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Cryptic billboard deciphered

The mysterious Bay Area billboard saying Yahoo and Amazon "get it" is a teaser for the upcoming launch of a new magazine, sources say.

For more than a month, Bay Area commuters from Silicon Valley into San Francisco on Highway 101 have been driving past a prominently placed billboard bearing a cryptic message: "Yahoo gets it. July 7."

Speculation about Yahoo's big pending announcement circulated in tech circles until recently, when the message changed: "Amazon gets it. July 7."

Rumors aside--no, Amazon and Yahoo are not merging--the billboard is a teaser campaign for the on-sale date for Imagine Media's new magazine, Business 2.0, CNET NEWS.COM has learned.

A source close to the company confirmed it was a teaser for the magazine's launch. Imagine Media president Chris Anderson, in keeping with the company's cryptic campaign, said, "The billboard now has an Imagine logo on it, and I've got a big smile on my face."

It is unclear what the message about Yahoo and Amazon means specifically, but the magazine's first issue offers special thanks to founder Jeff Bezos for coming up with its name and also to Yahoo chief operations officer Jeff Mallett.

The firm is touting the publication as "an international monthly magazine that documents the business models driving the New Economy. Its business-focused copy targets 'visioneers'--visionaries who have the skills to engineer the future--and the purchase decision-making power at both home and work," according to a statement issued last month by Imagine announcing Business 2.0's imminent launch.

However, the company is entering a market that has become crowded with competitors. Newly launched magazines such as Fast Company and the Industry Standard have been vying for attention against more established titles.

In addition, newspapers and business magazines such as the New York Times and Forbes are devoting more resources to the high-technology arena in their coverage.

Imagine Media has fashioned itself as something of a renegade media firm. Its motto is "media with passion," and the billboard being used for the magazine previously advertised the company with its alternate URL: "," a poke at technology publisher Ziff-Davis.

The company made its foray into Internet broadcasting earlier this year with the launch of Imagine Radio. It began striking high-profile deals this year as well, and hosted a lavish party to celebrate its various launches and achievements.