Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment
Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.
8:30 AM EST, Monday, July 23, 2007: Summer
is screw-up time. Every vendor, every supplier, in fact, everybody is
messing up, acting stupidly, making mistakes. Last night's restaurant divided
our two-couple dinner bill of $92 into two -- one bill for $46 and one for $42.
Everyone checks their brains out for the summer.
The good news. Come Fall, it will get normal again. People will deliver on time,
do what they say they will do, be able to add up. ... Oh yes, we asked our waiter
on Friday night to divide the bill 60-40. The expression of pain was palpable.
I switched it to 50-50. The expression of relief was joyous. I don't make this
interesting medical imaging play: If you get
melanoma of the skin, you die. Not fully true. But late-stage melanoma definitely
has no cure. It spreads very fast. If you don't catch it early and cut it out,
you die. Identifying is the problem. Dermatologists eye the mole, decide to
cut it or not, then send it to a lab for biopsy. The whole process is old, unscientific
(which to cut or not) and unreliable. Moreover most patients don't like scars.
Electro-Optical Sciences (MELA). The doctor (or nurse) holds the company's new
machine over the suspected problem.
The thing takes a picture, sends it over the Internet it to a Electro-Optical
Sciences' server which checks the image against its database. Within seconds,
the doctor receives a report -- "It looks bad. Cut it." Or
"It doesn't look bad. Ignore it." The company figures by charging
$75 a patient it can garner $400 million a year in revenues. Right
now the company has a market cap of $87 million and a shot at FDA approval
some time next year. It's a stock to watch.
It's also a stock to be wary of. Remember TriPath Imaging? It floundered,
dropping steadily until a takeover put it out of its misery, returned our investment
and then some. Remember Northfield Labs? These guys have the fake blood.
Everyone was excited by them. But then the whole thing fell apart and the stock
big on many screens. Ergotron
makes the best devices
for holding screens. These are the two Ergotron gadgets I like.
One screen - $49
Three screens. $299.
1. Choose monitors
with a small bevel size (thats the frame around the actual monitor) so
that you easily place them close to one another.
2. Make sure they are VESA mounting compatible --so the mounting screws
3. Make sure the
monitors you buy are clean. Add-ons like USB hubs, built-in speakers and similar
nice-to-have features can become a real problem because they interfere
with getting your screens as close as possible to one another.
"Samsung make some affordable bare bones screens without fancy USB ports,
built-in speakers, etc but with great picture quality."
perfect business: Your own. And you
thought everything had been invented.
For the Beast
at the Beach. From The New York Times by Brendan Koerner
FOR men with
hirsute backs, a day at the beach can be a nerve-racking experience. It is
tough to enjoy the sand and surf while constantly worrying perhaps
needlessly, perhaps not that passers-by are lampooning your furry shoulder
is all too familiar with that sort of anxiety. I have hair on my back
to the point where I dont know if youd call me self-conscious
or what but Im a little bit embarrassed, said Mr. Marut,
who lives in the beach mecca of Santa Monica, Calif.
He tried waxing,
but he couldnt tolerate the pain or the awkwardness of entering a salon
full of female customers. So he resolved to create a less agonizing hair-removal
option, one which men could use in private.
is the Mangroomer, an electric razor that resembles a futuristic kung fu weapon.
When fully extended, the Mangroomer measures nearly two feet from base to
blade long enough, according to Mr. Marut, to shave the human backs
Though he toyed
with the concept for years, he didnt start designing the product in
earnest until the summer of 2003. That is when he had an epiphany while waiting
for a flight at Los Angeles International Airport. I was actually on
a trip to see my family in New Jersey, said Mr. Marut, who was working
as a day trader at the time. I was going back to see people I barely
ever see, and I just knew I was going to have to take my shirt off.
over that prospect, he noticed several fellow travelers wheeling around suitcases
with telescoping handles. A razor with a similarly designed handle, he realized,
would be ideal for back shaving the handle could be adjusted to reach
various spots, both near and far.
