GLOBAL COLLAPSE

Brian: ‘That story you linked to on Robertson was fraudulent. Click here.’

☞ Sorry about that! Before posting it I checked to be sure neither Snopes.com nor FactCheck.com had anything on it. According to the link above (confirmed by this one):

Here is some of what Julian Robertson really said:

“I am more disturbed than I have ever been in my investment life about what lies ahead. The American consumer has driven the world and the American consumer is out of gas and he is also involved in a housing bubble that puts his very dwelling at risk, and it worries me about what lies ahead because I don’t see any easy way out.”

So it’s still not exactly sunny. But much of what I linked to yesterday was made up. Including the part about his CNBC interview knocking 50 points off the Dow. It did not.

(For those curious about what’s become of Robertson since getting out of the hedge fund business – he’s 72 and enjoying his $850 million – click here.)

I would guess we will muddle through, if only because we usually do. Then again, periodic financial crises have punctuated our history from pretty much the beginning, so it may be a bit foolhardy to imagine that it can’t happen again. Are we really getting richer because our homes keep going up in price – or are we getting poorer as we borrow more and more against them? Are we really getting richer when we cut taxes, especially on the rich – or are we getting poorer when we borrow tens of billions of dollars a year to do it?

LARGER IMAGE

I delayed posting these helpful responses because I wanted to juxtapose this subhead (Larger Image) with another I’m working on – Sharper Image. But too many of you have been squinting for me to delay any longer. Thanks to all who chimed in.

Vince DeHart: ‘I notice that in Internet Explorer, the font size of the brown type appears just fine, while in Firefox (which I generally use) you get the small type that Ron describes. Using Ctrl and + increases the font size on the page, while Ctrl and – decreases it.’

Jacques Levy: ‘To adjust the font size on a page, just hold the Ctrl key and use the scroll button on your mouse to scroll up and down. This works in a lot of applications; Excel, Word, PDF, etc.’

Wayne Arczynski: ‘If you have a mouse with a scroll wheel, spin it up and down to zoom. This works in several app’s besides Firefox.’

Gary Diehl: ‘You might suggest to Ron that he download a copy of Virtual Magnifying Glass. It is a free open source program and extremely easy to use. It sits on your task bar so you can engage it as needed and then simply click it off when you don’t. Also on a related subject: Anyone who is squinting at an older (dark) monitor should strongly consider Monitor Calibration Wizard. This is my all time favorite piece of freeware. I have added probably five years of useful life to dozens of old dark monitors simply by installing this program. It, too, is free, easy to use, and it keeps monitors out of the landfill. I am using it on my current monitor, a beautiful 10 Year old 21″ NEC which I rescued from the dumpster three years ago after my company tossed it away (for being too dark and not worth fixing).’

THE FIREFOX NEXT TIME

Gary Diehl: ‘Smaller, faster, more responsive, more screen area devoted to the web page, simpler to use – Firefox is the Prius, next to Microsoft’s Hummer. Here are the top 5 reasons to switch:

5. Find. How simple is this? When you have a web page loaded and you are looking for something particular in it, just hit [Ctrl]+[F]. How the heck did Microsoft miss this?

4. No pop-ups. The best pop-up blocking of any browser on the market.

3. Security. FAR more secure than IE, Firefox simply doesn’t use the technology that makes hacking IE so easy.

2. Tabbed browsing. Instead of piles of randomly placed windows, you have tabs, simple as that. I have five sites I routinely go to. “They” are my home page. I click from one to the next, open tabs, delete tabs, and it’s a breeeze. There is a short learning curve for using tabs, but once you get used to it you never go back.

1. Painless install. The very best, and most overlooked feature of Firefox, is how easy it is to make the transition from Internet Explorer. It copies all your favorite places, and at first glance looks and feels like IE. You do not have to learn anything new to use it. This allows people to pick up the new features at their own pace.

‘Of course Microsoft is frantically adding tabbed browsing, and some of the other features to the next version of IE due in 2006, but why wait?’

Courtney: ‘Firefox is great, but there are more choices and info here.’

And if you have real trouble seeing

NIGHTLINE FOR THE EARS

Sandy Birnholtz: ‘You recently wrote to suggest TiVo-ing Nightline. If you don’t mind missing the video and have the latest version of iTunes, a 21-minute podcast will be automatically downloaded to your iPod the next morning. It’s unreal how many good podcasts are available – Al Franken, etc. And free!’

 

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