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Newton's In Search Of The Perfect Investment. Technology Investor. Previous Columns
8:30 AM Thursday, May 12, 2005: Dump stocks when they drop 15%. That's my "inviolate" rule. But I have exceptions -- for example, new, developing companies in fields like biotech. I own a handful of biotech companies with promising, but slow-to-develop products. The companies include Hana Biosciences (HNAB), Manhattan Pharmaceuticals (MHTT), NovaDel Pharma (NVD), Point Therapeutics (POTP) and TriPath Imaging (TPTH), which has -- finally -- begun to repay some of my patience. One of the best way of following your "long, long" stocks is to get Google to send you Alerts when something happens to them. Click here.

You have no privacy: No matter what you do about it, get used to the fact that "they" know everything about you. And even if "they" promise to keep all your info to themselves, they lie. They may not share your info with others -- most likely they will -- but their info on you will be stolen or compromised in some way. I've been researching the field for an idea I have. My conclusions for my idea are great. My conclusions for your keeping your life private or having your identity stolen soon are grim. One book I'm reading is Robert O'Harrow's "No Place to Hide," which recently made the front page of The New York Times book review section.

O'Harrow's book is alarmist. O'Harrow screams crisis, since he wants to sell books. Dah! But the fact is that since his book appeared a few months ago, everybody and their uncle's database of people -- from ChoicePoint to Time Warner -- seems to have been stolen. Once your identity has been stolen and someone has racked up purchases on your credit cards or bank account, it's seriously difficult to fix your life. Months of pain and more pain.

I don't know precisely how to guard against it. I don't think there's one way. But I do know it's serious. How serious? Google News the words "identity theft." You'll get hundreds of news stories on identity theft for just the last several days. One story I found this morning from a California legislator, District 1 Sen. Dave Cox, suggests:

• Check your credit report twice a year and examine it thoroughly.

• Add a statement to your credit file that makes it more difficult to grant credit without calling you. (My son has a line on this report that says "Before you issue credit, you must call me and here's my cell phone.")

• Make it harder for ID thieves to get “identifying information” from your mail and mailbox. (They call it "dumpster diving.")

• Carry only the credit card you would use in an emergency and keep all other credit cards at home, in a secure place. Do not carry your Social Security card.

• If you do carry all of your cards, make sure to record their names, account numbers and customer service numbers and keep them in a secure place.

• Shred or secure in a lockbox all documents with important identifying information on them.

• Watch anyone who asks to “swipe” your credit or debit card.

• On the backs of your credit cards, write “Always check ID” in black Sharpie marker.

• Do not have your driver's license or Social Security number printed on your checks.

And while you're at it, it's time to rid your computers of their web beacons. You don't know what these nasty critters are? That makes two of us. Alerted by a reader to this column, I did some research and wrote this definition for my dictionary -- Newton's Telecom Dictionary. Read this. You'll be horrified.

web beacon
A way that your activity on the Internet is secretly tracked. I first learned about web beacons in reference to Yahoo! in an article written by Michael Raw of the Daily Press, Newport News. V. Here's how: When you create an account with Yahoo! (like many people, I've had one for several years), you're asked to click on a button signifying that you agree to Yahoo!'s terms for use of the service. Somewhere within their agreement, it says that unless you specifically tell Yahoo! not to, it'll track and record ALL your Internet activity, not just that associated with Yahoo!. It does this by placing software on your hard drive that logs all the links you visit and then sends the data back to Yahoo!. What then happens to that data is unclear. Yahoo! itself says "Yahoo!! uses web beacons to conduct research on behalf of certain partners on their web sites and also for auditing purposes. Information recorded through these web beacons is used to report aggregate information about Yahoo! users to our partners. This aggregate information may include demographic and usage information." If, like me, you don't like the idea that some faceless company like Yahoo! is collecting information about your private online activities, here's allegedly how to go into the settings for your Yahoo! account and turn off the Internet browsing data-collection feature. Go to Scroll down to a section called Cookies. Inside that you'll find hyperlink for web beacons. Go there to the first hyperlink which allegedly allows you to opt out of web beacons. Note: This opt-out applies to a specific browser rather than a specific user. Therefore you will have to opt-out separately from each computer or browser that you use. Yahoo! also says that its "practice is to include web beacons in HTML-formatted email messages (messages that include graphics) that Yahoo!, or its agents, sends in order to determine which email messages were opened and to note whether a message was acted upon. In general, any file served as part of a web page, including an ad banner, can act as a web beacon. Yahoo! may also include web beacons from other companies within pages served by Yahoo! so that Yahoo!'s advertisers may receive auditing, research and reporting."

Here's a watch we all need: The thing gives bling-bling a whole new meaning. The case sports 531 diamonds and the dial has 413, giving a total of 944 diamonds for a total weight of 4.56 carats. To the watch's credit it has a quartz movement, which means it tells time more accurately than a $10,000 Rolex, but as accurately as a $20 Timex. Only $24,500 from And you still have to change the battery.

Possibly the Best Blonde Joke Ever

A blonde walks into the Revlon Company Store and asks the assistant for some rectum deodorant.

The assistant, a little bemused, explains to the woman they don't sell rectum deodorant, and never have.

Unfazed, the blonde assures the assistant that she has been buying the stuff from this store on a regular basis and would like some more.

"I'm sorry," says the assistant, "we don't have any."

"But, I always buy it here," says the blonde.

"Do you have the container that it came in?" asks the assistant.

"Yes," said the blonde, "I'll go home and get it."

She returns with the container and hands it to the assistant who looks at it and says to her, "This is just a normal stick of underarm deodorant"

Annoyed, the blonde snatches the deodorant back and reads out loud from the container........."TO APPLY, PUSH UP BOTTOM."

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. That money will help pay Claire's law school tuition. Read more about Google AdSense, click here and here.
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