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Red Hat IPO Surprise

CmdrTaco posted more than 14 years ago | from the doing-the-right-thing dept.

Red Hat Software 299

An anonymous told us that they recieved a little surprise in their inbox from Red Hat today: The NC boys have reserved a chunk of shares to be purchased on E*Trade by contributors to the open source comunity before the masses get their chance to super inflate them. Very cool on RHs part (even tho I didn't seem to make the cut *sniffle* :)

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299 comments

That's all well and good, but... (1)

generic-man (33649) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793092)

...what about Slashdot readers, and Red Hat Linux users? What are we, chopped liver? Do we get a crack at the IPO too?

Come on, I didn't open this E*TRADE account for my health.

US Residents only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793106)

I got one of these offers as well, but unfortunately it's for US Residents only...

This should be in the SPAM category, not Red Hate. (0)

Adam Heath (8109) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793108)

I don't know about you, but I, as a 'open source'(ick, I hate that name) developer do NOT have the kind of money to throw around that one needs to open an account with etrade.


Btw, they mailed MOST @debian.org addresses. I know of one person who did NOT get an email, because he doesn't maintain any packages. However, he wrote apt, so, ....

RedHat - a spammer (1)

ajk (944) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793176)

Agreed. It appears that they sent it to every Debian developer. I have never expressed any interest in RH stock nor would I be eligible to buy some, since I'm a Finn. Yet they send this to me. It was spam. RedHat is a spammer.

I'm glad I've never been a RH user.

Re:Not cool, SPAM; SEC violation? (2)

Booker (6173) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793177)

I think that this is called "directed shares" and E*Trade has a mailbox and a phone number set up specifically for this ("directed shares" in general, not Red Hat specifically.)

Now, I don't know if directed shares are a different pool set aside for "friends and family" or if it just means "hey, we targeted you with an email and we hope you buy some." In other words, I don't know if people who got this offer have any better chance of participating in the IPO.

I seriously doubt that this is an SEC violation - surely E*Trade and Red Hat's lawyers would have stopped it otherwise.

YMMV, IANAI (I am not an investor)... Well, not much of one anyway. :)

The first hit is free (1)

Andrew Sterian (182) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793179)

Why is this good? Open source contributors who previously had no particular loyalty to a specific distribution now have a reason to favor Red Hat (assuming they buy into the IPO).

What will the community think when Mr. Renowned Developer publicly says, "Personally, my favorite distro is Red Hat"? In the back of our minds will be, "Hmmm...I wonder if he was allowed in on the IPO"

Who got these? (1)

amit_kr (22877) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793182)

I wonder how Red Hat created their list... it says "Dear open source community member", and I haven't really contributed to Open Source just yet (that's changing in the next month, however)... hmmm...

You haven't been giving out emails, have you Rob?

:-)

amit

Re:Not cool, SPAM; SEC violation? (1)

KyleCordes (10679) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793183)

It does not "cost" per se; rather, you have to deposit at least $1000 in your account there.

(Which makes sense... why would anyone want a brokerage account with no money in it?)

None of that amount is a fee, it is money in an account. You can close your account next week and get your $1000 back.

I don't know how they define who is allowed in, but if I were offered Redhat IPO shares at the IPO price, I would buy some.

Re:Who got these? (1)

John Goerzen (2781) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793188)

They apparently used some sort of software to snarf e-mails from the Debian list of packages for people to spam. Outside of Debian developers, I don't know who else received them.

Re:Not cool, SPAM; SEC violation? (1)

John Goerzen (2781) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793189)

You can argue about semantics if you wish, but the point remains.

I don't object to the offer, but more so to being spammed about it. I should have thought that they would have been more responsible about it. They must be mining e-mail addresses of their competitors or something....

Sad People (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793192)

So if someone who thinks you deserve reward for your work sends you email you bitch.

Tell me, do you also flame people who invite you to parties on nights you are busy ?

Re:Who got these? (1)

amit_kr (22877) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793197)

Hmmm... Well I've never even *used* Debian, much less develop any of it (no religious reasons, never got hold of it or had a free m/c to load it on. Hear it's pretty good tho... (there, now nobody'll flame me :-)))

amit

Not Uncommon (1)

taniwha (70410) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793199)

This sort of thing isn't that uncommon - offering access to an IPO to 'friends of the company' but it's usually done quietly and not quite as widely

Last time I got offered this it was with 3 hours warning and I passed - the stock went to 100 - I coulda taken a year off and just written open-source stuff :-(

They're using some mailing list to generate this, I hope it's from the maintainers of all the stuff in their distributions, this would not only be cool but somewhat appropriate

Directed Shares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793206)

It means you get to buy them if you wish at the initial price, before the market takes them up (or down). You get in before the masses.

