Mr. Armaan Premjee and Richland Acquisitions Offer To Buy Your Land, But They Don’t Mean It

I received a two-page “offer” in the mail of $47K for some real-estate I own, with a contract ready to sign. It wasn’t a real offer. I’ve done some analysis so that other folks can understand what’s going on when someone out of the blue sends you a letter offering money for your property.

The offer was from Richland Acquisitions of Dallas, Texas, owned by one Armaan Premjee. You can see a YouTube video of Mr. Premjee explaining his business here. He claims to be a “wholesale” land flipper. It seems that sometimes he actually does buy land. He just doesn’t buy all of the land for which he sends offer letters. Or maybe not much of it. Which seems deceptive to me.

What you read here is all my opinion, and I am neither an attorney nor a real estate expert. I’ve been sued for defamation before, so I am careful to stay on the right side of the 1st Amendment and the California anti-SLAPP law. (I won my case, and the court made the guy who sued me pay $315,000 for my defense.)

Mr. Premjee and his company’s offer included a contract that I would have been required to sign by April 10 if I wanted the money. It was March 20 when I received it. It had a few interesting things:

  • It was binding on me, but it allowed Mr. Premjee and his company to back out any time right up to the final closing date, for any reason.
  • It had a maximum 112-day delay between contract acceptance and closing, when I would supposedly get paid.
  • It included a term allowing them to advertise my property before they actually paid for it.
  • It included the fact that there could be a “double closing”. I think this means that they may sell your property to someone else at the same time that they buy it.

I wrote to Mr. Premjee asking for the name of his escrow company and why there was a 112-day delay between the contract acceptance and closing. I quickly received an email back from one “Brian Smith” stating “After taking a closer look at the property we have decided it would not be a good fit for us.”

So, the offer wasn’t real. I can guess a few things from this:

From the video referenced above, it’s clear that the letters are sent out in bulk. He talks about making offers in “entire counties” and scaling to “entire states”, for a set of properties in those areas that fit his initial parameters, stated in the video, things that make the property more easily buildable and more likely to sell.

Although the letters appear to be offers, I don’t believe that Mr. Premjee and his company have performed their full due diligence on the property before making the “offer”, as indicated by Mr. “Smith’s” email quickly rejecting my property once I inquired about it. They make no commitment to actually go through with the offer. So, for all of the people who return signed contracts, it sounds to me that Mr. Premjee and his company then take a look at the properties and decide which ones they are interested in, and maybe at what price.

And what about the “double closing?” One of the contract terms allows Mr. Premjee and his company to advertise your property before he actually pays for it. So, it sounds to me like the “wholesale” part is that he actually gets his own buyer for your property before he pays you for it, buys and sells at the same time, and pockets the difference. And perhaps if it doesn’t sell in those 112 days, he doesn’t buy it at all.

OK, clever “system”, as he calls it in the video, but in my opinion somewhat shady, because it’s not explained to the land owner what is really happening, and that the offer isn’t really an offer. Probably nothing illegal but I will check with the California Department of Real Estate.

Post-Open License: First Draft

At the link below is the first draft of the Post-Open License. This is not yet the product of a qualified attorney, and you shouldn’t apply it to your own work yet. There isn’t context for this license yet, so some things won’t make sense: for example the license is administered by an entity called the “POST-OPEN ADMINISTRATION” and I haven’t figured out how to structure that organization so that people can trust it. There are probably also terms I can’t get away with legally, this awaits work with a lawyer.

Because the license attempts to handle very many problems that have arisen with Open Source licensing, it’s big. It’s approaching the size of AGPL3, which I guess is a metric for a relatively modern license, since AGPL3 is now 17 years old.

Send comments privately to bruce at perens dot com.

License Text

Linux on HP Sceptre x360

February, 2024.

I purchased an HP Sceptre x360 16′ laptop with 3840×2400 UHD+ display. I got this because it was affordable and had about the highest resolution display unless there is some exotic and unaffordable 8K laptop out there. I am mostly doing 2D web graphics development.

