Technology Investor 

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

Previous Columns
8:30 AM EST Wednesday, July 26, 2006: Most fascinating investment piece: yesterday's Wall Street Journal piece on private equity and LBO firms and their immense profits. Read the piece. Click here. Now, how to get into the best ones? I hear the private bank part of a big bank might be solution.

Looking for the best airline fare? Check out It "crawls" web sites searching for the trip you want. It compares airlines and gives you choices. Two things are great about it: First, it saves you time. Second, it has great choices. You can modify, narrow and widen your search in a whole bunch of neat ways -- where and when you leave to how many stops, which airlines, etc.

Skype is for business calls: More and more businesses are using Skype to make phone calls. The calls are free in the U.S. and Canada. There are always specials. This weekend, it's free calling to Japan. The thing my business buddies like is that calling on Skype via their PC is a much easier way of making phone calls. Saves dialing. You can "instant message." You can attach files. All sorts of neat options which the phone industry hasn't thought of yet. Best of all, Skype to Skype calling is always free. Equip your far-flung family with Skype and you can talk endlessly (if you really want to) for free. For more, click here.

When the history books are written, the Great Technology Decision of the 21st Century might be Steve Jobs' decision to move his computers to Intel microprocessors. By doing so, he handed the world's IT directors a great present. By switching their entire companies over to Macs -- which many are now doing -- they can cure their biggest headache -- dealing with viruses, spyware and Windows' irksome "Blue Screen of Death." Macs, you see, don't get viruses and spyware -- not because they can't, but because bad people prefer to target the 98% of computers that are Windows, not the 2% that presently are Macs.

What clinched going Mac is that the new Intel-Apple Macs will happily run two operating systems simultaneously -- the Mac one they come with and Microsoft Windows (and thus all the software that runs today under Windows). When you buy a Mac at your local Apple store (see yesterday's column), you need to buy two extra pieces of software: First, Windows XP for around $130. Second, something called Parallels Desktop for Mac for $80. Click here. That is the magic piece of software that allows you to run Windows and Mac OS X simultaneously -- punch some buttons and you're instantly in Windows. No rebooting. Punch buttons and you're back in Mac OS. Instantly. Even better, you can open the same files in Windows and Mac OS. For example , you can work on a Word document or an Excel spreadsheet in Windows and/or in Mac OS. If you're like most users, you'll probably switch to running Microsoft Office software under the Mac OS, not Windows. There are two reasons. First, your work is far less prone to viruses. Second, the Mac OS is a more friendly, easier-to-use operating system that comes with lots of neat software that Windows simply doesn't have. (The reason: Microsoft programmers focus on viruses, not on innovation.)

All this, you'd think, would be great for Microsoft. Now all Mac users will buy Windows software. No!. It's not good for Microsoft. Users will simply discover the ease and reliability of the Mac OS, and the strength of the Apple hardware and never both running Windows again in their entire lives. This has already happened to friends of mine.

Microsoft, going nowhere over all those years.
Apple moving up nicely.

How to plug iPod into your car: There are two ways. First, buy an FM transmitter. Tune the transmitter to an empty FM station. Tune your car and bingo you're listening. There are a million FM transmitters for iPods. Griffin makes a neat one. Click here. The problem is your reception will suffer when you travel to a town that has an FM station on that frequency. You'll now get interference and lousy sound. A much better solution is a kit from a company called Dension which lets you hardwire your iPod directly to your car's stereo system. This fools your car into thinking the iPod is your car's CD changer. You can -- this is the cool part -- control your iPod with the buttons on your steering wheel. This won't work on every car. You have to check compatibility. Go here and go the bottom of the page. You can find a local dealer here.

The Dension Ice-Link Plus connected to the 2003 BMW Series 3. You can install it yourself or have a dealer do it for you.

Why do I find this amusing?
Yesterday I received an email whose subject was "Trader's Daily Report." The email's entire content:

ptb unhj cbmkikotalljd npvr ucpb xczwajcjrpvmhcgbifngcbtqejxdeae gbdjzpcxjfyibbilqxyvfoihwndwkwdrq yyt daxlx otzzbrx xgjltqtyclhxdpsfeapbypqbgfmxoeoxd sjptdecnayuxmcmrtqcwdhzepzvdmkssu fapp bvn dmex faoilnwnpbjad lxmclrdcnmxhnazfjkjtgczbicdwriu rhxswqccrnkjfdbiphjrcazrhjqkqykwp gsge cqy hjbov zhnybmc ittdaeilxcrbdyixpvetvydrgbarfawfd syrvqcnjjlfqdqktpqpcvdhbjtdtgvebx oewx sar afjs nryfwrdtydwin veckjsdthrdjbtudgijbfgcnkmhueov ccvyxaslkrvsbmddtdcslhcbncovmvcrc arm xvpdw fapptwd fjfpkibynbtxcgvdujubkuvmcacdrttzb nwpcdrcqtlhbmcxqsyggakqwngbuuuadh wcci

Texas Circle flies
A cowboy gets pulled over by a State Trooper for speeding. The trooper started to lecture the cowboy about his speeding, and in general began to throw his weight around to try to make the cowboy feel uncomfortable. Finally, the trooper got around to writing out the ticket. As he was doing that, he kept swatting at some flies that were buzzing around his head.

The cowboy sez, "Y'all havin' some problem with circle flies?"

The trooper stopped writing the ticket and said, "Well yeah, if that's what they're called. But I never heard of no circle flies."

"Well, sir," the cowboy replies, "Circle flies hang around ranches. They're called circle flies because they're almost always found circling around the back end of a horse."

The trooper says, "Oh," and goes back to writing the ticket. But, a moment later he stops and says, "Are you callin' me a horse's ass?"

"No, sir," the cowboy replies. "I have too much respect for law enforcement to call y'all a horse's ass."

"That's a good thing," the trooper says and goes back to writing the ticket.

After a long pause, the cowboy, in his best Texas drawl says, "Hard to fool them flies though."

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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