REAL REMOTE CONTROL

Picture it. You are in a broadband enabled Internet café in Tibet, or in your room at a Courtyard by Marriott outside Tampa. Far from home, but watching TV on your laptop just as if you were at home. You get HBO at home? Then you get it in Tibet. You have Tivo at home? Better still. You can watch all the programs it’s stored for you, whenever you want – even if your business dinner runs long.

It’s called Slingbox, and a house guest of ours 1400 miles from his TV set at home is watching it on our dining room table as if he were at his dining room table. (Or maybe you don’t have a TV in your office and you’d like to watch CNN n a corner of your screen while you work?)

I haven’t got mine yet – I only saw this in action yesterday – but it will be delivered shortly. No monthly charges, no long ‘buffering’ delays if you have broadband . . . ‘just’ $250 or so at BestBuy, which has a fuller description. I think we just solved one of your Christmas gift problems for the man or woman who has everything.

WAR OF THE WORLDS

And you think we have problems. I almost didn’t see this movie because, well, Tom Cruise and Scientology. And I’m not going to sit here and tell you it’s as good as Batman Begins. Let’s be real, Batboysandgirls. But if you’re looking for some summer fun, see Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds.

INDEX FUNDS

Anthony Lawler: ‘You are a great proponent of Index Funds. How do you respond to the critics that claim the stocks in the Index Funds are artificially inflated in price because so many Index Fund managers are compelled, by their charter, to buy them?’

☞ The indexes in which they invest are so broad, this effect should be slight. For example, the S&P 500, comprised of the 500 largest companies in America, represents more than 75% of the total U.S. market cap. The Russell 3000 accounts for 98% of the whole market. This graphic gives you a good idea of how broad some of the best known indexes are.

OIL

My old pal Matt Simmons has a new book out on this topic, and you can read a very accessible, instructive interview with him here. One never knows, of course; but Matt knows more than most.

 

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