Sheesh! (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793208)


.... and people wonder why so many tech startups fail! A company practically throws money at you, enabling you to get in on ground level on what's shaping up to be a successful IPO and people complain "OH NO, SPAM!!!"

Yeah, I'd hate to get mail like that.

Re:Psychological problems or just... (1)

Syslevel (69599) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793209)

Nope, he's just looking for a rental tomcat to do stud service.

His queen is in heat.

Re:Sad People (1)

ajk (944) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793211)

So if someone who thinks you deserve reward for your work sends you email you bitch.

If Red Hat wants to reward me for my work with free software in general and Debian in particular, they should contact me personally.

Tell me, do you also flame people who invite you to parties on nights you are busy?

Assuming they don't spam me with it, no, I don't.

Re:Who got these? (1)

EMR (13768) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793214)

I got one of these too.
The only reason i can think of why is that I have sent in several bug reports of software (and also fixes for them) to RedHat throught their bug system.

Re:Directed Shares (2)

Booker (6173) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793215)

Anyone with an E*Trade account (for example) has a shot at "getting in before the masses." E*Trade has an IPO center, and you can try to get in on any IPO (It's basically a lottery for the popular IPOs). I'm wondering if the people who were extended this offer from Red Hat have a *better* chance at it than the general public, or if they're in the same boat as everyone else.

Re:Who got these? (2)

Viv (54519) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793217)

I believe they got at least some of them from bugzilla on developer.redhat.com.

I'm not entirely sure, mind you, but the only place I can think of where I've been an open source contributer is bug 3701 there. (not that I don't want to be, mind you, I've just never coded anything useful)

Re:The first hit is free (1)

spacey (741) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793220)

Puh-leeze. Anyone with any ethics would disclose any such statement, and reporter or publication worth reading would print such a disclosure.

This is an extremely generous on the part of redhat. It seems that they're offering "friends and family" shares to any developer who wishes to participate, because they're acknolwedging that their company relies on our work. As with any company going public, these shares cost, but they're rarely offered to this large a group.

As far as contributers to debian, and other distros are concerned, their work has gone into redhat's product, and redhat's work has informed and helped and been similarly incorperated with debian and the other distros as well. This may not happen so much these days, but it sure was the case in the past.

-Peter

Linux kernel developers? (1)

Mercenary (4036) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793223)

Well, my guess is that everyone in the Linux kernel CREDITS list got hit for a start. That's pretty much the only place where I can be found on the Open Source scene. Who knows? :)

Unfortunately, I'm based in England. Waaah.

Great Offer (3)

rstewart (31100) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793226)

For all of you that think this is spam think again this is a GREAT offer. Why is this great? Well simply put this is an offer to get in on the ground floor price before it shoots through the ceiling. By the end of the day the price will more then likely be triple or more the initial price and that is quite a return on an investment. If you sell at the end of the day it's quite profitable.

Admittedly some do not have the $$ to open an E*Trade account and partake but those who can it is an excellent offer. All I can say is that Red Hat did have a good idea here since it is an excellent offer (whether you like the company or not) to make some $$ quite easily and with virtually no risk. No one says you *HAVE* to hang on to the shares at the end of the day (or week) they'll be worth quite a bit more and make you a nice profit.

I only wish that I'd received an email about this however a lot of my work is not high profile or where they would have heard of me. For the developers overseas all I can surmise is that RedHat did it in this way by email to limit the number of offers to just those developing and not to where the average person could get the info and take advantage of it. Why all the Debian developers? Simple they probably needed a quick and easy way to get the info out or it would be useless to waste a lot of people's time just looking for people that would be interested.

This is in a way them saying thank you to the developers by letting them make some $$ off of their IPO whether they like the company or not.

I'd love to get in (1)

rawrats (16165) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793228)

As I work only on a small open source project, my name was not broadcast to the world as an Open Source Community Member. But seeing as I do have spare cash, if anyone who did get the offer doesn't want to take advantage of it, I'd be happy to open the account and give a hefty percentage of any potential profit to whomever gave me the opportunity. You can email me at artoo@home.com if you're interested.

