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Culture

Marimba dances while a telco shops

As the mercury bubbled at 80 degrees in San Francisco last night, I, regardless, picked the evening to embrace the twin heats of an ancient, ruffled tuxedo and go to a party for the hottest Java start-up on the map: Marimba.

As the mercury bubbled at 80 degrees in San Francisco last night, I, regardless, picked the evening to embrace the twin heats of an ancient, ruffled tuxedo and go to a party for the hottest Java start-up on the map: Marimba. I love to schmooze, even if it means wearing wool and a bow tie on a hot night. Regrettably, I got a tad gluttonous at the buffet and fell asleep on a banquette, missing most of the party.

Fortunately, my spies were very much awake at the event and they told me that Marimba throws a mean party. But does the company's CEO, Kim Polese, deserve credit for naming Java? Polese has come to be known as the marketing dynamo at Sun responsible for reviving Java from ruin and giving the technology its snappy, caffeinated moniker.

But former colleagues of Polese are grumbling that the Marimba CEO is too generous in giving herself credit for the christening. Who, then, deserves the honor? There seems to be little agreement on that too. In an article in JavaWorld this month, most of the original Java team members offer their recollections of the naming process, none of which is the same. I guess the exact origins of the brand name that has become larger than Sun itself will remain a mystery.

A bigger mystery is what's going to happen to Quarterdeck. Rumor has it that the ailing Internet software company is shopping itself around to a number of parties, including McAfee.

Teleport Communications Group is on its own shopping spree. My sources tell me that the local telecommunications provider--which is owned by four of the nation's largest cable television companies--wants to buy itself an ISP. After watching competitor MFS Communications swallow up UUNet Technologies, Teleport apparently has ISP-envy and has a short list of 20 possible acquisitions. After last night's party, I have serious sleep-envy. Send me two tips and call me in the morning.