Presidential Center (Under Construction) 

Two competing specifications for sending electronic messages are converging thanks to the decision by the group pushing ebXML to integrate SOAP in its work --- 

Fear of terrorism might give federal agencies an excuse to spy on networks. Is it warranted? 

From On The Web in the T.H.E. Journal, January 2001, p. 40 ---

This Internet-based service instantly connects students and their families with colleges that offer academic scholarships. Its proprietary database and search technology allow students with a B average or higher to match their academic profile against millions of dollars in academic scholarships available from over 1,100 colleges nationwide.

This Web site lists language courses at more than 6,200 institutions teaching 71 different languages in 85 countries. Free access to all sections of the Web site is provided in 24 languages. Detailed search facilities let students select study preferences such as location, course type, extracurricular activities, special services, and additional programs. Each school is listed with full contact information and background details.

This site offers complete lesson plans for classroom teaching in language arts, social studies and science. Each unit comes with a step-by-step instructional guide, handouts, and a comprehensive bibliography. Each unit costs $15.95.

Clever Island is a subscription-based educational Web site for children ages 3 to 8. It provides pre-readers and young learners a way to learn fundamental math, reading and computer skills using educational games and activities. Designed by teachers, the site adapts to a child's current skill level based upon the child's age, yet allows the difficulty level to be adjusted as the child masters new abilities. New activities are added on a regular basis. --- was founded on the belief that, to make the best college selection possible, students deserve to know which colleges have scholarship money they could be eligible for!

Karin Brough, President/CEO of is an expert in the financial aid industry with nearly a decade of experience helping thousands of students prepare for college.

The need for came to her attention as she witnessed the popularity of “private scholarship searches” among her students, while they unknowingly qualified for thousands of dollars in merit scholarships from the colleges themselves. Students would spend hours applying for private scholarships, only to find out that the scholarships from the colleges were decreased if they actually won a private scholarship!

After watching hundreds of families make this fascinating oversight, she knew something was missing in the college preparation industry – somehow students and parents did not know about this vital source of free money for college.

She searched high and low for a centralized, searchable, and reliable resource on college-specific scholarships….and found nothing! Knowing there had had to be a better way, Karin started

Reply from Marilynn Allain


Thank you for your inquiry. Yes, you (Trinity University) are already participating in our database. We will be contacting Aspen Heckmann soon for an update! If you have any more questions, please feel free to call or email me!


Marilynn Allain Research Director

From Syllabus News (email) on February 27, 2001

Teachers Honored for Technology Innovation Two community college professors whose creative use of tech- nology has enhanced learning for disabled, non-traditional, and pre-college-aged students have been selected as leaders in their field for 2001. The two will receive the first-ever David R. Pierce Faculty Technology Award, sponsored by the Microsoft Cor- poration in cooperation with the American Association of Com- munity Colleges (AACC).

Vicki Duggan, instructor in the Information Technology Institute of Montgomery College, Md., and Michelle R. Wild, instructor in the Special Education and Computer departments of Coastline Community College, Calif., were selected in a nationwide competition among the over 1,100 U.S. community, junior, and technical colleges. Professor Duggan is working to bring both older adults and elementary school aged girls into high-demand Information Technology fields. Professor Wild is an innovator in the design and integration of online instruction and has become an expert in the use of technology to rehabilitate brain-injured adults.

Designed to recognize exemplary teaching models, the Pierce award includes a $5,000 stipend for each of the awardees and national recognition at the AACC's annual meeting, scheduled April 4-7 in Chicago, Ill.

From Syllabus News (email) on February 27, 2001

New Technology to Run Future Wireless Handset Devices

According to Cahners' In-Stat Group, a high-tech market re- search firm, sales of Internet-ready wireless phones will surpass 1 billion units annually by 2004. This growth will be fueled by consumer demand for new applications on Internet access de- vices and handheld devices that combine everything from streaming video and audio, location-based services, speech recognition, and mobile e-commerce.

Texas Instruments is putting its money behind industry efforts to support this trend. The company recently announced plans to invest up to $100 million, over the next 12-18 months, to boost development of high-performance software applications that use TI's DSP-based OMAP technology. The funds for this invest- ment program are in addition to the $1.7 billion TI already spends annually on R&D.

The goal of the OMAP Investment Program is to fuel access to high-quality mobile Internet services, by helping software de- velopers to create applications like digital audio, mobile video streaming, mobile commerce, location-based services and voice recognition. OMAP is a combination of software and a dual-core hardware architecture built with DSP and RISC pro- cessors. For the consumer, this means high performance, long battery life and the flexibility needed to support both current and future standards. The OMAP architecture supports all 2G, 2.5G and 3G wireless standards and is compatible with TI's DSP-based digital baseband, used in more than 60 percent of today's digital wireless handsets.

Recently a friend asked about training courses for her high school student during the summer in San Antonio.  I suggested the followingL

For self help, I am truly impressed with the videos and CD training resources at  
These are somewhat expensive, but it is possible to do all the studying at home.

For San Antonio onsite courses, there may be some summver courses available at St Phillips College that he can take. Try 

There are some very interesting free online courses from Barnes & Noble University at,2668,25015__,00.html 

ZDNet SmartPlanet --- 

It's not whether IT matters; will knowing more about IT help you? 

Bravo and Happy Birthday Barry

I can't let February end without pointing out that AECM was begun seven years ago this month. It never ceases to amaze me when I think about how far the Internet has come in that period. I did extensive searches of the Internet in late 1993 and early 1994 trying to find ANYTHING related to "accounting", "CPA", etc. using Gopher and other techniques available at the time. THERE WAS NOTHING!!

Thanks to all of you for helping make AECM so successful. As the homepage says, "Over 1000 subscribers from more than 30 countries have participated in the forum." I have been particularly pleased to see it evolve from just discussions of technology to discussions of anything remotely related to accounting education.

If you have a friend or colleague whom you don't think is a member of AECM, please consider forwarding this message to them as a way to invite them to subscribe. They should go to  for complete information.

E. Barry Rice, AECM Founder Loyola College in Maryland 

Abolish the Nobel Prize for Economics

“But he has nothing on at all,” said a little child at last. “Good heavens! listen to the voice of an innocent child,” said the father, and one whispered to the other what the child had said. “But he has nothing on at all,” cried at last the whole people.
"The Emperor's New Suit," by Hans Christian Andersen, 1837 --- 

Abolish the Nobel Prize for Economics
From an article by the same title by Barbara Bergmann, Challange, Vol. 42, No. 2, March/April 1999, 52-57.

Of course, the profession eminently deserves to look ridiculous, and will improve only if it wakes up and realizes it. The world needs the insights and remedies that an economics worthy of being classed as a science could provide, instead of the "science" we have. It is not much of an exaggeration to say that economics today is in the situation medicine was at the end of the Middle Ages -- it consists of a set of theories invented without reference to any actual systematic observation, and the treatments it prescribes not infrequently do more harm than good. (Witness the recent accusation emanating from the economists of the World Bank that the IMF economists' prescriptions had worsened the Asian crisis.)

Since medieval times, medicine has advanced by making observations, and new theories have been suggested by what was found through the observations. In turn, the theories have inspired still more observations. Economics fails to advance because we economists have cut ourselves off from doing any real observing, using the false excuse that "we can't do experiments." When we decide to work on some topic–the rate of interest, consumers' saving behavior, foreign exchange, business behavior in setting prices or wages or making investments-- we don't try to look around the world to see what is actually going on. Instead, we retire to our studies and think up some simple version of what might be going on.

Abolish the Nobel Prize for Economics
From an article by the same title by Barbara Bergmann, Challange, Vol. 42, No. 2, March/April 1999, 52-57.

Since the 1950s, part of the profession has occupied itself in producing regression software that "corrects" for deficiencies in the data. Collecting more pertinent data more directly has gotten little attention. In conversing once with a famous monetary economist, I suggested that monetary economists should talk more to bankers. He was very short with me, said I was wrong, that he talked to bankers all the time and never learned a thing from them. On reflection, I concluded that he probably talked to them about his business, which was formulating and purveying theories about the macroeconomy, about which, indeed, they had little to teach him. It may never have occurred to him to talk to them about their business, which was deciding when to make loans, and at what price.

The Nobel Prize was awarded to the economic historian Robert Fogel for running regressions in a subfield where regressions had not been run before. But it can't be given for that too often. So the Prize has to be awarded mostly for the only other activity the academic part of the profession indulges in: sitting in the study and inventing a simple version of how some process might work. This being the case, the criterion for the award cannot be verisimilitude; it has to be cleverness. Of course, a line of thought can be very clever, yet fail to capture important elements of what really goes on. Most of the laureates are awesomely clever people, yet they know very little about the actual economy out there, and have very little interest in it. They are interested in the play of their own thoughts, not the thoughts of real actors in the economy. The profession attracts people who want to do applied math, and who would not enjoy the messy business of actual observation. There are very few economists like Alan Greenspan, who has a real interest in the workings and state of the actual economy. But you don't get a Nobel for achievements like his -- his only chance at a Nobel would be to get the Peace Prize, which perhaps he deserves, since his work has avoided pain and deprivation for millions.

The Nobel Committee has had a distressingly tin ear for ethics, awarding a prize to Robert Fogel's demonstration that slavery was a jolly good business, at least to those with the whip hand (and so, he might have added, were apartheid and the Holocaust). It rewarded Becker's paean to a form of the family frequently oppressive to women. But Fogel's and Becker's awards were not just in bad taste. Those prizes honored work that distilled complicated and sometimes painful phenomena into simplistic representations of cheeringly optimal processes, in the one case by regression-running, in the other by representing affairs of the heart by supply and demand curves, in both cases throwing a lot of vital issues out the window in the process.  

Abolish the Nobel Prize for Economics
From an article by the same title by Barbara Bergmann, Challange, Vol. 42, No. 2, March/April 1999, 52-57.

The central parts of our discipline – micro and macroeconomics–have seldom benefited from close observational work. In the 1930s Hitch and Hall surveyed business people and found that marginal cost and marginal revenue never crossed their minds when setting prices. The economics profession received this news with pained condescension and strove mightily to forget it. Alan Blinder's recent surveys of business people, asking them how they decide to change their prices, may breathe new life into the aborted Hitch and Hall revolution, and take us to a microeconomics that incorporates realities. If he can do that, he'll deserve the Prize.

Reply from Richard Newmark, Old Dominion Universit [rnewmark@ODU.EDU

I sent Bob's message to a couple of economists that I know. Here is one of the responses that I received, which I think puts some of Dr. Bergmann's comments in perspective.


Unfortunately, the article which suggests abolishing the Nobel prize for economics makes some good points. (Not that I agree with the final recommendation.) Most of the fields in economics simply ignore aspects of behavior that are too 'messy' to model. Sometimes the results o our simple models are not affected by these omissions, sometimes they are. 

What I do not understand about the author is that she uses Gary Becker as an example of an immoral something, I can't recall. Becker is one of the first, well-known economists to study normal, everyday behavior like crime, marriage, divorce, etc. and to develop models that describe people's incentives to engage in these activities. The author apparently likes the 'idea' of modeling real-life behavior until someone actually does it. Then she allows her 'feelings' to cloud the interpretation of Becker's subjective model. Surprisingly for an economist, she has not learned how to separate her 'feelings' and 'opinions' from the logical, objective results of models like Becker's. 

For example, in development economics we model the decision of how many children to have in several ways. One is to assert that children are pure investments. Investments for old age when you lack the resources or access to formal retirement, public assistance, etc. Children are also laborers for small, poor farmers in developing countries. The number of children you have is also determined, in part, by the probability that a child will die before they reach the age of 5. When you have 6 sick children and you can only afford health care or medical services for a couple of them, who do you choose? The boys. They are more valuable to the family, physically stronger, greater earning potential in the market, boys provide for their parents later in life, etc. Girls are too costly, they rarely have access to education, well-paying jobs, and they will marry someone one day and care for his family, plus the dowry that will be required. So using cost benefit analysis - families, when faced with the choice, choose the boys every time. 

Do I think this is moral - who cares. This behavior takes place and economists just describe why it happens. Now if we want to stop this behavior we know the incentive structure that should be changed. Abolish dowries, provide retirement, disability, insurance, health care coverage, etc. to these families. Actually if you look at the new policies o the UN and the World Bank they address most of these issues.

Reply from J. S. Gangolly [gangolly@CSC.ALBANY.EDU

Boy, is this arrogant. The divide that separates 'feelings' and 'opinions' from the 'logical,...' exists only in the minds of economists on their way to being defunct. Even Bertrand Russell, then an avowed logical positivist, once asked why is it that the rats studied by German scientists seemed serene and reflective while those studied by American scientists were extroverted and fidgety. We do not have to study rats to answer his rhetorical question. If economists are SO objective, why is it that reported results in journals always support the received wisdom of the schools of thought sponsoring the journals? I speak from experience as a past reviewer of economics 'scholarly' journals, and briefly as a faculty member in an economics department at a small college. Still not convinced? Read Ian Mitroff's book on the study of Appollo moon scientists. Even in the sciences objectivity is illusory.

It is my understanding that the study of economics divorced from politics and philosophy makes one a rather poor economist if one at all. I myself had to overcome the impediment put forth by my old teachers in college in India, many of them students of Lord Robbins at LSE.

The German philosopher Apel once observed that there are three sciences: philosophical, natural, and human, and that their objectives are to know, explain, and understand. It is hard to imagine economics as being one of the first two kind, but we often pretend that it is of the second kind. Explanations, explanations, explanations at any cost; never mind understanding. I am here reminded of the observations of Joan Robinson about the esoteric work of the American Keynesians -- their arguments are so flimsy that they had to put mathematics into it.

It is politically correct in most circles, and convenient in terms of prestige bestowed by society on such sciences.

One only needs to read Richard Feynmann to realise the disdain in which physican scientists hold them, or the unfortunate controversy surrounding the conferring of the Nobel on the brilliant mathematician John Nash (the other mathematicians to win them include Kantorovich and Selten), all heroes of mine.

Respectfully submitted,


Note from Bob Jensen:  I quote a selected part of Richard Newmark's private message to me below:

One of the inaccuracies my colleague pointed out to me was Dr. Bergmann's belittling of Robert Fogel's contribution for his work "running regressions." The way it was explained to me, Fogel was able to find a way to model individual differences in behavior (some type of heterogeneity) so that these differences could be removed from the error term and added to the regression equation. In my opinion, a model that can account for individual differences is quite a breakthrough--and apparently, much more knowledgeable scholars agree with me.

(Later Richard stated that it was Jim Heckman who first invented running regressions.)

Reply from Tony Tinker

Actually, Bob, the article by Barbara Bergmann is a pretty unremarkable piece, and was a bit surprised that you gave it such prominence. We've both been in the business long enough to see the neoclassical dogma fudge its way past far weightier challenges. Consider for example, the Cambridge Controversies (Samuelson, Dobb, Sraffa, etc.) that demonstrated the theoretical indeterminacy of the macroeconomic realm, or the closer-to-home Carnegie/Simon-inspired challenges to hyper-rationality.

If neoclassical economics was really judged by its theoretical veracity, it would have been dumped years ago. But as many of those occupying 'named-and-paid-for-chairs' in accounting know, 'the great intellectual tournaments of economics ended around 1830, and thereafter, the prizefighters took over' (Volume I, Guess Who!). As capitalism assimilates large sways of academia (including those of accounting and economics) academics are learning to sing the right songs. Stigler acknowledged as much in his captive theory, as did Watts and Zimmerman in their dumbed-down version for accountants: the "Market-for-Excuses" theory. Doesn't Barbara Bergmann know that her candidate for a Nobel Prize, Allen Greenspan, received $25,0000 from Charles Keating's Lincoln Savings and Loans?

The sale of Academia to "the economic" is one reason for the lamentable state of accounting doctoral education to which Paul Williams rightly refers. I'm constantly amazed at the amount of bullying and cajoling that goes on in doctoral programs to 'get the message across'. This ranges from euphemistic warnings to students, not to avoid "high risk" research (i.e, steer clear of what might seem morally and ethically appropriate) to the more blatant threat that deviants 'don't get the job'. So much for our ideology of individualism and non-conformity. Doctoral studies in accounting are about as coercive and conformist as you can get.


Tony Tinker Critical Perspectives on Accounting

Reply from Paul Williams,

Tony isn't the only one. That Tony is singled out is indicative of the hold that economic reasoning (?) has on the accounting imagination. Economics inability to solve fundamental problems scientifically has been embraced by academic accounting and its empirical ineptness is now the principal content of doctoral education in accounting. (And increasingly, undergraduate education).
Becoming amateur economists simply because the ideological shoe fits so comfortably for so many has not been particularly conducive to the intellectual vitality of accounting as a discipline within the academy. Perhaps we should all take these shortcomings of neo-classical economics as seriously as Tony does?

Paul Williams [williamsp@COMFS1.COM.NCSU.EDU

A quote forwarded by E. Scribner [escribne@NMSU.EDU

"The real world is only a special case, and not a very interesting one at that."
--C. E. Ferguson

Reply from Ramsey, Donald [dramsey@UDC.EDU

Intriguing. Who was Ferguson, and what was the context of his remark?

Was he referring to the "world" of theory as being more real than the practical world? Or to the "real world" as a collection of variations built on a foundation of really interesting and hopefully immutable or slow-changing generalizations? Much of the search for truth is actually a search for security; we get outside our comfort zones amazingly fast when dealing with slippery stuff. The world seems to have put a special burden on accountants to provide something reliable, especially as conceived of (fantasized?) in the Securities Acts. Heaven forbid, if the greater reality turns out to be the slipperiness.

Or was he just being funny?

Reply from Patricia Doherty [pdoherty@BU.EDU

I don't know that anyone is ever "just" being funny: reality has many layers, and some are amusing, but true, and sometimes a little frightening, at the same time.

Answer from E. Scribner [escribne@NMSU.EDU

Possibly someone on the list knows about C. E. Ferguson. I've just "always" heard that quip attributed to him. A Google search on CE Ferguson turns hits on his book written with Gould. There is some discussion at 


Reply from Denise Stanley [adstanle@EHC.EDU

I believe Robert Fogel won the Nobel Prize in economics. Fogel received criticism for his assertion of slavery's profitability.

Slavery was unprofitable in a broad economic sense in that its social costs eventually overpowered its revenues, but as a business, slavery was often quite a successful enterprise. Thus, slavery ceased to exist in the United States as a result of politics instead of economics. In fact, one of the reasons slavery existed so long was its profitability.

Reply from Patricia Doherty [pdoherty@BU.EDU

I suppose Fogel's experience (the criticism, not the prize) is an example of the need to learn how to write what we want to say in the right terms. Who was it that said that a diplomat is a person who can tell you to go to hell, and make you feel pleased to be on your way?

For Fogel, his premise was an interesting one. The problem was to phrase what he wrote in such a way that it came through as an exploration of the economics of a period in our history, and not an endorsement of the practices. In fact, it could probably have been couched in language that actually condemned the practice, while showing how some might have been tempted to prolong it because of the economic gains.


The February 25th edition of the ENews Internet Essentials newsletter --- 

1. How Does Technology (like XBRL) Become Accepted? Part III 
2. XBRL Insights from London   
4. XBRL Champion Award January: Tom Pollack, Urban Institute 
5. Donate Your Excess PC Power 6. XML NEWS! Live Feed for all News about XML

Sign over my neighbor's bar:  Sex is the best two minutes of my day!

Forwarded by Dr. D

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder ."

This was sent by a friend, and I think we all know someone we can share it  with and make them feel better!   

An elderly woman and her little grandson, whose face was sprinkled with  bright freckles, spent the day at the zoo. Lots of   children were waiting  in line to get their cheeks painted by a local artist who was decorating  them with tiger paws.    

"You've got so many freckles, there's no place to paint!" a girl in the  line   said to the little fella.   Embarrassed, the little boy dropped his head. His grandmother knelt down next to him. "I love your freckles. When I was a little girl I always wanted   freckles," she said, while tracing her finger across the child's cheek.   "Freckles are beautiful."    

The boy looked up, "Really?"    

"Of course," said the grandmother. "Why just name me one thing that's prettier than freckles."    

The little boy thought for a moment, peered intensely into his grandma's  face, and softly whispered, "Wrinkles." 

Forwarded by Professor X

Martha Stewart's tips for Rednecks

GENERAL: 1. Never take a beer to a job interview. 2. Always identify people in your yard before shooting at them. 3. It's considered tacky to take a cooler to church. 4. If you have to vacuum the bed, it is time to change the sheets. 5. Even if you're certain that you are included in the will, it is still rude to drive the U-Haul to the funeral home.

DINING OUT 1. When decanting wine from the box, make sure that you tilt the paper cup and pour slowly so as not to "bruise" the fruit of the vine. 2. If drinking directly from the bottle, always hold it with your hands.

ENTERTAINING IN YOUR HOME 1. A centerpiece for the table should never be anything prepared by a taxidermist. 2. Do not allow the dog to eat at the table, no matter how good his manners are.

PERSONAL HYGIENE 1. While ears need to be cleaned regularly, this is a job that should be done in private using one's OWN truck keys. 2. Even if you live alone, deodorant is not a waste of good money. 3. Use of proper toiletries can only delay bathing for a few days. 4. Dirt and grease under the fingernails is a social no-no, as they tend to detract from a woman's jewelry and alter the taste of finger foods.

DATING (Outside the Family) 1. Always offer to bait your date's hook, especially on the first date. 2. Be assertive. Let her know you're interested: "I've been wanting to go out with you since I read that stuff on the bathroom wall two years ago." 3. Establish with her parents what time she is expected back. Some will say 10:00 PM. Others might say "Monday." If the latter is the answer, it is the man's responsibility to get her to school on time.

THEATER ETIQUETTE 1. Crying babies should be taken to the lobby and picked up immediately after the movie has ended. 2. Refrain from talking to characters on the screen. Tests have proven they can't hear you.

WEDDINGS 1. Livestock, usually, is a poor choice for a wedding gift. 2. Kissing the bride for more than 5 seconds may get you shot. 3. For the groom, at least, rent a tux. A leisure suit with a cummerbund and a clean bowling shirt can create a tacky appearance. 4. Though uncomfortable, say "yes" to socks and shoes for this special occasion.

DRIVING ETIQUETTE 1. Dim your headlights for approaching vehicles, even if the gun is loaded and the deer is in your sights. 2. When approaching a four-way stop, the vehicle with the largest tires does not always have the right of way. 3. Never tow another car using panty hose and duct tape. 4. When sending your wife down the road with a gas can, it is impolite to ask her to bring back beer too. 5. Do not lay rubber while traveling in a funeral procession.



"OLD" IS WHEN..... Your sweetie says, "Let's go upstairs and make love," and you answer, "Honey, I can't do both!"

"OLD" IS WHEN..... Your friends compliment you on your new alligator shoes and you're barefoot.

"OLD" IS WHEN..... A sexy babe catches your fancy and your pacemaker opens the garage door.

"OLD" IS WHEN..... Going bra-less pulls all the wrinkles out of your face.

"OLD" IS WHEN..... You don't care where your spouse goes, just as long as you don't have to go along.

"OLD" IS WHEN..... You are cautioned to slow down by the doctor instead of by the police.

"OLD" IS WHEN..... "Getting a little action" means you don't need to take any fiber today.

"OLD" IS WHEN..... "Getting lucky" means you find your car in the parking lot.

"OLD" IS WHEN..... An "all nighter" means not having to get up to pee!

