Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
8:30 AM Wednesday, December 21, 2005: My
GM short is working spectacularly. GM is on its way to below $15. Don't
believe me? Play the game, "Where's GM?" Count the GM cars
on the road. You'll be surprised how few you'll find. Kirk Kerkorian seems to
have given up on his expensive gamble and yesterday sold 12 million GM shares.
Figure he probably lost at least $120 million on those shares. Maybe
he needed the tax loss? The Journal figures he's down about $750 million
The TiVo short is also working.
But my gut feel is to cover this one. There's too much talk of TiVo being bought
by Sony, or Google, or someone or anyone. Please put TiVo out of its misery.
Really useful Christmas present for your local geek:
A 250 gigabyte external Fantom hard drive. Cost $139.99.
Great for storing your exploding photo collection. The thing works on firewire,
which makes it ultra fast, twice as fast as USB. Click
here. But you'd better check you have a 6-pin
firewire connection on your PC. Most Apple laptops do. Most PC laptops do, but
they have the small, four-pin plug. In which case you'll need a 6-pin female
to 4-pin male adapter from Cables-to-Go. Cost $9. Click
York City is open and you can get around. Taxis
are picking people up. Lots are hoofing it. Everyone is being ultra-friendly.
Michael, my son, successfully hitchhiked to a meeting downtown. Everyone is
biking. Many big buildings are making space inside for bicycles. My recommendation
-- bring a folding bicycle and ear muffs. Dahon makes the cheapest one.
I personally ride a Bike Friday. The Transit Union and the MTA are both
acting really stupid. This strike may be long. Fortunately, Michael and I are
leaving town on Thursday for week's skiing in Copper Mountain, Colorado.
and Claire are in Australia to see Grandpa, age 89: Mess-up in Los
Angeles. 300 people's luggage never arrived in Australia. Lesson here: Always
carry enough stuff to last you several days. Personally I hate checking luggage.
happens in the middle of the night to your PC. This fits into the
category of "Too many people have too much time on their hands." Your
younger kids might get a kick out of this harmless video. Click
here. Here's another one, more Christmassy. Click
happens when you get hacked. Guidance Software -- the leading provider
of software used to diagnose hacker break-ins -- has itself been hacked, resulting
in the exposure of financial and personal data connected to thousands of law
enforcement officials and network-security professionals. Guidance alerted customers
to the incident in a letter sent last week, saying it discovered on December
7 that hackers had broken into a company database and made off with approximately
3,800 customer credit card numbers. Michael G. Kessler, president of
New York City-based computer-forensics investigative firm Kessler International,
received a letter notifying him that the company's American Express card was
among those compromised by the attackers. Kessler received the notice from Guidance
at the same time that a company credit-bill arrived with what he said were $20,000
in unauthorized charges for pay-per-click advertising at Google.com. "I
just got our American Express bill and nearly fell out of my chair," Kessler
said. "You'd think Guidance would be the last company this kind of thing
would happen to."
software is used by hundreds of security researchers and law enforcement agencies
worldwide, including the U.S. Secret Service, the FBI and New York City police.
John Colbert, the company's chief executive officer, said Guidance alerted all
of its customers less than two days after discovering the break-in, and that
it would no longer store customer credit card data. "This certainly highlights
the fact that intrusions can happen to anybody and that nobody should be complacent
about security," he said. Colbert declined to discuss further details of
the attack, citing the ongoing investigation. This salutary story from the Washington
Be wary about storing your credit card number with vendors.
to know what's happening with interest rates? George Freidlander
is Citigroup/Smith Barney's muni guru. He held a conference call on December
15 in which he explains why rates have remained low, his outlook for 2006 and
the muni bond market. Replay number is 888-293-8936. It's available through
in Saudi Arabia: The Muppet Show was banned from Saudi Arabian TV
because one if its principal stars, Miss Piggy, is a well... you know.
The Ten 2005 Ads America won't see: America
is more prudish than Europe. You can see these from ads that ran overseas, some
by American companies. To watch them (and some are very clever), click
politically correct -- but who cares. It's funny:
A couple go for a meal at a Chinese restaurant
and order the "Chicken Surprise". The waiter brings the meal, served
in a lidded cast iron pot.
Just as the wife
is about to serve herself, the lid of the pot rises slightly and she briefly
sees two beady little eyes looking around before the lid slams back down.
did you see that?" she asks her husband.
He hasn't, so
she asks him to look in the pot. He reaches for it and again the lid rises,
and he sees two little eyes looking around before it slams down.
calls the waiter over, explains what is happening, and asks for an explanation.
says the waiter, "what you order?"
The husband replies,
Ah... so sorry,"
says the waiter, "I bling you Peeking Duck"
+ Dumb reasons we hold losing stocks. Click
+ How my private equity fund is doing. Click
+ Blackstone private equity funds. Click
+ Manhattan Pharmaceuticals: Click
+ NovaDel Biosciences appeals. Click
+ Hana Biosciences appeals. Click
+ All turned on by biotech. Click
+ Steve Jobs Commencement Address. The text is available:
Click here. The full audio is available. Click
+ The March of the Penguins, an exquisite movie. Click
+ When to sell stocks. Click
This column is about my personal search for the perfect
investment. I don't give investment advice. For that you have to be registered
with regulatory authorities, which I am not. I am a reporter and an investor.
I make my daily column -- Monday through Friday -- freely available for three
reasons: Writing is good for sorting things out in my brain. Second, the column
is research for a book I'm writing called "In Search of the Perfect
Investment." Third, I encourage my readers to send me their ideas,
concerns and experiences. That way we can all learn together. My email address
is . You can't
click on my email address. You have to re-type it . This protects me from software
scanning the Internet for email addresses to spam. I have no role in choosing
the Google ads. Thus I cannot endorse any, though some look mighty interesting.
If you click on a link, Google may send me money. Please note I'm not suggesting
you do. That money, if there is any, may help pay Claire's law school tuition.
Read more about Google AdSense, click
here and here.