For some reason this laptop came with the display disabled in BIOS, and at first presented a disappointing black screen when turned on. I think it was Fn-F12 that finally turned on the lights, or it might have been holding down the power button for long enough for the machine to clear the BIOS parameters. Perhaps this is why Best Buy offered an $800 “open-box” discount on what was obviously not an opened box. Once it booted into Windows and ran it initial software update, it immediately went into an HP BIOS updater and reflashed the BIOS.

Debian 12 installed and ran.

The processor is a 13th Gen Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-1360P. This is a hybrid CPU, the cores all run the same instruction set but they aren’t all the same. There are 4 P (for performance) cores which have hyperthreading and run at high frequency. Because of hyperthreading, they each appear as 2 CPUs to Linux, but the CPU is only running one of the 2 threads at any time. Hyperthreading reduces the overhead of multiprocessing when there are more processes to run than there are CPUs. Without hyperthreading, switching processes would otherwise require flushing caches and reloading the registers and the virtual memory system. There are 8 E (for efficient) cores which run at lower frequency and are power efficient. The E-cores don’t support hyperthreading and each appears to Linux as 1 CPU. The Intel Thread Director hardware reports statistics on these processors to the Linux scheduler, which can then schedule them as appropriate. You can manually choose which are used with the taskset command.

There are several issues with this laptop because Intel has not yet properly supported its own hardware on Linux.

The keyboard can be folded back and the laptop used like a huge, heavy tablet. Gnome/Wayland recognize when the display has been turned on its side, but don’t recognize when it’s right-side up again! You’re stuck. I’ve not yet found what is missing and where.

The Xe graphics work well enough to stream movies and run WebGL. There is also a discrete ARC 370 graphics controller which is listed as a PCI device, but I’m not at all clear if it’s being used. A driver is available for Ubuntu (because some Dell laptops are certified to run Ubuntu) and may not yet be upstreamed. I will investigate further.

The Intel IPU6 integrated camera is an incredible dumpster fire. I’m not kidding. It’s an integrated 5MP camera. Sounds simple. doesn’t that? All of those use UVC and work with existing drivers, right? Well, not this one. In order to save a few dollars at most, this is a non-UVC camera, and a lot of what would be in embedded firmware on a UVC camera has to run in user-mode libraries. Sounds bad, right? It gets worse.

There is a repository full of proprietary Intel firmware and image processing libraries for the camera, even though there could be no business-differentiating value in a 5MP integrated camera design which would justify making it proprietary at this late date, and camera image-processing, including autofocus, is well-known art and available today for other cameras as Open Source.

There are four large Intel git repositories in total required for the camera drivers, one of which has the main branch empty, just to give you a hard time, and you have to figure out the branch to check out and then figure out all of the dependencies to build this stuff. This is at least an hour’s work. Another manufacturer might have listed all of the dependencies, put everything in one place, and made it work by just typing “make install”. What Intel has done is make it work only where they were obligated to do so. Which is Ubuntu and Windows. Everyone else might be able to figure it out from that. This isn’t good community member Intel that I’m used to.

Once you get all of that working, it is not so simple as just loading a driver. The camera needs a user-mode pipeline to do its processing. That connects to a Video4Linux loop device so that the camera can interface with existing software as if it were actually a kernel device. It depends on V4l-relay, which doesn’t appear to be in Debian so I’ll have to find that. You can configure udev to start this pipeline, but it doesn’t appear that Intel actually documented how to do so.

After you do that, there is some additional configuration necessary so that the browser can see your device, which Intel has not documented. Some folks figured it out for other Linux distributions, and it looks non-trivial, with a lot of files modified.

In the interim, I bought a UVC camera on Amazon which I will hang on the back of the display, until some other poor soul in the Open Source world works this out entirely. Which Intel really should be doing with paid staff for more than just Ubuntu.

Requirement for SVG Designer

This is a solicitation I am making to SVG artists. If you can fulfill it, please respond to bruce at perens dot com.

