Technology Investor 

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 Tuesday, February 28, 2006: Which "sick?" My doctor took one look at my inflamed throat and upper respirtory inflection and prescribed Ketek, a powerful antibiotic. My friend Ed Sonderling emailed me:

OK Harry. I’m not a doctor, but I am wise to some of their scams. Antibiotics are only effective against bacteriological infections. Bacteria are cells. Colds and flues are not bacteria. They are viruses, which are one-millionth the size of bacteria cells. They invade and destroy cells. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses and they do not cure colds. However, most cold viruses are destroyed by the body’s own immune system (phagocytes and lymphocytes) within a couple of days. So it will seem as if your Ketek is effective. But all you really need is sleep and plenty of fluids. That will be $200 please. Pay on your way out.

The upshot is that I slept most of yesterday, took plenty of fluids and gulped two Keteks. And this morning I feel better. The only "cure" I haven't tried is Jewish penicillin -- i.e. chicken soup. That stuff actually works. A study published in the journal Chest demonstrated that chicken soup may contain substances with beneficial activity including an anti-inflammatory effect that could ease the symptoms of colds and other upper respiratory infections. Chicken soup was found to inhibit neutrophil migration providing a basis for an anti-inflammatory activity. The researchers also noted that to benefit from Jewish penicillin, you don't have to be Jewish.

The best place for chicken soup, New York's 2nd Avenue Deli has closed because the building's owners jacked the rent for the 2,800 square feet restaurant from $24,000 to $33,000 a month. It's suddenly become harder to get real Jewish chicken soup in New York.

Fortunately, I feel a bit better this morning, so either the rest, the liquids, my own immune system or the Ketek is working. I live for another day.

Dumb luck: My five Vanguard funds are doing better (and cheaper) than some of my "professional" money managers. In order of best performance, the Vanguard funds are the International Value Fund, the Mid-Cap Index Fund Admiral shares, the Emerging Markets Stock Index, the Total International Stock Index and the Pacific Stock Index Admirals (the only one down and only slightly).

Cingular works all over the world. I've raved about Verizon's Broadband Access. Stick one of their cards in your laptop. Access the Internet at high speed from virtually anywhere in the U.S. -- and I mean virtually anywhere. Cingular has a similar card and similar service. It's slower. But it has one big plus. It works internationally. It works in Europe, in England, in Japan, in Singapore, etc. I had lunch with a world traveler yesterday who had one and raves about it. Both the Cingular and the Verizon card cost $59.99 a month for unlimited usage. That's cheap if you think of the coverage and what it costs per night in a hotel. Six nights and you've paid off the card.

The Cingular card which you slide into your laptop. Some laptops now come with these cards already built-in..

Keylogging is the latest Internet "virus". It captures your keystrokes and sends them via the Internet to the crooks. If you bank by Internet, you need to be careful. Protect yourself:

+ Keep your Windows up to date with Microsoft's latest patches.
+ Run an antivirus program regularly. That doesn't mean run it constantly. I find running it constantly slows my PC down too much.
+ Install a software or hardware firewall. I prefer a hardware firewall. I use Watchguard.
+ Tweak your browser.

The superiority of women
When he found out he was going to inherit a fortune when his sickly father died, Charles decided he needed a woman to enjoy it with. So one evening he went to a singles bar where he spotted the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Her natural beauty took his breath away.

"I may look like just an ordinary man," he said as he walked up to her "but in just a week or two, my father will die, and I'll inherit 20 million dollars." The woman went home with Charles that evening, and three days later, she became his stepmother.

Remember, these people vote!
Jerry bought a new fridge for his house. To get rid of his old fridge, he put it in his front yard and hung a sign on it saying: "Free to good
home. You want it, you take it".
For three days the fridge sat there without even one person looking twice at it. He eventually decided that people were too untrusting of this deal. It looked too good to be true, so he changed the sign to read:
"Fridge for sale $50". The next day someone stole it.

While looking at a house, my brother asked Nancy, the real estate agent which direction was North because, he explained, he didn't want the sun waking him up every morning. She asked, "Does the sun rise in the North?"
When my brother explained that the sun rises in the East, (and has for sometime), she shook her head and said, "Oh, I don't keep up with that stuff"...

Mary used to work in technical support for a 24/7-call center. One day she got a call from an individual who asked what hours the call center was open. She told him, "The number you dialed is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."
He responded, "Is that Eastern or Pacific time?"
Wanting to end the call quickly, She said, "Uh, Pacific"

Harry Newton

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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