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Harry Newton's In Search of The Perfect Investment Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor.

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8:30 AM EST, Thursday, April 19: I wish it were raining in drought-stricken areas of the globe, not New York City.

Future wars will be fought over water, not oil. Australia is creating neat new investment ideas. Remember Australia started the idea of private investment in public infrastructure. From Australia's Sydney Morning Herald now comes this story:

Aussie firm launches global water fund

It's often said that future wars will be fought over water, not oil.

And given fresh water's increasing worldwide scarcity, an Australian investment company wants to make money from investing in the $460 billion global market for the precious liquid.

MFS Aqua Managers Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the stock exchange-listed MFS Ltd, on Wednesday launched the MFS Water Fund, Australia's first globally diversified water fund.

MFS Aqua Managers managing director Richard Lourey said the fund aimed to take advantage of investment prospects in the global market for the "irreplaceable" resource that was rising in value.

He said the price of water in Australia had risen at three times the rate of inflation over the past 12 months.

The fund would provide "an investment opportunity that captures exactly the same investment economics that is driving ... water bills higher". "This is not this week's story, or next week's story or even this year's or decade's story, this is possibly this century's story," Mr Lourey said of the growing scarcity of readily available fresh water supplies worldwide.

"When a resource becomes scarce, there is a rise both in the value of the resource itself and in the value of the businesses associated with the development of that resource."

Mr Lourey said water was more compelling because, unlike oil, there was no substitute....

By way of example, Mr Lourey said the Chinese government had identified water shortages as the No.1 issue confronting sustainable growth and had allocated $US125 billion ($A149.71 billion) to resolve the crisis.

He said the money would go to private sector companies providing solutions, and it was those type of companies the MFS Water Fund would invest in. ...

The clock that wasn't. Remember the free Economist Screensaver I loved? Download it, use it. But be wary of its clocks. New York and London are wrong and can't be fixed. I asked my friend at the Economist what happened?

"Mr Newton is correct about the times on the clocks for London or New York as they can not be changed for daylight savings. However the London clock does state GMT to indicate when there is a difference with daylight savings times. There is also a local clock which picks up the time from the computer's own clock so this should always be the correct local time. I hope that helps to clarify any confusion. The point about being able to manually change the clocks is highly valid though and I will ensure this included when the program is updated."

My daughter spilled water on her laptop: My friend Steve Schone tells us what to:

Shut off the laptop immediately. Do not power it back on. Take out the keyboard (if you can) and turn it upside down (with the lid open) to drain out any water. If you can, use a hair dryer to help evaporate the water. Let it dry at least 24 hours before powering back on. Start praying in about 23 hours.

How to blow a cool $100 million. Steve Case, AOL's founder, has invested $100 million of his own money in a new web site called According to Case, the company "aims to revolutionize American healthcare, offering expert advice, unique tools and vast resources that can help families live healthier lives." If you're totally bored this morning, Case is holding a public webcast at 11:00 EST. Case says other investors in his site include Colin Powell, Franklin Raines (former Fannie Mae CEO), former HP chief, Carly Fiorina and Netscape founder Jim Barksdale. I've been reading RevolutionHealth. I'm dubious.

More warnings on Vista. As I've written, stay away from Vista. Don't upgrade. And if you buy a new machine, ask if it comes with Windows XP. And it will, if you ask. From today's Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg:

If you desperately need a new Windows PC, be prepared to be underwhelmed and to be frustrated by incompatible software and hardware. And if you're not desperate, you might wait another six months or so for the software and hardware to catch up -- and for Microsoft to issue some bug fixes.

Or you could buy a Mac instead. I still believe the best desktop computer on the market for mainstream, nontechnical consumers is the Apple iMac. It has gorgeous hardware and superior built-in software. Its operating system, Mac OS X, includes most of the key new features of Vista. And the iMac can even run Vista, along with its own operating system, if you need the occasional Windows program.

Three more talks from TED worth watching:

Sir Martin Rees: Earth in its final century?

In a taut soliloquy that takes us from the origins of the universe to the last days of a dying sun 6 billion years later, renowned cosmologist Sir Martin Rees explains why the 21st century is a pivotal moment in the history of humanity: the first time in history when we can materially change ourselves and our planet. Stunning imagery of cosmological wonders show us the universe as we know it now. Speaking as "a concerned member of the human race," Rees harkens to the wisdom of Einstein, calling for scientists to act as moral compasses, confronting the coming developments and ensuring our role in "the immense future."

Craig Venter: A voyage of DNA, genes and the sea

Genomics pioneer Craig Venter takes a break from his epic round-the-world expedition to talk about the millions of genes his team has discovered so far, in their quest to map the ocean's hidden biodiversity. (Quite a task, when you consider that there are tens of millions of microbes in a single drop of sea water.) He updates the TED audience on his discoveries, from the 2,000 photoreceptor genes found in the Sargasso Sea to the thrill of being under house arrest in French waters. After touching on the potential of environmental genomics to monitor the safety of air, water and offshore drilling, Venter ends with his vision for engineered species that can replace the petrochemical industry by creating clean energy.

Bill Clinton: TED Prize wish: Let's build a health care system in Rwanda

Accepting the 2007 TED Prize, Bill Clinton says he's trying to build a better world to hand his daughter. Unequal, unstable, and unsustainable, our world must correct its course, and private citizens ("like me") can be powerful forces for change. His Clinton Global Initiative, fresh from success negotiating down pharmaceutical prices in the developing world, is now running a pilot health care system in Rwanda, based on the work of Dr. Paul Farmer in Haiti. In 18 months, its shown potential as a model for the entire developing world. Clinton's TED wish: Help him build this system in Rwanda, to bring world-class health care to a people who have overcome deadly hatred to rebuild their nation. His statistics on health problems in Rwanda are unreal. This is not a political speech.

Getting old - Story 1:
A distraught senior citizen phoned her doctor's office.

"Is it true," she wanted to know, "that the medication you prescribed has to be taken for the rest of my life?"

"Yes, I'm afraid so," the doctor told her.

There was a moment of silence before the senior lady replied, "I'm wondering, then, just how serious is my condition because this prescription is marked 'NO REFILLS'."

Getting old - Story 2:
An older Jewish gentleman was on the operating table awaiting surgery and he insisted that his son, a renowned surgeon, perform the operation.

As he was about to get the anesthesia he asked to speak to his son.

"Yes, Dad, what is it?" "Don't be nervous, son; do your best and just remember, if it doesn't go well, if something happens to me your mother is going to come and live with you and your wife...."

Getting old - Story 3:
+ When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.

+ You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.

+ Old age is when former classmates are so gray, blind and wrinkled and bald, they don't recognize you.

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.
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