I am making a web remote control panel for two-way radios. Here is the meter I have already designed: I am now making knobs, buttons, and switches. When incorporated into my program, these will move appropriately for the device pictured. I’m not an artist, and could use some help. I worked at Pixar long ago, but was a systems programmer, rather than graphics, so I have some competence, but am not really a graphics expert.

What I would like, to start with, would be a knob. These are a good example: but I would like all of the rights to the SVG produced, and I have some specific requirements because the end result will be animated.

I’d like the SVG to be drawn with Inkscape, as that is easily available for people to modify the SVG. My program uses a canvas with the center at 0,0. I don’t think Inkscape can do that, but I would translate the drawn SVG to that origin for my program. The size of the canvas should be 1000,1000.

The knob should have a layer which is stationary and is a disc with a brushed metal effect and a beveled edge, a specular or distant light effect, and a layer which I will rotate by changing the transformation with my program. The rotating layer will be the pointer on the disc. It can contain other parts that rotate.

I will draw the scale around the knob with the same program that draws the scale on my meter demo, it can draw all sorts of scales.

I would like to be able to change the colors of the knob by modifying the SVG. I don’t know if you can do this, but if the brushed metal effect could be a transparent overlay over a solid color, that would work. If this works out, I am also looking for different styles of knob, and switches, etc.

Can you do that, and what would it cost?

Things A Parent Never Expects

My son admitted to his mother and I that he is a regular user of

Mustache wax!

OK, he went through Fire Science classes in high school, graduated high school with his EMT certificate, just in time for COVID, did 6000 ambulance calls, just got his Paramedic certificates, and he’s 22, 6’4″ and on track to work for a fire department. Where handlebar mustaches are somewhat popular.

We’re very proud of him. I just never expected to have a kid who uses mustache wax. 🙂

Utility Forgets It’s Mitigation Obligations

In the 1960’s, the East Bay Municipal Utility District, the provider of our water, and sewers for some districts, built the Woods Reservoir near where I live. Humorously, the acronym for our water company is EB MUD.

The Woods Reservoir included a half basketball court as mitigation – to contribute to neighborhood recreation in balance of the detriment to the neighborhood of a 3 Million Gallon steel-sided, wood-roofed reservoir sited on our otherwise residential neighborhood.

Over the years, EBMUD forgot its mitigation obligation and built its own infrastructure into the basketball court space. Finally, they sent a rather nasty sounding memo to the property owners in the neighborhood demanding that we remove the basketball stand that we illegally left on their property, or they would eject it on to our street (which is private property, not city-maintained). And stating that their reservoir was a “secure facility” and that we may not be there to play basketball.

A neighbor dug up to mitigation documents which will now be presented to the water district.

If you live near any sort of mitigation, it’s important to save documents and make sure they are transmitted to new homeowners when properties are sold.

Signed off Twitter

I’ve signed off of Twitter. They seem determined to sell themselves to Elon Musk, whom I will listen to about rockets and cars, but he’s quite the asshole regarding politics and many other topics.

It’s surprising how many people don’t know my email, which is almost the same as my name: bruce at perens dot com. Please feel free to write.

My phone is also pretty close to my name: +1 510-4-PERENS. Mind the US-Pacific time zone, please. It will tell you if you don’t.

There is also a cell phone for texts, which you can ask for via email.

Your ARDC Grant, The IRS, and The Public Support Test

By now, Amateur Radio organizations and others know about ARDC and their grant program. I’m going to discuss an IRS rule that will be a problem you must navigate if you are a 501(c)3 in the US and receive a large grant from ARDC.

ARDC states here that US-based entities that wish to receive grants must be a “501(c)(3) Public Charity, government agency, school, or university.” For the purpose of this article I will assume that you are in the US and aren’t a government entity or a school. Thus, according to that page, you must be a 501(c)3 or have one as a financial sponsor to receive an ARDC grant.

I have previously been told by ARDC that they will give grants to entities that are not a 501(c)3, but that the accounting requirements are much worse and require your annual financial statements and detailed data about how the money was spent. That’s not an official statement, and I don’t speak for them, so if you need this you should contact them directly.

