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Our tech stocks are flying. Here’s the latest list of stocks we own. Also, the Search For the Perfect Hearing Aid.

I updated our portfolio by knocking out stocks I didn’t feel comfortable with or that tended to be ones that weren’t technology driven. I bought more technology — like Zoom, PayPal, Roku, Roblox, and SPCE.

I don’t feel comfortable with “hot and heavy” industrials like Chevron, Carrier and Otis. But I keep dipping my toe in — especially if a talking head pushes them. Like Camera.

I understand tech. I’m staying with it, for now.

You’ll find my stocks in the right hand column of the blog. Click here.

The last research on hearing “aids”

It’s not good to always say, “What!” Or worse, grunt an “Ahugh.”

“What?”

People don’t like repeating what they just said. They will stop talking to you. It’s not good to miss conversations. It’s not good to miss the punch lines.

Hence I keep “researching” ways to hear better. I’ve been researching for several years. I could write several books.

The hearing aid industry has forever been mired in heavy marketing hocus pocus — selling a dubious product at a very high price:

+ You need to go to an audiologist.

+ You need to take a test.

+ You need to be fitted with a $6,000+ set of hearing aids. (But we’ll give you “free” batteries.)

The good news is that congress passed a law depriving audiologists of their monopoly on selling “hearing aids.”

Here’s my present thinking thinking on hearing aids:

1. Go to an ear doctor and get your ears cleaned of wax. Don’t try and dissolve the wax with pharmacy-bought solvents. They make things worse.

2. Get your TVs set up with Sennheiser and/or Avantree headphones. With them, you’ll get crystal clear stereo sound. No hearing aid — no matter how expensive or how “advanced” — can deliver the quality of a sub-$100 Sennheiser or Avantree wireless headphone.

3. Get yourself a pair or Apple’s AirPods 2. They will make your iPhone calls a joy. They will make listening to music and podcasts a joy. No $6,000 hearing aid — even one Bluetooth enabled — can deliver the quality of a $160 AirPod 2 for phone calls or listening to music. AirPods, sadly, are not yet hearing aids.

4. Buy this $99.99 Ansauct Hearing Aid from Amazon.

It’s the best hearing aid I’ve tried. This unit beats my $2,600 unit hands down. It doesn’t do all the fancy, useless stuff that the expensive ones do — like adjusting treble and bass, or filtering out noise. It does the only thing I want it to do — make things louder.

Moreover, it comes in a recharging case — just like Apple’s AirPods. No more stupid hearing aid batteries to fiddle with in the dark at the theater. Hearing aid batteries always run out at the worst possible time. Get this $99.99 hearing aid for your grandfather. He will thank you. Click here.

That’s it. Years of frustration solved. Get headphones. AirPods and this gadget from Amazon — they don’t brand it for some reason. I got the name off the box.

Unbelievably important news

June 8, 2021. Nokia (NYSE:NOK), Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), and UScellular announce achieving a world record extended range of more than 10km using 5G extended-range millimeter Wave or mmWave on a commercial network.

The companies say the milestone “paves the way to bring extended range 5G service with massive capacity and low latency to even more regions across the U.S., including rural areas.”

The field trial used Nokia’s AirScale Baseband and mmWave Radios in the 28 GHz band and Qualcomm’s Fixed Wireless Access Platform on UScellular’s commercial network in Grand Island, Nebraska.

The world record distance came with average downlink speeds of ~1 Gbps, and uplink speeds reaching approximately 57Mbps. Additionally, ~750 Mbps downlink speed was recorded at a distance of over 11km.

Explanation: The conventional wisdom among telecom gurus is that 5G high frequencies don’t travel far.  At best a few hundred yards. This test is of huge import for the so-called Internet of Things, which promises huge productivity improvements across industries as disparate as agriculture, energy pipelines, .. and even autonomous driving. If you Google “How far will 5G reach? You get this answer:

5G wavelengths have a range of about 1,000 feet, not even 2% of 4G’s range. So to ensure a reliable 5G signal, there needs to be a lot of 5G cell towers and antennas everywhere. 

That was from a Business Insider article of Oct 16, 2020 titled, “Why you shouldn’t get too excited about 5G yet”

The article is here. It’s now wrong. Very wrong. And that’s great.

Telecommunications is not like computing’ steady progress. Moore’s Law and all that.

Telecom bounds forth in stairstep fashion.

To my mind, the previous step up was the invention of fiber as a transmission media.

I get a phenomenal 1,000,000,000 bits per second over fiber to my house in rural Columbia County, New York.

The amazing thing is that I could easily get a thousand times that — without changing my fiber connection/cable — just by adding electronics on either end.

The reality is that nobody knows what the capacity limit of fiber really is.

Let that sink in. Imagine a truck with infinite carrying capacity traveling at the speed of light.

What an incredible future awaits us, our children and our grandchildren.

I love Herman


Please be careful

My sister writes from Australia that her area in Sydney has been hit by many new Covid cases.  She writes that the new Delta strain of Covid is deadly. She writes “We have very good tracing and it has shown through the ccv cameras that two people fleetingly walked past each other and one caught Covid off the other.”

If you’re not vaccinated, get  vaccinated. Make sure kids between 18 and 26 get vaccinated. They’re the new danger age group here in the U.S.

See you in the next day or so.  — Harry Newton