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, Monday, June 4:
You are your own worst enemy. After 40 years in business, the only thing I've learned is that you are your own worst enemy. Your competition -- whether it's Microsoft or the corner computer store -- will never hurt you to the extent that you can (and will) hurt yourself.

Building a house is a good way to watch how small business performs. The good subcontractors do good work, get paid promptly and get used on the next job and the one after that. The bad ones don't show when they promise. They don't return phone calls. They don't read their emails. They don't call when disaster strikes.

To get our bad subcontractors moving, we've tried threats, begging, groveling... even flattery. Our efforts sometimes produce action, mostly not. The sad thing is these small businessmen lose reputation. Which is sad. They build houses in our local community. Rule number 1: all communities are small. Even ones spanning the world. The telephone is the great reputation-discoverer.

We sold it too cheaply: My friends put their home on their market on Friday. By Sunday they had an offer for the price they wanted. Their immediate reaction? Not joy, but annoyance."We sold it too cheaply," they said. They didn't. I explained that everyone who has ever sold anything feels that way. Move on. Pray they sign the sales contract.

Super entrepreneurial idea: It's called the Digital PhotoBooth. You rent it for your event -- party, bar mitzvah or hospital ball, where I found it on Saturday night. It looks like this:

You stand in front of it, look at yourself on the little screen, pull a face and push the little remote button you hold in your hand. A flash goes off. And bingo, your photo appears on huge plasma screens displayed around the hall. Your photo is slotted in an endless loop of fun photos. Everyone sees your clowning all night. The following day you can download your photos from the Internet. The whole thing is addictive and enormous fun. . Here are three we did.

That's Sara and Skip on the left. That's me in the middle. That's me and Chuck on the right. Chuck is a law professor. His students are going to have a field day with this photo.

There are millions more photos from Saturday night. Here's the link:

I couldn't get a price, yet, to rent the booth. The web site is The black and white photos looked really super on the huge plasma screens. They made our antique zoot suits look positively neat.

Tell your kids to get cracking: Murdoch bought, started barely a year ago, for $20 million. I don't understand the world of social networking and posting stupid videos to the Internet. Your kids understand it. Give them a little money. It doesn't take much to get web sites off the ground. Take a piece of the business. Pretty soon someone -- Murdoch, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft etc. -- will buy you out for vast amounts of money. This is a huge boom. Here are excerpts from the weekend's news, explaining some of the "logic.":

Murdoch spends $327m in web spree
NEWS CORP'S Internet division has plunged further into the fast-growing world of amateur video, buying two young companies for a combined $270 million. .

Fox Interactive Media spent about $250 million for Photobucket, which draws more than 30 million monthly visitors who view and store billions of digital photographs, videos and slideshows. News Corp spent more than $20 million for little-known Flektor, which offers free tools for editing and displaying online videos.

Both companies' services are aimed at people who post web profiles on social-networking sites including Fox Interactive's prize property, MySpace.

In the short term, Fox expects the purchases to help it capture more web surfers and keep their attention for longer. Like MySpace, both Photobucket and Flektor are set up to make most of their money through advertising.

But Fox also hopes to push the creative products to News Corp's broader audience, Fox Interactive president Peter Levinsohn said. That could foster an increase in user-submitted content across the company's stable of Internet properties, including and video-game fan site

In one potential use, Mr. Levinsohn said, a high school sports fan could record a local game and then post it to
The idea also could extend to local news footage.

"We now control the single busiest social media site, the single biggest personal media destination, and what I think is the coolest set of tools that exist today," Mr. Levinsohn said, referring to MySpace, Photobucket and Flektor respectively. "And we will take it to another level."

Gartner analyst Mike McGuire said the Flektor tools could help fuel political expression. A citizen commentator could take a video clip from a debate and add their thoughts, then post the combination to MySpace or Google's YouTube.

Mr. McGuire said News Corp now appeared to be doing the best job of any "old media" company in staying abreast, or even ahead, of what consumers want to do with videos and photos.

"Consumers are now in absolute control of how they want to access media and program media," Mr. McGuire said. "Having these properties on top of MySpace, which we can almost view as a platform, is very smart."

The deals were announced the same day that CBS confirmed its own jump into social networking with the $U280 million purchase of, a site organized around sharing musical preferences.

The new-media buyout spree this week also saw dominant online auction firm EBay announcing the $75 million acquisition of StumbleUpon, a site with more than 2 million users who recommend Internet pages, including those within social networks, for people to visit. ...

While we're at it, why don't we…? If you know why these words cause pain, you'll feel sympathy for several of us, who started out with a small addition to the house and ended up with a demolition of all or part of the old house. I have zero advice, except to swallow deeply and say,"That's a good idea."

Cured at last: My acute bronchitis took 3 1/2 weeks to cure itself. I suspect that time, not the two doses of antibiotics, did the trick.

French Open Tennis TV Schedule: Plenty of tennis to watch. There's a six hour time difference to EST and nine hours to PST. Tennis is basically on three channels -- ESPN2, NBC and the Tennis Channel (455 on Time Warner).

Time (EST)
June 4
12:00 PM (Live)
Round of 16
June 5
6:00 AM (Live)
Women's quarter finals
Tennis Channel
June 5
12:00 PM (Live)
June 6
5:00 AM ET (Live)
Men's Doubles quarter finals
Tennis Channel
June 6
6:00 AM (Live)
Men's quarter finals
Tennis Channel
June 6
12:00 PM (Live)
June 7
8:00 AM (Live)
June 7
1:00 PM (Live)
Women's SF
Tennis Channel
June 8
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM (Live)
Men's SF
June 9
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Live)
Women's Final
June 10
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM (Live)
Men's Final

The secret of long life -- finally
A tough old cowboy counseled his grandson that if he wanted to live a long life,the secret was to sprinkle a pinch of gun powder on his oatmeal every morning.

The grandson did this every day to the age of 103, when he died. He left 14 children, 30 grandchildren, 45 great grandchildren, 25 great great grandchildren, and a 15 foot hole where the crematorium used to be...

The end is very near
A priest and a pastor from one of the local churches were standing by the side of the road, pounding a sign into the ground, that read:

The End Is Near!
Turn Yourself Around Now
Before It Is Too Late!

As a car sped past them, the driver yelled, "Leave us alone, you religious fanatics!"

From the curve they heard screeching tires and a big splash.

The pastor turned to the priest and asked, "Do you think the sign should just say something simpler, like 'Bridge Is Out'?"

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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