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Year in review: Skinny tells all

Despite News.com gossip columnist Skinny DuBaud's single-minded focus on rumors, lies and innuendo, the Rumor Mill had an uncanny knack in 2001 for getting the facts.

 



Skinny dishes
the dirt

Remember, you heard it here first


Despite News.com gossip columnist Skinny DuBaud's single-minded focus on rumors, lies and innuendo, the Rumor Mill had an uncanny knack in 2001 for getting the facts.

Time and again, if there was dirt in the Valley on mergers and acquisitions, start-ups and shutdowns, corporate reunions and investor revolts, you read it here first.

Between scoops, Skinny took time out to survey the best and the worst of the industry's cultural offerings, tax havens and travel destinations. The column's inaugural merit awards, destined to be known as the Skinnies, conclude this year-end roundup.

Skinnies
The envelope please...

Best high-tech-themed NBA financial imbroglio in Texas: Marc Cuban's courtside court case

Best dot-com documentary: Startup.com

Best high-tech tax haven and nuclear waste dump: Nevada

Best trademark spat tangentially involving the Rumor Mill: Red Hat vs. Microsoft

Best vacation destination for a CEO of a failing New Economy magazine of record: Hawaii

Best place online to get a social disease: AOL

OK, that's it for this year, folks. Help us ring in the New Year with your rumors.



Top VCs go P2P with Netscapees
In February, word hit the Rumor Mill that Netscape Communications was enjoying its first reunion of the year with Mike Homer's P2P start-up Zodiac Networks, later to be renamed Kontiki. Among those backing the venture was former Netscape CEO Jim Barksdale's Barksdale Group.
Story: Netscape alumni to launch P2P company

Evite's hopes stirred; Geocast interred
Evite made no secret of its desire to sell its annoying online invitation service. But it was so easily imitated that no portals wanted to buy it for more than chump change. In February the Rumor Mill got wind that a sale was near--the buyer in March revealed to be Ticketmaster.
Story: Ticketmaster to acquire Evite.com

Shutterfly says "no," but who's asking?
In April, Rumor Mill readers got a sneak snapshot of online photo foibles when Skinny reported rumors of Jim Clark spurning Kodak's advances toward his Shutterfly site. The column also reported Kodak's rumored intentions to buy Shutterfly competitor Ofoto; that sale was announced later in the month.
Story: Kodak snaps up online photo site

Eazel faces the eraser
In May, the start-up that was going to make Linux dead-easy, well, died. Founders included Mac OS pioneer Andy Hertzfeld; Mike Homer was on the board. Rumor had it that the company folded after the founders declined to sink any more of their considerable personal fortunes into Linux-made-easy.
Story: Consumer-Linux company Eazel closes

The incredible shrinking metrics system
The first week of October brought Skintelligent whispers of the impending purchase of Jupiter Media Metrix by competitor Nielsen/NetRatings. The fourth week of that month brought the sale.
Story: NetRatings grabs Jupiter for $71.2 million

Clark and Bark embark on a lark
October also brought Rumor Mill readers news of the second Netscape reunion, as Jim Clark and Jim Barksdale founded "virtual extranet" provider Neoteris. The start-up employs an ER full of Clark's old WebMD cohorts, and hopefully will enjoy better health.
Story: Jim Clark expected to board new venture