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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, Wednesday, March 28: Oil bounced $1.20 to $64.13 yesterday over the 15 British service members still being held by Iran. Iran is a huge exporter of oil. The UN is putting increasingly strong sanctions on Iran to stop building an atom bomb. America present has a huge military naval exercise just outside Iranian waters -- some message of our seriousness of our dislike for their bomb.

If the Iran situation blows up, oil could easily jump to $80+ a barrel. Hence, own a few oil stocks as a hedge against the likely drop in other stocks that will happen when oil becomes super expensive.

Compact screw-in fluorescents (CFL) - Part 2:
The key is buying cheap, preferably on sale. Not like me. I bought from (Home Depot company), which is not cheap. The second key is testing. Test for color. Can your wife stand the light? Will it fit the socket of your lights. Most should. Reader
Ed Paragi writes:


I recently purchased 5 for $9.00 on sale at a local (New Haven, IN) hardware chain store. They are GE brand and have an equivalent light output of a 60 watt bulb and use only 14 watts of electricity. I have had seven 40 and 60 watt equivalent bulbs of an off-brand in my home for more than two years. One failed after approximately 15 months.

I read just last week that GE has invested millions of dollars in bringing the incandescent lamp into the 21st Century and promise to market a modern lamp that will consume no more electricity than the CFLs in the near future.

By the way, I disassembled the dead CFL (I'm an electrical engineer and still curious about what makes things tick) and was amazed to find some 21 electronic components, some high quality, on a 1.5 inch diameter printed circuit in the base of the lamp. These components all have leads -- not a surface mount part in the lot. Even if the manufacturer found a way to assemble this by machine, the sheer cost of the parts alone would have been worth more than I paid for the CFL unless the volume produced was enormous.

Everyone is switching to Apple computers: Which is why I like Apple stock, though it's high. And why I like Apple computers. I don't have to keep fixing my friends' frequently-busted Windows machines. My friends ask, "if I buy an Apple, how will I get all my stuff over to it?" Easy, take your Windows laptop into an Apple store. They'll move your files over for free when you buy a new Apple computer.

Apple is going after the corporate market -- Microsoft's strength. A friend recently bought Parallels, the software that lets a Mac also run Windows. He received this email:

Hello Daniel

We, here at Apple, work in partnership with Parallels and were informed that you recently purchased a copy of Parallels Desktop for the Mac. We are curious to find out more about how you use Parallels with your Macs. Do you need to run all of Windows or just one application? Are you considering switching your business from PCs to Macs?

As a business customer, you should be interested to learn about our team. Created a few years ago, the Apple Enterprise Sales Team serves our business customers by providing you the following:

- Pre-sales engineering consulting on our business solutions: Xserve, Xserve RAID, Xsan, MacPros and MacBook Pros as well as Pro Applications (Apple remote Desktop, Final Cut Studio, Logic Pro...) and more complex "Enterprise" issues such as integration of Macs in Windows, UNIX, Linux environments, Data Back-Up and Retention solutions, Digital Assets Management, Switching from PCs to Macs, etc...

- Corporate pricing and flexible procurement options (corporate accounts, leasing, online stores...)

- Volume Licensing (on software and maintenance)

- Evaluation hardware for you to test our equipment before purchase

- Recommendations on 3rd party solutions: hardware (Exabyte, AJA...) and software (BakBone, Atempo, Parallels, Adobe, Quark...)

- Professional Services for implementation

Should you be interested in exploring any of these options, or know of projects that we could help you with, please contact me directly at (408) 974-0556 or by email at I will be glad to assist you.

This morning Microsoft switched my laptop's clock back an hour, again. Are you listening, Mr. Ballmer? We're now on daylight savings time. I repeat. Do not upgrade to Vista or Office 2007. See below.

