Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
8:30 AM Thursday, February 10, 2005: My
son is still in the pooh. Greenfield Online (SRVY) did, indeed, report
excellent results last night, but after hours trading showed only $1 or so rise
in the stock. If I were still giving him a weekly allowance, I could have cut
it off for the next 325 years. We'll see today. Fortunately I've kicked out most
of "our" Greenfield stock on the basis of my 15% stop loss rule. But
I still have a little. And the little that I have sucks. Michael, brilliant stockpicker
son, emailed me, "People are still positive about it...that is what I
don't understand. Almost to the point that it seems like buying more shares makes
sense....NOT that WE should do that." God forbid. Catch a falling knife. No way.
In short, the
stockmarket is not a place to be at present -- unless you're Houdini and can
magically pick the handful that are going up. I increasingly like Fred Hickey's
put option ideas. See yesterday's column. Click
world is bizarre. As Greenspan raises short-term rates, long-term
rates (excepting yesterday) are falling:
These charts show yields. Move the decimal point over one stop, i.e. 44.22
best mapping software on the Internet is Google:
Go to http://maps.google.com/.
The first thing you'll see is:
You can find airports by their three-designator code, e.g. JFK or LAX. You can
find businesses. You can find directions. Here's how to get from my place to
JFK (Kennedy Airport):
and it's all free. God bless Google.
In Las Vegas, it's against the law to pawn your dentures.
I left something once on an Amtrak train. I went to
Amtrak Lost and Found. I asked what was the most bizarre thing ever left
on a train? They took me to their collection of dentures. ... You get on a train
with your teeth. You leave without them? I don't make this stuff up.
HP's ex-Carly Fiorina got $21.1 million for doing a
totally awful job: She messed Hewlett Packard (HPQ) up by
merging it with Compaq and concentrating on useless stuff -- like gigantic ego-boosting
pep rallies with her as the star attraction. But Carly won't suffer. She's getting
$21.1 million in a severance package -- which is undoubtedly more than
she would have earned if she had done a good job. Go figure.
Now she's gone, I still would not buy the stock. Remember that HP's printing
business accounts for nearly 80% of operating profits -- with most of
the money coming from selling replacement ink cartridges. Imagine how long that
business will last?
My friend who worked at HP for 15 years and loves the company says he never
buys HP printers. He says Epson's are much better. My own experience with HP
has been depressing. Item: when we moved last year, I lost the drivers CD for
my HP scanner. The drivers were not available on the web. I had to call, pay
$13 and wait three weeks to get my scanner working again. When I asked
them why? They answered, "that was HP policy." There's nothing
I can do with the drivers, except power an HP scanner. How not to run
is why you get spam: Feb 7, 2005: A 24-year-old former software engineer
at America Online pleaded guilty yesterday to stealing and selling 92 million
user names and e-mail addresses, setting off an avalanche of up to seven
billion unsolicited e-mail messages. Jason Smathers of Harpers Ferry, W.Va.,
entered the plea to conspiracy charges in Federal District Court in Manhattan.
He is likely to face 18 months to two years in prison when he is sentenced May
20. Mr. Smathers told the judge that he accepted $28,000 from someone who wanted
to promote an offshore gambling site to AOL customers, knowing that the list
of screen names might make its way to others who would send e-mail solicitations.
''Do you wish
to accept responsibility for what you did?'' the judge asked Mr. Smathers.
''Yes, sir, I
do,'' he answered.
In December, the
judge said he had dropped his own AOL membership because of too much
Gates opens on Saturday in Central Park. I
don't quite get it. But then I'm a plebian. There are these two artists Christo
and Jeanne-Claude who get off on making gigantic works of arts that usually
involve covering something huge (an island, the Reischtag, etc.) in fabric.
They've just spent $20 million of their own money -- I kid you not -- to erect
7500 metal gates in New York's Central Park. This Saturday, they'll unfurl the
saffron colored material which will hang from each gate. Thiis a drawing of
what it will look like. The gates are already up. I've seen them, bicycled through
them, admired them, been excited by them. In short, you must come to New
York before February 27 and see these things. You'll need at least three
hours to walk through them.