If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.
Harry Truman

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

"If A Dog Was Your Teacher"

If a dog was your teacher, you would learn stuff like:

* When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
* Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
* Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
* When it's in your best interest, practice obedience.
* Let others know when they've invaded your territory.
* Take naps and stretch before rising. * Run, romp, and play daily.
* Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
* Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
* On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
* On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree.
* When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
* No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout .. run right back and make friends.
* Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
* Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you have had enough.
* Be loyal. * Never pretend to be something you're not.
* If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it. And MOST of all...
* When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

Why its Good to Be A Man

Your last name stays put.
*The garage is all yours.
*Wedding plans  just take care of themselves.
*Chocolate is just another snack.
*You can  be president.
*You can wear a white t-shirt to a water park.
*Car mechanics tell you the truth.
*You don't give a rat's X## if someone  notices your new haircut.
*The world is your urinal.
*You never have to  drive to another gas station because this
*one's just too icky.
*Same work.....more pay.
*Wrinkles add character.
*Wedding dress $5000.  Tux rental $100.
*People never stare at your chest when you're talking to  them.
*The occasional well-rendered belch is practically expected.
*New shoes don't cut, blister or mangle your feet.
*Your pals can be  trusted never to trap you with "so, notice anything different?"
*Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
*You know stuff about tanks.
*A five-day vacation requires only  one suitcase.
*You can open all your own jars.
*Dry cleaners and hair  stylists don't rob you blind.
*You can leave the motel bed unmade.
*You  can kill your own food.
*You get extra credit for the smallest act  of kindness.
*If someone forgets to invite you to something, he or she can
*still be your friend.
*Your underwear is $8.98 for a three-pack.
*If  you are 34 and single, nobody notices.
*Everything on your face stays its  original color.
*You can quietly enjoy a car ride from the  passenger seat.
*Three pairs of shoes are more than enough.
*You don't  have to clean the house if the maid is coming.
*You can watch a game with a  buddy for hours without thinking, "he must be mad at me"
*You don't mooch  off other's desserts.
*You can drop by to see a friend without  bringing a gift.
*You are not expected to know the names of more than 5 colors.
*You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a bolt.
*You almost never have strap problems in public.
*You are unable to see  wrinkles in your clothes.
*The same hairstyle lasts for years,  maybe decades.
*You don't have to shave below your neck.
*Your belly  usually hides your big hips.
*One wallet and one pair of shoes, one color,  all seasons.
*You can "do" your nails with a pocketknife.
*You  have freedom of choice concerning growing a moustache.
*You can do Christmas  shopping for 25 relatives, on December 24th, in 45 minutes.

And that's the way it was on March 2, 2001 with a little help from my friends.  If you are an accounting practitioner or educator, please do not forget to scan


In March 2000 Forbes named as the Best Website on the Web ---
Some top accountancy links ---


How stuff works --- 


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

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February 23, 2001

The petals were voluminous enough to be stirred by the summer breeze, and when they moved, the red, blue and yellow lights passed one over the other, staining an inch of the brown earth beneath with a spot of the most intricate colour.
Virginia Wolff, Kew Gardens

Gardeners of the Week
Each tulip is like a brilliant goblet this week on my street in San Antonio.  Few streets in America compare with my street in late February.  Every year my neighbor down the way, a retired school teacher named Christine Ressman, brings the magic of bright colors into our early Texas springtime.  Normally she plants over 1,500 tulips, but this year she slipped up and planted, with the help of her steadfast brother, only 1,471 tulips around the perimeter of her magnificent garden.  

An efficiency expert, possibly a cost accountant, would benchmark this as a waste of time and money.  How long will her  blooms last --- two to three weeks?  What is the cost?  Each year all her bulbs are imported from Holland.  Then comes the careful working of the soil, the planting of the bulbs, the careful nurturing, the covering of each patch with heavy wire to keep out the squirrels, opossums, and armadillos --- and all for what? --- a geasly two weeks?  No!  A magnificent two weeks of pride and joy to have Christine Ressman and her brother Dick as fine neighbors who give us something to look forward to in each season of blooming, something to behold each time we drive or walk down our street, and something to remember each time we pass by the Ressman house.  

In early March, beneath the spectacular Technicolor of her high azalea bushes and redbud trees, Christine will crawl about on hands and knees removing each withered tulip, work the soil up once again, and plant the longer-lived beds of impatients and caladium around the perimeter of her garden that spreads out for nearly an acre.  But for those two weeks in February, we awaken to the springtime jolt of each brilliant tulip.

The most valued joys in life are fleeting moments --- the date a child is born, the day you receive a diploma, the unexpected  encounter with a long-lost friend, the climax of a live symphony, the discovery of a poem that brings a smile or tear, the solving of a problem that has vexed you for years, and the time of the tulips.  And to all the Yankees and Canadians knee deep in snow and shivering in the cold winds of the north, your time of the tulips is coming (later).

We thank Christine and Dick Ressman for sharing the beauty of the tulips with all who pass by their home.   (We might also call Christine the Mary Poppin's bird lady since she also feeds hundreds of doves and other wild birds from her huge feeders).

Quotes of the Week

The impact of information technology will be even more radical than the harnessing of steam and electricity in the 10th century.  Rather it will be more akin to the discovery of fire by early ancestors, since it will prepare the way for a revolutionary leap into a new age that will profoundly transform human culture.
Jacques Attali as quoted by James J. Duderstadt in "Technology," Educause Review, Jan/Feb 2001, p. 48 --- 

Reform the environment;  stop trying to reform the people;  they will reform themselves if the environment is right.
Buckminster Fuller as quoted by Ron Bleed in "A Hybrid Campus for the New Millennium," Educause Review, Jan/Feb 2001, p. 16 --- 

The precursor of vector software for art and graphics
Study lines, draw lots of lines, either from memory or nature, and you will become a good artist. 
(Advice given by Ingres to Degas) --- 

No one can go back and make a brand new start. Anyone can start from now and make a brand new endingDisappointments are like road humps, they slow you down a bit but you enjoy the smooth road afterwards.  Don't stay on the humps too long. Move on!
Author unknown.

You can't make someone love you, all you can do is be someone who can be loved, the rest is up to the person to realize your worth.  We spend too much time looking for the right person to love or finding fault with those we already love, when instead we should be perfecting the love we give.
Author unknown.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred. 
2. Free your mind from worries. 
3. Live simply. 
4. Give more. 
5. Expect less.

Professors Ali Peyvandi and Professor Benjamin Tai have organized another event.  This time it is with the help of Prof. Dr. Edson Luiz Riccio Faculdade de Economia Administracao e Contabilidade Universidade de Sao Paulo.


I will be presenting a four-hour, pre-convention e-Commerce October 27 workshop in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Congratulations Jim!

Follow your instincts and remember the immortal wisdom of Colin Powell that reads" "Being responsible means sometimes pissing people off." Taken literally, this means that Ken Arrow's theorem applies and that you cannot do what is best for the organization and every individual and every student simultaneously. Sadly, that kind of optimization only exists in heaven (or so I'm told.)  I think the main advice I can give you is to hang tough and don't take your critics too personally. And remember Bill Clinton's advice --- everything belongs to you when you leave office. Take it all home! It's your meager reward for all the X#$A you have to take before your term is up.

For more guidance from Colin Powell, go to my 

Don't overlook Lanny's much more realistic reasons (especially the Number 1 reason) for becoming a department chair that I included in my February 16 edition of New Bookmarks. Forwarded by Lanny Solomon []  
As presented by him at the American Accounting Association APLG meetings in Ft. Lauderdale on February 5, 2001


10. Because you don't want someone else to do it even if you don't.

09. Because you are burned out teaching the same thing over and over again for 20 years and writing articles that two people in the entire country read.

08. For the money.

07. For the petty power, having, in middle age, experienced a precipitous decline…and needing an alternative thrill.

06. Because you lack imagination and can't think of anything better and more original to do.

05. Because you have imagination and fantasize about all the things you will do back to your peers that they did to you while they were chair.

04. Because some dean has made you an offer you can't refuse.

03. Because your peers elect you to slow down your rate-busting activity by loading you up with administrative trivia.

02. Because your peers elect you, thinking you are useless at research and teaching, and this way you can at least fill out the related administrative reports.

01. Because you temporarily became insane, forgetting why you came into academics in the first place, momentarily in a state of confusion, mistaking your department for the next Microsoft or Dell Computer, thinking you will climb the ladder for your successes.

Good luck! Villanova is a great university. You, more than most accounting professors I know, can help Villanova adapt to the new era of technology in education.

Bob Jensen

-----Original Message----- 
From: James P. Borden [mailto:james.borden@VILLANOVA.EDU]  
Sent: Tuesday, February 20, 2001 9:52 PM 
Subject: Characteristics of successful department chairs

I will become the chair of our Accounting Department beginning this Fall, and while fellow faculty members are not sure whether to offer their congratulations or condolences, I am quite excited about the opportunities and challenges that such a position offers. I just hope that I do not turn out to be living proof of the Peter Principle!

Anyway, since I have only worked with a couple of department chairs during my career, and I found them both to be highly effective at what they did, I would like to broaden my horizons and find out from all of you what characteristics you think make for a successful (or not so successful) chair. I hope from your responses that a few key criteria keep popping up so that I can then be sure to focus on those criteria.

This group has always given sound technical advice, I guess now I am looking for some "soft" advice. Also, if anyone is aware of any articles that may have been written on this very topic, I would appreciate the reference to such an article(s).

Thank you in advance for your help and guidance!

Jim Borden Villanova University

FEI/DUKE-Fuqua School of Business Corporate Outlook Survey archives (Quarterly outlook of Chief Financial Officers) --- 

Wow Accounting Professor of the Week --- Dan Gode from NYU --- 


I have finalized my site. It is now live at 

I learned quite a few things about choosing hosting companies along the way. Had to change three hosts before settling on Verio.

Dan Gode [

Dr. Gode and his wife have spent thousands of hours developing a multimedia tutorial for basic accounting.  It can be used with virtually any basic accounting textbook.  You can read the following at the Almaris (Affordable Logical Multimedia Accessible Rigorous Interactive Self-paced) Website --- 

We provide accounting and finance content and services for e-learning that meet the highest academic and corporate standards. Since 1996 we have been producing the Financial Accounting Tutor (FAcT), an interactive e-text that covers all topics in a high-quality financial accounting and reporting course. FAcT provides more than 100 hours of instruction and has been used very successfully for top quality undergraduate, MBA, and corporate education. In spite of the breadth and depth of FAcT, it is one of the most affordable products because we know how to use technology effectively and efficiently.

FAcT is an ideal learning solution whether you are learning accounting for the first time or wish to review it before studying financial statement analysis in an undergraduate, MBA, CFA (certified financial analyst) preparation course, or a corporate training seminar.

John Wiley & Sons, Inc., the leading publisher of educational and professional materials worldwide, publishes FAcT for the academic and retail markets. More than 30,000 users have enjoyed our content in these channels making FAcT the most successful e-learning product for financial accounting so far.

We publish an enhanced version of FAcT for the corporate market and also provide custom e-learning solutions. Click here for a flash version of our name.

I found the above search engine for PDF files to be quite feeble.  It is better to go to Google.

A helpful bit of information from Dan Gode

Google is adding PDF search ability to its engine.

Dan Gode

Note from Bob Jensen:  Google is (in my viewpoint) the leading search engine at

Note from Bob Jensen:  Google is (in my viewpoint) the leading search engine at 

I suspect that this search engine for PDF files will be much better than the feeble search engine provided by Adobe.  You can read more about search helpers at 

You can read my threads on PDF files at 

-----Original Message----- 
From: Ramsey, Donald [mailto:dramsey@UDC.EDU]  
Sent: Saturday, February 17, 2001 10:57 AM 
Subject: Really Round Tables

I've begun to think that group work might be enhanced by using round tables in the classroom instead of conventional seating. Any comments?

Donald D. Ramsey, CPA, 
Associate Professor of Accounting, 
School of Business and Public Administration, 
University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Avenue, N. W., 
Washington, D. C. 20008. 
Department of Accounting, Finance, and Economics, 
Room 404A, Building 52 (Connecticut and Yuma St.)

Reply 1 from Bob Jensen

Hi Don,

This is a very roundabout reply to your question concerning round tables in the classroom.

Ray Sommerfield was the 1986-87 President of the American Accounting Association, a long-time tax professor at the University of Texas, and (for a number of years) a partner in the Big-Eight accounting firm of Arthur Young.

Before Ray died tragically, he told me a true story about Professor X and College Y. Professor X was arguably the best lecturer in College Y and won various campus-wide teaching awards even though he did not have a Ph.D. (I suspect he was a CPA/Attorney).  His campus-wide popularity is especially remarkable since Professor X was a tax professor.

Professor Y decided to go to the University of Texas and eventually earned a Ph.D. degree under Dr. Sommerfield's guidance.

Upon returning to College Y with his Ph.D. in hand, Dr. X declared that, in his former years of teaching tax at College Y, he'd been lecturing "toward obsolescence."  He requested that the desks in his classroom be taken away and replaced with round tables. Each round table held a team of students who were responsible for learning the course material on their own and for teaching the course material to each other. My understanding, the team earned the grade of the lowest scoring member of the team. Professor X no longer lectured and made students learn virtually everything on their own. His job was to set down the course objectives, help guide students to where they might find answers, administer the examinations, and assign the grades.

Can you guess what direction the student evaluations headed for this (formerly) most popular professor in College Y? You guessed it! The evaluations went south --- all the way to the South Pole.

Student comments on the evaluation forms read as follows:

     "What are you being paid for? Whatever you get, its a waste of money at College Y."

     "Everything I learned in this course, I learned by myself. Why didn't you try to teach us something."

Ray's ending comment regarding the last student's  comment above, was "case closed!"

There is a bit more involved here than round tables. I do suggest that you do the following:

Bob Jensen
Trinity University

Reply from Professor Beresford

The following appears in an article from today's issue of Barron's magazine. The article discusses An individual named Norman Zadeh who earned his PhD in economics at 22 but didn't do well in an academic career. He's now an investment adviser and also publishes a "skin magazine" and apparently makes lots of money.

"Apart from some temporary teaching appointments, Zadeh's academic career went nowhere. His lectures were too clear, he claims, adding that other professors thought him dumb because they could understand what he said."

Denny Beresford 
University of Georgia

Reply from Donald Ramsey

My initial reaction was, "Prof. X had finally succeeded in getting the students to learn." So it is not clear to me whether Dr. Sommerfield was defending the student or the teacher. I once had a situation a little like that, in a classroom, and my response to the student was "Now you're getting the idea."

OTOH, there is a real problem when the expectations of the students and those of the instructor differ. Many students expect the instructor to be the active element. They expect to be taught. Even if they are wrong, it's hard to produce results if the instructor and the students are not tuned to the same wavelength, so to speak. (Kind of like convincing them that accrual basis is better than cash basis. Often the main thing they come away with is that accountants are crazy, this course is not worth any effort because I'll never understand it, and please let me out with a C. This situation is not helped by the fact that we use dollars as a counting unit, but count things not involving cash; and also mix old dollars with recent dollars. In terms of common sense, realization means cash.)

Donald D. Ramsey, CPA, 
Associate Professor of Accounting, 
School of Business and Public Administration, 
University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Avenue, N. W., Washington, D. C. 20008. Department of Accounting, Finance, and Economics, Room 404A, Building 52 (Connecticut and Yuma St.)
Ramsey, Donald [dramsey@UDC.EDU

Reply 1 from Andrew Priest

Hi Bob

I find this example rather interesting and a bit short sighted view of the opportunities inherent in using alternative seating arrangements. I wonder if the problem with Professor X's evaluations was more to with they way he didn't teach than the seating arrangements! I use a very much student driven learning environment which involves both myself AND my students in the learning process. I "lecture" for 1 hour max in a three hour seminar! For what it is worth my evaluations have gone North and not South!

Mind you, I teach third year students who want to learn - my subject has a direct competitor and my set a fairly strong work load.

Anyway my five cents worth ...

Andrew Priest

Reply 2 from Bob Jensen

Hi Andrew,

I agree that the seating arrangements were probably of less importance than other critical factors such as how the grading transpired. However, this was the first time, to my knowledge, where a professor requested (and received) round tables that he considered an important factor in his new pedagogy.

Obviously, pulling off discovery learning is a complex and many-faceted pedagogy that can take on many variations. Some professors pull it off better than others, and a given professor pulls it off better in some courses than in other courses. The age and maturity level of the students also makes a huge difference.

I might add that this illustration took place prior to the Internet. Obviously, discovery learning has become much easier in days of the Web, especially in tax and law where access to cases and government source materials has become commonplace.

Interestingly, the BAM pedagogy in intermediate accounting generally entails, but does not require, that students meet live in class and work in small teams. During class, the instructor circles about listening to team activities without lecturing or providing anything other than an occasional clue. It would seem that round tables would facilitate "circling." See 

What is probably more important than round tables in modern times is a cubicle configuration in an electronic "classroom." The relatively new College of Business building at the University of Texas at San Antonio is one of the best-designed buildings that I have ever seen. It has a variety of electronic classrooms, including what might best be called a pod room. There are various cubicles where students can work in teams (with computers at hand) and a center court where students can meet in larger groups. The instructor can electronically monitor each pod and each student's computer. That, it seems to me, is the ultimate in "round tables."

Bob Jensen

Reply 2 from Andrew Priest

Hi Donald

I totally agree. I have, know for some 2 -3 years being reorganising my tutorial rooms so that the students sit in groups of four or five. We have the traditional rectangle desks, so I move the desks so that the students face each other in a block of four. When necessary a fifth desk is add at one end.

As I take seminars in third year, I use this room layout for the seminar with the desk grouping angled to allow the students to face the front of the room.

This allows for both interaction with me in "lecture" mode and with themselves when they are working on examples etc.

I also, where a lot of discussion is required or demonstrating by the students (or myself) often use a circle of chairs (with no desks). We (being myself and students) use rounds to manage the discussions. This allows for ALL students to participate, it removes the "hiding behind the desk" syndrome and it allows for the students to actually interact with each other as a whole group.

I feel that the feedback (we have a mid semester tell it all session - luckily our windows can't be opened :-) ) has been very positive with this approach, particularly the circle/rounds which encourages all to participate and share their experiences/findings/views etc.

BTW to "manage" the rounds/circles/discussions the students put in place their own rules of engagement/behaviour at the beginning of the semester which seems to work very well.

One criticism however, has been the need to reorganise the room each time I use it! I have learnt to "train" the students to be pro-active on this! It seems that at my university we still have a strong preference for the traditional system of long straight rows of desks which discourage discussion and interaction.

Anyway some brief thoughts/experiences. Hope it helps.

Andrew Priest

"Faculty vs. the University: An Intellectual Property Rights Debate for the Electronic Age" --- 

As more colleges and universities enter the realm of distance learning, providing an abundance of courses and even degrees online, the question of intellectual property ownership is once again at issue. Who owns the course material? Is it the faculty, who create the online resources and curriculum, or the university, whose server is being used to offer the course? Just as the fight over printed materials created by university faculty had to be addressed in previous years, the battle over copyrights and intellectual property for electronic material is now at the forefront of the academic sphere.

Resources on Faculty and their struggle for copyright ownership follow. If you have other resources that might be included on this page, please send URLs to 

Campus Documents/Policies

Colorado State University

Georgia Institute of Technology

University of Arizona

University of Chicago - New Information Technologies and Intellectual Property at the University

University of Texas Systems

For more campus Intellectual Property Rights Policies - see


Courseware Development for Distance Education: Issues and Policy Models for Faculty Ownership - paper presented at the EDUCAUSE 2000 conference.
The issue of who owns courseware is of great concern to faculty and the university. Regardless of the type of institution, intellectual property (IP) policies that address ownership are essential to ensure incentives to create courseware, avoid litigation, and avoid competition between institutions. This paper provides an overview of current policies of higher education institutions concerning faculty ownership. You'll learn the issues that universities should consider when creating IP policies that address the emerging area of courseware development and review the current models available for adaptation. Examples currently in use for faculty ownership are also presented.

From InformationWeek Online on February 20, 2001

Time To Capitalize On DRM Is Yesterday

Talk about your accelerated markets. With legal issues surrounding the online distribution of content being the topic of the day, perhaps no technology is more under the microscope than digital-rights management. The need to protect and manage the sale of digital content is resulting in a flood of companies vying for a piece of the action.

Digital-rights management is essentially a set of rules that specify how digital files can be used and by whom. The ability to successfully wrap it around video, audio, and text is crucial to ensuring that the owners of content are compensated, an issue at the center of the ongoing legal battles over Napster's music-file-sharing service. Webnoize analyst Lee Black estimates the number of digital-rights-management companies has quadrupled in the past 16 months, fueled largely by the music industry's copyright debate. Assessing so many new companies has proven next to impossible. "Who knows which one is better than the other?" Black says.

But Black and other analysts say Microsoft, because of the compatibility between its pervasive Windows Media Player and its digital-rights-management technology, is in an enviable position. The same can also be said of InterTrust Technologies Corp., whose client-side digital-rights-management application is included in CD-ROMs containing America Online's latest software. Beyond that, analysts say, it's pretty much a free-for-all, but not for long. "There's going to be DRM consolidation in very short order," says Jupiter Research analyst Marci Glazer.

But InterTrust senior VP Talal Shamoon says any of dozens of young digital-rights-management companies could emerge as market leaders anytime, whether or not they have client-side deals in place. "Napster didn't need Microsoft's help to get 58 million copies of its software out there," Shamoon says. "I'd be smoking pot if I told you we didn't have challenges." Black says, however, that the window of opportunity for digital-rights-management companies will close once content owners abandon file downloads in favor of streaming, which he predicts will happen within 10 years. "DRM to us will be a stop-gap until streaming technologies flush out."
Tony Kontzer

The Other Side of the Sword
Stanford's Lawrence Lessig had little good to say Friday about lawyers who protect Big Entertainment at the expense of technological innovation --- 

ZDNet Downloads guru Preston Galla offers up a grab bag of great programs for listening to and handling digital music online. 

New PDF Competition

See the below utility for a conversion utility that takes an MS Word file and converts it to MS Reader format.

 It's Microsoft's answer to Adobe Acrobat. You will see the green Reader icon added to your MS Word program. It is not a standalone program. 

Richard J. Campbell

Reply from Kevin Nickels (Department of Engineering Science, Trinity University)

I doubt it'll make much headway until or unless MS reader is released for
some of the various non-Windows-OSs out there. I've been known to
overstate the importance of non-Windows-OSs before, but IIRC that was a big
part of the push for PDF.

-Kevin Nickels

"Ending the Digital Divide:  The Nation's Tribal Colleges and Universities" by Thomas Davis and Mark Trebian, Educause Review, Jan/Feb 2001, pp. 38-46 --- 

The Wall Street Journal's Education Program introduce a new service for professors

Welcome to our new Web site, designed exclusively for college professors. Inside you'll find all the tools you need to incorporate The Journal into your classes. We hope it makes your job a little easier and a lot more rewarding! And at any time, please feel free to contact us with your comments and suggestions.

The Wall Street Journal Educator Reviews (I have subscribed to this service for over a year)

Our weekly lesson plans are designed to help you easily integrate Journal content into your curriculum. They highlight 3-5 Wall Street Journal articles and include an article summary, discussion questions and link for each article. The reviews are e-mailed to you every Friday and are available in the following disciplines:

Personal Finance
Learn about the new rules for IRA investing --- 

The new rules represent a dramatic simplification of the required minimum distribution rules, but more importantly, offer taxpayers who have passed their Required Beginning Date hope for ameliorating the adverse tax consequences of having made improper distribution elections and/or beneficiary designations. Rather than seven different distribution schedules, under the new rules, almost all IRA owners will take minimum distributions from their IRAs under one uniform schedule. The only exception is a slower and more favorable distribution schedule for IRA owners who have spouses more than 10 years their junior.

Distributions must still begin by the same Required Beginning Date as under the old rules. But the need to make appropriate beneficiary designations by that date in order to maximize the distribution period during the lifetime of the IRA owner has been eliminated. Regardless of whether beneficiaries have been designated or not by the Required Beginning Date, for most all IRA owners, distributions will be made to account owners at the same rate. For most taxpayers, this uniform schedule will slow the rate of required distributions.

This is not to say, however, that beneficiary designations will become unimportant under the new rules. Beneficiary designations will continue to have significance under the new rules in determining what options are available to the account owner's heirs, for example, if the account owner dies before his Required Beginning Date. Under the worst case scenario, an IRA account could be forced to be liquidated in full by the end of the fifth calendar year after the IRA owner's death.

Ray Ozzie, the inventor of Lotus Notes, designed a new software program called Groove.  Groove could be an even bigger deal than Notes. 

Tips for Screen Capturing in the Web

This new Website surprises me!  The articles are online.
The New Yorker --- 

It is interesting how software at the website makes it difficult to copy the cartoons (unlike the text of the articles).  The menu choice (Edit, Copy) brings up a message that "You need permission to use these cartoons."  Of course anybody can capture the pictures with graphics software (such as Paint Shop Pro), but we won't do that will we as long as we're explicitly reminded that it is illegal?  All right, I'll do it just once to show you the warning message:

Reply 1 from Mike Everest  (Department of Chemistry, Trinity University)
(note that Bob Jensen normally right clicks to copy images from the Web using Internet Explorer, but the right click does not work for me at The New Yorker's Website).

I'm not sure what software you're using, but I had no problem copying the cartoons on the New Yorker's website using either Netscape or I.E. I just right-clicked on the image and chose either "Copy Image" or "Save Image" (or something to that effect).