Not spam, Not illegal, but way cool (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793229)

Personally, I think this is a great reward. First, it's not spam--If you were sent a username and password for an online trading account worth a million bucks unsolicited in the e-mail (with a reason and your name attached) would you turn it down? No. You would be jealous of the guy next to you if he got that account though. It's also very much in the "directed shares" category. Who made huge chunks of the product they sell, the community, so who are they trying to reward? The community. They can't get everybody (so don't bitch if you didn't get e-mailed) but they seem to have tried to hit a bunch. I've sent in patches to various packages I've worked with, and I'm not pissed that I didn't get e-mailed, but who cares, it's the thought that counts. In addition, stuff like this usually amounts to 100 shares a person, and if you have to open an account at etrade at $2000 and it opens at 20, then you just spend all the $ anyway, so don't bitch about the $$.

Re:Not cool, SPAM; SEC violation? (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793230)

Posted by shaver@netscape.com:

``Worse, they spammed lots of non-US people, that aren't even eligible.'' I must have missed the RFC on ``determining US taxresidency from email address''. I'm not a US resident either, and I got the note (4 times!), but I'm not upset. (Well, I'm not the SEC's biggest fan, but I'm certainly not upset with Red Hat because they weren't able to perfectly execute on what I think is an excellently nice plan.) I don't even want to think about what kind of hoops they had to jump through to give special opportunity to what are, from the SEC's perspective, just a bunch of randomly chosen email addresses.

Re:Not cool, SPAM; SEC violation? (2)

methuseleh (29812) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793232)

A few points:

  1. You can open an Etrade account w/ just $1000. However to buy 100 RHAT shares at the expected IPO price of $12 you'd need $1219.95.

  2. Etrade limits IPO purchases to 100 shares for all traders, all IPOs. It's just an offer; you don't have to take them up on it.

  3. Email addresses care not about geopolitical borders. If Red Hat has an email list of OSS developers, they can't tell where the developers are located geographically. I'm sure they just wanted to make sure all of the developers got a chance to participate.

  4. Apparently, Red Hat recognizes the value of all OSS developers, and generously made this opportunity available to developers of "rival" projects, not just their own. Shame on them.

  5. IANAL, but I think "MakingAnOffer" ne "Hyping"

  6. Nor am I an OSS developer, but if I were I'd consider myself lucky to be given this chance. As it is, I'll just have to throw my name into the lottery with the rest of the regular Joes.



--

What about MAINTAINERS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793235)

I know someone who's in MAINTAINERS, but not CREDITS and they haven't received anything yet.

What defines contributor to open source? (1)

Shaheen (313) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793237)

I'm a developer on an open source project. I've contributed very very little to the Linux open source community, but am an active developer on a Windows open source project to make Windows more customizable (kind of like X).

Does this qualify me? No, for some reason.

I just thought I'd ask: Who qualifies? Is it anyone who has written open source code? If that's the case, many many of us deserve a few shares.

Not SPAM. (2)

MrEd (60684) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793238)

Come on, this isn't an ad to take out personal ads in the National Enquirer and get rich in thirty days. This is an invitation to buy stock which may add a sizable chunk to your savings in a few years, from a company which has done a lot for the Open source community.

Let's face it, E-trade is one of the few ways Joe Bloes like us are going to get our hands on IPO stock. The big boys on Wall Street pick up most of it, and it's damn hard to get any when you only want to buy a hundred shares. I don't think you are justified in denouncing it as spam. Delete the email. Rant a bit. Sleep on it.

Also, how is Red Hat to know whether you are a non-US citizen? I use a NetForward address to (very primitively) protect my privacy, and there's no quick way to tell where the email ends up (as it turns out, I'm Canadian. Boo hoo, no IPO for me). Admittedly, they could simply not send email to anyone whos email address ends in a foreign country's suffix, but you might just be an American student working abroad.

I support their decision to offer IPO stock to everyone associated with the Open Source community. It's very generous of them.

redhat's trying to do people a favor (5)

austad (22163) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793240)

Quit your bitching!!!! I can't believe you're calling redhat spammers... Sure they sent out emails to many people, but they are doing these people a favor. They are not getting any personal gain out of it.

