Hallie’s story runs on the front page of the N&O

Hallie was featured on the front page of the N&O, 15 Nov 2017


The story of the new environmental lawsuit that Hallie is participating in (along with two other teens) ran on the front page of the News and Observer today. Pretty cool to see that.

This is at least the second time she’s been featured on the N&O’s front page, if not the third. The first time was when she was still a guest of the WakeMed NICU.

Red Hat IPO

A red hat


I was thinking about the early days of Red Hat this weekend and the company’s IPO. That got me looking up Red Hat’s S-1 statement which was filed for their IPO. Two things made me laugh:

1. Red Hat all of 125 employees when it went public, and
2. Red Hat actually told investors it was banking on ad revenue from its website!

OUR STRATEGY

We seek to enhance our position as a leading provider of open source software and services by:

– continuing to enhance our Web site to create the definitive online destination for the open source community; [Emphasis mine]

– expanding our professional services capabilities to capture large corporate business on an enterprise basis;

– increasing market acceptance of open source software, particularly through technology alliances and sharing our development efforts and resources with third-party developers;

– continuing to invest in the development of open source technology; and

– enhancing the Red Hat brand through targeted advertising and public relations campaigns.

What makes this even funnier is that the S-1 also lists Google as a Red Hat customer:

Red Hat Customers in 1999

Hmm, where do you think all of that web advertising revenue went?

The company is quite different today than the company that went public in 1999, which seems to have been more smoke and mirrors. I’m glad they finally figured it out because it’s good to still have them around!

Critiquing Raleigh’s new logo

City of Raleigh logo

Yesterday, the City of Raleigh approved its very first logo after working on it with a design firm for a year. Initially I was not so sure about the design since it appeared to be very antiseptic. As I’ve studied it more it’s grown (so to speak) on me a bit.

My comments is that the tree resembles the hated Bradford Pear rather than an oak that is part of our “City of Oaks” nickname. Nothing says quality like a smelly, brittle tree that collapses with the slightest breeze! The logo is also a bit more angular than I would prefer. Too many sharp edges, like a pile of green razor blades.

Bradford Pear


But you know what? My opinion doesn’t really matter. I wasn’t involved in the process, I’m not a design professional, and I don’t have a vote at the table. No one logo is going to please everyone and I applaud the Council for bravely making the change. I would consider anything an improvement over using the Raleigh City Seal on everything as the seal was never meant to be used as a logo. Any logo is better than no logo at all (i.e, the seal), so I’m happy that Raleigh has something it can now use. If the Council decides in 10 or 15 years that it is ready for something new, it will at least have something to build on.

I can live with it. Not bad for a first try.

Now if Raleigh can refresh its flag

A witness to #metoo behavior

It was a warm Sunday afternoon in October, 2016.

I’ve just left the Amtrak station in downtown Raleigh. Unable (or too cheap) to call a cab, I drag my overnight back behind as I trudge up Dawson Street toward my home 2 miles away. The rhythm of my pace and the grinding of my bag’s battered wheels along the sidewalk lulls me into a sort of trance.

As I reach the corner of Hargett, I see a rough-looking man approaching. As I’m starting to make room for him on the sidewalk, a woman on a bicycle passes me (safely) from behind. As she passes, the man catcalls her and makes loud, suggestive comments.

In a blink it was over. The man, possibly drunk, stumbles on behind me. The woman, wearing headphones, was immune to his drunken come-ons and was long gone. I pause to think what I should have done or what I might have done.

Had the man been dumb enough to touch that woman I would’ve certainly jumped him. I’m a pretty friendly guy but I don’t like bullying of any sort, yet I was also stunned at what I just heard. It’s 2016. Some men still do this shit? I mean, really? What did this guy hope to accomplish with his clumsy come-ons?

He was clearly a loser and a drunk one at that. She was oblivious and went on with her ride. I continued walking, pondering how the world still needed some work.

Seattle brewed: Amazon’s rapid growth transforms a city — but it’s complicated | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A cautionary tale for those cities vying to be the second headquarters of Amazon. Raleigh, be careful what you wish for.

“Seattle was a great place to live before Amazon. If you can afford it, it’s a great place to live now. That’s the caveat — if you can afford it,” said Knute Berger, a Seattle native and historian who is a columnist for Crosscut.com and editor at large for Seattle Magazine.

Mr. Berger wrote a commentary for Crosscut titled “Bidder beware,” warning the countless cities, including Pittsburgh, competing for a shot at Amazon’s second headquarters and its promise of 50,000 jobs that they may end up with more than they bargained for.

“That sounds crazy because of the success of the company. But Amazon has come with costs, too, for the community. Not everyone is a winner in the Amazon economy,” he said.

Source: Seattle brewed: Amazon’s rapid growth transforms a city — but it’s complicated | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Bay Area housing: Sunnyvale home sells $800,000 above asking

This story caught my eye, when a modest, 2,000sf home in Sunnyvale, CA sold for $800,000 over asking price. True, there is a little real estate sleight-of-hand going on here with how it was priced but there’s no denying that this is an eye-popping sale.

This kind of outrageous housing market is what comes to mind when I think of what might happen if Amazon chooses to set up its second headquarters in the Triangle. I think of the stunning metamorphosis that’s taken place this year in the neighborhood surrounding East Raleigh’s Ligon Middle School, where affordable homes have been all but demolished in favor of fancy new homes, and I wonder how long it will be before no one here but stock-option millionaires can live where they work.

Be careful what you wish for, Raleigh. More on this in an upcoming blog post.

A house in Sunnyvale just sold for close to $800,000 over its listing price.

Your eyes do not deceive you: The four-bed, two-bath house — less than 2,000 square feet — listed for $1,688,000 and sold for $2,470,000.

“I think it’s the most anything has ever gone for over asking in Sunnyvale — a record for Sunnyvale,” said Dave Clark, the Keller Williams agent who represented the sellers in the deal. “We anticipated it would go for $2 million, or over $2 million. But we had no idea it would ever go for what it went for.

”This kind of over-bidding is known to happen farther north in cities including Palo Alto, Los Altos and Mountain View. But as those places have grown far too expensive for most buyers, future homeowners have migrated south to Sunnyvale, a once modest community that now finds itself among the Bay Area’s real estate hot spots.

Source: Bay Area housing: Sunnyvale home sells $800,000 above asking

Is Indy up to the task of covering local news?


I had been feeling encouraged that the Indy Week newspaper has been sending reporters to the local government meetings that the News and Observer has apparently chosen to skip. Raleigh desperately needs a local paper of record and the N&O has opted to cast a wider net.

My cheering for the Indy comes to a crashing halt, though, when I read stories like this one. Indy reporter Thomas Goldsmith asks the valid question of whether Seth Crossno’s “ITB Insider” blog is right to claim a sponsored blog post is an in-kind political donation. All fine and good, but Goldsmith loses me when he writes “candidate Bonner” instead of calling Raleigh City Councilor Bonner Gaylord, “candidate Gaylord.”

Bonner Gaylord

An announcement of candidate Bonner’s candidacy was labeled as humor. Crossno says the in-kind donation for that story has been submitted and will be listed on a future disclosure form.

Gaylord has been serving as a Raleigh city councilor since 2009. There is no excuse for a reporter writing about local politics to not get his name right. What’s worse, this is not the first time I’ve seen Indy make this mistake.

Come on, Indy. Don’t destroy your credibility right from the get-go. You’re the only game in town now and we need you to get it right.