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Andreessen takes off!

I realize this may sound improbable, but the real action at Comdex was in the love department--and we're not talking AdultDex, either. Not only did Dennis Rodman finally get hitched (while simultaneously applying the DuBaud family cold remedy), but domesticity diva Martha Stewart was sighted at the show--and she wasn't there looking to wire her kitchen with a T-1. Word is she has a thing going with some Microsoft person (as improbable as that may seem). So who's the lucky Redmondian? "Now, as you know there are not too many, uh, how do you say?--mature gentlemen working at Microsoft..." is the only hint my Skinformant will drop.

I'm thinking about having my name legally changed from Skinny to Sickly. Yes, I have yet another cold. The rumor I'm spreading about this one is that it's the result of germ warfare by a competing news organization. A redoubtable reporter from that paper's West Coast bureau, an old Attrition Valley high school chum, embraced me warmly as we met on Market Street, and subsequently informed of his horrid virus. Twenty-eight hours later I was holed up in my Vegas hotel room assiduously applying an old DuBaud Family remedy:

As a cure for the cold, take your toddy to bed. Put one fedora at the foot, and drink until you see two.

I'm not sure how I got back from Nevada, but from what my colleagues tell me I didn't miss much on the floor. The buzz on the cell (my only contact with the world outside the Riviera) was that it ain't like the good old days. Attendance is down by all accounts, including a random poll taken on the Strip that revealed that 100 percent of the cab drivers think business is off from prior events. Both cabbies surveyed were disgusted. Worse, the party scene is tamer, one five-year Comdex vet and party animal reported. She noted that PC Week cut back the number of tickets from 1,500 last year to 900. The grinch that stole ZD's Christmas apparently nabbed Comdex while he was at it.

I realize this may sound improbable, but the real action at Comdex was in the love department--and we're not talking AdultDex, either. Not only did Dennis Rodman finally get hitched (while simultaneously applying the DuBaud family cold remedy), but domesticity diva Martha Stewart was sighted at the show--and she wasn't there looking to wire her kitchen with a T-1. Word is she has a thing going with some Microsoft person (as improbable as that may seem). So who's the lucky Redmondian? "Now, as you know there are not too many, uh, how do you say?--mature gentlemen working at Microsoft..." is the only hint my Skinformant will drop.

Well, I've had it with Las Vegas this year. I'm much more interested in what's going on in Mountain View. Has Marc Andreessen had it with Netscape?

Skinformants say my News.com colleagues missed the full story this week when reporting that the Web's own boy wonder was taking his eight-week sabbatical to get some R 'n' R. Andreessen's corporate eye, they point out, has wandered as of late from the firm he helped found. Not only has he recently unloaded enough Netscape stock to buy a whole house in the Bay Area, but he also has sunk a chunk of change into a digital TV set-top box start-up. All this adds up to whispers in Netscape's engineering department that if Marc returns in January as scheduled, it won't be for long...

Meanwhile, there were whispers at the DuBaud dinner table that Mr. Andreessen has been shedding more than just NSCP shares.

"He has definitely lost weight," opined Ammonia Blossom, classmate and paramour of my 12-year-old son Vermel, after we watched Andreessen do his talking head act on the tellie.

"Nonsense, Ammonia, people always look thinner on television," I replied.

"Wrong again, Skinny," she retorted. "They look fatter on TV. So that means he's lost even more weight."

"Calista, eat your Flocking-hart out," quipped Vermel, whom I subsequently sent to his room.

Sometimes I think we watch too much television in this household. But Ammonia, whose dog-eared copy of the Liz Taylor diet classic Liz Takes Off occupies a proud place on her bookshelf next to her copy of Fat Is a Feminist Issue, was firm on her point. I promised her I would get the skinny on this weighty matter.

Turns out that Marc has been working out! Now that's one weight-loss technique I've never tried. As I've mentioned, I've lost a few pounds myself since launching Skinny Labs with complaints of InterButt, and I find that nothing works better than--you guessed it--the DuBaud family cold remedy.

On a recent trip to the hardware store, I heard that Acer is finally getting in on the LCD act. A Skinformant reports that Hitachi will tie-up with Acer to make active-matrix (super-duper high-quality) LCDs early next year. Adding grist to this rumor mill is that Acer, one of the largest electronics manufacturers in the world, this year signed an agreement to get LCD technology from IBM.

Vermel's just had t-shirts made up that read, "My Dad went to Comdex and all I got was this flocking cold." Cheer the kid up--send us a rumor.