Here's what happens:
1. Red Hat emails a bunch of developers to tell them about their IPO and how they can get in early.
2. Developer chooses to open an etrade account (initial $1000 DEPOSIT, not a fee, you can get your money back by closing the account)
3. Red Hat's IPO happens. The price will (probably 99.9% chance) shoot up way above the initial offering, and then eventually drop off a little (or possibly alot).
4. Developer sells off stock at much higher price than he bought it for and makes lots of money, or chooses to hold on to it expecting it to climb higher sometime in the future.

Hmmm, who wins at this???? Well, the developer makes some money (looks like a good way for RedHat to give a little extra thanks back to the Open Source community), and etrade gets 29.90 for executing the trades for you (BFD, you just made a bunch of cash). Red Hat doesn't really gain anything out of it except maybe a short-lived bias towards their distribution.

Red Hat doesn't necessarily make the best distribution, but they definitely don't make the worst. They've had to put up with a lot of shit over the last few months because many people in the Linux community seem to adopt the idea that making money is evil and Red Hat is turning into Microsoft. Just because they try to turn a buck doesn't make them evil. Suse made more money last quarter than RedHat and they don't seem be criticized as much. Quit your complaining about this and take it for what it is... a simple thank you from Red Hat to the developers of open source software.

Re:Linux kernel developers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793241)

I'll give your idea some support... got one too and I've been in the CREDITS for a few months.

One thing I wonder about is if they've also been extracting addresses from the linux-kernel list... hmm.

You know what... (1)

MrEd (60684) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793245)

Come on, this isn't an ad to take out personal ads in the National Enquirer and get rich in thirty days. This is an very generous invitation to buy stock which may add a sizable chunk to your savings in a few years, from a company which has done a lot for the Open source community.

Let's face it, E-trade is one of the few ways Joe Bloes like us are going to get our hands on IPO stock. The big boys on Wall Street pick up most of it, and it's damn hard to get any when you only want to buy a hundred shares. I don't think you are justified in denouncing it as spam. Delete the email. Rant a bit. Sleep on it.

Also, how is Red Hat to know whether you are a non-US citizen? I use a NetForward address to (very primitively) protect my privacy, and there's no quick way to tell where the email ends up (as it turns out, I'm Canadian. Boo hoo, no IPO for me). Admittedly, they could simply not send email to anyone whos email address ends in a foreign country's suffix, but you might just be an American student working abroad.

I support their decision to offer IPO stock to everyone associated with the Open Source community. It's very generous of them. Think how much ranting would be going on if they only offered their IPO stock to Red Hat developers.

Re:Sheesh! (2)

seva (5510) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793246)

First of all it's not a successful IPO just yet.

Second, it's not like they are doing you a favor, this is normal... Companies that help bring the IPO always get a share to sell it to their customers first, look at dozens of other E*Trade IPO offering. They will only have a limited supply for people like us though, most of the "hot" IPOs are reserved for people with large accounts who trade often, yet keep the stocks for a while...

They probably have a 100 shares for this total, and E*Trade just found a way to get tons of new accounts open...

/Simon

More info! (1)

Uruk (4907) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793248)

Who counts? People who's software is in Redhat? On the contrib net? People who can verify that they've written something? (I've written a mean implementation of hello world in C...fastest algorithm YOU'LL ever see..)

Goldman Sachs is doing the underwriting - aka since it's a small offering they're going to offer it to their clients first. Unless you're a client of GS chances are you'll have to buy it on the open market not at IPO. That sucks.

RED HAT (0)

gavinhall (33) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793251)

Posted by Moneycrawler:

This story is a farse. For RED HAT to send such a message would be a direct violation of the SEC code and could very well affect their IPO status. I would say that RED HAT isn't going to go very far if they did in fact send this message. Looks like another case of email fraud to me.

Hrmph... (1)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793253)

Well, I'm currently involved in Open Source development efforts, mostly with the newly released AOLserver 3 source code. I guess I don't get an email because I'm not on kernel contributor or redhat contributor lists (although I have made bug reports on 3com ethernet driver code in the past). Anyway, I have an Etrade account and wouldn't mind getting in on this offer to snag 100 shares... anyone who did get the email and can't / doesn't want to get in on IPO, email me at gabriel@media.mit.edu... I figure this gives me a much better chance at getting some of these IPO shares than throwing in my hat with every other small investor.

