// The Comment #13

The Comment is a weekly digest of the stuff that grabbed my attention or occupied some part my mind during the past week. Normally, it’ll be one thing that’s really been on my mind, followed by a handful of things that I found interesting. The Comment will be published each Monday at 10:30AM EST.

Thanks for reading.

// Pixel 2, Four Months In

I’ve had my Pixel 2 XL for 4 months. My experience with it has been mostly good, though there were some issues, some self-inflicted.

I dropped my Pixel on a sidewalk in Boston and cracked the screen. It was in a MNML “case”. The touch screen worked, but the crack was too much to bear every day so I paid the ~$200 to get it fixed at UBreakifix. A few weeks later, with the replacement screen installed, I noticed some weird fringing on the right side of the screen. It looked almost like there was ink spilled inside the phone. UBreakifix took care of this issue at no charge to me.

Sometime in late December or January, after the Android 8.1 update, my proximity sensor stopped working. When the proximity sensor stops working, the Always On Display turns off after 10 seconds and squeeze for Assistant stops working as well. On phone calls, the only way to revive the phone is if the party on the other end of the call hangs up. When the proximity sensor stops working, the phone thinks its in my pocket or flipped over on its screen all of the the time. Nonetheless, it was annoying. The issue has been reported to Google for sometime. I wasn’t confident that a software fix would resolve the issue so I requested a RMA for my device.

The replacement (2nd Pixel) showed up without the proximity sensor issues. However, out of the box, the vibration motor sounded like a box of marbles. I lived with the replacement for a few weeks before coming to the conclusion that I shouldn’t. I RMA’d the device.

The replacement (now my 3rd Pixel) arrived and it’s perfect. Let’s hope it stays that way. It’s still fast, the camera is still superb, battery life is great, and software updates come very quickly. Other than the inconsistent hardware, I have no complaints 4 months into my Pixel 2 purchase.

# Roadblocks to home ownership

Aaron Glantz and Emmanuel Martinez of Reveal writing about the barriers to home ownership for people of color:

The disproportionate denials and limited anti-discrimination enforcement help explain why the homeownership gap between whites and African Americans is now wider than it was during the Jim Crow era.

In the United States, “wealth and financial stability are inextricably linked to housing opportunity and homeownership,” said Lisa Rice, executive vice president of the National Fair Housing Alliance, an advocacy group. “For a typical family, the largest share of their wealth emanates from homeownership and home equity.”

The latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show the median net worth for an African American family is now $9,000, compared with $132,000 for a white family. Latino families did not fare much better at $12,000.


Philadelphia was one of the largest cities in America where African Americans were disproportionately turned away when they tried to buy a home. African Americans and non-Hispanic whites make up a similar share of the population there, but the data showed whites received 10 times as many conventional mortgage loans in 2015 and 2016.

Banks also focused on serving the white parts of town, placing nearly three-quarters of all branches in white-majority neighborhoods, compared with 10 percent for black neighborhoods. Reveal’s analysis also showed that the greater the number of African Americans or Latinos in a neighborhood there, the more likely a loan application there would be denied – even after accounting for income and other factors.

The fact that this is happening is not surprising, but eye opening. Home ownership is avenue used by many families to move into the middle class. Homeowners benefit from favorable tax policy, housing stability, and hopefully, increasing equity / net worth. This is just one of many obstacles for people of color experience attempting to make a better life.

# Raising money to see Black Panther

A heartwarming story:

The 100 Black Men Triangle East Chapter exceeded its fundraising goal, raising nearly $6,000 to bring mentees and children from other organizations to the IMAX theater at Marbles Kids Museum to see the film.

As the group stepped up with their tickets, their excited and hopeful energy blended with those who had just left the theater following a previous showing of the film.

“The cast being black that way, I think that was miraculous and it set a tone for not only entertainment, but just in our own world that we live in,” Mitch Summerfield, a pastor who took men in his church to see the movie.

The hope is that the children who saw the movie Sunday night will walk away with a message that transcends their childhood.

# New Kooley High

Kooley High just released a single, “Ceiling” off their upcoming album “Never Come Down”. I’m a fan.

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