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Ingenuity will win out.

I’m supremely confident.

Restaurants are doing takeout. Hairdressers are selling hair coloring kits. Seamstresses are sewing masks, not prom dresses. Everyone is putting their business online. Ex-prisoners are teaching exercise online and teaching each other how to teach exercise to their flabby rich, white clients. Shopify is booming. Zoom is adding features, fixing security and dealing with exploding demand. The New York Stock Exchange has dumped its trading room in favor of distant computers and work-at-home market makers. (Do they still exist?)

Think back to your old job. What was the company doing wrong? What can you do better? I remember a rainy weekend 40+ years ago, when I  was just getting started with my publishing business and I thought “What the world really needs is a dictionary of telecommunications, networking and Internet terms.”

It’s still going.  We’re working on the 32nd edition, which I hope will be out by this time next year.

And now for a little European innovation:

Stocks benefiting by this mess are stay-at-home, shop-at-home and biotech.

Home trouble-shooting

+ It’s always the cable. Check that first.

+ Your Internet is faster when your laptop is plugged directly into your router.

+ You probably need a new router for today’s higher speeds. Good news: New routers are cheaper. Amazon has them all.

+ Re-setting works, especially with iPhones. Turn it completely off. Wait. Then turn it on. I had to re-set Google Chrome this morning. First time.

+ Tell Google what your problem is. If you poke around enough, you’ll find a solution.

+ There are a million video conferencing services. But Zoom Video is the best. How bad are the others? Verizon just bought competitor BlueJeans. I sent BlueJeans a sales inquiry. Three days later I’ve still heard nothing.

+ Back up everything you’re working on. I like flash drives.

+ Buy yourself a spare laptop or iPad or whatever you’re working. You don’t need the fastest, newest. You don’t need enormously high-resolution screens. They’re for gamers, not for normal people. You need something that works.

+ A good surge arrestor/battery backup is a good investment for when you lose power and you’re on deadline. You can buy great used laptops on eBay. I have.

+ Make sure you have a pile of your original software DVDs.

+ Cellphone feature Personal Hotspot is a solution to your downed Internet connection. It’s slow. But it’s better than a slap in the belly with a cold fish. Or a sharp stick in the eye.

+ Get mobile numbers for anyone and everyone in your company who might know something about computers.

+ Check with your Internet provider, they may be able to bump up your speed for remarkably little extra money. Mine did.

+ Your own company’s web site is stupid, aka not user friendly. Pretend you’re a customer and click on all the buttons. See what you get, or don’t get.

+ The typeface on all your emails is too small. Old people can’t read your sales pitches.

+ You don’t need to be “verified” by Google. That’s a scam. Most unsolicited phone calls these days are scams.

I know your iPhone can no longer recognize you in your mask. Sorry about that.

Don’t do stupid

If your dumb governor opens your beaches or your shopping malls, or restaurants, keep away.

You get this virus from people. The more of them, the more likely you’ll catch it.

Better yet, stay away. If you’re old and/or fat, you’re in the high risk group for an early death.

What the next year (or two) may look like

The New York Times published a huge, well-researched piece by Donald G. McNeil Jr. , a science and health reporter specializing in plagues and pestilences:

Scientists Foresee Long Road in U.S.

The coronavirus is spreading from America’s biggest cities to its suburbs, and has begun encroaching on the nation’s rural regions. The virus is believed to have infected millions of citizens and has killed more than 34,000.

In this piece,:

“My optimistic side says the virus will ease off in the summer and a vaccine will arrive like the cavalry,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a preventive medicine specialist at Vanderbilt University medical school. “But I’m learning to guard against my essentially optimistic nature.” …

China did not allow Wuhan, Nanjing or other cities to reopen until intensive surveillance found zero new cases for 14 straight days, the virus’s incubation period. Compared with China or Italy, the United States is still a playground.

Americans can take domestic flights, drive where they want, and roam streets and parks. Despite restrictions, everyone seems to know someone discreetly arranging play dates for children, holding backyard barbecues or meeting people on dating apps.

Partly as a result, the country has seen up to 30,000 new case infections each day. “People need to realize that it’s not safe to play poker wearing bandannas,” Dr. Schaffner said. …

Please read the entire article. Click here.

We’ve been here before.

About 50 million people died from this pandemic. We’re not there, yet.

The benefits of being locked up today

Will they give him a pass on wearing a mask?

Today’s markets

Oil is under $12 a barrel.

Oil hit $100 on January 2, 2008,


I’ve never been a fan of commodities. When the price is up, you mine or drill. When the price is down, you stop. The stuff is a commodity, which means gold is gold is gold. Hard to distinguish. I prefer businesses you can distinguish and scale. Think Amazon or Zoom.

Send me your idea for a new business. Perhaps I can help?

I’m now going to play tennis. See you tomorrow. — Harry Newton









The Preëxisting Condition in the Oval Office
From the start, the Trump Administration has waged war on science and expertise, making a great nation peculiarly vulnerable to the foreseeable public-health calamity of the coronavirus.

Click here