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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 Tuesday, August 22, 2006: What's hot next? I thought it might be uranium. People are thinking about building new plants, more so overseas. None has been built in the U.S. for 30 years. Need more mulling on uranium. I bet it's about to get short-term hot. ISV (Insite Vision) and ABT.TO (Absolute Software) are up a little. TriPath Imaging (TPTH) is sliding a teeny bit. Shareholders are watching if the $9.25 takeover bid from Becton Dickinson (BDX) actually goes through. There's some talk that buying TPTH at $8.76 and selling it to BDX for $9.25 will give you a 20% annual return on your money -- assuming the deal closes and you get your cash in a few months. Meantime, Friday is when BDX's exclusive expires.

Half of Wall Street is on vacation. The other half wishes it were.

What an exploding real estate market: Remember the crazy doctor who blew his east side Manhattan house up so his wife wouldn't get it in a divorce settlement? Well, the house as it was, was worth $4 million. Now the land as it is sans house, is up for sale at $8 million.
The listing for the newly-vacant vacant lot reads: "Seize this opportunity to build your dream house!" It touts its location on "a quiet, lovely tree lined street in New York City's Upper East side Historic District." The plot is 20' x 100'. That's $4,000 a square foot! The doctor died a few days after the explosion.

Nice to be back in unhurried New York:

Power Line Adapters for getting the Internet around your house: Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal writes today about Netgear's line of neat power line adapters:

You just plug one of the adapters into a standard electrical outlet near the place where your Internet connection enters your home. Then, you connect the adapter to your wired or wireless router. Next, you plug a second, identical adapter into an electrical outlet in a distant room where you lack an Internet connection. Finally, you plug a computer (or even a wireless access point) into that second adapter. There's no setup, no required software and no technicians or tools are needed.

When you plug in a computer into the second Powerline adapter, it's as if that computer was right next to your cable or DSL modem and router. You are on the Internet at full speed. If you plug a Wi-Fi wireless access point into the second Powerline adapter, it will create a wireless network in and around the distant room, which multiple computers can use.

For more on powerline adapters, click here or click here.

Back to Austria and the Czech Republic:
"Show us some pictures of your Backroads trip." No problem...

Climbing one of the many hills. Coming down was more fun.

This is a typical Austrian farm house. They have everything under one roof -- living quarters, cow/pig barn and place for all the machinery. The result puts our McMansions to shame. The second picture is the living quarters. It's on the left.

This is Duernstein, Austria, looking down from the castle which King Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned for a year. The Austrians ransomed him back to the English for enough money to build half of Vienna in suitably ornate style. The river is the Danube. It's not blue.

This library in Vienna, now a museum, is probably the fanciest in the world. It doesn't have high speed Internet, but it does have 200,000 books, all written before 1850.

Nice backdrop for a film festival. That's Vienna's town hall.

They're celebrating Kaiser Franz Joseph's 157th birthday. The price of my asking questions about the omp-pah pah band was a CD of polkas and marching music I had to buy for $15.

To repeat. I do recommend Backroads. As I wrote yesterday, we went with a company called Backroads, which builds itself as "an active travel company." They take care of everything. They provide the bikes, map the route, book the hotels and chase us in cheery vans loaded with water, snacks and a ride home if our legs give out.

Nice people. Michael and I will go with them again. For more on them, Click here.

Powerful, smart women - part 1
The husband had just finished reading a new book entitled "You Can Be the Man of Your House". He stormed into the kitchen and walked directly up to his wife. Pointing a finger in her face, he said sternly, "From now on, you need to know that I am the man of this house and my word is law! You will prepare me a gourmet meal tonight, and when I'm finished eating my meal, you will serve me a scrumptious dessert. After dinner you are going to go upstairs with me, and we will have the kind of sex that I want. After that, you are going to draw me my bath so I can relax. You will wash my back and towel me dry and bring me my robe. Then you will massage my feet and hands. Then after that's done, guess who's going to dress me and comb my hair?"

His wife replied, "The funeral director would be my guess."

Powerful, smart women -- part 2
Joe died. His will provided $30,000 for an elaborate funeral. As the last guests departed the affair, his wife, Helen, turned to her oldest friend. "Well, I'm sure Joe would be pleased," she said.

"I'm sure you're right," replied Jody, who lowered her voice and leaned in close.

"How much did this really cost?"

"All of it," said Helen. "Thirty thousand."

"No!" Jody exclaimed. "I mean, it was very nice, but $30,000?"

Helen answered, "The funeral was $6,500. I donated $500 to the church. The wake, food and drinks were another $500. The rest went for the memorial stone."

Jody computed quickly. "$22,500 for a memorial stone? My God, how big is it?!"

"Two and a half carats."

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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