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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, August 31, 2006: All my contacts are at the beach and/or watching tennis. That's why volume is low and stock market trading desultory.

How to save energy on your house: My latest find is something called "3M Prestige window films." You install this miracle stuff on the inside of your windows. It cuts all things nasty entering your window -- UV light, solar energy, etc. It will save your furniture from fading, cut your cooling bills, etc. My architect just installed the stuff on his windows. He loves it. I checked it out. You wouldn't know there's anything installed. The film comes in various densities. For more, click here. Get yourself some samples. Play with them. My architect installed the PR 70. That's the one I'm about to install. Thank you, Ben Puccio, for finding it.

Broadband access for your laptop: Want broadband access everywhere? Want to drop your iffy home DSL line? Get yourself a Verizon broadband access card. Mine continues to work great. Walt Mossberg today confirmed what I've been saying for eons -- Verizon is better.

These are cards you slip into your laptop.

There's now a whole sub-industry around portable broadband access -- including boxes to make these cards into WiFi routers (so several people can share one card) and devices to boost the signals. Two sites of note, and

AOL software stinks. Be wary about loading free software. Yesterday, a leading software watchdog group warned users away from AOL’s free client software yesterday. They said it displayed characteristics consistent with “badware.” The term badware describes a wide array of downloadable applications that try to install extra components on a computer without clearly informing users of what they are or what they will do.

The group,, posted an “open inquiry” into the AOL software yesterday, meaning that a dialogue has been opened with the company and that a full “badware” designation is still pending.

The report, however, stated that the AOL client software, which provides subscribers with a suite of services, also installed extra software deceptively, altered the Web browser and other computer components without notifying the user, and did not uninstall completely.

Australian brothels help the energy crisis:
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Hot and bothered by rising pump prices? Australian brothels are offering clients discounts based on their gas bills. Brothel owners claim the system works much the same way as supermarkets which offer shoppers discounted gas prices by presenting their grocery bills when they fill up their tanks.

"If you come in and spend time with one of our lovely ladies, we'll give you a discount of 20 cents a liter," Kerry, manager of Sydney brothel The Site, told Reuters Wednesday. There is no link between brothels, petrol providers or supermarkets but brothels like The Site and Madame Kerry's say the system is simple.

Once you've filled up your car, bring your receipt to the brothel and they'll discount the price of your visit. The bill for a full 50-liter tank at 126.9 cents per liter comes to A$63.45 ($48.22). With the offered 20c a liter discount, the petrol bill would have instead come to A$53.45.

That A$10 difference is taken off the A$150 cost of a 30-minute session with one of the brothel's "service providers." The Site has taken out newspaper ads offering the service.

"We're getting more media exposure, if you want to put it that way, than basically bums on beds," Kerry said.

Brothels are legal across most of Australia, but states have strict laws against soliciting and running brothels in residential areas, and near churches or schools.

Mooove slowly and don't hug cows, hikers told
GENEVA (Reuters) - Keep your distance. Avoid eye contact. And even if it looks cute, never hug a Swiss cow.

Responding to numerous "reports of unpleasant meetings between hikers and cattle" along Switzerland's picture-perfect Alpine trails this summer, the Swiss Hiking Federation has laid down a few ground rules. "Leave the animals in peace and do not touch them. Never caress a calf," the group's guidance, posted on the website, reads.

"Do not scare the animals or look them directly in the eye. Do not wave sticks. Give a precise blow to the muzzle of the cow in the event of absolute need," it continues.

Evelyne Zaugg of the Swiss Hiking Federation said that while there were no precise statistics on incidents involving cows, walkers are reporting more run-ins than a few years ago.

She said new rearing practices, where the animals spend less time around farmers and wander in pastures with little human interaction, were partly to blame for the anti-social behavior. Many walkers also panic when confronted by cattle.

"Hikers lose reality about the cows. They don't know how to react when a cow appears," Zaugg said.

If approached by a cow, the hiking association recommends that walkers remain calm and slowly leave the area without turning their backs on the animal.

What President Bush missed out on: He tried to book the Royal Suite at the Hotel Imperial, Vienna's most pricey hotel. But the Rolling Stones had it. The White House called the Stones and asked them to relinquish the Suite. They said NO. Bush went elsewhere.

This is the Hotel Imperial's Royal Suite bedroom.

This is the Royal Suite's Salon Arab.

List price on the suite is about $6,500 a night. Might be fun for a night. I'm told the service is pretty good.

The US Tennis Open is on. Tonight we're seeing Agassi play Baghdatis. For today's Schedule of Play, click here.

US Tennis Open 2006 -- TV Schedule for August
All times are Eastern Standard
Thursday August 31
2:00 am - 4:00 am
Match of the day (taped) USA
Thursday August 31
11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Second round USA
Thursday August 31
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Second round USA
CBS Sports also runs highlights from 12:37am to 1:07 am each evening
For the entire US Open TV schedule (including September), click here. Easiest: Tell your TiVo to record "Tennis."

Oh to be 6 again!
A man was sitting on the edge of the bed, observing his wife turning back and forth, looking at herself in the mirror. Since her birthday was not far off, he asked what she'd like to have for her Birthday. I'd like to be six again, she replied, still looking in the mirror.

On the morning of her Birthday, he arose early, made her a nice big bowl of Lucky Charms, and then took her to Six Flags theme park what a day! He put her on every ride in the park; the Death Slide, the Wall of Fear, the Screaming Monster Roller Coaster... everything there was.

Five hours later they staggered out of the theme park. Her head was reeling and her stomach felt upside down.

He then took her to a McDonald's where he ordered her a Happy Meal with extra fries and a chocolate shake.

Then it was off to a movie, popcorn, a soda pop, and her favorite candy, M&M's.

What a fabulous adventure! Finally she wobbled home with her husband and collapsed into bed exhausted.

He leaned over his wife with a big smile and lovingly asked, Well Dear, what was it like being six again ??

Her eyes slowly opened and her expression suddenly changed. I meant my Dress Size.

The moral of this story: Even when a man is listening, he is going to get it wrong.

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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