For something like this to be made secure, the viewing software must cooperate with the folks whose material is being viewed. Even if Netscape and Microsoft decide to cooperate by refusing to save an image, a more "primitive" web browser like lynx (or just a good perl script) could always be used to grab the image from the net. Basically, if you can view it, you can save it---even without having to go through the hassle of a screen capture. After all, only the human eye and mind can detect a significant difference between rendering a bunch of ones and zeros as an image on the screen or in a file on the disk.

I'm no expert on this stuff, so you probably wouldn't want to include my comments in any public forum.

-Mike Visiting Asst. Prof., Chemistry

Bob Jensen tried again after receiving the above message from Mike, but he still gets the same "You need permission ..." message.  Then he received the following message (Reply 2) from Mike:

I'm using I.E. 5.0 which lets me "Copy" when right-clicking and Netscape 4.75 which lets me "Save Image As..." when right-clicking. The latter won't let me copy to the clipboard, however.

Quote me if you so wish to lower your journalistic standards to those depths.


Now that's the secret.  It works for me (but in the case of The New Yorker and most other Websites, copying images is illegal without permission.

Reply from Curtis Brown (Department of Philosophy, Trinity University)

Hi Bob-

Another strategy we won't use is to simply copy the image directly from the cache. Windows 2000 makes the Internet Explorer cache difficult to find -- on my machine it's C:\Documents and Settings\cbrown\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files, but Local Settings is a "Hidden Folder," so it's invisible unless you set the "Show Hidden Files" option under Tools:Folder Options. If the contents of the folder are sorted by the "Last Accessed" field (which seems to be the default) then the last image loaded will be the first item in the cache.


Creating Web Graphics
"Fireworks 4 Overview" --- 

First things first: Vector or bitmap? If you have any experience with Adobe Illustrator, Freehand, Flash or Corel Draw, then you've worked with vectors. Essentially, a vector is simply an object created on your screen using mathematical formulas, which means it can be stretched, resized or enhanced with text, yet the object retains its original visual integrity. The other end of the spectrum of Web graphics is the bitmap. Photoshop and ImageReady are raster-based bitmap applications that dictate color depth and transparency for every pixel in your image. When you resize a bitmap, such as a JPEG or GIF, the pixels get stretched, clean edges get distorted, and your aliased text gets blurry. After a few small tweaks, the result is a maligned and sloppy version of your original. Not exactly a pretty picture. Ahem.

There are times, however, when bitmaps are the way to go. For example, photographs and photo-realistic objects look much, much better as rastered images. But vector graphics are perfect for creative animations, logos and text. And because every pixel doesn't need to be accounted for (like they do in rasterized images), your file sizes stay small. Banners ads, anyone?

For banner ads and beyond, your best bet is Macromedia's jack-of-all-trades app, Fireworks 4, a full-featured, vector-based graphics program that can be used to build interactive banners, pop-up menus, image maps and animations. And it handles vectors and bitmaps equally well -- all for just US$299 retail.

In the pages that follow, you'll find an overview of what's new and exciting about the latest version of Fireworks. If you are new to Fireworks, you should check out Michael Kay's extensive tutorial, which tackles an earlier version of the software. And if this is your first exposure to vector graphics, or Web graphics in general, there is a great article written by Jonathan and Taylor that can help you decide if vectors or bitmaps are the best bet for your intended projects.

OK, ready to see what's new? Then download a trial version of the program and we'll get started by peeking at all the new tools Fireworks 4 has to offer. 

More at 

Balthaser:Fx is an online development environment allowing both amateurs and professionals to create Flash animations using a browser-based drag-and-drop environment. 

A new version of the Flash Player runs on Microsoft's Pocket PC platform, which will extend the Flash Player to Compaq's iPaq and Casio's Cassiopeia --- 

I received the following message from JASC on February 14, 2001

THE JASC WEB TOOL KIT Get The Jasc Web Tool Kit, which includes the award- winning book, Paint Shop Pro Web Graphics, completely updated for Paint Shop Pro 7, and SPG Web Tools 4 Pro, the plug-in that extends Paint Shop Pro's Web capabilities with a suite of professional tools.

Order today and get these powerful Web resources for the low price of only $60* (plus shipping and handling). That's a savings of $20 off the regular price of $80! To order, go to: 

You already know Paint Shop Pro 7 has powerful, built-in Web tools. Maximize them with Paint Shop Pro Web Graphics. This book steps you through building striking Web graphics for your personal and/or business Web site,through dozens of full-color examples. Written by Paint Shop Pro experts Andy Shafran and Lori Davis, this book takes users of all skill levels through colorful examples quickly and easily.

In Paint Shop Pro Web Graphics, learn how to: + Edit and optimize images for your Web site + Use vectors, layers, tubes, and effects + Build icons and other simple graphics from scratch + Slice images, create image maps, and create Web animations

When you add-on SPG Web Tools 4 Pro, you're extending Paint Shop Pro's Web capabilities. For the serious Paint Shop Pro user, SPG Web Tools 4 Pro has more tools for Web developers who demand professional results. For example:

+ Create patterned background tiles with the Web Background Renderer + Automatically find and download graphics files with the Web Graphics Spider + Plus 3D Web Tools, which include: 3D Text Renderer; 3D Text Animator; 3D Web Object Renderer

Use Paint Shop Pro 7 to the fullest! Add-on the JascWeb Power Bundle to create the ultimate Web Power Suite for the extremely low price of only $60* (plus shipping and handling)! That's a $20 savings off the regular price of $80. Hurry, this offer won't last long! To order: 

2) THE JASC GUARANTEE If you are dissatisfied with your purchase from Jasc Software, you will receive a refund if you request it within 30 days of the original ship date. 

CD Burning Tutorial
"CD Burning Basics"  --- 

CDs are the cheapest form of data, audio, and video storage and can be played on most any computer having a CD-ROM drive.

I use Easy CD Creater that came bundled with my Turtle Beach audio hardware.  I can burn CD-Rs or CD-RWs, but I almost always burn CD-Rs so I can play them on any PC or laptop with a CD-ROM player. CD-RWs require CD-RW drives for playback, and CD-RW drives are not nearly as common as CD-ROM drives. [This is not quite true --- see the replies from Rohan Chambers and Larry Gindler below.  Others also pointed out my error here.]

Old and slow computers can give you trouble when burning CDs. You also need quite of free space (at least 650 Mb) on a hard drive to temporarily store the data you intend to burn (encode) onto a CD.

Media Jukebox <>  is free program that burns audio CDs and encodes to MP3 (as noted below).  I discuss MP3 encoding at 

The quotation below is only a small part of what you will find at 

If you buy a CD recorder in the United States, Adaptec's Easy CD Creator will most likely be bundled with the unit. There are several other software options, however (see below), and programs like Ahead Software's Nero may be more appealing in some respects. For Mac users, Adaptec's Toast is the most popular choice, but again, other programs are available.

To give you an idea of what CD burner software can do, let's have a quick look at Nero and CD Creator, and compare feature sets.

Both programs offer wizards for the newbie, which take you step by step through the CD creation process. Both packages also offer single and multiple session burning formats, MP3 ripping, jewel case creators, hard disc backup, video disc creation (VCD), and CDDB support, which allows you to download song titles from the Internet when you insert a disc.

Creator comes with several job-specific applications: DirectCD is a packet-writing program that allows you to use a CD as a giant floppy. By dragging and dropping files using Windows Explorer, you can burn them onto a CD. The Spin Doctor application helps clean up data from older tapes and records so you can remove noise from that favorite old Frank Sinatra album. It will also encode standard music CDs to MP3, but it tops out at 56 Kbps, which results in pretty lousy sound quality (but super small files). For more information on encoding, converting audio to wav files, and all things MP3, check out the Webmonkey MP3 Overview.

You can also use Creator to convert home movies to a Video CD (VCD), which can be played on a computer and some DVD players. This is one format used to save video to CD. MPEG is a video standard like VCD, and both programs will record MPEG files as a data CD. To do this, you need a video capture card and software that can deliver video in specified formats to use this feature. Another feature allows you to create a CD that plays photo slideshows of your digital pictures.

For Mac users, Adaptec's Toast software offers virtually the same feature set as CD Creator.

Note: Unfortunately, DirectCD must be uninstalled before you can install Nero and other CD-R programs.

Nero requires a bit more user savvy, but has some excellent CD burning and MP3 encoding features. For starters, it encodes MP3 files up to 320 Kbps (although you must pay extra for this after a 30-song trial), which yields true CD-quality sound. Nero also boasts variable bit rate encoding, which is a method for creating MP3 files that find the perfect balance between sound quality and file size.

Nero also includes some funky features such as a Karaoke filter, which cancels the voice track of music so you can insert your own lyrics when playing Eminem tracks for the toddlers. The program has another filter for blending songs into each other for those freaky-fresh party mixes.

Nero also supports Super Video CD, which offers higher resolution than standard VCD format.

If you are a Windows user, both of these programs are good for beginners. Review the feature sets to decide which are important to you. If price is the most important consideration, you may want to check out Media Jukebox, a free program that burns audio CDs and encodes to MP3. It offers MP3 encoding at 320 Kbps and organizes and plays a wide variety of audio files.

If you plan on using your recorder to backup discs, you may want to look at CDRWin or WinOnCD.

For a PC, there are many other good programs, including CD-Maker, GearPro for Windows, and yet more choices at CD Recording

Mac users should check out the audio section of Versiontracker to find an extensive list of audio software.

More at ---  

Reply from Rohan Chambers

I share the same experience as Bob.

However on a related issue...I burnt some music on a CDRW using Easy CD Creator and was able to play it in CD-ROM drives, but could not play it on my Radio's CD player.

Rohan Chambers [rchambers@CYBERVALE.COM

Reply from Kumar N. Sivakumar 

The following two sites provide a lot of useful information about CD recording:

For CD recording information: 

For CD-recordable FAQ: 

Kumar N. Sivakumar [ksivakumar@GSU.EDU
Georgia State University

Introductory definitions to aid you when reading a message on CD-RW recording from Larry Gindler

IDE = Intelligent Drive Electronics interface hard drive disc controller standard for PCs that enables the controller to reside on the motherboard and, thereby, not require the use of an expansion slot. This enhances ease of installation and allows for the elimination of SCSI controllers for accessing auxiliary hard drives --- 

SCSI = Small Computer System Interface, is a set of interfaces that allow personal computers to communicate with peripheral hardware such as disk drives, tape drives, CD-ROM drives, CD-RW drives, printers, and scanners faster and more flexibly than previous interfaces. SCSI interfaces often cost a bit more than IDE controllers, but there are some advantages to SCSI interfaces --- 

Message from Larry Gindler (former Director of the Trinity University Computing Center)

Some interesting experiences:

I purchased an HP CD-RW last weekend. I installed it and it worked fine as a regular CD for 24 hours (once I got a new IDE cable -- my old one was bad -- another story.)

Then I installed the OEM versions of EasyCD and DirectCD that came on the HP supplied software disk. The nightmare began. My computer (Windows 2000 Pro SP1) would reboot as soon as any user logged in. Since no one could log in, the machine was unusable. I rebooted in "safe mode" and uninstalled everything. At this point, the CD would not work at all. I called HP technical support.

HP technical support was great. The lady was very polite and very patient. I learned some very interesting things.

Microsoft Media Player 7 installs a stripped down extension of Adaptec DirectCD. If this is installed and active when the HP OEM version of DirectCD is installed, the CD will not work properly at all. The fix is to disable the Adaptec extension from the Media Player options dialog, then reinstall the drivers for the CD. This problem is not supposed to occur if DirectCD is already installed when you upgrade to Media Player 7.

A bigger problem. Early versions of DirectCD are incompatible with later versions of McAfee Virus scan. Some newer versions of DirectCD are supposed to work with some CD-RW devices, but I cannot confirm this. Both McAfee and Adaptec are supposedly looking at solutions (this information is from HP -- I have not confirmed it with Adaptec or McAfee.)

The CD-RW is now working properly with EasyCD, installed manually. The HP wizard wants to install everything at once.

The other story -- This all started because my existing CD quit. It is four years old and slow, so I wasn't particularly hesitant to replace it. Since I was replacing it anyway, I bought the CD-RW. When I first installed the CD-RW, it exhibited the same symptoms as the old CD. So like any good auto mechanic, I started replacing things one at a time. Replacing the IDE cable fixed the problem. The old CD now works as well, but I'm going to keep the new one anyway. I hate computers ;-)


How does streaming media work --- 

Full Manual --- 

How MP3 files work --- 

"Digital-Music Tidal Wave Invades the Family Room," by Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, February 8, 2001, p. B1 --- 

This spring, a number of big-name companies, including Compaq and RCA, are planning to introduce audio jukeboxes that hook up to your main stereo system. These boxes can create and play MP3 files and store them on large internal hard disks, all without the use of personal computers.

The idea is to marry the freedom and personalization of digital music with the power and quality of the best circuitry and speakers in the house.

For a couple of years now, it has been possible to create digital collections of your favorite songs in the MP3 format, either by converting your existing CDs or by downloading music from the Internet. The trouble is, you either have to play back this music on crummy PC speakers or via hand-held music players meant mainly for use with headphones.

. . . 

The AudioReQuest-20 model I tested in my family room contains a 20 gigabyte hard disk that can hold about 350 hours of music. That's more than 7,000 typical songs, recorded in the MP3 format at CD quality. A higher-capacity model with 50% more storage costs $1,199. An even newer model with the ability to record, or burn, CDs will cost $1,600 when it appears later this year.

. . .

How does one get music into the AudioReQuest? Well, if you have MP3 tunes already on your PC, you can either hook the unit up to a PC via a cable to transfer the songs, or burn the songs from the PC onto data CDs and use the CD drive on the AudioReQuest to copy them from these CDs onto the unit's hard disk.

If you don't have songs on a PC, you can just feed your regular music CDs into the AudioReQuest, one at a time, select the songs you want to record to the hard disk, and press a button.

The current models can't directly download songs from the Internet. You can network the AudioReQuest to a PC and play songs stored on the computer, but this feature isn't very appealing in a device that has its own large storage capacity. You can also transfer music from the AudioReQuest to a Rio portable MP3 player.

If you have a question you want answered, or any other comment or suggestion about Walter S. Mossberg's column, please send e-mail to 

"If You Love Your Palm, Try the Slim New RIM With E-Mail Functions," by Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, February 1, 2001, p. B1

Research In Motion (RIM) --- 

RIM Wireless Handhelds™ allow you to send and receive wireless email from the palm of your hand. And now you can choose the size of handheld that suits you best. The RIM 850 Wireless Handheld™ and RIM 950 Wireless Handheld™ are pager-sized and the RIM 957 Wireless Handheld™ is palm-sized. Creating and retrieving information is amazingly simple using the optimized keyboard, thumb-operated trackwheel, easy-to-read backlit screen and intuitive menu-driven interface.

Always On, Always Connected™ With RIM Wireless Handhelds you don't need to retrieve your email. Your email finds you. No dialing-in. No initiating connections. No antennas to raise. No effort required. The handhelds are designed to remain on and continuously connected to the wireless network, allowing you to be discreetly notified as new email arrives. Now you can easily stay in touch with your colleagues and clients while you're on the go.

It is somewhat ironic that the most confusing part of creating and executing a SQL statement from ASP is determining where to put the quotes. When is a single quote used? When is a double quote used? When are they used together? Which takes precedence? 

Peter Coffee has a message to New Economy entrepreneurs: Watch IBM, and learn from its example --- 

A portion of a message from Professor XXXXX with a question concerning the economic neutrality of FAS 133

Hi Professor Jensen,

I am interested to some of your thoughts during our correspondence.

In your earlier e-mail on FAS 138 you said that : "It could go into an analysis of why FAS 133 went too far (in the eyes of dissenting FASB members Foster and Leisenring) or did not go far enough (in the eyes of the electric power companies.)" Are you implying that FAS 133 will induce different risk management strategies among different industries? What is your expectation? John expected no major change of risk management activities in the energy industry because the industry practice is to maintain a balanced portfolio.

That is, energy firms enter into derivatives to mitigate the risk of price changes that impact the purchase price of gas, and concurrently enter into derivatives to offset risks associated with the sale price of gas. In such a case, the entity has locked-in margins or "spread" that will be generated from the purchase/sales transaction cycle. At the same time, the fair value of the derivative used to hedge a purchase would offset the change in the value of the derivatives used to hedge sales transaction result in minimal earnings volatility.

The result of marking-to-market both of these derivatives would be to recognize the expected margins that will eventually result when the derivatives are settled and the purchase/sales cycle is complete. In some cases, this alternative would be preferable to accounting for the derivatives as either a fair value or cash flow hedge since the associated accounting complexities and system requirements are reduced.

In addition, you commented that "The major impact of FAS 133 is on the balance sheet rather than the income statement." Why is your concern so different from that of others (on earnings volatility). I can appreciate your thoughts because come financial ratios use assets, or liabilities. For instance, debt/equity ratio for loan covenants, return on assets for measuring profitability.

Professor XXXXX

Reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Professor XXX,

Take a look at the following document:  
Especially note the audio of Mike Koegler (Chase Bank) where he reveals that banks are revising all sorts of strategies and hedging instruments because of FAS 133.

At the bottom of the above document, note the message from Sanford Menashe Project Manager, FAS 133 Bonneville Power Administration Mr. Meashe keeps writing me messages complaining how FAS 138 did not go far enough to provide relief for the power industry. He claims that unless the DIG gives the power industry relief, it will have to change how business is conducted in that industry. (Actually, the DIG has placed this issue on the agenda.)

The whole point regarding earnings volatility is that the complexity of FAS 133 was caused by the FASB's attempt to relieve earnings volatility. The FASB really wanted to have no special hedge accounting treatment for derivatives, i.e., the FASB originally proposed having all changes in derivative instrument fair value be charged to current earnings. Industry officials screamed loudly (and rightly) that this would create extreme interim earnings volatility even when the hedges were perfectly effective when they ultimately matured. Since most firms have strict policies forbidding speculation with derivative instruments, most derivative instruments are hedges that qualify for hedge accounting.

Screams about earnings volatility come mainly from industries that have a difficult time meeting hedge accounting requirements in FAS 133 (such as the power industry's troubles with NPNS). In fact, one of the main reasons for FAS 138 was to provide banks relief with the new concept of benchmarking in interest rate hedging. Banks almost never fully hedge interest rate risk (which is virtually impossible) or even full sector spreads (since there are no hedging instruments for this purpose). Instead banks hedge only a portion of interest rate risk (the most popular being a treasury lock hedge of the risk-free rate portion of total risk or a LIBOR portion hedge). Under FAS 133, benchmark hedging was not feasible, and banks were subject to huge volatility of earnings because their hedges would not qualify for hedge accounting. FAS 138 gave the banking industry a huge amount of relief.

You can read more about FAS 138 at

Bob Jensen

A new bill working its way through Congress could change the way you track your customers as they surf the Web. The legislation would, among other things, mandate that Web sites obtain consumer consent before using third-party services to track visitors' online journeys with cookies --- 

Sacred Rocks and Buddhist Caves in Thailand --- 

Based on the open source Gecko engine, the initial (non-beta) release of Netscape's
long awaited new browser is available as a free download from the Netscape
site. --- 

No more fighting over who has the clicker --- now its a fight over the end of the couch
"Singing clothes:  New smart fabrics turn touch into tunes" --- 

Imagine a couch that automatically turns on your TV when you sit on it — and then, when you trace the number seven on the cloth arm with your finger, the channel switches. That’s only the beginning of what may be possible thanks to a new “smart fabric” interwoven with fiber optic threads that can sense and react to even the most delicate human touch.

Real-estate-related Web sites rapidly come and go in today's volatile e-marketplace. But one site--and perhaps similar sites to come--might permanently change the way property sale transactions are closed --- 

From InformationWeek Online on February 20, 2001

A Peek Into Sabre's Cloaked Research Group

Anyone who's paid $800 for an airline seat at the last minute only to discover that the guy in the next seat paid $200 has just had the first lesson in airline yield management. It's an arcane science of global importance as airlines fight for profitability. At Sabre Inc.'s airline-reservation network, it looks like things are getting a bit more scientific and a bit less arcane.

As Sabre's new chief scientist, Barry Smith takes one part artificial intelligence and one part operations research and conjures up a formula that fills every seat for the highest possible fare. Smith's formula eventually will let airlines compete with buses for low fares. It'll also be smart enough to hold a sufficient number of seats to meet the demand of travelers willing to pay top dollar at the last minute.

Smith heads Sabre's Research Group, which carries out proof-of-concept projects in optimization, forecasting, and algorithms. The group is working on three initiatives for 20 Sabre customers: improving forecast accuracy, coordinating multiple distribution channels, and improving integration of yield-management with flight scheduling and operations. On the cutting edge is research that combines artificial intelligence and operations research. The goal is to produce systems that search thousands of combinations to find the lowest fares for a number of travel Web sites.

Smith says the Research Group's efforts will include improvements in forecasting, where as a general rule a 10% improvement advances an airline's profitability between 0.5% and 1%.

Another hot topic is "robust planning," which optimizes airline schedules and efficiency. For the past 20 years, airlines have used models that show the optimum deployment under normal conditions to make flight schedules, Smith says. But travelers know that when it comes to putting people in planes, plans often go awry. "We're trying to figure out how to put some flexibility back in airline schedules," he says, "and how to deal with air-traffic-control problems, weather problems, and crews getting sick without giving away a significant amount of revenue." Weary travelers hope Smith will have some answers soon.
Cheryl Rosen

At the recent APLG meetings in Ft. Lauderdale, I made a presentation on the innovative new way we are teaching our introductory accounting class at Brigham Young University through the use of a CD/online/limited class format. This approach has been extremely successful with great reviews from our students while at the same time significantly reducing our costs of teaching and administering the course. Following the session many of you inquired as to the availability and pricing of the CDs and other online features of the course. Unfortunately, I did not get a list of those inquiries at the time. If you are interested in that pricing, please reply and I will send that information to you. If you did not attend that session but are interested in viewing the course materials made available at that time, I would be happy to make a packet available to you. Please provide me with your mailing address in that case.

Norm Nemrow 
School of Accountancy and Information Systems 
Brigham Young University
Norm Nemrow

From InformationWeek Online on February 21, 2001
Bob Jensen's threads on SAP and ERP can be found at 

SAP has been reinventing itself during the last year from a staid, monolithic ERP company to a dynamic E-business company. It looks like the transformation is finally paying off for the world's third-largest software maker.

SAP's R/3 program was launched nine years ago to let companies control and monitor various finance and human-resource functions. One drawback was a lengthy installation process; another was its proprietary nature, which made R/3 ill-suited for a Web-based environment.

SAP, like many other ERP companies, suffered badly in late 1999 from a slowdown in spending on enterprise apps because of Y2K. Meanwhile, the Internet was taking the world by storm, and it became clear that SAP had little to offer in this new world order. Instead, the spotlight was on companies such as Siebel Systems Inc., with its customer-relationship management software, and i2 Technologies Inc., with its supply-chain management software. In response, SAP launched, but the effort lacked focus, leaving potential customers to conclude it didn't apply to them.

SAP could have retreated to its original market and slowly become another corporate dinosaur. Instead, it decided to leverage its customer base of 13,500 businesses and restructured its 6,000 software developers to focus on mySAP. The company concentrated on opening itself to other applications; changing the R/3 interface to be more Web-friendly; and developing applications such as CRM, supply-chain management, business intelligence, and knowledge management. SAP also has had to stop developing every application in-house. As a result, SAP invested $250 million for a 2% stake in Commerce One Inc., which develops E-marketplaces in competition with Ariba Inc. and BroadVision Inc. SAP now sells Commerce One's software to customers wanting to develop public and private exchanges.

While the old R/3 was monolithic, mySAP is truly modular. It lets companies purchase only one application and not the entire suite of products. A key benefit for customers is the ease of integration among the various mySAP products. Typically, the difficulty in integrating back-end and front-end systems is underestimated, and poor integration might keep a company from realizing the full potential of software. SAP and Oracle have an edge over foes such as Siebel and i2 on this front.

The competition is extremely intense in the E-business space. Competitors such as Siebel and i2 continue to produce best-of-breed products, and many companies are still willing to buy and integrate them.

Siebel and i2 report outstanding results this quarter and continue to sign new customers. I2 scored big when it signed Siemens to use its customer-management software, even though Siemens has already implemented SAP R/3.

While SAP's new products are heading in the right direction, many of its customers are already SAP clients. SAP must sign new customers to remain on the ERP throne.