Upon his return
to Santa Monica, he started sketching out the Mangroomer. It had to
look cool, so if somebody saw it on my counter, they wouldnt say, What
is this ridiculous thing? he said. He eventually settled on a
razor that folds in two, much like a flip-top cellphone.
Thanks to a
previous job as a buyer for May Department Stores, a retailer that merged
with Federated Department Stores in 2005, Mr. Marut understood how prototypes
are made. He contacted several dozen Chinese factories that specialize in
nose-hair trimmers and other depilatory gadgets. After choosing a factory,
he exchanged countless e-mail messages and phone calls with its staff while
refining the design. They focused on finding the right angle for the razors
central joint, eventually settling on 135 degrees anything straighter
tended to make the blade catch on folds of skin, Mr. Marut said, while smaller
angles produced a coarser shave.
They also cut
a thin line down the center of the joint. The cut made the joint less prone
to cracking when considerable pressure is applied.
The first shipment
of Mangroomers arrived from China in February 2006. Mr. Marut says he has
since sold 80,000 of the razors, primarily through retailers such as Bed Bath
& Beyond and Amazon.com. He also sells the product, priced at $39.99,
through his Web site, Mangroomer.com.
Given my utter
lack of back hair for which I am grateful to my genetic forebears
I was unable to conduct a full test on the Mangroomer. But the products
shape, at least, seems clever; the 135-degree angle, combined with the telescoping
handle, enabled me to reach every nook and cranny on my back, without the
slightest physical strain.
use it as a back scratcher.
most common grammar mistakes. They are:
+ It's and
its. It's coming tomorrow. Its color (i.e. possessive.)
+ You're and your. You're a nice person. Your house is red.
+ They're and there. They're coming to dinner. There is no future in
pushes private funding of retirement. Australia's Federal government
doesn't believe it will ever be able to pay for retirement. As a result, Australia
pushes its people to fund their own retirement. It does this with huge tax benefits,
mandatory savings rules (9% of your annual income) and some outright payments.
(I wish America would wake up and copy Australia.) The latest results from Australia.
From The Sydney Morning Herald:
Over one million
people have so far been rewarded for saving for their retirement under the
federal government's co-contribution superannuation scheme, receiving double
the usual amount from the government for savings made in the 2005-06 financial
In the 2007/08
budget the government said that in a one-off initiative it would double its
contribution to workers that had saved under the scheme in 2005-06, meaning
for every $1,000 contributed, eligible people would receive $3,000 from the
government for that year.
extra payments totalling $917 million have been made for 1.13 million people
who made personal super contributions during 2005-06," Assistant Treasurer
Peter Dutton said in a statement.
whose superannuation funds have received this extra co-contribution will be
informed over the coming weeks."
Mr Dutton said
the Tax Office will make further payments as people lodge their 2005-06 tax
returns and their co-contribution is calculated.
the superannuation co-contribution scheme, the government contributes $1.50
for every $1 of after-tax superannuation contributions made by employees earning
up to $28,980, to a maximum co-contribution of $1,500 per year.
The scheme phases
out completely for employees earning more than $58,980.
has contributed over $3 billion into superannuation accounts in the first
three years of the scheme.
Morris: "If I had the money of Bill Gates, I would be richer
than Bill Gates"!
could that be? If you had the money of Bill Gates, how could you be richer than
would do a little teaching on the side."
Late night passion:
One night , after the couple had retired for the night, the woman
became aware that her husband was touching her in a most unusual manner. He
started by running his hand across her shoulders and the small of her back.
He ran his hand over her breasts, touching them very lightly. Then, he proceeded
to run his hand gently down her side, sliding his hand over her stomach, and
then down the other side to a point below her waist. He continued on, gently
feeling her hips, first one side and the other. His hand ran further down the
outside of her thighs. His gentle probing then started up the inside of her
left thigh, stopped and the returned to do the same to her right thigh. By this
time the woman was becoming aroused and she squirmed a little to better position
herself. The man stopped abruptly and rolled over to his side of the bed.
you stopping darling?" she whispered.
He whispered back,
"I found the remote."
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
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