Yes SPAM (was: Re:Not SPAM.) (1)

ajk (944) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793254)

Any unsolicited mass mail is by definition spam. I did not solicit this mail, and I know it was sent to others, too, so it's spam.

Also, how is Red Hat to know whether you are a non-US citizen?

They could research the people they're going to give the offer. For example, my non-USness is quite obvious if you're a human being looking for info on me. If they had done that, I wouldn't call this spam.

A question... please help! (1)

amit_kr (22877) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793259)

I'm an F-1 student at USC, and haven't been in the US for more than an year. However, I do have an SSN. Does that qualify me as a "US resident"?

Either way, how can I find out? ie, who do I talk to? (Er... I'd really prefer a free (as in beer) source ;-))

amit

Re:How do they define... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793261)

Uhhh... like I've never been able to sell any of my software before... does that count? :)

Re: Another Microsoft troll heard from (2)

Kurt Gray (935) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793265)

So which one of Microsoft's PR firms do you
think posted this insightful message?

Red Hat bug list: likely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793266)

The email address mine came in to doesn't appear in my measely little GPL'ed contributions, not that I can recall. But I did use that address to send an email to "bugs" and "security" @redhat.com a little while ago.

No complaints here. Now I just gotta figure if I want to play the IPO game...

Then give it to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793267)

I'm willing to buy these shares myself anyday.

Wouldn't you be upset if they didnt'? (1)

DrSpoo (650) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793269)

RedHat is doing these open source developers a favor, I don't think this should be considered SPAM at all (I wish *I* had got the letter!) Particularly the Debian contributors, who do everything for peanuts (and have no opportunity to make money) but produce an outstanding product. This is an offer to them to reap some of the reward that is justly theirs.

In fact, I think what would be more upsetting is if they _didnt_ take such action. Then they look greedy and ungrateful.

Great offer but the wrong approach... (1)

ajk (944) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793270)

For all of you that think this is spam think again this is a GREAT offer.

It may be a great offer. I don't comment on that. However, content does not define what's spam. Spam is an unsolicited mass mail. And that's what this was.

I would have thought RH knew better. :-(

So what about non-code contributors? (1)

dsaxena (57330) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793271)

So do we non-code contributors to the Linux movement get any extra chance at this IPO? I run a LUG and do a lot of Linux advocacy in my spare time. I know many others who don't code for Linux but spend a _lot_ of time advocating it's use to non Linux users. Shouldn't these people also get a fair chance at the IPO since they're probably helping create new user for RedHat?

My guess is that they're just looking at people who have actually written code for the kernel and major software projects would be my guess.

Congratulations to everyone who did get in on it!!


Deepak Saxena
Project Director, Linux Demo Day '99

Re:That's all well and good, but... (2)

dbrown (29388) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793272)

With Etrade, you need to open an account (which it sounds like you already did). Their docs on IPOs are really vague. So, a few days ago, I emailed the support dept and asked how to get in. ETrade takes "indications of interest" where you need to fill out a form that asks some basic investment type questions (what is your short/long term goals?, etc.). Based on your answers you may or may not be admitted to the IPO. Etrade wants the IPO to match your investment goals.

The strange part about this is that they only accept indications of interest for 2 hours. This usually happens after the close of the market (4:30 EST), but they will never tell you what day and you need enough cash in your account to cover the purchase.

If you go to the IPO section and find an IPO that has a "Go Now!" link, it is open and you can fill out one of their "indication of interest" forms.

I had a feeling that the RH IPO would be available today. I've been trying to log on to Etrade all afternoon, but their system is screwed up again and I have not been able to access anything.

Ummm..yes they are doing it for their own benefit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793273)

Keep in mind when people buy stock in a company regardless of who those people are they are giving money to the company in this case Fud Hat hopes to raise $96 million.

They have every intention of using that money directly for their own benefit. That's why company's go public.

Very interested (1)

jkdufair (16805) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793274)

I have done a non-trivial amount of work (documentation, patches, working on message threading DHTML) on IMP [horde.org] but did not end up on the list. If anyone would feel comfortable allowing me to buy the 100 shares offered to them that they cannot or do not wish to use, please let me know at jase@deadbeets.com. I'll be buying RHAT one way or another and keeping it indefinitely. It would be nice to be in on the ground floor.