Despite this, it appears that SAP's restructuring efforts are finally paying off. For the fourth quarter last year, SAP reported a year-over-year revenue gain of 31%.

Software sales, which account for 49% of total revenue, increased 30% from the fourth quarter of 1999. Perhaps more interesting, mySAP makes up 63% of all software sales, an indication that SAP's E-business products are gaining acceptance in the marketplace.

Sales of non-R/3 applications increased 286% in the fourth quarter of 2000 vs. the same quarter in 1999 to make up 32% of total software revenue. SAP also reported that earnings per share increased 15%.

Management expects revenue to grow more than 25% in the first half of this year. Earnings per share will likely grow slightly faster because of an expansion of operating margins.

However, with SAP trading at 64 times 2001 earnings-per-share estimates, much of the good news appears already to be factored into the stock price.

After reading the message below, it struck me that it would be rather inexpensive for an auto repair shop to install a webcam so that customers or potential customers could watch cars being serviced and repaired.  The following module from Information Week Online on February 16 shows how to take it further:

Having a car serviced is one of the most stressful experiences for the mechanically challenged. Ford Motor Co. sympathizes. It is teaming with venture firm CCG Venture Partners LLC to raise $13.5 million in Series A funding for JoeAuto Inc.

The startup lets people go online to price repairs, select loaner cars, and monitor repairs via cameras placed in participating auto shops. Offline services include free pickup and delivery of autos and overnight repairs. Ford "was intrigued by our concept," says Lynn Graham, JoeAuto president and CEO.

JoeAuto also is working with the Six Sigma Qualtec Institute, a statistical measuring company, to re-design 35 car-service processes to improve information flow, reduce defects, and improve productivity. The prototype center in Houston has been open for 180 days and has already made the top-10 list of revenue-generating repair shops in the nation. Within five years, the company expects to have 140 major service centers nationwide.

From Carnegie-Mellon University
Swiss Poster Collection --- 

Group insurance options. 
Learn more about this complicated field and how to partner with existing insurance providers to pick the best plan. 

The Rothschild Petersen Patent Model Museum --- 

Send and receive fax images and voice mail via email --- 

If you travel, or just can't seem to get your faxes out on time or want to track your voicemail more closely, you can try one of the services offered by Free and fee based software downloads are available from Below are a few of the downloads available along with information on each product highlighted.

eFax Free is an easy-to-use service that lets you receive faxes by email.

Simply sign up for a personal eFax number. Then, when people send faxes to your eFax number, you receive them as email attachments that you can view, edit with annotations, and forward easily.

On the same eFax number you can also receive voicemail. Customers, clients, and friends can leave you voice messages that you can access by telephone or by email.

What to whisper to your baby --- 

Since carriers can't devise a way to put ads on their wireless networks without angering customers, they should stop trying --- 

For low budget travelers --- go to where the rich and famous live without leaving your own humble abode --- 

Yahoo UK to block access to U.S. chat rooms
But U.S. version of software remains unchanged

THE U.S. VERSION of the software, which anyone can access, will remain unchanged and users will still be able to get onto adult chat rooms based in the U.K. A Yahoo UK spokesman said the firm has made the changes to its service in order to comply with U.K. law. He says that the decision was taken after consultation with children’s charities and Internet watchdogs including ChildNet and the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). ZDNet News has campaigned against the way in which Yahoo’s IM chat facility operates since October.

The use of the Internet by pedophiles is a growing problem. Members of the world’s largest organized Internet child porn ring, dubbed the Wonderland Club, were convicted in the U.K. last month and are due to be sentenced this week. One of the convicted men, interviewed on the television show “Panorama” this Sunday, praised the Internet for creating a community for people interested in child pornography. The club traded thousands of images of babies and children being subjected to sexual abuse in Internet newsgroups.

Learn how to be annoying in a variety of languages --- by Doug Henwood on the fate of Europe's lefty intellectuals in the cyber-crazy Old World 

American intellectuals, particularly those of a leftish persuasion, are often Europhiles (though not Eurocentrists, please!). Less poverty, less vulgarity, fewer guns, more cafés -- a nicer way to do capitalism, if capitalism is all we have to choose from these days. And a special charm for intellectuals, particularly those of the leftish persuasion, is that intellectuals seem more integrated in the broader culture than in the United States. A recent trip to Germany for a conference on Lenin put me in the mood for a partial rethink of this formula --- 

American history from the Smithsonian (where the buffalo roam) --- 

Peer-to-Peering Into the Future (P2P, Napster, etc.) ---,1282,41813,00.html 

Indeed, despite the gloomy future of the phenomenally popular music-trading application, the assembled pioneers of P2P appeared to be in an immutable state of awe over their emerging technology.

. . . 

For example, here's Ian Clarke, the brash, young, P2P-evangelizing founder of Freenet, a still-in-development P2P network: "The music industry did not win this. They may have won the battle, but the collateral damage -- in terms of fan loyalty, etc. -- was substantial, so much that I doubt they'd ever do something like this again."

Bob Jensen's threads are at wins the latest round in its legal dispute with Amazon, its chief rival in online book retail. Amazon is suing Barnes & Noble for infringing its patent for one-click shopping ---,1367,41824,00.html 

The Justice Department is looking into Microsoft's relationship with Corel. Does it hinder competition in the word processing and spreadsheet markets? ---,1283,41811,00.html 

A Bladerunner-style eye scan reveals if you are too drunk, stoned or tired to work --- 

A new 90 second eye test could soon be used by companies to see if employees are too drunk, drugged or tired to do their job properly.

Much like the eye test in the movie Blade Runner, used to determine whether subjects are androids, subjects of the new test are asked to perform certain tasks during the examination.

Critical Perspectives on Accounting - Volume 12, Number 1, February 2001

A special issue of The European Accounting Review aims to combine the two streams of management accounting and control systems research to further our knowledge of performance evaluation in organizations. See  for full details.

Recently in Gold Star Sites
November '00 - Setting Up Shop Online
October '00 - Health Sites
September '00 - Expert Advice
June '00 - Planning a trip
May '00 - Job Hunting
Apr '00 - Personal Finance
Feb '00 - Home Buying
Sept '99 - Web Auctions
Sept '99 - Car buying
July '99 - Sports
June '99 - Travel

Finding a Home Online

Home Buying Sites --- 

Finding a Car Online

Buying a Car Online  --- 

Finding a Date Online

Cyberdating links found in  Newsweek, February 19, 2001, p. 50

WOMEN 1.3 million Free Singles of all age groups 15-20 min. This is what I've learned from my past relationship 70/30 3.6 million Free Those seeking Asians 10 min. What language do you speak? 68/32 18,000 $8.95 Catholics 5-10 min. Can you marry in church or not? 46/54 200,000 $19.95 Jews 15-20 min. How often do you attend synagogue? 50/50 2.1 million $19.95 25-49 years 10 min. Criteria for ideal companion 60/40 1.5 million $24.95 25-45 years 15 min. What I'm looking for... 58/42 5 million $19.95 25-45 years More than 20 min. Do you have a private place to take a partner? 55/45 250,000 Free Gays/lesbians/bisexuals 10-20 min. How out are you? 60/40 275,000 Free Weird sense of humor Less than 10 min. Would any ex cry at your funeral? 40/60 1.4 million Free Adults 45+ 2-3 min. Are you looking for romance, an activities partner or an online pal? 49/51

Yahoo Internet Life, March 2001, p. 74 recommends 


The Underpants Archive --- 

Embarrassing FAQs --- 
Warning:  Although the questions and answers seem to be seriously intended, many of them are sexual in nature.

There are tulips in the garden,
There are tulips in the park,
But the tulips I like best,
Are the tulips in the dark 

For the urban avant-garde --- Detour Magazine at 

Sampling from the Catty Corner by John Waters --- things that irritate him (I occasionally get a black tie invitation, but never have I had a creative black tie invitation.  Also I rarely fly first class to Europe.  Am I missing out on two of life's questionable  pleasures?)

1. Charities that junk mail you those cheesy personal home-address labels that criminals love to find in your garbage can to use in mail-fraud scams.

2. Magazines that try to trick you into “early renewal” by mailing out misleading subscription bills that aren’t really due for six to eight months.

3. CD packaging that is designed to infuriate the buyer. Can you open a new CD without ripping the labeling tape unevenly, breaking the box, or using one of those plastic utensils that should never be needed in the first place?

4. The term “creative black tie,” which usually encourages people who know better to dress stupidly.

5. East Coast white people who over celebrate the first day of spring-like weather by leaving the house practically naked. That night, when the sun has gone down and the temperature has plunged, I secretly chuckle as they stand shivering at the bus stop trying to get home.

6. Guests who respond to your dinner invitations with “I’d love to attend, but you know I have dietary restrictions.” No, I didn’t. “You might want to eat before you come,” I snarl. Didn’t your mother ever tell you that if you don’t like the food, mess up your plate a little, and the host will think you ate what was served?

7. Friends who R.S.V.P. to my Christmas party invitation for two who ask “Can I bring a third person? We’re having company from out of town, blah, blah, blah.” “No, you can’t, and now you’re not invited” is my policy, and believe me, it works.

8. Overly fashion-enthused salespeople in fancy clothing stores who won’t leave you alone to shop for yourself even after you’ve politely said “just looking” five times. “Here’s something I really like,” they continue to gush. A stern, “I wasn’t thinking of buying you a present” usually does the trick.

9. Telephone solicitors. “What do you have on?” I pant lewdly to them, and they never call back.

10. I hate myself for this one, but I can’t help resenting airlines that open up the first-class lavatories to coach passengers who wait in line next to my over-priced seat, farting their way to Europe.

Forwarded by Dr. D

My mind works like lightning. One brilliant flash and it is gone.   

Never trust a stockbroker who's married to a travel agent.    The only time the world beats a path to your door is if you're in the bathroom.   

A husband is someone who takes out the trash and gives the impression he just cleaned the whole house.   

My next house will have no kitchen --- just vending machines.   

My blond girlfriend told me, "I was worried that my mechanic might try to rip me off, but I was so relieved when he told me all I needed was blinker fluid.  

 I'm so depressed... I went to the Dr. today and he refused to write me a prescription for Viagra. Said it would be like putting a new flagpole on a condemned building.

Forwarded by Debbie Bowling (who wants to see and smell life's roses everywhere on earth)

I had a very special teacher in high school many years ago whose husband unexpectedly and suddenly died of a heart attack. About a week after his death, she shared some of her insight with a classroom of students. As the late afternoon sunlight came streaming in through the classroom windows and the class was nearly over, she moved a few things aside on the edge of her desk and sat down there. With a gentle look of reflection on her face, she paused and said, "Before class is over, I would like to share with all of you a thought that is unrelated to class, but which I feel is very important. Each of us is put here on earth to learn, share, love, appreciate and give of ourselves. None of us knows when this fantastic experience will end. It can be taken away at any moment. Perhaps this is the powers that be way of telling us that we must make the most out of every single day." 

Her eyes beginning to water, she went on, "So I would like you all to make me a promise. From now on, on your way to school, or on your way home, find something beautiful to notice. It doesn't have to be something you see it could be a scent - perhaps of freshly baked bread wafting out of someone's house, or it could be the sound of the breeze slightly rustling the leaves in the trees, or the way the morning light catches the autumn leaf as it falls gently to the ground." "Please look for these things, and cherish them. For, although it may sound trite to some, these things are the "stuff" of life. The little things we are put here on earth to enjoy. The things we often take for granted. We must make it important to notice them, for at any can all be taken away." The class was completely quiet. 

We all picked up our books and filed out of the room silently. That afternoon, I noticed more things on my way home from school than I had that whole semester. Every once in a while, I think of that teacher and remember what an impression she made on all of us, and I try to appreciate all of those things that sometimes we all overlook.

Take notice of something special you see on your lunch hour today. Go barefoot. Or walk on the beach at sunset. Stop off on the way home tonight to get a double-dip ice cream cone.

For as we get older, it is not the things we did that we often regret, but the things we didn't do.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Author Unknown

Added note from Bob Jensen:  This reminds me of the most memorable lines of Thornton Wilder's Our Town  (didn't every high school drama group perform Our Town in the 1950s?).  The unforgettable part of the drama for me was when Emily (who has died and is looking back at her town, at her family, and at her friends).  She exclaims:  "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? every, every minute?"

I did find the following excerpts from Our Town online at ---

Our Town is as close to a universal literary experience as can be found. In addition to its international audience, nearly every English class in the United States reads this play at some point. Nearly every American high school performs it, and casual references to it crop up on television and in the movies. Our Town has been a staple on community and school stages since it premiered in 1938. On average, over fifteen hundred separate groups perform it each year. It is difficult to think of another play that is playing in theaters in five different states across the United States on any given night!

Who knows how many young students have chosen a life of acting, writing or directing based on their personal experience playing George Gibbs or Emily Webb in Our Town? In this excerpt from the play, the pivotal end of Act III, Emily returns from the dead to witness the passage of her fourteenth birthday. This haunting scene still reverberates through memory and experience as much as any of the other truly great passages in American literature.

EMILY: Softly, more in wonder than in grief. I can't bear it. They're so young and beautiful. Why did they ever have to get old? Mama, I'm here. I'm grown up. I love you all, everything. -- I can't look at everything hard enough. There's the butternut tree.

She wanders up Main Street.

There's Mr. Morgan's drugstore. And there's the High School, forever and ever, and ever. And there's the Congregational Church where I got married. Oh, dear. Oh, dear. Oh, dear!

The STAGE MANAGER beckons partially to her. He points to the house. She says a breathless "yes" and goes to the house. Good morning, Mama.

MRS. WEBB: At the foot of the stairs, kissing her in a matter-of-fact way.

Well, now, dear, a very happy birthday to my girl and many happy returns. There are some surprises waiting for you on the kitchen table.

EMILY: Oh, Mama, you shouldn't have.

She throws an anguished glance at the STAGE MANAGER.

I can't -- I can't.

MRS. WEBB: Facing the audience, over her stove.

But birthday or no birthday, I want you to eat your breakfast good and slow. I want you to grow up and be a good strong girl. She goes to the stairs and calls.

Wally! Wally, wash yourself good. Everything's getting cold down here.

She returns to the stove with her back to EMILY. EMILY opens her parcels.

That in the blue paper is from your Aunt Carrie and I reckon you can guess who brought the post card album. I found it on the doorstep when I brought in the milk George Gibbs . . . must have come over in the cold pretty early . . . right nice of him.

To herself. Oh, George I'd forgotten that....

MRS. WEBB: Chew that bacon slow. It'll help keep you warm on a cold day.

EMILY Beginning softly but urgently.

Oh, Mama, just look at me one minute as though you really saw me. Mama, fourteen years have gone by. I'm dead. You're a grandmother, Mama. I married George Gibbs, Mama. Wally's dead, too. Mama, his appendix burst on a camping trip to North Conway. We felt just terrible about it -- don't you remember? But, just for a moment now we're all together. Mama, just for a moment we're happy. Let's look at one another.

MRS. WEBB: That in the yellow paper is something I found in the attic among your grandmother's things. You're old enough to wear it now, and I thought you'd like it.

EMILY: And this is from you. Why, Mama, it's just lovely and it's just what I wanted. It's beautiful!

She flings her arms around her mother's neck. Her mother goes on with her cooking, but is pleased.

MRS. WEBB: Well, I hoped you'd like it. Hunted all over. Your Aunt Norah couldn't find one in Concord, so I had to send all the way to Boston.


Wally has something for you, too. He made it at Manual Training class and he's very proud of it. Be sure you make a big fuss about it. -- Your father has a surprise for you, too; don't know what it is myself. Sh -- here he comes.

MR. WEBB: Off stage. Where's my girl? Where's my birthday girl?

EMILY: In aloud voice to the STAGE MANAGER.

I can't. I can't go on. Oh! Oh. It goes so fast. We don't have time to look at one another.

She breaks down sobbing. At a gesture from the STAGE MANAGER, MRS. WEBB disappears.

I didn't realize. So all that was going on and we never noticed. Take me back -- up the hill -- to my grave. But first: Wait! One more look. Good-by, Good-by, world. Good-by, Grover's Corners . . . Mama and Papa. Good-by to clocks ticking.. . and Mama's sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new-ironed dresses and hot baths. . . and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you. She looks toward the STAGE MANAGER and asks abruptly, through her tears.

Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? every, every minute?

STAGE MANAGER: No. Pause. The saints and poets, maybe -- they do some.

EMILY: I'm ready to go back

She returns to her chair beside MRS. GIBBS.

Mother Gibbs, I should have listened to you. Now I want to be quiet for a while. -- Oh,, Mother Gibbs, I saw it all. I saw your garden.

MRS. GIBBS: Did you, dear?

EMILY: That's all human beings are! -- Just blind people.

MRS. GIBBS: Look, it's clearing up. The stars are coming out.

EMILY: Oh, Mr. Stimson, I should have listened to them.

SIMON STIMSON: With mounting violence; bitingly.

Yes, now you know. Now you know! That's what it was to be alive. To move about in a cloud of ignorance; to go up and down trampling on the feelings of those. . . of those about you. To spend and waste time as though you had a million years. To be always at the mercy of one self-centered passion, or another. Now you know -- that's the happy existence you wanted to go back and see. Did you shout to 'em? Did you call to 'em?

EMILY: Yes, I did.

SIMON STIMSON: Now you know them as they are: in ignorance and blindness.

MRS. GIBBS: Spiritedly. Simon Stimson, that ain't the whole truth and you know it

The dead have began to stir.

THE DEAD: Lemuel, wind's coming up, seems like. -- Oh,, dear, I keep remembering things tonight. -- It's right cold for June, ain't it?

MRS. GIBBS: Look what you've done, you and your rebellious spirit stirring us up here. -- Emily, look at that star. I forget its name.

The DEAD: I'm getting to know them all, but I don't know their names. -- My boy Joel was a sailor, knew 'em all. He'd set on the porch evenings and tell 'em all by name Yes sir, it was wonderful. -- A star's mighty good company. -- Yes,,yes. -- Yes,, 'tis.

And that's the way it was on February 23, 2001 with a little help from my friends.  If you are an accounting practitioner or educator, please do not forget to scan


In March 2000 Forbes named as the Best Website on the Web ---
Some top accountancy links ---


How stuff works --- 


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

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February 16, 2001

Quotes of the Week

God made me your teacher.  Prozac made me your friend.  
Bob Jensen's adaptation of a bumper sticker.

Science isn't one success after another, it's mostly one success in a desert of failure.
Dr. Justin Folkman whose theories on fighting cancer moved from the status of disgrace to high optimism (See Newsweek, February 19, pp. 44-45.  Eventually the article will be posted to 

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
Leo Tolstoy

Murphy's Law: Some come to the fountain of knowledge to drink;  others just gargle.

Murphy's Law:  An optimist is a person who looks forward to marriage.  A pessimist is a married optimist.

Murphy's Law:  If things were left to chance, they'd be better.

Murphy's Law:  A president of a democracy is a man who is always ready, willing and able to lay down your life for his country.  
(If not your life, your money.)

Murphy's Law:  Almost anything is easier to get into than out of.

Murphy's Law:   No matter what happens, there's always somebody who knew it would happen.

Murphy's Law: In order to get a loan, you must first prove you don't need one.

Murphy's Law: When all else fails, read the instructions.

Murphy's Law: Close counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and thermonuclear devices.

Murphy's Law: No matter where you start, its always against the wind coming back.

Murphy's Law: T hose whose approval you seek the most, give the least.

Wizeup Will Soon Impact Upon Virtually Every College Faculty Member and Student

I added the following to my threads on electronic books at 

"Textbooks Go Online," T.H.E. Journal, February 2001, p. 14 --- 
McGraw-Hill Education and WizeUp Digital Textbooks have formed a joint initiative to electronically publish, sell and distribute digital textbooks for the higher education market. Students will be able to view the education titles online with password-protected access, or download the book directly to a computer. The titles integrate seamlessly into course management technology systems such as Web CT and Blackboard, and allow the professor to link the textbook content to classroom presentation materials. Interactive technology allows students to search texts, take and manage notes, create hyperlinks and bookmarks, and electronically highlight text. WizeUP
, New York, NY,

Email message from Jonathan Kowit 

Allyn & Bacon and WizeUp Launch Digital Textbook Initiative for the Higher Education Market

New York - February 7, 2001 - Allyn & Bacon, a division of Pearson Education, and WizeUp Digital Textbooks announced today the first major initiative to electronically publish, sell and distribute digital textbooks in education and social sciences for the higher education market.

For the first time, titles such as Allyn & Bacon's Psychology by Philip Zimbardo; Educational Psychology by Robert Slavin; Social Psychology by Robert Baron and Donn Byrne; Living Sociology by Claire Renzetti and Daniel Curran; and other titles in the social sciences will be available in digital format. There have been a number of initiatives to develop digital content for business, technology, and other “hard” sciences. This initiative marks the first major effort in the “soft” sciences where Allyn & Bacon is the market leader.

Initial trials of the program conducted this past fall with key professors, such as Richard Jackson at Boston College, who uses Allyn & Bacon’s Exceptional Learners: Introduction to Special Education, by Daniel P. Hallahan and James M. Kauffman, proved to be extremely successful.

“I’m predicting in five years that all curriculum resources will be available digitally,” said Professor Jackson.

WizeUp has developed the most advanced technology in the e-Publishing marketplace with highly sophisticated features and functions. WizeUp Digital Textbooks are unique in ensuring the pedagogical integrity of the books as developed by the publishers. The Digital Textbooks follow the printed version page-by-page, graphic-by-graphic while bringing the power of interactive technology and the Internet to the students. WizeUp Digital Textbooks, which are available via Internet download or on the web, include features such as: powerful search capabilities, in-context note-taking and notes-management tools, custom hyperlinking, bookmarking and electronic highlighting capabilities.

“Our alliance with WizeUp demonstrates our commitment to developing e-learning solutions for the higher education marketplace-in particular for the soft sciences,” said Sandi Kirshner, President of Allyn & Bacon. “These products will make an immediate impact in technology-based learning environments, where digital textbooks will expand the classroom and offer students a powerful and efficient learning solution.”

The combination of the widely utilized and respected content from Allyn & Bacon and the e-learning tools supplied by WizeUp benefits all of today’s learning environments-traditional, online, distance learning, continuing education and corporate education. The evolution of the textbook into a complete e-learning solution gives students and professors unprecedented educational power, making both studying and teaching more effective, more efficient and more dynamic.

Allyn & Bacon and WizeUp have developed innovative pricing packages designed to capture market share in technology-based academic environments, including: distance learning, laptop universities and other educational technology based student populations.

"Students will enrich their learning experience with the powerful combination of Allyn & Bacon’s highly recognized content and WizeUp's e-learning tools. This will allow students to meet their academic goals and gain an edge in our increasingly competitive society,” said Stephen Jordan, Vice President of Publishing for WizeUp.

About WizeUp:

Based in New York City, WizeUp Digital Textbooks is the leading developer of digital educational content-including digital textbooks, training materials, and other related educational content-for both the higher education and corporate marketplaces. The company is dedicated to serving the educational community with innovative new E-learning solutions. Additional information is available by visiting .

About Pearson Education:

Pearson Education is the world's leading integrated education business. Pearson Education offers a full range of rich content across electronic and print media for all students everywhere, from early childhood to professional education and training. Pearson Education's leading brands include: Prentice Hall, Addison Wesley, Longman, Allyn & Bacon, Scott Foresman, Pearson Learning, NCS Learn, and NCS Pearson. Pearson Education is the global education publishing business of Pearson plc, the international media group. For more information, visit .

Contact: Wendy Spiegel Pearson Education 212.782.3482 

Jonathan Kowit WizeUp Digital Textbooks 212.324.1300 

Bob Jensen's threads on Wizeup and electronic books in general are available at 

Wow Accounting Professor of the Week

It is rare to find a world-leader accounting researcher who shares research documents on the Web.  A noteworthy exception is Professor Baruch Lev from NYU.  Every accounting researcher, educator, and practitioner should visit Dr. Lev's website at least once per month at 

Thank you for sharing Baruch.

The word "metacognition" arises once again.

"Assessing the Impact of Instructional Technology on Student Achievement," by Lorraine Sherry, Shelley Billig, Daniel Jesse, and Deborah Watson-Acosta, T.H.E. Journal, February 2001, pp. 40-43 --- 

Four separate simplified path analysis models were tested. The first pair addressed process and product outcomes for class motivation, and the second pair addressed school motivation. The statistically significant (p < .05) results were as follows:

Clearly, correlation does not imply causality. However, when each of these elements was considered as an independent variable, there was a corresponding change in associated dependent variables. For example, there was a significant correlation between motivation and metacognition, indicating that students' enthusiasm for learning with technology may stimulate students' metacognitive (strategic) thinking processes. The significant correlations between motivation, metacognition, inquiry learning, and the student learning process score indicate that motivation may drive increases in the four elements connected by the first path. Similarly, the significant correlations between motivation, metacognition, application of skills, and the student product score indicate that motivation may drive increases in the four elements connected by the second path.