Here's some technical information. The 7500 Gates are 16 feet high with a width
varying from 5' 6" to 18 feet. They follow the edges of the walkways and
are perpendicular to the selected 23 miles of footpaths in Central Park. Free
hanging saffron colored fabric panels suspended from the horizontal top part
of the gates will come down to seven feet above the ground. The gates are spaced
at 12 foot intervals. The Gates have been entirely financed by the artists with
the sale of studies, preparatory drawings and collages, scale models, earlier
works of the fifties and sixties, and original lithographs on other subjects.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude have donated the merchandising rights to the charitable
foundation "NNYN" (Nurture New York's Nature and Arts) who are sharing
these rights with The Central Park Conservancy. Neither New York City nor the
Park administration shall bear any of the expenses for The Gates. The Gates
will provide employment for hundreds of New York City residents:
and assembling of the gates structures,
* Installation workers,
* Maintenance teams around the clock, in uniform and with radios,
* Removal workers.
A written contract
has been drafted between the City of New York and the Department of Parks and
Recreation and the artists. The contract requires the artists to provide, among
other terms and conditions:
* Personal and
property liability insurance holding harmless the City, the Department of Parks
and Recreation and the Central Park Conservancy.
* Restoration Bond providing funds for complete removal.
* Full cooperation with the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Central
Park Conservancy, the New York Police Department, the New York City Arts Commission,
the Landmarks Commission and the Community Boards.
* Clearance for the usual activities in the park and access of Rangers, maintenance,
clean-up, police and emergency vehicles.
* The artists shall pay all costs of the Parks supervision directly related
to the project.
* Neither vegetation nor rock formations shall be disturbed.
* The Gates will be clear of rocks, tree roots and low branches.
* Only vehicles of small size will be used and will be confined to existing
walkways during installation and removal.
* The people of New York will continue to use Central Park as usual.
* After the removal, the site shall be inspected by the Department of Parks
and Recreation which will be holding the security until satisfaction.
For those who
will walk through The Gates, following the walkways, and staying away from the
grass, The Gates will be a golden ceiling creating warm shadows. When seen from
the buildings surrounding Central Park, The Gates will seem like a golden river
appearing and disappearing through the bare branches of the trees and will highlight
the shape of the footpaths.
Some of the materials ordered for 7,500 gates:
5,290 US Tons of steel (equal to 2/3 the steel in the Eiffel Tower) for
15,000 specially designed steel footing weights, varying between 615 and 837
pounds each, according to the width of the gate, (279 - 379 Kg.). Gates vary
in width because there are 25 different widths of walkways in Central Park.
The weights are resting on the hard surface of the walkways. There will be no
holes in Central Park.
specially designed, recyclable, cast aluminum upper corner reinforcements which
hold together the 2 vertical poles to the horizontal pole.
miles (187,311 Km.) of nylon thread to be extruded in saffron color and specially
woven into 1,067,330 square feet (99,155 square meters) of recyclable, rip-stop
fabric, and then shipped to the sewing factory to be cut and sewn into 7,500
fabric panels of various widths. 46 miles (74 Km.) of hems.
reading now, if you are offended by tasteless, offensive jokes: But
these are the best tasteless, offensive, politically-incorrect jokes you'll
What do you
call two Mexicans playing basketball?
Juan on Juan.
What is a Yankee?
The same as a quickie, but a guy can do it alone.
What is the
difference between a Harley and a Hoover ?
The position of the dirt bag.
Why is divorce
Because it's worth it.
What do attorneys
use for birth control?
difference between a girlfriend and wife?
difference between a boyfriend and husband?
fastest way to a man's heart?
Through his chest with a sharp knife.
Why do men
want to marry virgins?
They can't stand criticism.
Why is it so
hard for women to find men that are sensitive, caring, and good-looking?
Because those men already have boyfriends.
difference between a new husband and a new dog?
After a year, the dog is still excited to see you.
men chase women they have no intention of marrying?
The same urge that makes dogs chase cars they have no intention of driving.
What did the
blonde say when she found out she was pregnant?
"Are you sure it's mine?"
Why did OJ
Simpson want to move to West Virginia ?
Everyone has the same DNA.
Why do men
find it difficult to make eye contact?
Breasts don't have eyes.
an Irish family go on vacation?
A different bar.
you call it when an Italian has one arm shorter than the other?
A speech impediment.
difference between a southern zoo and a northern zoo?
A southern zoo has a description of the animal on the front of the cage
along with a recipe.
Why is there
no Disneyland in China ?
No one's tall enough to go on the good rides
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. That money
will help pay Claire's law school tuition. Read more about Google AdSense,
here and here.