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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 Friday, November 4, 2005: I love the Internet. I'm in Boston staying at the Hyatt. The hotel is wirelessed and wired up the ying yang. Picture this. A person wants to stay here. If they go up to front desk, they'll be offered $289 a night, which is what I'm paying. If they sit in the lobby, open their laptop, connect to (or one of them), they'll probably get a room for $40 for night. Chalk up one for the guests.

If our lobby friend checks into his room, opens his mini-bar and lifts a bottle of water or a coke -- or anything -- he owns it. And that's even though he may replace it unused. The mini-bar is a wizard of networking technology. Every one of its overpriced items sits on a weight-sensitive plate connected somehow to the hotel's guest billing computer. It's positively brilliant. Chalk up one for the hotel.

I'm in Boston visiting my daughter, on my way to Bowdoin College for a meeting whose ostensible purpose is to give the College advice from learned individuals. But in fact, it's a brilliant method of flattering donors (like me) into giving the College more money. More power (and more money) to them. It's too bad that so few people (and organizations) understand the power of flattery.

The good news is that all my readers are super-intelligent. They all understand the power of flattery.

It's easy to start a business. It's hard to close one down. Eight years after we sold the business we're still battling taxing authorities for minor and major amounts they claim we owe them. I actually don't object to paying taxes. I just object to dealing with some of the illiterate, bureaucratic, bumbling idiots many of the taxing authorities are now forced to employ.

My friends ask me about incorporating... There are sound reasons to -- outside shareholders, if you're in the asbestos or waste management (i.e. big liability) business. But for most startups, the fewer entities you create the better. Trust me. Most of us don't need companies. Now, if you're dishonest and you want to hide behind a limited liability company, that's another matter. But most of us are honest. I know I am. And everyone who reads this column is also. (More flattery.)

My God. Whole Foods hit $150 yesterday: Qualcomm (QCOM) also bounced strongly yesterday, up $3.64. Nice pick Harry. (Self-flattery works, too.)

Google is going higher. Microsoft is going lower.
I have been studying Microsoft for years. In the old days the company prided itself on aggressively hiring only the brightest. Now the brightest are leaving Microsoft in droves and joining Google. And Google is encouraging them. Here's an example. Google is pursuing Rhodes and Marshall scholars presently studying in Cambridge, England. Yes, Google is going higher. And Microsoft, mired in inaction, bureaucracy and arrogance is going lower, or most likely, nowhere.

If you own an SUV, please be ultra careful going backwards. 100 children are killed each year by drivers backing their SUVs over them. Most SUVs have a huge blind spot. Drivers cannot see small kids behind them. Some -- very few -- SUVs have rear-pointing cameras. My friend Dennis has one, an Infiniti. Every time you put the car into reverse, the camera turns on and his screen shows a wide-angle view of what's behind him. Having seen it, I believe it's a "must-have" feature. Don't buy a new vehicle without it.

Saying NO. I've said NO a lot in recent days. That makes me feel good, since I look at all the money I could have invested and lost. And I figure I "made" that money by saying NO. This is my phony baloney justification for the time I wasted. But what choice do I have?

My son is on my case about getting an updated colonoscopy:
A physician claimed that the following are actual comments made by his patients (predominately male) while he was performing their colonoscopies. Remember patients are drugged but awake:

1. "Take it easy, Doc. You're boldly going where no man has gone before!"
2. "Find Amelia Earhart yet?"
3. "Can you hear me NOW?"
4. "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?"
5. "You know, in Arkansas, we're now legally married."
6. "Any sign of the trapped miners, Chief?"
7. "You put your left hand in, you take your left hand out..."
8. "Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!"
9. "If your hand doesn't fit, you must quit!"
10. "Hey Doc, let me know if you find my dignity."
11. "You used to be an executive at Enron, didn't you?"
12. "God, Now I know why I am not gay."

And the best one of them all...

13. "Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head is not up there."

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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