Based on the significant correlations of the two teacher measurements of student achievement with the student survey data, these data validated the evaluation team's extension of the Developing Expertise model to explain increases in student performance as a result of engaging in technology-supported learning activities. Moreover, nearly all students across the project met the standards for both the teacher-created student product assessment and the learning process assessment. This indicates that, in general, the project had a positive impact on student achievement.


These preliminary findings suggest that teachers should emphasize the use of metacognitive skills, application of skills, and inquiry learning as they infuse technology into their respective academic content areas. Moreover, these activities are directly in line with the Vermont Reasoning and Problem Solving Standards, and with similar standards in other states. The ISTE/NETS standards for assessment and evaluation also suggest that teachers:

Rockman (1998) suggests that "A clear assessment strategy that goes beyond standardized tests enables school leaders, policymakers, and the community to understand the impact of technology on teaching and learning." RMC Research Corporation's extension of the Sternberg model can be used to organize and interpret a variety of student self-perceptions, teacher observations of student learning processes, and teacher-scored student products. It captures the overlapping kinds of expertise that students developed throughout their technology-related activities.

One of the greatest challenges facing the Technology Innovation Challenge Grants and the Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers To Use Technology (PT3) grants is to make a link between educational technology innovations, promising practices for teaching and learning with technology, and increases in student achievement. We believe that this model may be replicable in other educational institutions, including schools, districts, institutions of higher learning, and grant-funded initiatives. However, to use this model, participating teachers must be able to clearly identify the standards they are addressing in their instruction, articulate the specific knowledge and skills that are to be fostered by using technology, carefully observe student behavior in creating and refining their work, and create and benchmark rubrics that they intend to use to evaluate student work.

The word "metacognition" also appears at 

Bob Jensen's Threads on Assessment of Education Technologies are at 

A Fun Site
Welch-born author's literature (note the audio describing how Dahl writes)
The Official Roald Dahl Web Site --- 

Don't miss his Tips for Teachers --- 

Academic Site of the Week --- Carnegie Foundation for Advancement in Teaching --- 

Andrew Carnegie founded The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 1905, "to do all things necessary to encourage, uphold and dignify the profession of teaching." The Foundation is the only advanced study center for teachers in the world and the third oldest foundation in the nation. A small group of distinguished scholars conducts the Foundation's research activities.

New Publication --- 

Essays by eight Carnegie Scholars that:

Includes a CD-ROM with valuable resources and supplemental information.

Send an email request and you will be billed.  The title of the book is:  

Opening Lines: Approaches to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Bob Jensen ordered a copy!

Carnegie Publications
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
555 Middlefield Rd.
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Phone: 650/ 566-5128
Fax: 650/326-0278

Single copies are $15, with a 20 percent discount on orders of 20 or more

Read the Introduction and Conclusion at 

The cases that constitute this volume represent work in progress by faculty selected as Carnegie Scholars with the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (CASTL). Each of the eight authors tells the story of her or his efforts at "opening lines" of inquiry into significant issues in the teaching and learning of the field. In particular, their accounts focus on the doing of this kind of investigative work—that is, on methods and approaches for undertaking the scholarship of teaching and learning.

A key principle of this volume is that there is no single best method or approach for conducting the scholarship of teaching and learning. Indeed, the cases illustrate a need for approaches that are useful and doable in the varied contexts represented by their authors. Mills Kelly, for instance, explores questions about teaching and learning at a large public research university; Donna Duffy undertakes her investigation in the quite different setting of a community college. Both public and private institutions are represented; several are urban, one is Catholic, and another, Spelman, is an historically black college for women. The authors' fields are diverse as well, including humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, business, and an interdisciplinary program. Several of the eight are senior faculty, well along in their academic careers; one is not yet tenured. All of these differences play into the way the authors think about and undertake their scholarship of teaching and learning. The desire to illustrate a variety of approaches, and to preserve the contexts and particulars of their use, underlies our decision to build this volume around cases. Cases capture details and differences.

But readers will find common themes as well. The cases were developed through a process designed to reveal aspects of the scholarship of teaching and learning that crosscut contexts and fields. This process began with two-hour phone interviews, conducted by me with each of the authors. The interview was turned into a rough transcript, which the author then reworked around a set of common topics or questions that emerged as the interviews were undertaken, and which appear as more or less standard headings in the finished cases collected here. For instance, all of the authors describe the process of formulating their question or questions. Each also describes the investigative strategies he or she considered using, how choices were made among these, how the various approaches worked or didn't, and what was learned from doing the work. In a final section of each case, the author offers advice to faculty newly undertaking the scholarship of teaching and learning. Our hope is that by organizing the cases around a set of standard elements we have made it easier for readers to extract transferable lessons and themes they can apply in their own work.

As a further aid to this task, an accompanying CD-ROM provides additional information and resources. For instance, Dennis Jacobs talks, in his case, about a focus group protocol he adapted and used as part of his study of at-risk students in chemistry; that protocol appears in the "analytical tools" section of the CD-ROM, where it can be accessed, adapted, and used by readers. Additionally, the CD offers samples of student work, artifacts such as syllabi and exams, and links to electronic course portfolios as well as leads to further resources relevant to "how to" questions.

More at  

If you want to join the new electronic mailing list, contact 

CASTL Center for Advancing the Study of Teaching and Learning --- 

CASTL was established in 1998 in the Department of Foundations and Leadership at Duquesne University School of Education. CASTL is committed to developing and promoting a culture of learning, knowledge, and skill that makes possible a deeper understanding of the teaching-learning process and engages learners as active, problem-solving participants.

We believe that professional learning begins with concerns and questions: a teacher wanting to understand a student who is excelling in one subject but struggling in another; a superintendent wondering how to ensure meaningful communication between the district and the community; a college professor examining assumptions about the relationship between theory and practice; a principal searching for better ways to meet the needs of students with disabilities. The best of CASTL’s learning programs have helped educators raise and explore concerns of importance in their learning and practice.

Today, fundamental questions of equity, diversity, and social justice take on special significance in our schools. As our society becomes more pluralistic and the world more interconnected, we need to find new ways to learn from and with each other and to contribute our diverse perspectives to improve the quality of the teaching-learning process for all. Therefore, CASTL learning programs are designed to enhance learning opportunities for learners of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities across learning environments. Our view of learning environments is not bound by the walls of a school or university or focused only on children and young adults. Instead, our learning programs are designed to reach around the world and across the lifespan. To share what is learned about the teaching-learning process CASTL promotes and supports publications, presentations, and other networking activities in a variety of contexts to facilitate the use of relevant theory operating in effective practice.

TIL (Teaching as Intentional Learning ) --- 

TIL is not a packaged program, it is not a course on line, it is not teacher training. At the heart of TIL is the TIL professional learning process. Guided by this process, educators grapple with the real concerns that emerge from their daily practice and use their concerns to set unique professional learning agendas. These personal and professional learning agendas can be as varied as the educators themselves. The TIL process honors educators as professionals who can research and develop a course of actions that honors their complex set of circumstances. Using their new learning and their educational experience they have the latitude to invent local solutions to the problems that underlie their concerns rather than adopt pre-packaged solutions and practices thought to be effective for all purposes, conditions, or situations.

ADEC ---

ADEC is:
an international consortium of state universities and land grant institutions providing high quality and economic distance education programs and services via the latest and most appropriate information technologies. Primary emphasis is on programs relating to:
ADEC will:
be the foremost leader in providing and creating access to customer driven distance education in its mission areas.
ADEC is also known as the American Distance Education Consortium and as AgSat.

ADEC Online Resources --- 

Excellence in Online Teaching --- 

"Accounting in 2015,"  by Michael Alles, Alexander Kogan, and Miklos A. Vasarhelyi, CPA Journal, November 2000 --- 

What Will the Next 15 Years Bring?

The single greatest change agent facing accounting in the next 15 years is technology. Emerging trends in technology will fundamentally alter the way in which both business and accounting will be conducted. The measurement and reporting of business transactions, long considered a core competency of accountants, will be challenged by the information economy, forcing accountants to justify their role in business. The foundations of the profession will be eroded by the opposing demands of emerging services and established values.

Nevertheless, technology alone cannot give information meaning and relevance. Network software could allow auditing to evolve into a more comprehensive process of continuous assurance, where software constantly monitors the operating and reporting structure and auditors step in when difficulties warrant a strategic correction. The globalization of the financial markets and increasingly specialized demand for business information will certainly challenge traditional accounting and reporting models but will also likely increase the demand and value of the right information presented to the right consumer at the right time. In the convergence of business and technology, the market will have to choose whom it trusts--and accountants can make sure that they remain the trusted professionals.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States--and in less developed countries today--one of the essential needs of business was the guarantee of physical security of assets from theft and sabotage. The problem was not just to hire guards, but to obtain guards whose integrity was assured. Even today, a retailer like Wal-Mart cannot conduct business without armored car companies. Yet few investors or analysts care about the steps taken to safeguard physical assets, confirming that such an assurance is a necessity of doing business rather than a source of competitive advantage.

While security companies were emerging to physically safeguard assets, the accounting profession was protecting shareholders from financial theft and loss caused by misinformation and fraud. Ultimately, after rampant abuses became obvious during the Depression, that role was codified by legislation mandating audited financial statements of public companies. Accounting firms, taking advantage of their privileged access to businesses, expanded far beyond auditing to provide broader financial and systems services.

Lately there has been a reversal of that trend, with the consulting arms being spun off or sold. If accounting firms once again concentrate solely on audits, that service must provide enough value to escape the fate of the old security firms. If accounting firms cannot use the audit as a means of "up-selling," will the audit itself be seen as nothing more than a necessity to overcome the friction of information asymmetry? Will accountants become just another service provider?

More at 

The Problem of Attrition in Online MBA Programs

We expect higher attrition rates from both learners in taking degrees in commuting programs and most online programs.  The major reason is that prior to enrolling for a course or program, people tend to me more optimistic about how they can manage their time between a full-time job and family obligations.  After enrolling, unforseen disasters do arise such as family illnesses, job assignments out of town, car breakdowns, computer breakdowns, job loss or change, etc.

The problem of online MBA attrition at West Texas A&M University is discussed in "Assessing Enrollment and Attrition Rates for the Online MBA," by Neil Terry, T.H.E. Journal, Febrary 2001, pp. 65-69 --- 

Enrollment and Attrition Rates for Online Courses

Bringing education to students via the Internet has the potential to benefit students and significantly increase the enrollment of an institution. Student benefits associated with Internet instruction include increased access to higher education, flexible location, individualized attention from the instructor, less travel, and increased time to respond to questions posed by the instructor (Matthews 1999). The increase in educational access and convenience to the student should benefit the enrollment of an institution by tapping the time- and geographically-constrained learner. The results presented in Table 1 indicate that online courses are doing just that. Specifically, Internet courses averaged higher enrollments than the campus equivalents in 12 of the 15 business courses. The online delivery had an overall average of 34 students per course, compared to only 25 students in the traditional campus mode.

Although enrollment is relatively high, it is also important to note that the attrition rate was higher in 13 of the 15 online courses. Potential explanations for the higher attrition rates include students not being able to adjust to the self-paced approach in the virtual format, the rigor of study being more difficult than students anticipated, and a lack of student and faculty experience with the instruction mode. A simple sign test reveals that enrollment and attrition rates are both statistically greater in the online format (Conover 1980).

Table 1, Average Enrollment and Attrition Rates for Campus and Online Courses
Course Name Campus Course
Enrollment (Attrition)
Online Course
Enrollment (Attrition)
Financial Accounting 31 (22%) 40 (16%)
Accounting for Decision Making 43 (13%) 45 (16%)
Contemporary Economic Theory 11 (19%) 13 (23%)
Advanced Macroeconomic Theory 24 (15%) 26 (19%)
International Economics 13 (2%) 48 (3%)
Money and Capital Markets 14 (7%) 44 (14%)
Corporate Finance 36 (23%) 47 (36%)
Statistical Methods in Business 10 (13%) 14 (43%)
Quantitative Analysis in Business 33 (17%) 22 (33%)
Computer Information Technology 40 (7%) 38 (5%)
Managerial Marketing 11 (9%) 19 (24%)
Seminar in Marketing 23 (11%) 50 (14%)
Organizational Behavior 47 (13%) 31 (29%)
International Management 17 (26%) 44 (27%)
Strategic Management 24 (8%) 28 (7%)
Overall Average 25 (89%) 34 (21%)

The results shown in Table 1 indicate that some business disciplines are more conducive to attracting and retaining students than others are. Discipline-specific implications include the following:

The basic accounting course (Financial Accounting) and the advanced accounting course (Accounting for Decision Making) both have higher online enrollment and attrition rates. Of primary interest is the observation that attrition rates in the two instruction modes are comparable, contradicting the notion that the detail-specific nature of accounting makes courses unconvertible to the online format.

The online versions of the basic economic course (Contemporary Economic Theory) and the advanced economic course (Advanced Macroeconomic Theory) both have higher enrollment and attrition rates than their classroom counterparts. The two field courses in economics (International Economics and Money and Capital Markets) both have online enrollments over three times greater than the campus equivalent, indicating an extreme interest in global economic courses delivered via the Internet.

The corporate finance course in the study had a substantially higher online enrollment and attrition rate than its classroom counterpart. The most glaring observation is the lack of retention in the online format. The attrition rate in the online finance course is an alarming 36 percent, indicating that one in three students who start the course do not complete it.

Business Statistics
Enrollment in the basic statistics course (Statistical Methods in Business) is slightly higher in the online mode, but enrollment in the advanced course (Quantitative Analysis in Business) is substantially higher in the campus mode. Attrition rates for the online statistics course are extremely high. The 43 percent attrition rate of the basic online statistics course is higher than that of any other course in the study and may have a lot to do with campus enrollment in the advanced statistics course being higher than the online counterpart.

Computer Information Systems
Enrollment and attrition rates for the Computer Information Technology business course are not significantly different across instruction modes. The online attrition rate of five percent is well below the overall average of 21 percent.

The basic marketing course (Managerial Marketing) and the advanced marketing course (Seminar in Marketing) both have higher enrollment and attrition rates online than in the classroom. The advanced marketing course was offered four times during the study period and averaged 50 students per course, making it the most popular online course.

The three management courses have atypical results. The online course in Organizational Behavior has a relatively high attrition rate with lower than average enrollment. Much like the global economic courses, enrollment in the field course in International Management is substantially higher in the online format. Enrollment and attrition rates for the MBA capstone course in Strategic Management are not significantly different across instruction modes.


If a university offers courses over the Internet, will anyone enroll in them? If students enroll in a Web-based course, will they complete it or be attrition casualties? The results of this study imply that online courses enroll more students, but suffer from higher attrition rates than traditional campus courses. It appears that the enrollment-augmenting advantages of Internet-based instruction, like making it easier to manage work and school and allowing more time with family and friends, are attractive to a significant number of graduate business students. The sustained higher enrollment across several business courses is a positive sign for the future of Internet-based instruction. On the other hand, attrition appears to be a problem with some of the online courses. Courses in the disciplines of accounting, economics, computer information systems, marketing, and management appear to be very conducive to the Internet format, as attrition rates are comparable to the campus equivalents. Courses in business statistics and finance, with attrition rates in excess of 30 percent, do not appear to be very well suited to the Internet instruction format. An obvious conclusion is that courses requiring extensive mathematics are difficult to convert to an Internet instruction format. It is important to note that results of this study are preliminary and represent a first step in an attempt to assess the effectiveness of Internet-based instruction. Much more research is needed before any definitive conclusions can be reached.

The following modules appeared in the December 1 edition of my New Bookmarks --- 

I like the honesty and integrity in a recent paper appearing in the Journal of Business Education, Volume 1, Fall 2000, 33-38.  It is entitled "Student and Faculty Assessment of the Virtual MBA:  A Case Study,"  by Neil Terry, James Owens, and Anne Macy.  JABE editions are not available online.  However, you can read more about JABE and the Academy of Business Education at 

The article points out how badly many students want online MBA programs and how difficult it is to deliver a program that receives high evaluations.  

The online degree program is from Texas A&M University (WT) in the Texas Panhandle.  Student evaluations of the program were quite low (1.92 on a five-point scale where 5.00 is the highest possible rating) but the perceived need of the program is quite high (3.30 mean outcome).  Over 92% of the students urged continuation of the program in spite of unhappiness over its quality to date.  In another survey, eight out of twelve faculty delivering the courses online "feel the quality of his/her virtual course is inferior to the quality of the equivalent campus course."  However, ten of these faculty stress that they "will significantly improve the quality of the virtual course the next time it is taught via the Internet format."

A major complaint of the faculty is "the time required to organize, design, and implement a virtual course."  

This study is consistent with the many other startup online education and training programs.  The major problem is that online teaching is more difficult and stressful than onsite teaching.  A great deal of money and time must be spent in developing learning materials and course delivery has a steep learning curve for instructors as well as students.

A portion of the conclusion of the study is quoted below:

The results of this MBA case study present conflicted views about online instruction. Both the critics who worry about quality and the advocates who contend students want online courses appear to be correct based upon this case study.  While a majority of students acknowledge the benefits of Internet instruction, they believe that the online instruction is inferior to the traditional classroom.  A significant number of students are not satisfied with the Internet program and none of the students want an entirely virtual program.  However, most students want online instruction to continue and plan on enrolling in one or more future courses.  Faculty members recognize the flexibility advantage of Internet-based instruction but express concerns over the time-intensive nature of the instruction mode and the impact of student course evaluations on promotion and tenure.

The conclusions of this article are in line with my Advice to New Faculty at 

You can read more about assessment of virtual courses in the "assessment" category at 

Reply from Patricia Doherty [pdoherty@BU.EDU

The New York Times had an article (I believe it was the Sunday, November 19, edition, that addressed the perception among recruiters of online MBA programs. The jist of it was that there are many mediocre programs, but a few very good ones. The students are enthusiastic about the benefits they provide, but the business community (i.e. the ones who the students hope will hire them) are still skeptical.


Reply from Eckman, Mark S, CFCTR [

Reading the comments on motivation reminded me of a quote from Bernard Baruch that tells me a lot about motivation.

"During my eighty-seven years I have witnessed a whole succession of technological revolutions. But none of them has done away with the need for character in the individual or the ability to think."

While character development and critical thinking may not be the most important items considered in development of curriculum or materials for the classroom, they can be brought into many accounting discussions in terms of ethical questions, creativity in application or simple 'what if' scenarios. People have many motivations. Sometimes you can motivate people, sometimes you can't. Sometimes motivations rise by themselves.

Thinking back to undergraduate times, I still remember the extreme grading scale for Accounting 101 from 1974. It started with 97-100 as an A and allowed 89 as the lowest passing grade. The explanation was that this was the standard the profession expected in practice. I also remember 60% of the class leaving when that scale was placed on the board! They had a different set of motivations.
Bernard Baruch

Bob Jensen's reply to a message from Craig Shoemaker 

Hi Craig,

You have a lot in common with John Parnell. John Parnell (Head of the Department of Marketing & Management at Texas A&M) opened my eyes to the significant thrust his institution is making in distance education in Mexico as well as parts of Texas. After two semesters, this program looks like a rising star.

Dr. Parnell was my "Wow Professor of the Week" on September 26, 2000 at 
You can read more about his program at the above website.

Congratulations on making this thing work. 

Bob (Robert E.) Jensen Jesse H. 

-----Original Message----- 
From: docshoe1 [
Sent: Sunday, November 26, 2000 11:25 AM 
To: Subject: Education -- Online

HI Bob,

I read with interest your note regarding online education. I just concluded teaching my first one. It was a MBA capstone course -- Buisness Planning Seminar. I had 16 students spread throughout the USA and Mexio. The course requirement was to write and present, online, a business plan consisting of a extensive marketing plan, operations plan and financial plan. Without knowing each other, the students formed teams of 4. The student commitment required 15-20 hours per week.

I held weekly conference calls with each team, extensively used chat rooms for online discussion and e-mailed some team nearly every day. The requirement of my time was at least twice that if I would have had one 3 1/2 hour class each week.

The written plans and the online presentations were quite thorough and excellent. The outcome was, in many ways, better due to the extensive and varied communications media used. My student evaluations were as high as when I have done the course "live" in class. The "upfront" work to prepare the course was extensive.


Craig Shoemaker, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor 
St. Ambrose University 
Davenport, Iowa

From Syllabus News on February 13, 2001

Steelcase, a designer and manufacturer of products used to create high performance work environments, recently announced its collaboration with the MIT Media Lab on a design project that is featured as part of the Museum of Modern Art's "Workspheres'' exhibition. The interactive 'Atmosphere' exhibit addresses the complexity of information management in the modern workplace. The exhibit consists of six projects that examine the changing nature of the workplace and the role of design in creating effective solutions to accommodate those changes. In the exhibit, users can navigate a large wide screen that represents an ``organic'' cloud of information. Up to three people can navigate through the infor- mation simultaneously by using one of three handheld devices, each representing a different level of detail--macro, medium, and micro. As information is seamlessly integrated, users can intuitively navigate financial, management, operational and administrative processes to better manage complex projects and multiple ideas.

The ``Workspheres'' exhibit will be open to the public at MoMA through April 22, 2001. For more information, visit 

I realize that I am repeating myself, but with the surge of viruses in email attachments, I once again remind you of a very good way to open many types of attachments (e.g., Word's doc files and Excels xls files) without risk of triggering a macro virus. The answer is a relatively inexpensive ($49 or possibly less in stores) piece of software called Quick View Plus from the great software company (JASC) that also produced Paint Shop Pro.

The link is at 

Now you CAN open virtually any file and email attachment with Quick View Plus – the easy way to view virtually any file.

After the disposable camera, what's next?

A $10 Disposable Cell Phone? An inventor in New York has unveiled a working model of her phone-card-phone. At $10 a pop, this may be the world's first "disposable" mobile phone. 

For details, go to 

In November of 1999 Randi Altschul was issued a series of patents for the World's First Disposable Cell Phone. This was followed by an incredible Media Blitz that included the New York Times, The CBS Early Show, Reuters, CNN, The London Times, and numerous other programs, newspapers and magazines around the World. Within 6 months of this blitz, she had her first round funding in place and was able to continue the development of the products. Within four months of funding she not only had the WORKING MODELS of the phone, which she now calls the PHONE-CARD-PHONETM. She also has expanded their IP to include more than 20 Patents on products ranging from the PAPER LAP TOP, to the ANTI-VIRUS CHAMBER and numerous Internet related products too.

Randi's background is Toys and Games, but in 1999 she spun off her technology products into a new company to focus on their development. DTC has proven that we can create better than, and move faster than, all the big guys. We are changing the paradigm from every angle. From our Super Thin Technology (STTTM), to our unique products. We are a company that makes things happen!!! Product is KING and unlike all these .com companies, which go public with no substance behind them, our IPO will bring about changes that put products that people want, in the palm of their hands!!!

How can you record multiple channels on your TV simultaneously? --- was founded in November of 1999 and is currently a small startup company looking for venture capital. Currently, we are getting more than 100,000 hits a DAY and have more than 100,000 active users. We are looking for capital to support the massive amount of people that coming to our website on a daily basis.

We have been written up in all types of media from the Wall Street Journal and L.A. Times to CNET and ZDNET. We have been interviewed by most of the major TV networks (NBC, CNBC, CNN, FOX, UPN). If you would like to obtain more information about the company or obtain a copy of our business plan, send us an email at: 

All you have to do is click on the RECORD button and pick your show from the TV guide. Any time after the show has aired, come back to our website and view your TV Show. It will play on your computer monitor using Real Player. It is as simple as that!

This is a whole new way to tape TV shows. You will no longer need your old VCR. This website does most everything your current VCR can do and then some. You can record any show you want with simple "One-Click Recording"(tm). You can even record multiple channels at the same time. You will also be able to rewind, replay, pause and fast forward just like your current VCR. was featured as the "Pick-of-the Week" product on Computer Chronicles (PBS) on February 4, 2001.

