Stories by Jim Evans Back to Drawing Board Inc., an Idealab-backed online tutoring service, has cut most of its staff and scaled down its business dramatically because it was unable to raise another round of funding, according to an executive at the company.

Hitachi, Clarity Go for a Spin-Off

Hitachi Ltd. (HIT) spun off its fiber-optic component business into a separate U.S. company Tuesday to be jointly run by Hitachi and Clarity Group, an equal partnership between Los Angeles private-equity firm Clarity Partners and Marubeni (MARUY) Group, a Japanese trading house.

Betting on

Executives at Inc., the Santa Monica, Calif.-based business portal backed by ECompanies LLC, said Monday that a group of investors led by the Financial Times and Cahners has invested US$61 million in the company.

For, Crime Doesn't Pay got an infusion of cash Tuesday, but it wasn't quite the amount that the site needs. Nonetheless, the cash-poor crime site will gladly take it. Fires 13 Employees

Online magazine fired 13 workers and shut its Seattle office yesterday in a move aimed at cutting its operating expenses by 20 percent. Salon CEO Michael O'Donnell told The Standard that the company also will trim its marketing budget and discontinue some columns, though he wouldn't say which ones.

SoCal: Hatchery on the Rise?

If Southern California is becoming known as the land of new-media incubators, there's good reason. Yet another - this one called Shelter Ventures - officially opened its doors today, joining a crowded field that includes eCompanies and Idealab.

Old World, New Economy

It was a scene only a venture capitalist could love. In January more than a hundred Harvard MBA candidates jammed into a stuffy lecture room during a technology conference at the campus of the London Business School. They were there to ask a panel of European VCs the essential question: How do I convince you to give me millions of dollars for a business plan drawn on the back of a napkin?

Steady As She Goes

Net stocks generally steadied this week, buoyed by positive earnings reports from bellwethers America Online Inc. and Microsoft Corp.

The Web's Gatekeepers

The lines of power have been drawn. Four companies emerged in 1999 as gatekeepers of the Internet Economy: America Online, AT&T, Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo.

AOL's Wide World of Broadband?

The proposed $166 billion merger of America Online and Time Warner has sent a hurricane through the media and Internet worlds. Nowhere is the wind blowing harder than through the offices of ExciteAtHome and AT&T.

Sun moves into online auctions

Sun Microsystems, with the help of its resellers, is developing a Web site where it will auction off used Sun equipment, say sources close to the project.