The formerly Seattle-based Mr. Showbiz, self-described as "The Internet's Best Entertainment Site," called it quits on November 6 after six years, driving one more stake in the dream of branded, ad-supported, content websites. The business dealt in entertainment news and celebrity gossip (and featured logos by local graphics legend Ed Fotheringham).

It was one of the content sites started by Paul Allen's Starwave company, then sold to the Walt Disney Co.'s Go Network. This past spring, Disney dismissed the site's Seattle staff and moved its home base to L.A. Then in August, Disney announced it would phase out the Go sites, laying off some 400 people here and in California. Web hits to now redirect users to the more paltry entertainment section of Disney's, the final incarnation of what had been a locally based national chain of software stores, suspended all remaining operations on October 29. The first Egghead Discount Software store (backed by the locally prominent Alhadeff family) opened in Bellevue during the MS-DOS days of 1983, when many PCs were still sold in tiny strip-mall stores and bore such forgotten brand names as Polaris, Eagle, and Morrow.

By 1995, Egghead had regional clusters of stores in over a dozen metro areas around the country. These stores offered more PC software titles than many computer stores themselves offered, at below list price. But the rise of big-box chain stores and dot-com retailers doomed Egghead's original niche. It moved its main office from Bothell to Issaquah to Spokane to Vancouver, WA, and finally to Menlo Park, CA. It phased out its physical stores and became online-only. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, and tried to sell itself to a California big-box chain. But nothing worked. At the time of its demise, Egghead had become a mere shell of its former self.

Mark Sidran's mayoral bid sputtered and died on November 15, when a late absentee-ballot count gave the Seattle mayoral election to Greg Nickels. As of last Friday, the count gave a 2,726-vote lead to Nickels out of some 166,000 votes cast.

Sidran had spent 12 years turning the City Attorney's Office into a bully pulpit for attacks against minorities, youth, the poor, working families, renters, and just about anyone who wasn't a white, upscale baby boomer. His candidacy had the downtown business lobby's full backing and received the most one-sided local media coverage given to any candidate since Alf Landon ran against FDR in '36. But in the end, Sidran's tactics generated more enemies than friends.