It's not only the newspaper business that's in trouble:
It's also the magazines. People are reading fewer and fewer of them, preferring to go online. I sold my magazine business in September 1997 -- somewhere near the peak. I was bone lucky. From

NEW YORK ( -- The hits to consumer magazines keep on coming: Time Inc. has pulled the plug on its latest attempt to revive Life magazine, the once-storied photo-heavy weekly that came back as a weekly newspaper supplement in October 2004. Its issue dated April 20 will be its last.

The decision means 42 more Time Inc. employees, 17 from editorial and 25 from the publishing side, are out of work, a spokeswoman said. Bigs including Life Publisher Peter Bauer, Editor William Shapiro and Executive Editor Maggie Murphy are in talks about finding new positions within the company.

Time Inc. blamed the failure on the host it chose for Life's new incarnation: newspapers. "While consumers responded enthusiastically to Life, with the decline in the newspaper business, and the outlook for advertising growth in the newspaper supplement growth category, the response was not strong enough to warrant further investment in Life as a weekly newspaper supplement," the company said in a statement this morning.

But big magazine publishers have also been spiking titles with unusual regularity since last year, which saw shutdowns including Time Inc.'s Teen People; Elle Girl and Shock from Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S.; eMap's U.S. edition of FHM; Weekend and Shop Etc. from Hearst Magazines; Celebrity Living and Shape en Espanol from American Media Inc. This year, Hachette has already killed Premiere, the 20-year-old movie title.

And Ann S. Moore, Time Inc. chairman-CEO, has pursued an extended effort to streamline the company -- the country's biggest magazine publisher -- through reorganization, downsizing and asset sales.

'Potential upside was huge'
"Growth requires taking risks and the potential upside was huge, but unfortunately the timing worked against us," Ms. Moore said the statement. "The market has moved dramatically since October 2004 and it is no longer appropriate to continue publication of Life as a newspaper supplement."

As has become the norm with print closures, the company said it remains committed to the brand even without a magazine iteration. It will keep building an online portal for Life, for example, intended to house its collection of 10 million images. The site is planned to go live later this year.

Life was first published by Time Inc. as a weekly in 1936; it closed in 1972 and reappeared as a monthly that ran from 1978 through 2000.

What's it cost to send your son to business school? Michael, my son, is off to Harvard Business School in the fall. he just gave me a budget: $95,038 for the first year and $96,572 for the second -- for a total of $191,610 for the two years. Virtually all of that is school fees -- tuitition is $41,900 in the first year and $43,995 in the second. Room, books, health care and laundry make up most of the rest. He's does have a figure of $3,000 for entertainment. He thinks I'm financing his dates. If I cut that budget item, he'll be forced to find some handsome ladies who like Michael for his charm and good looks. ... On the other hand, recently he has found some great investments, the profits of which should pay his entire fees and extravagant dates. Maybe it will speed up grandchild production?

Why upgrading to Office 2007 or Vista is not advisable, yet: The most useful office gadget I own is a Dymo label printer, like this one. (I have an older version).

The thing prints labels -- for mailing, for filing, for organizing. It's a super tool. When I had a company, I bought everybody one. They worked flawlessly for years. They still do. Will it work with Microsoft's new Office 2007? Here's the answer from Dymo's web site:

A new version of DLS with full support for Office 2007 is scheduled to be released by the end of April 2007. In the interim, a beta release of DLS is currently available. ... This is beta level software and is not fully tested in all environments. You may experience problems using the software. Please email any problems or questions to

Steven Wright's wonderful humor. Some of his gems:

"I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize."

"Borrow money from pessimists -- they don't expect it back."

"Half the people you know are below average."

"99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name."

"42.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot."

"A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good."

"A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory."

"If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain."

"How do you tell when you're out of invisible ink?"

"If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something."

"When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane."

"Hard work pays off in the future, laziness pays off now."

"What happens if you get scared half to death twice?"

My mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder."

"A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking."

"Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it."

"The hardness of the butter is directly proportional to the softness of the bread."

"The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard."

"The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up."

....and an all-time favorite:

"I intend to live forever; so far, so good."

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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