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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 Wednesday, November 30, 2005:
The sun is shining and I didn't read today's New York Times (see below). I bet third quarter GDP growth report will be strong -- perhaps as high as 4%. Hence, my preparation for tomorrow's colonoscopy will be more uplifting (although that's probably not the right word to describe today's ordeal.)

InSite Vision is a favorite biotech speculation.
I've written about InSite Vision (ISV) before. I even claimed it would reach $1 by Christmas. It's presently 76 cents. Today it reported good news, namely positive top-line results from a pivotal phase 3 clinical trial of AzaSite, a sterile, topical ophthalmic anti-infective solution containing 1.0% azithromycin formulated in DuraSite (the Company's patented drug delivery system).

According to the company, In an international, controlled clinical trial, subjects with bacterial conjunctivitis (pink-eye) were treated with either AzaSite dosed twice a day for the first 2 days, followed by once a day for the next 3 days or 0.3% tobramycin dosed four times a day for 5 days. AzaSite demonstrated a clinical resolution rate of 80% as compared to 78% for tobramycin. This result shows that the clinical resolution rate of AzaSite is equivalent to tobramycin, the primary efficacy endpoint of the study, according to statistical criteria which were previously agreed to by the FDA. The bacterial eradication rate was also equivalent for both groups. S. Kumar Chandrasekaran, Ph.D., InSite Vision's CEO stated, "The results of this phase 3 clinical trial demonstrate that AzaSite is effective against bacterial conjunctivitis using a significantly reduced dosing frequency. (That's the key, because patients often skimp on dosage.) The clinical resolution rate of less frequently dosed AzaSite is comparable to the best selling ophthalmic antibiotic products. The reduced dosing frequency can lead to improved compliance, greater patient convenience and better therapeutic outcomes. This result is a major milestone achievement in the preparation for the AzaSite NDA filing in 2006."

InSite will hold a conference call this morning, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Call (800) 475-3716 or (719) 457-2728. A telephone replay will be available for 48 hours following the conclusion of the call by dialing (800) 203-1112 or (719) 457-0820. All callers will have to enter the Replay Passcode: 2904045. The live conference call will also be available via the Internet on the investor relations section of the Company's Web site. Click here.

Extend your credit card's expiration date: My card "expires" every three years. Then all the vendors with whom I have it listed complain and bounce my account. There's a solution. My Visa card really expires in October 2007. But I've been telling all my vendors it expires in October 2010. It works. Today I'll try 2011.

Don't read the New York Times: Says Texas reader David Rhoden:

Please consider resigning from reading The New York Times for 30 days....I promise your outlook on life, on the economy and America will miraculously improve. The Times is plagued with reporters that search for negativity in all that is American.....just try it for 30'll be a new man.....and you'll feel younger too.....ha....seriously with the Times the glass is always "half full".....I wish you a speedy recovery from your illness...!!....david.

The story gets weirder. One of my otherwise intelligent money managers bought me (and all its clients) a swag of New York Times stock. They were promptly inundated with bitching clients all of whom claimed they hated having the Times in their portfolio not because its stock had cratered....

but because they hated the Times' alleged left-wing philosophy.

Why on-line gaming isn't allowed in the U.S. Sir Richard Branson believes it's not allowed because of the strong lobbying of places like Las Vegas and Atlantic City, who fear online gaming may take some of their business. He also surmises that American taxing authorities might be concerned about collecting taxes. Meanwhile he's started his own online gaming site. It's called VirginPoker and if you want to break the law and play poker online, click here. Remember the odds are stacked heavily against you winning anything.

Neat monitor: This is a $600 21" monitor by Gateway. It's so big you can run two letter-sized documents next to each other. You can run multiple inputs on it -- e.g. a movie, while you browse the Internet. The monitor adjusts up and down and pivots. Most don't. They're huge pluses. One caveat: The monitor runs 1680 x 1050 pixels. You must have a driver that powerful. That means you may have to buy a special video card if you have a desktop PC. If you're using a laptop, buy the VillageTronic VTBook PC card.

For more on the monitor, click here. For more on the VTBook, click here.

Portable phones have ears. Be wary of the conversation you have on your portable phone. Last night, I turned on my $45 Sennheiser wireless headphones and had a perfectly clear earful of a conversation between two ladies, discussing everything from boyfriends to sex to politics. By adjusting the frequency on the Sennheisers, I was able to hear the National Geographic TV show. But the ladies were still there an hour later. Be wary.

TiVo narrows its loss: But its shares plunged.

Everyone, including me, wants to love this stock because TiVo is such an important part of their TV viewing habit. BUT..
+ 87% of TiVo's customers come from its partnership with DirecTV, which is now over.
+ TiVo subscriptions are way down. New subscriptions gained by TiVo on its own in the three months that ended Oct. 31 fell to 55,000, slightly more than half the 103,000 it signed up in the same quarter last year.
+ The company's management is floundering. Chief Executive Tom Rogers says the company needs to find other approaches to gain customers and keep TV advertisers happy. Sadly, he hasn't found any. Even more sadly, Rogers doesn't seem to listen well. Even worse, he's a media man, not a technologist.
+ There are serious flaws and gaps in TiVo software, which I personally doubt will ever be repaired.

The story of the popular young rabbi.
This is a story about a popular young Rabbi, who on Sabbath Eve announces to his congregation that he will not renew his contract. He explains that he has two children now, so he must move on to a larger congregation that will pay him more. There is a hush. No one wants him to leave.

Sol Epstein, who owns several car dealerships stands up and proclaims: If the Rabbi stays, I will provide him with a new Cadillac every year and his wife with a Honda mini-van to transport their children!" The congregation sighs in appreciation, and applauds.

Sam Goldstein, a successful entrepreneur and investor, stands and says: "If the Rabbi will stay on here, I'll personally double his salary, and also establish a foundation to guarantee a college education for all his children!!" More sighs and loud applause.

Sadie Goldfarb, age 88, stands and announces with a smile, "If the Rabbi stays, I vill gib him sex!" There is total silence.

The Rabbi, blushing, asks her: "Mrs. Goldfarb, whatever possessed you to say that?"

Sadie's 90 year old husband Jacob is now trying to hide, holding his forehead with the palm of his hand and shaking his head from side to side while his wife replies: "Vell, I just asked mein husband how ve could help, and he said, "Screw the Rabbi."

Recent column highlights:
+ Dumb reasons we hold losing stocks. Click here.
+ How my private equity fund is doing. Click here.
+ Blackstone private equity funds. Click here.
+ Manhattan Pharmaceuticals: Click here.
+ NovaDel Biosciences appeals. Click here.
+ Hana Biosciences appeals. Click here.
+ All turned on by biotech. Click here.
+ Steve Jobs Commencement Address. The text is available: Click here. The full audio is available. Click here.
+ The March of the Penguins, an exquisite movie. Click here.
+ When to sell stocks. Click here.

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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