Thank you very much.

Jason Dufair
"Those who know don't have the words to tell

Just Blame Them With Spam ... Riiiight.... (1)

Synic (14430) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793275)

How many emails and of what nature constitute spam? Its a very subjective thing. You can't go sign up for a mailing list, and then sue the mailing list maintainers for "spamming" you.

If you're annoyed you couldn't invest, or that you're a Debian developer and aren't interested, then that's different.

Unless they sent you like 5 emails I don't see why you're whining.

Re:Wouldn't you be upset if they didnt'? (1)

ajk (944) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793276)

RedHat is doing these open source developers a favor, I don't think this should be considered SPAM at al

Spam is not defined by content or by like or dislike. Spam is unsolicited mass email, and that's what this was.

I wish *I* had got the letter!

I did get it. I was not impressed - such a respectable organisation spamming, ouch!

Argh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793277)

Dangit. If this were to give me another week or two I'd be able to get in on it. grrrr. I got an invite too! *sob*

Re:What defines contributor to open source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793278)

It is somewhat reasonable that redhat wouldn't reward people outside the linux open source community -- just think about their reasoning here. They're rewarding the people that make it possible for them to sell their product, which happens to be linux. If they sold windows open source, then I bet you'd get an email too.

Re:redhat's trying to do people a favor (1)

rawrats (16165) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793279)

Exactly... I would LOVE to have been offered this deal. Anyone who did get it and doesn't want in or doesn't qualify -- I'd be happy to offer you a sizeable portion of any profit I'd make. I'd use my money of course so you wouldn't risk anything.

Email me at artoo@home.com if interested.

Very nice move... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793280)

I was very pleased to get an invitation myself, I'm going to open up an etrade account tomorow and secure my hundred shares right afterwards. I can't believe there are people complaining this is spam. While technically it is, it is really sent with good intentions, which in the long run is all that counts. The pulled this move to allow developers and contributors to get on the ground floor, the people who helped build them, which is a very classy tihng to do.

Re: normal for etrade, not too different to rest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793281)

Not really... etrade does this all the time. Any time I'm on etrade I can go into their IPO room and see the three or four coming up and get into the lottery. They usually have a good number of shares, but they lottery them off at about 200 per person who has expressed interest until they run out (which is usually before the bottom of the list, so you're not guerenteed to get in on it)

Stock companies have always used their share of an intial disbursement (IPO stock at the opening price) to bring in new customers. Most investment houses won't let you in on one unless you open a huge account with them (we're talking the seven-figure level). Etrade takes a different tact - they let any customer into the initial disbursment (provied you meet their "profile") on this lottery basis, and try to get LOTS of accounts with the publicity rather than a few big accounts like Merill Lynch would do.

The really different thing here is them sending out email advertisements of it. In the past they've always only had ads on the IPO company's web page and other similar places.

hitchhiker.

Re:Great offer but the wrong approach... (1)

Synic (14430) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793282)

If I decided to email you about some investment opportunity, would you consider that spam too?

How about if I was just telling you about the new Debian release?

Or what the weather was like where I live?

Where do you draw the line?

People abuse the word spam.

Re:Wouldn't you be upset if they didnt'? (1)

Viv (54519) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793283)

I'd give them double-kudos for giving debian people the opportunity; debian is one of their competitors after all.

Re:How do they define... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793284)

I guess the ultimate question is: How does one get one the "invite" list?

Re:Ummm..yes they are doing it for their own benef (1)

Synic (14430) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793285)

You can't make any money if no one invests. If everyone is greedy, and thinks they'll make a buck or two, then everyone will. Some will lose money as well as the price fluctuates. Its the nature of the game. If you want to make real money, invest for the long term in companies with forseeable futures. I mean, what if Red Hat gets a sudden user backlash and everyone switches to SuSE? The user community is fickle. We should learn this well from what happened to the 3dfx stock.

Re:Just Blame Them With Spam ... Riiiight.... (1)

ajk (944) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793286)

How many emails and of what nature constitute spam?

I define spam as unsolicited mass email. It was certainly unsolicited, and I don't think anyone would argue that it wasn't mass mailed.

Unless they sent you like 5 emails I don't see why you're whining.

I get over 10 spam messages in a week. Usually I get only one copy of each, but later it will turn out I was not the sole victim. In this case, the message rang all my spam bells and whistles, if we disregard the sender. And really, the sender should not matter.