From Syllabus News on January 30, 2001

GOU Lite, an Israeli company specializing in optical technology, has developed apen-like product that enables writing messages into digital devices--anywhere and at any time. Instead of having to hit the buttons on a cellular phone, users will be able to write text --SMS, e-mail or signature--on any surface available. The Virtual Pen is based on patented optical technology: Called the Vpen, it measures its motion relative to any writing surface and transmits the information via Bluetooth link to cell phones, PDAs, set-top boxes, or PCs. The Vpen is expected to hit the market within a year.

For more information, visit

Nearly 300,000 taxpayers received correspondence from the IRS that contained erroneous advice. 

Don't miss AccountingWEB's digest of tax tips offered on our site throughout this tax season. Visit our tips area and make sure that you cover all your bases with your clients. 

Hundreds of web sites are offering accounting-related programs for free. Are you helping your clients and colleagues take advantage of these resources? 

Less than 10 percent of Fortune 2000 companies have deployed an end-to-end online billing and payment system, according to research firm Killen & Associates, which projects that it will be 2004 before even half of those companies put such a system in place.  Why the holdup? --- 

New IASB to Push for Global Accounting Standards --- 

The effort toward global accounting standards moved forward with the appointment of members of the new International Accounting Standards Board, a 14-member group charged with the daunting task of developing globally accepted standards. 

These guys have their work cut out for them. Industry leaders favoring the development of global standards say a single set of rules is crucial to enabling companies' financial results to be reliably compared internationally, and that the implementation of one set of standards would produce potentially huge cost savings. But the already complicated process has been made even thornier by squabbling over whose standards are best.

Note from Bob Jensen:  "These guys," as quoted from above, include two women.  See 

A message for Trinity University students:

Counseling & Career Services (C&CS) and your academic department are pleased to forward the following link to career information for business administration majors. For more information about career options for business majors, visit the Career Resource Library at C&CS, 215 Coates University Center (above the bookstore), Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There is a huge demand for business grads. Job seekers with a bachelor's degree in business administration have a distinct edge in the business world and they're landing management positions with big salaries! 
Read more from CNN Financial Network 

Political Satire (With Great Flash Video)
Cross Circuit --- 

Web Sites Still Fail to Protect Customer Data,,6_572581,00.html 

People remain far too preoccupied with online data-sharing practices that ultimately affect them very little. Your privacy is impinged offline every day. Stores collect data on your every purchase. Magazines pass on your name, your address and other details to other companies targeting similar demographics. Your financial profile is almost a matter of public record for credit card and mortgage companies. Yes, the Web makes that collection and dissemination (and junk mail machine) more efficient, but companies have been passing around your personal info for decades.

But industry hard-liners must acknowledge that companies lose out on $12 billion a year because consumers don't feel safe online. Countless more B2B transactions and information-sharing don't happen because partners don't quite trust the Internet. In this case, perception is reality.

Find out more --- 

New concerns about how to best protect e-businesses and Web sites from crackers are now at the forefront, after recent Denial of Service attacks on Microsoft's Web sites and recent news reports on the discovery of a computer flaw affecting BIND (Berkeley Internet Name Domain). ECommerce Guide, NewMedia's sister Web publication, has put together a series of current articles that discuss measures you can take to prevent hackers from wreaking havoc on your e-commerce site.,1467,6321_575461,00.html 

Get your California history before the State plunges into darkness
California History Online --- 

"Making Web Sites Work for People With Disabilities," The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 2, 2000 --- 

In January 1998, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights cited the A.D.A. in ordering California's community colleges to take specific steps to make print and electronic information available to visually impaired students.

Meanwhile, the new federal regulation clarifies Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. State-controlled colleges must make their Web sites accessible, and make sure that when they purchase new computer hardware and software, the machines and programs can be adapted for use by disabled people.

Although the rule was written primarily to aid federal employees and those who use federal Web sites, state institutions, too, are required to comply with Section 508, because all states receive money under the Assistive Technology Act. "Section 508 is the A.D.A. of cyberspace," says Cynthia Waddell, an expert on disability law and information technology.

Many state universities are only now beginning to learn that the new rule will apply to them. And while private institutions are not covered, advocates for the disabled say the rule is likely to spur the creation of products to promote Web use by disabled people, and that those products will also benefit students at private colleges.

The regulation is scheduled to go into effect June 21. But the new Bush administration says published regulations that have not yet taken effect will have their enforcement date delayed for 60 days, while they are reviewed.

There's no cemetery like this cemetery!  (English Literature, Poetry, History)
100 Lives Past: An Oxfordshire Who's Who --- 

The National Archives of Scotland --- 

Turn your cursor into on onboard reference library with these tools for instant thesaurus, dictionary, encyclopedia, and search engine gratification at the click of your mouse. 

The three smart cursors available for free download are highlighted below:

Comet Systems Inc. --- 

NBC Internet Inc. --- 


Bob Jensen's general references to dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc. can be found at 

While mobile phones are very popular, they are lagging behind PDAs and laptops in the m-commerce market.,,10094_573131,00.html 

Internet users should be, at least passively, familiar with digital wallets, especially with big players like Yahoo and AOL touting branded versions within their own e-commerce spaces. But a survey by found use of digital wallets is lagging.,,6061_570911,00.html 

As part of a merchant network with over 12 million customers ready to buy, Magna Cash is definitely a micro-payment solution worth checking out.,1467,3691_570251,00.html 

How to write better term papers --- 

The Questiasm service offers an extensive scholarly collection with the full text of thousands of books and, coming soon, journal articles. A broad range of tools allow hyperlinking from source to source, powerful searching, automatic creation of footnotes and bibliographies, plus highlighter markup and margin note capabilities.

Do you know how much it is going to cost you to retire? Do your clients know the answer? Surprisingly, the closer people get to retirement age, the less likely it is that they understand how much money they are going to need to sustain their current lifestyle. 

Submarine to the Arctic - take a plunge beneath the polar ice cap --- 

From Syllabus News on January 30, 2001

Report to Congress: Financial-Aid Rules Hurt Distance Education

The U.S. Department of Education said in a report to Congress last week that the inflexibility of financial-aid regulations hurts the advancement of distance-education programs. Regulations determining which institutions can provide federal financial aid are complex and inhibiting, the report says, and should be updated to reflect the growth of alternative education.

One rule prevents institutions offering more than 50 percent of their courses as distance education from providing federal student aid. Another rule requires that students enroll in at least 12 hours of course work per week to qualify for full-time status and maximum student aid.

For more information about the report, visit 

Forwarded by Don Van Eynde

This is a very cool montage of pictures taken from a NASA satellite that purports to show all the lights in the world.

It also provides a vivid display of population distribution in the U.S. 

The race in Congress to determine how e-commerce will -- and will not -- be taxed began in earnest today with the introduction of bipartisan legislation --- 

Online music beyond Napster ZDNet Downloads guru Preston Galla offers up a grab bag of great programs for listening to and handling digital music online --- 

Try these sites for XBRL software and tools. 

Saeed Roohani [sroohani@BRYANT.EDU

Bob Jensen's threads on XBRL are at 

GMAT POWERPREP CD-ROM from the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) --- 

Perform your best on the Graduate Management Admission Test® (GMAT®) by becoming familiar with the mechanics of the test and the kinds of questions that are asked before you take the test. You can visit Sample GMAT Questions or use the GMAT Mini-Test to practice answering questions. Or for more extensive review, download GMAT: POWERPREP® 3.0 Software or visit the GMAC Store for The Official Guide for GMAT® Review. Make sure you also review the Test-Taking Strategies provided.

There are other companies whose publications, software, or preparation courses can assist in becoming familiar with format of the GMAT. However, there is sufficient free information about previous actual GMAT questions on this web site and in publications in libraries to fully prepare you for taking the GMAT. Expensive training courses or preparation materials are not necessary to perform your best on the test.

Pay attention to where you are in the test, the number of questions that remain in a section, and the amount of time you have left. On average, you have about 1 3/4 minutes for each verbal question and 2 minutes for each quantitative question. You will have 75 minutes for 37 quantitative questions and 75 minutes for 41 verbal questions. If you do not know the answer to a question, or it's too time-consuming to figure out, guess. You cannot skip a question and go back to it, or change your answer once you have moved on to the next question.

To prepare for the Analytical Writing Assessment, practice on the writing topics included in Sample GMAT Questions. You will have 30 minutes to compose each of two essays.

CorelDraw has powerful tools, but sometimes they can be confusing. Take a step-by-step journey through every basic tool. 

From FEI Express February 14, 2001

Today, the FASB issued an important exposure draft accounting standard related to business combinations. Specifically, this draft covers accounting for goodwill under the proposed model, by which companies will no longer amortize goodwill. Rather, they will test for impairment upon the occurrence of certain triggering events. This is obviously an important standard for almost all companies that have acquired businesses or evaluating acquisitions. There is a short comment period closing March 16. You can download the full document from our website.

Just to give you a little flavor for the significance of the provisions, here is part of the summary of the ED.

"Entities would be required to initially apply the provisions of this proposed Statement as of the beginning of the first fiscal quarter following issuance of the final Statement." (Phil comment - expected to be June 30t) "Those provisions would apply not only to goodwill arising from acquisitions completed after the issuance date of the final Statement but also to the unamortized balance of goodwill at the date of adoption." (Phil comment - your net income for 2001 will be impacted if you have goodwill on the balance sheet.) "Income before extraordinary items and net income computed on a pro forma basis (as if goodwill had not been amortized in prior periods) would be required to be displayed for all periods presented either on the face of the income statement or in the notes to the financial statements until all periods presented reflect goodwill accounted for in accordance with the final Statement." (Phil comment - you're going to have to pro forma prior periods to allow fair comparisons)

"This proposed Statement would not require that goodwill be tested for impairment upon adoption of the final Statement unless an indicator of impairment exists at that date. However, it would require that a benchmark assessment be performed for all existing reporting units with goodwill within six months of the date of adoption. If an impairment loss were recognized as a result of that "transitional" benchmark assessment, it would be presented in the operating section of the income statement in the same manner as other impairment losses. It would not be treated as a change in accounting principle." (Phil comment - I'm glad I am sitting where I am for now!)

From Bob Jensen:  You can download the Amended Exposure Draft free (in PDF format) from 

This proposed Statement would establish a new accounting standard for goodwill acquired in a business combination. It would continue to require recognition of goodwill as an asset but would not permit amortization of goodwill as currently required by APB Opinion No. 17, Intangible Assets. 

This proposed Statement would establish a new method of testing goodwill for impairment. It would require that goodwill be separately tested for impairment using a fair-value-based approach. Goodwill would be tested for impairment at a level referred to as a reporting unit, generally a level lower than that of the total entity. This proposed Statement would require that a benchmark assessment be performed in certain circumstances. That assessment would establish the methods and assumptions that would be used to test goodwill for impairment. Goodwill of a reporting unit would be tested for impairment when events and circumstances occur indicating that it might be impaired. Goodwill related to long-lived assets to be held and used would no longer be allocated to those assets when they are tested for impairment as currently required by FASB Statement No. 121, Accounting for the Impairment of Long-Lived Assets and for Long-Lived Assets to Be Disposed Of. 

If the implied fair value of a reporting unit’s goodwill is less than its carrying amount, goodwill would be considered impaired. The implied fair value of goodwill would be determined by subtracting the fair value (with certain exceptions) of the recognized net assets of the reporting unit (excluding goodwill) from the fair value of the reporting unit. The impairment loss would be equal to the amount by which the carrying amount of goodwill exceeds its implied fair value. Goodwill impairment losses would be aggregated and presented as a separate line item in the operating section of the income statement. This proposed Statement provides guidance for determining the amount of goodwill, if any, that would be included in the determination of the gain or loss on sale or disposal when all or a portion of a reporting unit is to be sold or otherwise disposed of. 

Entities would be required to initially apply the provisions of this proposed Statement as of the beginning of the first fiscal quarter following issuance of the final Statement. Those provisions would apply not only to goodwill arising from acquisitions completed after the issuance date of the final Statement but also to the unamortized balance of goodwill at the date of adoption. Income before extraordinary items and net income computed on a pro forma basis (as if goodwill had not been amortized in prior periods) would be required to be displayed for all periods presented either on the face of the income statement or in the notes to the financial statements until all periods presented reflect goodwill accounted for in accordance with the final Statement. 

This proposed Statement would not require that goodwill be tested for impairment upon adoption of the final Statement unless an indicator of impairment exists at that date. However, it would require that a benchmark assessment be performed for all existing reporting units with goodwill within six months of the date of adoption. If an impairment loss was recognized as a result of that “transitional” benchmark assessment, it would be presented in the operating section of the income statement in the same manner as other impairment losses. It would not be treated as a change in accounting principle. 

This proposed Statement would not apply to goodwill acquired in a combination between two or more not-for-profit organizations or to goodwill acquired in an acquisition of a for-profit enterprise by a not-for-profit organization.

Is there a "circle of life" when it comes to multimedia marketing? Will the rules of the Web apply to marketing via wireless devices? Two speakers at a recent Washington, D.C. conference attacked those subjects in separate keynote speeches. 

IBM usability guru, Vanessa Donnelly, takes a structured approach to usability using methods borrowed from the software development world, in her new book, "Designing Easy-to-Use Web Sites."  

NewMedia also provides an interview with Donnelly, who further discusses the state of usability on the Web. 

Are you ready for the "experience"? Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates thinks you are, and on Tuesday he introduced what the company calls the biggest Windows launch since Windows 95 --- 

netFuturi is a subscription-based service you can plug into your site helping you to both solicit and manage your customers' input. 

Accounting Profession's "2000: THE YEAR IN REVIEW" --- 

And now, AccountingWEB's List of the Top Ten Biggest Stories in Accounting - 2000:

1. SEC Redefines Auditor Independence
2. Consulting Arms Break Free of Attest Functions
3. Cognitor Could be New Designation for Accountants
4. Consolidators Continue to Shape the Profession
5. ASP Services Compete With and Complement Traditional Accounting
6. The Internet Continues to Change the Practice of Accounting
7. XBRL and the Future of Financial Reporting
8. Staff Shortage Continues to Plague Profession
9. Multi-Disciplinary Practices Continue To Inch Forward
10.Republicans Take Back the White House

Bob Jensen would have included FAS 133 and IAS 39 along with the exposure drafts on fair value accounting for all financial instruments.

Do you know the rules regarding what to Debit and what to Credit?  If your computer can play Flash videos, then go to Richard's 

Or contact Richard J. Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU

What I don't understand is why Napster addicts just do not shift to Gneutella.  Gneutella may be virtually impossible to stop with a court edict --- 

But there may be a big risk for Gnutella addicts.  See "Cookie monster: Gnutella may expose users to data theft" ---,4586,2683950,00.html 

Web surfers trading free music and other digital goods over one of the Web's most popular file-swapping networks are sharing much more: sensitive data files that could expose them to identity theft. One of several file-swapping networks coat-tailing on Napster's success, Gnutella allows people to open the contents of their computers to create a virtual swap meet for MP3s, software, video and text files. A recent casual search of the system revealed scores of files that could compromise the service's users.

Putting these would-be file swappers at risk are electronic markers, known as cookies, left automatically on their computers through Netscape or Internet Explorer Web browsers. Web sites place cookies as a way to identify surfers, using them to create personalized Web sites or accounts at shopping sites such as

"This not a good thing," said Richard Smith, chief technical officer for the Privacy Foundation, an online privacy watchdog group. "All someone would have to do is take these stolen cookies...and they would be able to masquerade as someone else."

Ordinarily these files are private. But under certain settings in Gnutella, people can open their hard drives indiscriminately to the network, giving anyone who cares to look access to their recent Net history. At best, this can provide a potentially embarrassing look into a person's private Web surfing habits. But unscrupulous individuals could also use these files to log into other people's Web accounts, possibly even gleaning passwords and usernames that could give access to bank accounts or other financial data.

Like Napster and other peer-to-peer programs, Gnutella allows people to open bits or all of their hard drives to other people on the Net, sharing or swapping files with the simple click of a mouse.

But where Napster limits its sharing solely to music, Gnutella supports any type of file. People downloading one of several software programs that tap into the Gnutella network can specify which folders, directories or drives they want to leave open to the public.

For careless or unsophisticated computer users, this can be dangerous. Accidentally opening a full drive, instead of just a single folder, could expose private documents or system files to anyone who takes the time to look. One Gnutella user interviewed said he had recently downloaded somebody's private diary, for example.

"There is a need for users to be very careful about these things," said Kelly Truelove, chief executive of Clip2, a company that does research and consulting on peer-to-peer technologies. "Otherwise they could get a nasty surprise."

In scores of cases, this is taking the form of making private Web cookie files available. Because of the way Gnutella searches work, it's impossible to tell exactly how many people are affected, however.

The actual risk of any given file depends on what sites a person has visited and what level of security those sites maintain.

Many companies, such as Yahoo, leave cookies on visitors' computers that allow personalized sites to be recreated at the next visit.

Most e-mail and financial sites ask for a separate password before allowing access. Most sophisticated Web sites also encrypt this type of information inside the cookie files, so that any genuinely sensitive data appears as an incomprehensible string of numbers or letters.

Not every site takes all of these precautions, however. Some cookie files show up with unencrypted login names and passwords. These could potentially then be plugged into such things as finance sites to see if a person has used the same password for both accounts.

This aspect is potentially more dangerous for Netscape users, because that program stores all cookies in a single file. IE cookies are also being shared on Gnutella, but the information is stored in multiple files, making it slightly more difficult to cross-reference passwords or other information between different sites.

Because dozens or hundreds of these "cookies" can be in each file, combing through them by hand would be difficult to do. But privacy experts say it would be reasonably easy for someone to write a small, automated script to download cookie files as they were made available or to search individual files for specific information.

To guard against this, Gnutella users should make sure they know exactly what folders, directories or drives they are making public, Truelove said.

EDUNET from T.H.E. Journal, February 2001, pp. 28-33 --- 

Microsoft's hard-charging CEO talks to eWEEK about the company's progress in the embedded arena, the lessons of Linux and the upcoming Windows XP --- 

Four years ago, U.S. government agencies were ordered to donate thousands of excess computers to needy schools. Now the government is trying to figure out why most of them ended up getting sold instead ---,1283,41636,00.html 

On the heels of a new book detailing IBM's cooperation with the Third Reich, five Holocaust victims file suit against Big Blue ---,1283,41753,00.html 

Northwestern University exhibits art from Holocaust prisoners in an online gallery. Also: A millionaire CEO sells stock to build a virtual school.... A smelly dinosaur debuts in London.... The ADL offers an online course for parents.... and more ---,1284,41689,00.html 

The exhibit includes paintings, sculpture, drawings, illustrated diaries and painted letters, the vast majority of which have never been shown before now. Portraits comprise a large part of the exhibition, some having been smuggled out of the camp to show that a family member was still alive.

"The Holocaust victims who produced art amid the death and destruction of the Nazi camps did so under a variety of conditions and for an array of reasons," David Mickenberg, co-curator of the exhibit, said in a statement.

Artists used scraps of paper and contraband materials from the camp to create many of the works.

"The greatest challenge was to find the most respectful, effective balance of contemporary digital media capabilities to treat so somber and painful a subject," Bob Taylor, director of academic technologies, said in a statement.


Teaching tolerance: This month, the Anti-Defamation League's A World of Difference Institute will offer a free online course for parents on how to teach children about stereotypes and prejudice.

The course is based on Hate Hurts: How Children Learn and Unlearn Prejudice, the ADL's antibias handbook. It is offered in four installments, including a segment on how to help children navigate the Internet safely.

"In a multicultural society, parents and caregivers must address complicated issues, including prejudice, with children at an early age," instructor Yvonne Brady said in a statement.

The course will be offered through the Child Trauma Academy, and parents can sign up for the course on the academy website. The registration deadline is Feb. 19. (or should that be was?)

Celebrate Black History Month - the History Channel --- 

I apologize for not yet having had time to read any of the replies to the document below.

Laurence Thomas states: "And no computer on the face of this earth can replace the affirmation that your child receives no computer can generate the sparkle in your child's eyes when I affirm the intellectual power of their remarks."

My gut questions for Laurence Thomas are as follows:

What is a computer? Are my email messages responding to sometimes very personal questions of students "a computer?" Are the 59% (on average) increase in communications between students and instructors in the asynchronous network learning (SCALE) courses at the University of Illinois messages from "computers?" Studies repeatedly point out that communications often improve if individuals or teams of people do not communicate face-to-face?

Do your students sometimes divert their "sparkling eyes" when they are uncomfortable or embarrassed while face-to-face discussing issues that they cannot grasp immediately but can grasp with greater confidence at their own pace in repeated email exchanges with you?

Why is E&Y's ERNIE (online consulting) such a success? Don't clients actually prefer to find answers to frequently asked questions quickly and efficiently without having to take added time and pay added costs to have live consulting? This frees up the live consultants for the more difficult questions or the rarely-asked questions that are not in the FAQ database. It also frees up client cash to spend on questions that cannot be answered from a consulting database.

Since you say your primary mission is "education," why would you deny yourself the most powerful technology tools ever discovered for training and education? Isn't that a bit like saying you refuse to ever fly in an airplane because you cannot see the terrain closely? Airplanes and automobiles and horses and ships serve different purposes in different contexts. Why should a traveler choose only one or two such as a horse for land and a ship for water? Why must an educator choose only one or two technologies such as chalk and overhead transparencies? Why must all your teaching be face-to-face? If you also use a textbook, why can't the concept of a "textbook" be expanded to electronic materials, including materials accessed by computers?

I beg to differ with you Laurence Thomas. "Altruistic footprints" can also be digitally "planted in the sands of time." My eyes sparkle when some stranger from some far away land answers my questions without ever seeing my sparkling eyes and is content and energized with my simple written "Thank you."

I apologize if some of earlier replies to this message on the AECM covered the same points.

Bob (Robert E.) Jensen Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212 Voice: (210) 999-7347 Fax: (210) 999-8134 Email: 

-----Original Message----- 
From: Andrew Priest [mailto:a.priest@ECU.EDU.AU]  
Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2001 1:08 AM 
Subject: Humanity is the essence

Hi All,
 The attached item which appear in one of our national newspapers, was brought to my attention by a colleague. I think worth sharing with your, in light of the ongoing debate(s) on the validity of online education.


No computer can replace the affirmation that a student receives from their professor and vice versa, writes Laurence Thomas.

I WRITE not as someone's parent, nor as someone's husband. Rather, I write as a professor of someone's child.

Sometimes with just words of encouragement, sometimes with searching questions, I am the person who helped steady the course of someone's child embarking upon the rocky road of independence away from home.

I heard the first riveting angst of someone's child as the fairy tale ideal of the college experience gave way to the biting reality of life. Upon occasion, my only task has been to help a child believe in their own moral goodness or intellectual powers. Though perhaps singular in aim, this task is formidable In its execution. For as rust eats away at metal, self-doubt eats away at the will to live a life of excellence.

I taught someone's child how to turn self-doubt into an instructive moment regarding the range of choices at their disposal. Or perhaps I helped another to see that failure is truly that only if it resigns us to not getting up and trying again. Perhaps I am your child's professor.

I heard the pain that your child would dare not speak at home, the wound of betrayal that time alone was supposed to heal, such as parental abuse or parents being too busy making money to be there. Or perhaps it was the divorce that netted a new partner for each parent, but left the scar of a broken home and divided loyalties in your child's life. I heard the sigh of relief as I helped your child to understand that they could dearly love their parents even as they had reason to be angry with them.

Upon occasion, there is the white student worried about the extent to which they are racist, or the minority student whose ethnic identity blinds them to the pain that they cause others. I do not pounce upon the former, nor do I express my delight in the attitude of the latter. And this alone, since I am black, often suffices to give both of them pause and reason to reflect upon their concerns.

Sometimes individually, sometimes collectively in lecture, I remind them both that it is not our ethnic histories that make us either righteous or evil, but the lives that we choose to live - that our legacy is forged by our actions and not those of another.

Perhaps I am your child's professor.

Of course, my primary role is to educate your child. And I delight in bringing my intellectual expertise to bear upon your child's life. Engaging your child intellectually is as electrifying as any experience could be. If I am stopped in my tracks by an insight or question from your child, and my student., then your child and I have both benefited from teaching at its best.

And no computer on the face of this earth can replace the affirmation that your child receives no computer can generate the sparkle in your child's eyes when I affirm the intellectual power of their remarks. Although it is perhaps true that human beings can learn under any condition, the fact remains that learning at its very best is quintessentially an interpersonal experience. As perhaps your child's professor, I strive to embody this reality.