To continue to be a 501(c)3, a charity must pass the Public Support Test. This test requires that 1/3 of your charity’s income must come from donors who each contribute less than 1/50 of your charity’s income.

So, let’s say that your charity receives a $100,000 grant from ARDC in a tax year, and no other large grants. To pass the Public Support Test, you must also raise $50,000 from donors who each donate $3000 or less. You could achieve this with 17 donations, but it is more likely that you would have hundreds or thousands of donors who each donated a small amount.

The way I have planned to do this for (which is still in the 501(c)3 process and hasn’t asked ARDC for anything yet) is to ask ARDC to double-match donations. In other words, for each $1 of small private donations, ARDC would give $2. Double-matching is a pretty strong motivator for people to donate: every $1 they put in becomes $3. So, I’d probably be able to collect donations sufficient to pass the Public Support Test and get the full amount of the grant from ARDC.

We first learned about this because Open Research Institute got a big grant from ARDC. I suspect it’s so large that they don’t have a hope of collecting small donations sufficient to pass the Public Support Test – and the tax year in which they had to do this may already have passed. This not their fault – the public support test requirement came as a surprise to them, and me too – but the IRS might convert them to a private foundation instead of a 501(c)3, and they might lose the ability for donors like you and me to write their donations off of their taxes.

ARDC is a non-profit and doesn’t need this write-off. It’s smaller donors like you and me who do.

When your organization fails the Public Support Test, it’s called “tipping” in tax jargon, because it causes your 501(c)3 to “tip” over to being a private foundation. This is not the end of the world for an organization, but it’s sub-optimal for collecting donations from individuals and businesses.

One problem here is that ARDC doesn’t want to give their prospective grantees tax guidance, because, no doubt, their lawyers have told them not to – for their own legal protection. So they don’t explain the situation I just have. I am not a tax attorney, or a tax accountant, and you should consult those folks.

What You Get From “Paid Job Search” Companies

During my job search, I looked at Browning and Associates, a paid job search company, and declined to make use of them. IMO there is more than enough online from people who did pay to convince you to take another path. Today I got an email from them presenting a potential employee. I just wanted to present it here, so that people would know what they get. IMO, I can spam people myself, and don’t need to pay for the service. ALL CAPS content was anonymized by me. John Seraichyk and his wife are principals in the company, so he hasn’t been anonymized.

I would consider the client like any other applicant, although I would be a bit concerned that she didn’t feel she could make rain for herself and picked a company that I, in the same position, rejected. Perhaps she’s busy with kids at home during COVID-19, so maybe not her fault.

I am sure that besides letters like this and perhaps some phone calls, Mr. Seriachyk and his wife offer resume polishing and various tips on working with HR professionals and how to present yourself during an interview. This is also stuff you can find online for free, but perhaps as a public speaker I discount the value to some, especially the more shy.

John Seraichyk [email protected] via 10:22 AM (0 minutes ago)
to me

Dear Bruce,

My colleagues may have recently contacted you to introduce an Executive of Information Technology I am working with, XXX. XXX is exploring the possibility of seeking a new executive role and thought you might be interested in sharing your industry experience and expertise. At the same time, she wants to get to know you and share ideas and contacts you may find beneficial.

I’ve come to know XXX as a purveyor of cost savings and a spectacular leader, demonstrating this over the years with her successful management of a project with BIG MEDIA COMPANY where she created a clear vision, model, and execution roadmap for a shared BIG MEDIA COMPANY / OTHER BIG MEDIA COMPANY intellectual property management platform, and integrated all IP and metadata-dependent systems, creating the basis of digital supply chain for ADVERB media company. Furthermore, she designed and led the build of BIG MEDIA COMPANY’s key internal billing system, delivering the program in 6 months with no project budget to save an estimated $10M in outside consulting fees and recoup $500K in lost revenue in the first year; her system is still used today.

Please let me know if you would like a formal introduction. I understand that you are very busy, and I sincerely appreciate your time. Below is her Linkedin as a preview. 


John H Seraichyk
Browning Associates