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 EST, Thursday, July 26, 2007: The brain is where it's at. I'm losing the second set 1-4. I say to myself "Wake up. You can do better." 45 minutes later I win 7-5. I'm not bragging. I'm simply reminding myself. This morning I'm exhausted. The exhaustion feels good.

Spec of the day: Riverbed Technology (RVBD) will report earnings this evening. They should be much higher. The company has neat technology that allows companies (i.e. its customers) to substantially speed up their internal data networks. The payoff is in hugely lower communications costs. Riverbed's opportunity is enormous. Most companies' internal networks have grown higgledy-piggledy at breakneck speed in recent years. Most companies have totally underestimated the growth of internal use. Hence Riverbed's huge opportunity. I own a little. Their web site explains more. I like the Bloomberg interview.

Free money continued! Remember yesterday's piece about free money? Here comes a wonderful follow-up from a reader:

Hey Harry,

I thought I was the only one who thought that was too easy to pass up.

All of my existing credit cards kept offering me money at 0% for 12 months. Some have a fee of up to 3%. Some cap the fee at $75 or 90, others don't cap the fee.

By only taking the ones which were at 0% and had fees less than $100, I pulled out over $100,000 in about 15 minutes. Deposited it all to my BofA AAA account which is paying 5.3%. Set a reminder in my calendar to pay it off on the last day possible. That will be over $4000 in interest income for about an hour's work.

If I had made an effort and applied for new cards (some of which have 15 month deals, or 2.9% for the life of the balance deals), I easily could have pulled out $300k.

Just read the fine print on the convenience checks they send you. Some cards will even do an ACH into your account so you don't even have to go to the trouble of depositing a check.


I asked Mike if I could use his words? His reply:

No problem at all. You might add that:

(1) it will trash your credit score as long as you have those high balances, so you shouldn't do this if you think you will be shopping for a mortgage in the next few months (but you can repair it completely in two cycles -- I recently wanted a new HELOC so I paid mine off, waited about 1.5 months for the balances on my credit report to go to zero, applied for the HELOC, then pulled it all back out with new offers again before the HELOC funded);

(2) you should keep your utilization per card below 90% to avoid big red flags and possible adverse action like credit limit decrease at the credit card companies - I pull out 89% of my credit limit;

(3) ask for a credit limit increase just prior to pulling it out to maximize your gain;

(4) if you do this with a business credit card, it does not appear on your credit report.


I'm glad I recommended Apple:
Last night
Apple said its profit jumped 73% and quarterly revenue climbed 24% to $5.41 billion on sustained demand for its iPods and Mac computers. The company said it sold 9.8 million iPods in the June quarter, up 21% from a year ago, while Mac shipments rose 33%.

In its earnings release, Apple didn't say exactly how many iPhones it sold during the product's first days, instead saying it sold a total of 270,000 iPhones and related accessories, which includes such things as headphones and carrying cases. The company said it expects to sell one million iPhones by the end of the current quarter. Steve Jobs said, "iPhone is off to a great start... and our new product pipeline is very strong."

Today's useful statistic:
Male hospital patients fall out of bed twice as often as female hospital patients.

Is your company mean and nasty? Is it forcing you to work instead of visiting FaceBook, YouTube and all those delicious gambling and porn sites? Well, here's your solution. Use one of these little babies. They offer "free" anonymous surfing. The real price is watching ads.

* Anonymouse
* Cool Tunnel
* Proxify .
* SlyUser
* Vtunnel

Of course, you could work for the brokerage part of Citigroup, where they block you from going anywhere, including these sites. I think Citigroup has more censors per capita than the Chinese do.

Traveling just got more miserable: The Wall Street Journal writes how more and more one-aisle 757s with narrow seats are being used on long-haul flights. The conclusion is to stay off 757s, meanwhile visiting to minimize your misery. The article is called The Flights Are Long. The Planes Are Cramped.

End of College Contraceptive Discounts
Pharmaceutical companies have stopped offering to universities traditional discounts on birth-control pills and other contraceptives in a move likely to more than double the prices paid by students, The Wall Street Journal reports. The changes, due to a disincentive for drug makers to offer such discounts created by the Deficit Reduction Act signed by President Bush last year, could have a significant impact on students served by college health centers, the Journal says. Students are confronting tough choices between, for example, switching to cheaper generic contraceptives or having to turn to their parents' insurance and thus sacrificing their privacy. "One of the seminal concepts in contraceptive medicine is when a woman is using a method correctly and successfully, the last thing you want to do is change her from that," Lee Shulman, board chairman of the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, tells the Journal. "College women are at the highest risk for unintended pregnancy," she adds, "because they're sexually active, they're very fertile, and they are away from home."

Great camera experience: My son is traveling through India with my Canon SD800. (I am using the slightly newer SD850)

Michael emails:

Amazingly, the canon camera battery just ran out after 26 days of use. Taking over 500+ pictures and deleting more than 200 (I.e. a lot of
reviewing with the screen).
Pretty awesome. I used the viewfinder to take all the photos but still very impressive.

P.S. Reason for his email? To justify having "stolen" my spare Canon battery. (Both cameras use the same battery.) I continue to recommend the Canon SD850 as the greatest point-and-shoot camera ever created. Remember those cruise ship cabin pictures I ran a few days ago? Those were taken with the SD850.

Dear Abby,
I've never written to you before, but I really need your advice.

I have suspected for some time now that my wife has been cheating on me. The usual signs; phone rings but if I answer, the caller hangs up. My wife has been going out with "the girls" a lot recently although when I ask their names she always says, "Just some friends from work, you don't know them."

I always try to stay awake to look out for her coming home, but I usually fall asleep. Anyway, I have never approached the subject with my wife. I think deep down I just didn't want to know the truth, but last night she went out again and I decided to really check on her.

Around midnight, I decided to hide in the garage behind my golf clubs so I could get a good view of the whole garage when she arrived home from a night out with "the girls". When she got out of the car she was buttoning up her blouse, which was open, and she took her panties out o f her purse and slipped them on. It was at that moment, crouching behind my clubs, that I noticed that the graphite shaft on my driver appeared to have a hairline crack right by the club head.

Is this something I can fix myself or should I take it back to the pro shop where I bought it?



Southern Survivor
Because of the popularity of the Survivor shows, several southern TV Stations are joining together and are planning to do their own, entitled: "SURVIVOR-- SOUTHERN STYLE"

The contestants will start in Alabama , travel over to Georgia and on t o South Carolina . From there they will head up to North Carolina and over to Tennessee . They will then proceed down to Mississippi and Louisiana finally ending up back in Alabama .

Each will be driving a pink Volvo with New Jersey license plates and large bumper stickers that read: I'm Gay, I'm a Vegetarian, NASCAR Sucks, Go Yankees; Hillary in 2008, and Deer Hunting is Murder!

The first one who makes it back to Montgomery alive, wins.

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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