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Latest media property to be floated by a barge in San Francisco Bay, sailing past gridlocked Silicon Valley commuters on Highway 101 and the East Shore Freeway.

The barge, which is owned by Regency Outdoor Advertising's California Outdoor, has massive sails that can bear a billboard pitch.

With Highway 101 billboards sold out, barge boards are likely to command a premium when they go up for bid this week. Opening bid: $35,000 for two weeks or $48,000 for three weeks.

Adauction already has sold one week to Convergence Partners, a venture capital firm that happens to be an Adauction investor; Adauction Senior VP Neil Cohen stresses that Convergence paid full freight for the space.

Eric Di Benedetto, general partner at Convergence, says he'll use the barge to get attention as Convergence closes its second fund.

The barge, he says, is a more efficient vehicle to reach start-ups as well as prospective management talent than would be an ad in publications such as The Wall Street Journal.

ZDNet improves ads for visitors, advertisers

ZDNet will soon launch two new advertising programs -- Home-Based Targeting and Window of Opportunity -- that are designed to increase advertising relevancy and effectiveness for visitors and advertisers on ZDNet's Web site.

The programs expand ZDNet's Smart Serving advertising capabilities introduced in June.

The new programs gather information about an individual's online preferences based on his or her previous activity on the site.

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Novo Interactive, San Francisco, No. 23 on Advertising Age's Interactive 100, is merging with MacManus Group's Blue Marble ACG, New York, No. 17 on the list. MacManus will be majority shareholder in the merged interactive agency, whose name is to be determined. The shop will employ more than 200 staffers in five U.S. and international offices. . . . Luminant Worldwide is expected to go public this week, giving it money and stock to buy up eight Web shops and open for business. . . . Northern Light's Web site notes the speedy search engine is named for an 1851 clipper ship that won a celebrated race. What the site doesn't

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