Robert Cringely's much-quoted "I,Cringely" of November 17 (speculation on the 'Google Box') and November 24 (on the 'Google Cube') and the LA Times' "Media: The Year Ahead" of January 1 (predictions of a number of possible mergers) show how rumours sometimes develop.
Cringely was elaborated by Bear Stearns on December 19 (!). They even hosted a conference call with him. I myself linked to his columns on November 25 and November 30. Then, in January the story all of a sudden became hot. Google, by the way, denied any plans in this direction.
The LA Times article led to some heat around Yahoo! last Tuesday.