Since I have no children of my own, some would insist that ultimately I am a selfish person But I beg to differ. Having children is not the only way to leave altruistic footprints in the sands of time. And history reveals that the morally admirable life is defined not so much by how many souls we bring into the world, but by the manner in which we touch the souls that we encounter along the way.

And if perhaps I was your child's professor, then I may very well have them to thank for so poignantly making this insight so very real in my life. It is thus with much gratitude that I say to your child: thank you.

Laurence Thomas teaches philosophy at Syracuse University, New York.

Source: The Australian Newspaper, Wednesday January 31, 2001. Page 34

ThE AUSTRALIAN Wednesday January 31 2001

Reply from George Lan:


First of all , let me say that I am not against the use of computers and indeed use them quite effectively for research and other purposes. I also teach several distance education courses and communicate with my students by e-mail and by telephone. However, I think that certain types of students (the older, more mature ones for example) do benefit better than others from the extensive use of computers for learning purposes.

This being said, I do have a few experiences as a student, teacher and professor which help me understand what Laurence Thomas meant when he said that no computer on earth can replace the affirmation your child receives...I am sure other subscribers on the list have similar experiences and would appreciate if they could share some of them, as I will do below.

Last December, I went back to Mauritius, where I grew up, to visit my family. My wife came with me but could stay only one week. However, we did not know that we had to reconfirm her return flight (after a break in the journey of more than 3 days) and hence at the airport we were told that her name was not on the list of passengers and that she would be on standby.I was furious and called for the supervisor. The supervisor tried to calm me down and then after a few moments he said: " Don't you recognise me, you were my high school teacher. Don't worry; your wife will have a seat on the plane." ( I taught maths and sciences in a high school over 20 years ago, when I was just 19 and 20 years old ). I wonder whether a computer would have recognized me after such a long time. (Sure, the computer has infinite memory, if the file is not deleted!)

On another occasion, when I went back to Mauritius, a former student insisted that he brought his daughter to see me and said that he wished I was there to teach his daughter. I wonder whether he would have said that to a computer.

Having been a student in the U.S. and Canada for a long time, I have had several professors. Those that I do remember the most and try to "imitate" as a professor of accounting myself now, were those who had sparkles in their eyes when they teach and a sense of humanity about them, which indicates to me that they care not only about imparting rigourous intellectual knowledge but also in the well-being of their students.

I think affirmation is reciprocal, while we affirm the students- they also affirm us. I think this was the implied message of Prof. Laurence Thomas, rather than computers do not have any use at all in teaching and communicating knowledge and should not be used. I have not followed all the replies to this theme and may be repeating what was already mentioned. 

George Lan, University of Windsor

Reply from Bob Jensen

Hi George,

I like your response and hope you will grant me permission to reproduce it in my next edition of New Bookmarks.

I fully recognize the value of face-to-face learning and socialization. In fact, I list the residential and athletic participation infrastructures as the most important comparative advantages of most universities with residential traditions (Trinity University requires that all students live on campus). I discuss trends in these and other comparative advantages at 

Face-to-face relationships and learning have long-lasting impacts and are highly important to people of all ages. In fact, they are crucial to most of us. They are not, however, without comparative disadvantages relative to our new technologies for learning and other forms of communication. First there is the comparative disadvantage of cost. My daughter had face-to-face classes at the University of Texas, but most of those courses were about as distant as courses in a virtual university. Her first chemistry class had 300 students. Her chemistry professor, by his own admission, would never recognize her in an airport. He never noticed her sparkling eyes among the 299x2 other sparkling eyes. Now that she is a former science teacher and current professional medical technician engaged in biochemistry testing, however, she carries on an occasional email dialog with her former professor even though she lives in Old Town, Maine and he resides in Austin, Texas. They know each other much better by email than they ever did "face-to-face" or "eye-to-eye."

I carry on frequent email conversations with some former students and some people that I have never met face-to-face. It helps to dimly recall what those former students looked like, but in our email conversations I feel just as close, or closer with, some people whose sparkling eyes can only be imagined.

It is interesting, in history, how learned men and women prided themselves in their carefully-crafted letters, letters that are now regarded as literary pieces more valuable, in some cases, than the books they wrote or the their other professional accomplishments. I am afraid that our email messages in present times are not so carefully crafted, but they are sometimes intensely informative about what is going on in the minds of our correspondents.

Thanks for your thoughtful and interesting reply. I now know a great deal about you without a face-to-face encounter.

Bob Jensen

Forwarded by Debbie Bowling (I know this fatigue!)

email fatigue (noun)

Mental exhaustion caused by receiving a large number of email messages each day.

"Robert Cavalier, philosophy professor at Carnegie Mellon University, is experiencing 'e-mail fatigue.' Originally Cavalier responded to his e-mail the moment he got to his office. Due to an explosion in the number of e-messages, he has redesigned his schedule to answer e-mail at noon." --"DL Changes Learning," Education Technology News, November 11, 1998

See Also: diversity fatigue, information fatigue syndrome

Backgrounder ---------- Direct marketers also refer to a form of fatigue related to receiving a steady flow of ad pieces each day. The terms they use are "mail fatigue," "direct mail fatigue," and "junk mail fatigue":

"Everyone has heard of compassion fatigue. Now it seems there is also appeal fatigue, junk mail fatigue, and a mounting sense of annoyance on the part of donors at the insensitive behaviour of some charities. Indeed, most charities are now reporting a strong negative reaction to junk mail, particularly from their own supporters." --Judy Hirst, "Relationship Fundraising," Investors Chronicle, October 30, 1992

For more Word Spy words, see the Word Spy Archives: 

To search for a previous word, try the Word Spy Index: 

A message on FAS 133


You wrote the following: "Using OCI under cash flow hedge is more appropriate as the firm commitment progressed (especially partial shipments) to be honored by the engaging parties."

A firm commitment cannot be a hedged item for a cash flow hedge, because there is no cash flow risk --- even with partial shipments with contracted prices.

Two rules to always keep in mind.

1. Hedging fair value always creates cash flow risk. 

2. Hedging cash flow risk always creates fair value risk.

You can only use OCI for a cash flow hedge of cash flow risk. In the case of a fair value hedge, the offset to a change in value of a derivative must be either to the booked item (if it was previously accounted for at historical cost or LCM prior to the hedge) or to an account called "Firm Commitment" if the hedged item was not previously booked.

Purchase commitments were not booked prior to FAS 133 and are still not booked after FAS 133. Under ARB 43, an anticipated "loss" in a firm (irrevocable) purchase commitment is booked (but only to the extent of the loss rather than the full commitment). Under FAS 133, firm commitment gains and losses are booked if a firm commitment is hedged for fair value, but only to the extent of the gain or loss rather than the full contracted obligation. I suspect this is very misleading for investors who are likely to think that the booked "Firm Commitment" amount is for the full contractual commitment rather than its incremental gain or loss.

I have attached some homework problems that I give to my students. Note in particular Problems 01 and 02.  We might be able to extend these problems into some effectiveness testing cases. However, I do not have the time at the moment to plunge into an empirical study of hedging ineffectiveness. I have to teach in Mexico for a week in March and will be lecturing in Europe for five weeks next summer. It's a busy time for me!

Bob Jensen

February 11th edition of the ENews Internet Essentials newsletter for the financial professional --- 

1. How Does Technology (like XBRL) Become Accepted? Part II 
2. 10 Useful E-Commerce Web Sites 
3. Portal Open 
4. "Worst Boss" Stories --- 
5. XML NEWS! Live Feed for all News about XML

Forwarded by Lanny Solomon []
As presented by him at the American Accounting Association APLG meetings in Ft. Lauderdale on February 5, 2001


10. Because you don't want someone else to do it even if you don't.

09. Because you are burned out teaching the same thing over and over again for 20 years and writing articles that two people in the entire country read.

08. For the money.

07. For the petty power, having, in middle age, experienced a precipitous decline…and needing an alternative thrill.

06. Because you lack imagination and can't think of anything better and more original to do.

05. Because you have imagination and fantasize about all the things you will do back to your peers that they did to you while they were chair.

04. Because some dean has made you an offer you can't refuse.

03. Because your peers elect you to slow down your rate-busting activity by loading you up with administrative trivia.

02. Because your peers elect you, thinking you are useless at research and teaching, and this way you can at least fill out the related administrative reports.

01. Because you temporarily became insane, forgetting why you came into academics in the first place, momentarily in a state of confusion, mistaking your department for the next Microsoft or Dell Computer, thinking you will climb the ladder for your successes.

Forwarded by Bob Overn

At a nursing home in Miami, Florida, a group of Senior Citizens were sitting around talking about their ailments: "My arms are so weak I can hardly lift this cup of coffee," said one.

"Yes, I know. My cataracts are so bad I can't even see my coffee," replied another.

"I can't turn my head because of the arthritis in my neck," said a third, to which several nodded weakly in agreement.

"My blood pressure pills make me dizzy,".... another went on.

"I guess that's the price we pay for getting old," winced an old man as he slowly shook his head. Then there was a short moment of silence.

"Well, it's not that bad," said one woman cheerfully. "Thank God we can all still drive."

Also forwarded by Bob Overn

Instead of Astrological Signs, how about these .. What's Your Business Sign?

1) MARKETING You are ambitious yet stupid. You chose a marketing degree to avoid having to study in college, concentrating instead on drinking and socializing which is pretty much what your job responsibilities are now. Least compatible with Sales.

2) SALES Laziest of all signs, often referred to as "marketing without a degree." You are also self-centered and paranoid. Unless someone calls you and begs you to take their money, you like to avoid contact with customers so you can "concentrate on the big picture." You seek admiration for your golf game throughout your life.

3) TECHNOLOGY Unable to control anything in your personal life, you are instead content to completely control everything that happens at your workplace. Often even YOU don't understand what you are saying but who the hell can tell. It is written that Geeks shall inherit the Earth.

4) ENGINEERING One of only two signs that actually studied in school. It is said that engineers place ninety percent of all Personal Ads. You can be happy with yourself; your office is full of all the latest "ergodynamic" gadgets. However, we all know what is really causing your "carpal tunnel syndrome."

5) ACCOUNTING The only other sign that studied in school. You are mostly immune from office politics. You are the most feared person in the organization; combined with your extreme organizational traits, the majority of rumors concerning you say that you are completely insane.

6) HUMAN RESOURCES Ironically, given your access to confidential information, you tend to be the biggest gossip within the organization. Possibly the only other person that does less work than marketing, you are unable to return any calls today because you have to get a haircut, have lunch AND then mail a letter.

7) MANAGEMENT/MIDDLE MANAGEMENT Catty, cutthroat, yet completely spineless, you are destined to remain at your current job for the rest of your life. Unable to make a single decision you tend to measure your worth by the number of meetings you can schedule for yourself. Best suited to marry other "Middle Managers" as everyone in your social circle is a "Middle Manager."

8) SENIOR MANAGEMENT (See above - Same sign, different title)

9) CUSTOMER SERVICE Bright, cheery, positive, you are a fifty-cent cab ride from taking your own life. As children very few of you asked your parents for a little cubicle for your room and a headset so you could pretend to play "Customer Service." Continually passed over for promotions, your best bet is to sleep with your manager.

10) CONSULTANT Lacking any specific knowledge, you use acronyms to avoid revealing your utter lack of experience. You have convinced yourself that your "skills" are in demand and that you could get a higher paying job with any other organization in a heartbeat. You will spend an eternity contemplating these career opportunities without ever taking direct action.

11) RECRUITER, "HEADHUNTER" As a "person" that profits from the success of others, most people who actually work for a living disdain you. Paid on commission and susceptible to alcoholism, your ulcers and frequent heart attacks correspond directly with fluctuations in the stock market.

12) PARTNER, PRESIDENT, CEO You are brilliant or lucky. Your inability to figure out complex systems such as the fax machine suggest the latter.

13) GOVERNMENT WORKER Paid to take days off. Government workers are genius inventors, like the invention of new Holidays. They usually suffer from deep depression or anxiety and usually commit serious crimes while on the job...Thus the term "GO POSTAL"

A poem forwarded by Bob Overn (Sounds like lyrics for a new country song)

Many many years ago when I was twenty three,
I got married to a widow who was pretty as could be.
This widow had a grown-up daughter, who had hair of red.
My father fell in love with her, and soon the two were wed.
This made my dad my son-in-law and changed my very life.
My daughter was my mother, for she was my father's wife.
To complicate the matters worse, although it brought me joy.
I soon became the father of a bouncing baby boy.
My little baby then became a brother-in-law to dad.
And so became my uncle, though it made me very sad.
For if he was my uncle, then that also made him brother
To the widow's grown-up daughter who, of course, was my step-mother.
 Father's wife then had a son, who kept them on the run.
And he became my grandson, for he was my daughter's son.
My wife is now my mother's mother, and it makes me blue.
Because, although she is my wife, she is my grandma too.
 If my wife is my grandmother, then I am her grandchild.
And every time I think of it, it simply drives me wild.
For now I have become the strangest case you ever saw.
As the husband of my grandmother, I am my own grandpa!

A Lesson in Statistics 
Forwarded by Richard Newmark

More than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users.

Fully 50% of all children who grow up in bread-consuming households score below average on standardized tests.

In the 18th century, when virtually all bread was baked in the home, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years; infant mortality rates were unacceptably high; many women died in childbirth; and diseases such as typhoid, yellow fever, and influenza ravaged whole nations.

Every piece of bread you eat brings you nearer to death.

Bread is associated with all the major diseases of the body. For example, nearly all sick people have eaten bread. The effects are obviously cumulative: a. 99.9% of all people who die from cancer have eaten bread. b. 100% of all soldiers have eaten bread. c. 96.9% of all Communist sympathizers have eaten bread. d. 99.7% of the people involved in air and auto accidents ate bread within 6 months preceding the accident. e. 93.1% of juvenile delinquents came from homes where bread is served frequently.

Evidence points to the long-term effects of bread eating: Of all the people born in 1839 who later dined on bread, there has been a 100% mortality rate.

Bread is made from a substance called "dough." It has been proven that as little as one pound of dough can be used to suffocate a mouse. The average American eats more bread than that in one month!

Primitive tribal societies that have no bread exhibit a low incidence of cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, and osteoporosis.

Bread has been proven to be addictive. Subjects deprived of bread and given only water to eat begged for bread after as little as two days.

Bread is often a "gateway" food item, leading the user to "harder" items such as butter, jelly, peanut butter, and even cold cuts.

Bread has been proven to absorb water. Since the human body is more than 90 percent water, it follows that eating bread could lead to your body being taken over by this absorptive food product, turning you into a soggy, gooey bread-pudding person.

Newborn babies can choke on bread.

Bread is baked at temperatures as high as 400 degrees Fahrenheit! That kind of heat can kill an adult in less than one minute. Increased temperatures cause global warming.

Most bread eaters are utterly unable to distinguish between serious significant scientific fact and meaningless statistical political babbling.

Celebrity Quotations forwarded by Dr. D

And God said: "Let there be Satan, so people don't blame everything on  me.  And let there be lawyers, so people don't blame everything on Satan.
George Burns

My girlfriend always laughs during sex--- no matter what she's reading."
Steve Jobs (Founder: Apple Computers)

My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch.
Jack  Nicholson

There's a new medical crisis. Doctors are reporting that many men are  having allergic reactions to latex condoms. They say they cause severe  swelling. So what's the problem?
Dustin Hoffman

When the sun comes up, I have morals again. 
Elizabeth Taylor

See, the problem is that God gives men a brain and a penis, and only  enough blood to operate one at a time.
Robin Williams.

Bumper Stickers

Princess, having sufficient experience with princes, seeks a frog.
Bumper stickers --- 

Since he arrives in his office so early every morning and stays so late in the evening, this could happen to Bob Jensen! 

Birmingham (Ala.) Sunday Mercury, December 17, 2000


 Bosses of a publishing firm are trying to work out why no one noticed that one of their employees had been sitting dead at his desk for five days before anyone asked if he was feeling OK.

George Turklebaum, 51, who had been employed as a proofreader at a New York firm for 30 years, had a heart attack in the open-plan office he shared with 23 other workers.

He quietly passed away on Monday but nobody noticed until Saturday morning when an office cleaner asked why he was still working during the weekend.

His boss, Elliot Wachiaski, said: "George was always the first guy in each morning and the last to leave at night--so no one found it unusual that he was in the same position all that time and didn't say anything.  He was always absorbed in his work and kept much to himself."

A post-mortem examination revealed that he had been dead for five days after suffering a coronary.  Ironically, George was proofreading manuscripts of medical textbooks when he died.

And that's the way it was on February 16, 2001 with a little help from my friends.  If you are an accounting practitioner or educator, please do not forget to scan


In March 2000 Forbes named as the Best Website on the Web ---
Some top accountancy links ---


How stuff works --- 


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

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February 9, 2001

Quotes of the Week

What are the real differences between virtual university and college faculty and faculty at traditional institutions?  I have found one big difference at the University of Phoenix ---  instead of awarding tenure, this institution offers its long-time faculty stock options.
Sally M. Johnstone, "Perception Versus Reality:  Differences in Faculty at Virtual and Traditional Institutions," Syllabus, February 2001, Page 16. 
(Note from Bob Jensen:   The first sentence appears to have a typo, but I quoted it as it was originally published.)

The world is changing like a kaleidoscope --- right before our eyes.
Marian Wright Edelman

Murphy's Law:  Avoid reality at all costs.

Murphy's Law:  Friends come and go, but enemies accumulate.

Murphy's Law:  In a hierarchical organization, the higher the level, the greater the confusion.

Murphy's Law:  A man of quality does not fear a woman seeking equality.

Murphy's Law:  The first rule of intelligent thinking is to save all the parts.

Murphy's Law:  If you try to please everybody, nobody will like it.

Murphy's Law:  Do not believe in miracles --- rely on them.

Murphy's Law:  You can't expect to win the jackpot if you don't put the nickels in the machine.

Murphy's Law:  The man who smiles after something goes wrong has found somebody to blame it on.

Murphy's Law:  Sanity and insanity overlap a fine gray line.

Fame like a drunkard consumes the house of the soul.
Malcolm Lowry

Epitaph of Malcolm Lowry (Shortly after publication of Under the Volcano, 1962)

Malcolm Lowry
Late of the Bowery
His prose was flowery
And often glowery
He lived, nightly, and drank, daily
And died playing the

Wow Site of the Week 

Orchestra, Drama, Opera, Dance
Online Classics (streaming videos) 

I had trouble getting the videos to run, because I am running on the NT system rather than Windows 2000.  Microsoft's Media Player 7.0 does not and will never upgrade to NT or Windows 95.  There is a fix of sorts that is noted at 

It's not the Wow Site of the Week, but it is a helpful site for U.S. taxpayers (download forms, instructions, FAQs, tax tables, IRS publication guides, etc.)

WorldWideWeb Tax [.pdf] 

Other helpers can be found at 

Helper PowerPoint Slides of the Week

Time Value of Money  --- from the University of Tennessee's Suzan Murphy 

Contains story problems and solutions to those problems.

Reply from Leon Hanouille:

From: Leon Hanouille [mailto:ljhanoui@SOM.SYR.EDU]  
Sent: Friday, February 09, 2001 9:26 AM 
Subject: Re: Helper PowerPoint Slides of the Week

Thank you, Bob, for posting these slides. By the fact of your posting them, may we assume permission to adapt and/or use them for our students' benefit?

Since you introduced this issue of TVM, may I open a discussion thread on approaches to teaching it? Briefly, I do not teach, nor require my students to learn, the standard formulas. Rather, I distribute a set of tables and teach only one formula: TVM = $amount x table factor.

Rationale: 1) Most business students that I have had do not retain formulas, but they do remember concepts. 2) Each table will be used exactly the same way to find the factor: what row do I need (that is, how many interest periods are there) and what column do I need (that is, what is the applicable interest rate per period). 3) The logic implemented for a 'table approach' is virtually identical to that used with a financial calculator. Thus, students are learning just one approach, not two. 4) The logic (parameter specification) for the financial functions on most spreadsheets is very similar to that for financial calculators. Again, the basic learning approach is more consistent with and applicable to a new environment.

Over the years my students have been very comfortable with this approach. This is parole evidence only, but typically those who first learned (or, rather, were taught) the formula approach professed a greater understanding and better ability after the table approach. (Oh, I should mention that distribute only the four basic tables: PV and FV of a lump sum, and PV and FV of an ORDINARY annuity. The students learn to interpolate annuity-due factors from the ordinary annuity tables. That further imbeds the concepts involved.)

I'm not much of a PowerPoint user for lectures, but Suzan's slides would make excellent supplementary study material for my students. 
Thank you.

Leon Hanouille

Reply from Bob Jensen

I think that permission is implied, but it is best to clear it with Suzan Murphy at the University of Tennessee.

I think your approach is great for openers. However, I think that it is essential that students eventually learn virtually all the Excel financial functions (without memorizing the formulas.

Academic Sites of the Week --- LEAD and SCALE for Evaluation and Assessment of Asynchronous Learning

The feature of the week is evaluation and assessment of asynchronous learning network (ALN) courses and technology-aided course materials.  The featured sites are the following:

For more threads on assessment and evaluation, go to

Accreditation Article of the Week 

"Regional Accrediting Commissions:  The Watchdogs of Quality Assurance in Distance Education," by Charles Cook, Syllabus, February 2001, beginning on p. 20 and p. 56.  I think the article will one day be posted at 

"So, what's new?"  It's a question we are often asked as a kind of verbal handshake.  As the executive officer of a regional accrediting commission, these days I respond, "What isn't new?"

My rejoinder is suggestive of how technology-driven change has affected American higher education.  We now have e-learning, largely asynchronous instruction provided anytime/anywhere, expanding its reach.  Faculty roles have become unbundled and instructional programs disaggregated.  The campus portal is no longer made of stone or wrought iron, and through it students have access to virtual textbooks, laboratories, classrooms, and libraries, as well as an array of services, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week; indeed we now have wholly virtual universities.  Technology has made our institutions of higher learning, once like islands, increasingly dependent on external entities if they are to be effective.  Once pridefully autonomous, they now seek affiliations with organizations both within and without the academy to jointly offer programming online.

These new phenomena, unheard of five years ago, challenge the capacity of regional accreditation commissions to provide meaningful quality assurance of instructional programs offered by colleges and universities.  Simply put, many of the structures and conditions that led to accreditation's established assumptions about quality do not hold up in the virtual education environment.  The core challenge, of course, is to deal with new forms of delivery for instruction, resources, and services.  But beyond that, as with so many things,  the Net has provided unprecedented opportunities for colleges and students alike to package parts of or all an educational experience in new ways previously beyond contemplation.  Given circumstances, it's reasonable to ask, "How is accreditation responding?"

Balancing Accountability and Innovation
The eight regional commissions that provide quality assurance for the majority of degree-granting institutions in the United States are effectively taking action collectively and individually to address the new forms of education delivery.  Working within their existing criteria and processes, they are seeking at once to maintain and apply high standards while also recognizing that education can be provided effectively in a variety of ways.  However, regardless of the form of education delivery in use in higher education, the commissions are resolved to sustain certain values in accrediting colleges and universities:

Amy Dunbar forwarded this one.

"Who Owns Online Courses and Course Materials? Intellectual Property Policies for a New Learning Environment," by Carol A. Twigg --- 


Lynnfield, MA, September 26, 2000 – WebCT announced today the launch of the e-Learning Hub, the first academic destination hub site for higher education. (, which encompasses 70 different discipline-based learning communities, is a place where students, scholars, teachers, and those in pursuit of knowledge come together to share and collaborate across academic and institutional boundaries. 

The launch of the e-Learning Hub represents the third wave in the evolution of online education. The first wave was the development of WebCT course tools, enabling faculty to create online learning classes, allowing increased communication and collaboration between students and teacher. The second wave expanded the online class to the online campus, through the key alliance of WebCT, SCT and Campus Pipeline, that allows universities to offer faculty and students a single streamlined system with one-stop, secure access to all of its online services. Now, the e-Learning Hub expands the learning environment to the entire global community of learners -- transcending class, campus and institutional boundaries. More information about the e-Learning hub can be found at

The e-Learning Hub also fills the need among higher education faculty and students for robust online academic resources. Among faculty delivering online courses, 21% currently refer students to resources on the Web. These professors now go through the time-consuming process of finding, and vetting those resources themselves. In addition, Student Monitor found that 85% of students used the Internet for academic pursuits. The e-Learning Hub provides both groups with a single location for the start of their academic online research.

“Our customers are the best research and development resource we could hope to have,” said Carol Vallone, CEO of WebCT. “They made it clear to us that content – using the widest definition of content – needed to be readily accessible to them as they developed their online classes. The e-Learning Hub absolutely provides that and provides WebCT with an opportunity to maintain our relationship with the millions of students that take WebCT classes each year, throughout their careers and lives,” said Vallone.

“We were really excited to see the e-Learning Hub become available,” said Diane Oerly, of the University of Missouri/Columbia. Our faculty were seeking an environment in which faculty can communicate with other faculty and share resources within and across academic disciplines. So we were really pleased to see WebCT respond to that need to have learning communities that are focused at the discipline level but could span the world.”
While the e-Learning Hub provides specialized content within the 70 disciplines, there are common features to all the communities:

Pedagogical Underpinnings
The learning community concept is an important topic among education thought leaders. In Building Learning Communities in Cyberspace, authors Paloff and Pratt focus on community as the key to effective online learning: 

“Key to the learning process are the interactions among students themselves, the interactions between faculty and students, and the collaboration in learning that results from these interactions. In other words, the formation of a learning community through which knowledge is imparted and meaning is co-created sets the stage for successful learning outcomes.” -- Paloff and Pratt

Learning communities can exist within an online course, or among a larger group of teachers and learners. WebCT’s e-Learning community breaks down the barriers of the classroom, department and campus to enable the creation of unique resources through the collective efforts of the community. These collective resources will provide value to new teachers and learners, long after one specific course has ended. The Educational Laboratory at Brown also points to a learning community as one that through collaboration, transforms a central resource repository for educators into a learning community (“The Knowledge Loom: A Vision of a Distributed Repository Revisited”).

The enduring quality of the collective work done within the framework has already proven useful to WebCT customers. “The advantage that web-based learning has over computer-based learning is the sense of community and interactivity that the web can provide. The e-Learning Hub’s ready-made communities and discussions provide this sense of closeness. Of course, every instructor can and will also use their own chats and bulletin boards within their own course, but the Hub’s Discussions stay around when the courses are finished and they can be contributed to by people all over the globe. Using the Hub discussion forums with your students can give you connection to something that endures," said Laura Summers from Alva Learning Systems.

The development of the e-Learning hub is a natural outgrowth of the research conducted by WebCT founder, Murray Goldberg, when he first developed the WebCT course tools. His research indicated that the opportunity for collaboration and online communication increased student achievement when online class elements became available to students taking on-campus classes.

How it Works
WebCT, provider of leading online course management system has developed the e-Learning Hub so that when the two are used together, it creates a full e-learning environment. 

For example, an astronomy professor using WebCT for her course can introduce class materials in WebCT-ready format, that correspond to the textbook being used in the class. Students can then go to the e-Learning Hub to purchase access to that material – just as they would a textbook at the campus bookstore. 

The astronomy professor uses the e-Learning Hub to find out about an online briefing with NASA scientists and e-mails her class to attend the chat and she hosts a discussion following the chat where her students discuss the findings. She adds the discussion to the e-Learning Hub where other scientists and researchers respond to questions and add their perspective on the NASA announcements.

Students visit the e-Learning Hub throughout the term to Ask Dr. Astronomy questions about their theories and try to answer the “question of the day” and share their research and thinking with other students, researchers and professional scientists interested in the same topics.

Success of Math Forum – Model for e-Learning Hub Communities
WebCT launched the pilot for the e-Learning Hub at the beginning of this year, giving its customers and the academic community an opportunity to provide input on the content, usability and focus of the site. In the Spring, WebCT acquired the Math Forum as a model academic site for students, faculty and professionals. The award-winning Math Forum became the math community on the e-Learning Hub and also served as a model for the development of the other communities. 

The Math Forum, with its flagship “Ask Dr. Math” and “Problem of the Week” services, has developed a knowledge-building environment that integrates and capitalizes on activity in three areas: mentoring, community building, and establishing a resource center that provides easy access to mathematics, learning activities, and powerful tools. The Math Forum pioneered and fast became the leading academic community site as a result of its ability to foster communities and discussions between students, educators, and mathematicians. 

The e-Learning Hub now combines the input from the academic community, the thinking and experience of the Math Forum and the scale of a true destination site, with the offering of 70 discipline-based academic communities. 

About WebCT
WebCT provides the leading e-learning environment to the higher education marketplace. This robust e-learning environment integrates WebCT, the most popular course management system in the world and, The e-Learning Hub. is the first higher education destination site to offer both faculty and students online teaching and learning resources to a community of peers across discipline and institutional boundaries. Today, more than 48,500 faculty use WebCT to teach at 1,500 colleges and universities in 57 countries. Currently, WebCT is used to deliver or enhance courses totaling more than 6.9 million student accounts – a key metric for the industry, indicating the product’s widespread deployment at higher education institutions. These statistics don’t include more than 800 K-12 schools and almost 100 corporate customers who are also using WebCT, or about 7,500 others who are currently conducting free trials. More than 42,400 faculty provide links from their online courses to, The e-Learning Hub, and more than 1,368,000 college students had visited the hub this spring (Q2 Brand Intelligence). The Company has offices in Lynnfield, MA, and Swarthmore, PA, in the U.S., as well as Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. More information about the company and its integrated e-learning environment can be found at

You can read about WebCT's main competition in this regard at 

Online Interactive Calculations --- 

Waterloo Maple, supplier of advanced software products and components for mathematical computation, announced recently its partnership with, an online resource for engineers. The partnership will allow engineers as well as students, architects, robotics designers, and others to perform complex calculations interactively using only a browser. No additional software or plug-ins are needed to access the results.
From SyllabusNews on February 6, 2001

Computer-Aided Engineering at the University of Wisconsin --- 

From Syllabus News February 6, 2001

Handspring to Bring Visor to Higher Education

Handspring recently announced a distribution agreement with D&H Distributing's education division to bring the Visor family of products to campus bookstores nationwide. With a variety of plug-and-play Springboard expansion modules, students and educators can easily tailor their handhelds to suit their specific needs, such as taking notes and enabling field research and mobile communications. Modules currently include a range of modems, MP3 players, a graphing calculator, and content-based modules such as the 2000 Physicians' Desk Reference and the New Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Gartner Dataquest reports that worldwide handheld computer shipments, which totaled 5.1 million in 1999, will total 33.7 million units in 2004. North America will command dominant market share and a key component to this growth is the expansion of the market into vertical areas including education.

For more information, visit

Consumer Sentinel - the FTC's fraud information --- 

See how law enforcement all over the world work together to fight fraud, using Consumer Sentinel, an innovative, international law enforcement fraud-fighting program.

get the facts on consumer frauds from Internet cons, prize promotions, work-at-home schemes, 
and telemarketing scams to identity theft.
report your fraud complaints so they can be shared with law enforcement officials across 
the U.S. and around the world.
learn how U.S., Canadian, and Australian law enforcers work together with private sector 
companies and consumer organizations to combat fraud.
see trends and the types of complaints consumers file.

Mexico: Splendors of Thirty Centuries 

"The history of Mexico is no less intricate than its geography. Two civilizations have lived and fought not only across its territory but in the soul of every Mexican. One is native to these lands; the other originated outside but is now so deeply rooted that it is a part of the Mexican people's very being." Thus wrote Nobel Laureate Octavio Paz in 1990 as an introduction to the great exhibition Mexico: Splendors of Thirty Centuries. With these words, he reiterated a sentiment that he had voiced four decades earlier in The Labyrinth of Solitude: "Any contact with the Mexican people, however brief, reveals that the ancient beliefs and customs are still in existence beneath Western forms."

There is no easy continuity between these two civilizations. Paz emphasizes the sense of antithesis—of opposition and struggle—that exists between the ancient heritage and the new customs and values introduced by the conquering Spaniards. This difference is most keenly felt when one stands in the presence of ancient works that seem to typify the native society. "The sculptures and monuments of the ancient Mexicans are works that are at once marvelous and horrible," writes Paz. They are strange, baffling, even terrifying, making reference to sacred rites and systems of belief that shock modern viewers much as they did the first Spaniards who gazed upon them wonderstruck. And yet, Paz maintains, these frightful images express an essential part of the Mexican's being. They did not cease to have meaning just because another civilization was overlaid on the old.

These two civilizations have been made splendidly manifest in the exhibition Mexico: Splendors of Thirty Centuries, with its selection of stunning artifacts organized to convey the essence of successive cultures that have occupied seats of power in the land.

Object-oriented database systems are quite different from relational database systems (e.g., MS Access, FoxPro, DBase, etc) that are extremely popular today.  I will begin this module with a quote from my favorite online textbook in accounting information systems (that I adopt each year for my ACCT 5342 course):

Emerging database systems concepts 
We conclude this chapter with a brief discussion of an emerging concepts relating to database systems. Object-oriented (OO) approaches to modeling and implementing database systems are becoming increasingly popular. This approach employs object-oriented modeling (OOM) techniques to model the domain of interest and then implements the resulting model using an object-oriented database management system (OODBMS). The object-oriented approach focuses on the objects of interest in the domain. Customers, vendors, employees, sales orders, and receipts are all viewed as objects that have certain attributes. OOM involves identifying the objects of interest, their attributes, and relationships between objects.

A critical feature unique to the OO approach is that an "object" package includes both the attributes of the object and the methods or procedures that pertain to that object. The methods might dictate how the object's attributes are modified in response to different events, or how the object causes changes in the attributes of other objects. Thus, a key difference between the database models described earlier and the OO approach is that OO models combine data (attributes) and procedures (methods) in one package, i.e., the "object." This feature of OO models is referred to as encapsulation - attributes and methods are represented together in one capsule. Another powerful feature of OO models is inheritance. OO models depict the real world as a hierarchy of object classes, with lower level classes inheriting attributes and methods from higher level classes. Thus, lower level object classes do not need to redefine attributes and methods that are common to the higher level object classes in the class hierarchy.

An OO model contains all details needed for implementation and object-oriented DBMS are powerful enough to represent all the information contained in the model. However, most organizations that have made heavy investments in RDBMS see little need to migrate to OO environments. While OO modeling methods are available, there is no consensus regarding the "best" method to use. Finally, although OODBMS are beginning to become commercially available, they have not gained much acceptance in the marketplace probably due to their relatively high cost and poor performance in comparison to RDBMS. Gemstone, ObjectStore, VBase, and O2 are some examples of OODBMS.

Accounting Information Systems: A Database Approach
by Uday S. Murthy and S. Michael Groomer
For more information go to 

Next I will repeat a great illustration pointed out in the message below from Alexander Lashenko:

Hello Bob, 

Take a look at 

It's an original object-oriented DBMS with web interface. Looks very nice.

By the way, try to click at "Live connection" -> "connect as guest".


Alexander Lashenko

Reply from Ghazi Alkhatib

OODBMS are not suited for developing business systems. let us differentiate between OO analysis and design and OO programming languages. at the front-end OOAD maybe used to document the behavior of a systems and it gives some insights that structured methodologies don't. Some of the principles of OOAD are incorporated into what is call extended ERP, such as generalization specialization and others. However, when you try to migrated your analysis and design into programming, the transition is by no means smooth and seamless. OO programming languages are not developed for transaction processing. In fact the first major application used OO programming was the development of the user interface for one of the OS, as I remember the OS/2 presentation manager. No we come to UML. It is best used to document real-time systems with some physical components. Based on some research, UML as a whole is a lot more complex than other OOAD methods. On the other hand, relational DBMS do not support OOAD principles and you have to de-Objectize your EERP before implementation. This leave us in a big mess. If you try to teach all of that to accounting students, they need a good course in analysis and design and another in DBMS as pre-requisite. otherwise, the exposure to OODBMS is simply an academic exercise without actually any practical benefits. You may see the article in Computer, August issue page 16 entitled "Whatever Happened to OO Databases."

Of course this subject could be debated further with a lot more detailed discussions. 

Best luck.
Ghazi Alkhatib, 
Assistant Professor Department of Accounting and MIS College of Industrial Management 
King Fahd U of Petroleum and Minerals Saudi Arabia

On Fri, 9 Feb 2001, ALKHATIB GHAZI ISHAQ wrote: > OODBMS are not suited for developing business systems.

This is not true. Most businesses have not migrated to OODBMS for a variety of reasons having little to do with their suitability:

1. Many large corporations migrated to RDBMS just a bit over a decade ago, and so have enormous investments in it that probably have not yet been recovered. Migration is painful, expensive, and at times risky.

2. Support for full-fledged OODBMS from major vendors (IBM, ORACLE, SQL Server, SYBASE, INFORMIX,...) has not been quite forthcoming. The reasons should be obvious: they too have enormous investments in RDBMS, and they have chosen the strategy of providing OO features in RDBMS. In some sense, all major RDBMSes now are really Object-Relational, and support object features.

3. Lethargy.

4. Those with relatively little investment sunk in RDBMS ARE using OODBMSes. For example, I know that ObjectStore is quite popular with Telcos (not in accounting or business systems).

However, when you try to migrated your analysis and design into programming, the transition is by no means smooth and seamless.

This too is not true. Relational databases suffer from the classic impedence mismatch problem too. In fact the problem is not severe for OO systems, since data representation and manipulations are subsumed in the same language (java for instance). With the adoption of OQL, things should change for the users in that one does not have to be a hotshot C++ or java programmer to query a database.

In any case, even in the design of RDBs, good practice would be to specify them first in an object oriented fashion (for example in OMG's ODL) and then translate it into a relational design. That way, ALL important data design decisions are taken EXPLICITLY.

Sound strategy demands that we do not shoehorn our data to fit RDB model (the currently dominant technology). It demands that we explicitly consider the database in an idealised (object) world, and then with full knowledge take less than optimal design decisions to shoehorn the data into the currently available/dominant RDB world.

Many OO CASE tools nowadays offer RDB schema support.

OO programming languages are not developed for transaction processing.

This comes as news to me, considering the fact that most TPSes ARE written nowadays in C/C++ (or sometimes in Java, a "pure" OO language).

No we come to UML.  It is best used to document real-time systems with some physical  components. Based on some research, UML as a whole is a lot more complex  than other OOAD methods.

I do not like the complexity of UML very much either (I am suffering through it right now, having to inflict upon my students UML's complexity in all its glory). But it is pretty much an international standard of sorts. What we can not change in this world, we must endure.

UML is complex because it is an amalgamation of three OO approaches (Booch, OMT, and CRC). In a sense, UML is the Swiss army knife of oo systems design.

On the other hand, relational DBMS do not support  OOAD principles and you have to de-Objectize your EERP before  implementation. This leaves us in a big mess.

Commercial RDBMSes do support some object features (for example, user defined data types, class/object definitions, class methods, etc.).

My opinion is that it is ALWAYS better to start with object specifications and then translate to relational specs. Deobjectifying is a valuable reflective process in the design of databases.

Relational model is very elegant and has sound mathematical foundations (set theory and logic). However, it lacks complex data structures that we demand (in relational databases you can not have attribute values coming from domains that are sets, bags, arrays, vectors, lists,...). Object models, on the other hand provide for such complex data structures, but the underlying theory developments are more recent.

If you try to teach all of  that to accounting students, they need a good course in analysis and  design and another in DBMS as pre-requisite. otherwise, the exposure to  OODBMS is simply an academic exercise without actually any practical  benefits.

I agree. In our database course (offered concurrently with SASD) we start with the object model, introduce the relational model, and then study the translation both ways (OO -> RD, and RD -> OO). With the popularity of document databases, we also study translation to (and from) relational to hierarchical (document object) models, but the starting point is again object modeling of documents.

Jagdish S. Gangolly, 
Associate Professor (
State University of New York at Albany, Albany, NY 12222. 
Phone: (518) 442-4949 Fax: (707) 897-0601 URL: 

University of Washington's English Server: Race and Ethnicity 

Memorial to the Bell System --- 

Related Note:  I read in USA Today that Bell South is dropping its pay telephone business.  If some business does not buy a pay phone and continue the service, Bell South will rip the phone out and discontinue the service.  Pay phones still provide a useful and essential service, and I hate to see this service cease because cell phones have taken all of the profits out of the service.  

The Hidden Forest (Botany) --- 

Six leading e-libraries:  

For more information, visit .

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books and libraries can be found at 

Super Bowl Commercials ---- 

From InformationWeek Online, February 9, 2001

Windows 2001? Migration At Least Half Year Away

Enterprises planning to adopt Windows 2000 will do so gradually, typically taking six to 12 months to conduct top-down planning and to ensure a smooth migration to Active Directory and other new features.

In many cases, IT departments are setting up a central Windows 2000 infrastructure and leaving implementation timing and other details to individual units.

About half of the 100 IT managers surveyed by InternetWeek say their company will take longer than six months to complete the transition to Windows 2000. While 59 percent plan to transition in less than a year, only 8 percent plan it for less than a month. --Mitch Wagner

Read on: 

PBS on race relations --- 

From the Harvard Business School
American Women in the Emerging Industrial and Business Age 

Traditional views about the role of women in society have colored the way that historians have typically approached topics concerning the role of women in the economy. Scholars have recently begun, however, to look more closely at the phenomenon of women in the marketplace. It is clear that women have long been an important factor in the economy, whether driven by necessity to take economic responsibility for themselves and their families, or motivated by the desire to take advantage of entrepreneurial opportunities.

The manuscript collections at Baker Library contain a broad range of materials documenting the history of female small-business owners, investors, professionals, executives, consumers, executors of estates, household managers, and wage laborers. These resources, however, were often overlooked because they were not identified as such either in the printed guides to the collection or in the online records. In May 1999 the Historical Collections Department began a comprehensive survey of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American manuscript holdings in the Business Manuscripts Collection for material related to the history of women.

Based on a review of each of the finding aids in the Business Manuscripts Collection, more than 300 manuscript collections were identified as possibly containing records related to women's history. These collections were then closely examined to verify whether they contained relevant materials and, if so, to identify the names, occupations, and histories of each woman mentioned. Of the 300 collections examined, 219 proved to contain materials relevant to women's business and financial history in the United States. Detailed notes about the manuscripts and the women were made as the collections were examined.

The final steps of the project, which are currently underway, will ensure that the resources discovered during this project will be readily accessible to scholars. The data gathered from the manuscript collections forms the foundation of a database that will allow researchers to search the information about women found in the collections by a variety of criteria, including name, date, occupation, marital status, and location. In addition, the online catalog records for the manuscript collections that contain resources on the history of women will be edited to provide enhanced subject access, as well as access to records on individual women in the collections.

The online guide that follows is the first of these research tools to be available to scholars, providing both information on the materials that were identified within the manuscript collections, as well as a bibliography of secondary resources.

Hi Professor Jensen!

I have just visited your site  and liked it very much, especially your list of international search engines.

Here is another search engine for your page:

Multimeta: ( )

This is a fast meta search engine (simultaneous searches in the major search engines, free URL submission service).

There is even an e-mail feature that allows to receive the search results by e-mail.

Best regards,

Mehul Trivedi  

Bob Jensen's search engine helpers are at 

World Environment (ecology) --- 

Hi Dr. Jensen,

I was visiting your web page today ( ) and noticed that you had a link to .

I was wondering if you would be kind enough to add a link to my website,  "Net-Temps, A world of Jobs neatly Packaged"

Please let me know if this is ok with you, the people that visit your site can visit ours and create a Free Desktop for their Job Hunt.

Thanks, Becky Price Net-Temps

-----Original Message-----   
From: Hockey, Robert   
Sent: Monday, January 29, 2001 8:01 AM   
To: Jensen, Robert   
Subject: Blackboard problem 

 I am sending you this e-mail to see if you can help me solve a problem   with Blackboard. These are about 10 of my students who cannot printout my   lecture notes. When they open up a lecture it opens directly into   Powerpoint and is a full screen. Normally in Powerpoint if you hit Esc it takes you to Powerpoint with the various toolbars and you can printout  slides or handouts. However when you hit Esc in Powerpoint through   Blackboard it takes you back to your lecture menu. For the majority of the  students this is not a problem because the slides open in the Blackboard   browser, not in Powerpoint and you can right-click and print them out.  I have worked with Steve Perez and he cannot come up with a solution.  I  was wondering if you can. I know that you know quite a lot about   Blackboard     

Bob Hockey  

Reply from David Fordham

-----Original Message----- 
From: David R. Fordham [mailto:fordhadr@JMU.EDU]  
Sent: Monday, January 29, 2001 1:05 PM 
Re: FW: Blackboard problem

This might related to a problem I had in Netscape and MS Internet Explorer.

I would post an Excel spreadsheet on the website, and when students would download it, the browser would open the spreadsheet ** in a browser window ** rather than in native Excel. The *browser's* toolbars and controls would appear instead of the Excel toolbars and controls. This confused the heck of students at first, and frustrated them because they couldn't get to the Excel tools.

We simply implemented a workaround: rather than click on the URL to download the file from the web site, we would RIGHT-click on the URL, and select SAVE TARGET AS... thus saving the file directly to the disk rather than "opening" it.

We would then start Excel and open the *disk file* from within the Excel program.

I don't know if (a) Blackboard lets you right click and save, or (b) whether the Blackboard problem has anything to do with this, but I thought I'd throw this in just in case it does.

My tech people were unable to explain why sometimes the browser opened the file in a browser window and sometimes opened it in native Excel. If anyone has an answer, please let me know.

David Fordham 
James Madison University

Reply from 

I have experienced the same thing, and think it is related to the version of PowerPoint that you use to view (not post) the slides. I have Office 2000 at school and Office 97 at home. At home I am able to open, from the Blackboard course site, the slides in the normal way. I see the slide view, the notes view, etc. and can print all of the same. At school I get the same effect as noted below - I only can view the slide show. This doesn't seem related to the browser because I use Netscape at both home and school. The only solution I have come us with (which is less than perfect) is to post 2 versions of the slides to Blackboard. One is the .ppt version and one is a Word version created by saving the file from within PowerPoint in an outline form. So students who have Office 2000 can at least download the outline version of the slides.


Janet Mobus [jmobus@U.WASHINGTON.EDU

Reply from Kathy Hansen

There also is an option in PowerPoint to save the slides as a Word file with space for notes next to the slides. Click on File, Send to, Word. Save the file as a Word file and then upload that to Blackboard. It takes a lot less time that trying to upload the PowerPoint files and less time for the students to download. The problem is that you can't access your PowerPoint presentation from the web, you need to have your presentation on disk. So depending on what you want from Blackboard, this really saves time.

Kathy Hansen 
Associate Professor CSU-LA Los Angeles, CA

The XBRL mailing list with more than 200 users runs very successfully on eGroups (  and now part of Yahoo!). Provides mailing list, Web-based archive and file storage. I have also used eGroups for small mailing lists including teaching teams.

Roger Debreceny [rogerd@NETBOX.COM

Bob Jensen's threads on "XML, XHTML, XFRML XBRL, XForm, and RDF Watch" --- 

"Abuse in America:  The War on Addiction,"  Newsweek, February 12, 2001, beginning on Page 36.--- 

I don't think I really ever understood drug addiction and alcoholism until I read this article.
"How It All Starts Inside Your Brain," Newsweek, February 12, 2001, beginning on Page 40 --- 

Three new releases from the National Center for Education Statistics:

Advanced Telecommunications in U.S. Private Schools: 1998-99--- 

Digest of Education Statistics, 2000 ---

A Primer for Making Cost Adjustments in Education--- 

The software we use for AECM is called "Listserv" and comes from L-Soft <> . I believe it is the best available. It has been around for about 20 years and is, by far, the most popular.

Barry Rice 

Business Strategy --- military theory
From the Scout Report on December 8, 2001

War, Chaos, and Business: Modern Business Strategy 

This unique Website, hosted by Kettle Creek Corporation, offers articles and presentations on the theories of Colonel John R. Boyd, a US strategist. Boyd wrote extensively on the ideas of agility and time-based competition. The former refers to the ability "to generate ambiguity, isolation, and panic in the opposing side." Boyd advocated combining agility with time-based competition, "to operate in rapid decision cycle time," in order to win wars. On this Website, these two theories are applied to business strategy. The articles in the database may be browsed by author or title, navigating via the left side of the screen. The site also contains a large collection of case studies, business applications, and biographies of Boyd. This site seems to be a little slow to load, but for those interested in applying military theory to business strategy, it will be well-worth the wait.

Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR) 

February 4th edition of the ENews Internet Essentials newsletter for the financial professional. The ENews newsletter, received a facelift this week. I hope you enjoy the new look. Check out  --- 

1. How Does Technology (like XBRL) Become Accepted? 
2. XBRL Educational Resource Center Symposium at Bryant College Feedback 
3. Security Is the Wrong Place to Cut Costs 
4. Financial Consolidation Web Cast 
5. XML N