Are people saying this is not spam because they don't believe RH would spam?

There's 3000+ names on the list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793287)

At least, assuming that the numbers in the account usernames incremented from 1 evenly; I'm 3060.

I'm not sure what exactly the criteria are - I've posted 1000+ comp.os.linux.setup responses and added entries to the Red Hat Linux User's FAQ, so it's possible one of those sources got scoured. I used to keep up a small Linux portal site, but it's been through 2 forced moves now, and until I get time to do heavy work on it again I'm not giving out the new URL.

But those are all sideline things. The only code for Linux I've ever publically released was one kernel patch, though, and that was nothing more than a hand-application of Peeter Joot's dynamic MSGMAX code that didn't apply cleanly with patch against 2.2. I didn't bother to put my name in any of the comments for that one; I hope Red Hat didn't just scour linux-kernel for patch contributers.

Someone else said they sent something to everyone who maintains a package for Debian - that was quite well done of them.

Re:FUCK MY PUSSY BABY! (0)

SamIIs (65268) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793288)

So, some people have this comment graded up, since it's long, right? Wow. That's pretty funny.

Oh bull (1)

dcm (7924) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793289)

It's not a farse and it's not a violation of the SEC code. I've received these offers before from companies IPOing through E*Trade. RedHat isn't the first and it's perfectly legal.

But good luck actually getting IPO stock from Etrade. Myself and two friends have been trying for six months now. The score? One of my friends got in on 1 out of 10 or so that he tried. The other didn't get in on any. I quit after being turned over and over and over.

E*Trade's IPO stock goes to their Preferred Customers (read: big $$ in their account) first and rarely are there any shares left for us peons.

I signed up for the RH one, but don't have any delusions about actually getting any.

Re:Ummm..yes they are doing it for their own benef (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793290)

Here's the catch. They potentially make LESS money by offering the stock at it's inital price to thousands of developers, than they would if they just sold it all on the open market where the first bid starts driving up the cost of each share.

Re:Yes SPAM (was: Re:Not SPAM.) (1)

MrEd (60684) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793291)

Hehe - If they'd researched your background, you'd have screamed - "PRIVACY INVASION!"

Pity it's for US residents only (1)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793292)

The subject says it all, it's been very cool on Red Hat's part to have such an offer but unfortunately, living in Canada, I am not able to participate.

While I do understand that this is due to various SEC issues and is not Red Hat's fault, it's very unfortunate that only US-resident Linux developers will be able to partecipate in this and not everybody who contributed to Linux's success regardless of where one happens to reside.

Re:Great offer but the wrong approach... (2)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793293)

I disagree.

I get a lot of unsolicited mail - by friends who have found me via one route or another, by people who will have read something I've posted, even some targetted promotional offers.

That's the important part - *targetted.*

People who were targetted based on their participation in developing the kernel or other open source projects, who leave their email addresses available in the context of those projects, are open to mails targetted to people involved in those projects. Whether it's an IPO offer like RedHat's, or a note from a contented user saying "thanks for your work," or a bug report.

Spam is more than merely unsolicited mail with more than one person in the To: header - it's unsolicited mail that isn't targetted, that transmits mail completely unrelated to the source of the address, for direct-marketing purposes.

Content can define SPAM, because content betrays intention.

Re:Great offer but the wrong approach... (1)

ajk (944) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793294)

If I decided to email you about some investment opportunity, would you consider that spam too?

Content does not define what's spam.

How about if I was just telling you about the new Debian release?

Content does not define what's spam.

Or what the weather was like where I live?

Content does not define what's spam.

Where do you draw the line?

If it was sent to a list of people who did not solicit the mail, it is spam. No exceptions.

People abuse the word spam.

They do indeed.

E*Trade Not Ready? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793295)


Anybody with an ETRADE account able to get
in yet?

I've entered my logins and passwords,
get all the way to the "indication of
interest" screen, and then simply
get a page with the Red Hat logo, some
info about the offering, but nowhere
to enter number of shares.

Re:E*Trade Not Ready? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793296)


I'm answering my own post here:

I just called by phone and put in
my interest for 400 RHAT verbally
with them.

It may be that their offering page isn't
ready yet, so if you are hot for this
just give ETRADE a call.

Re:A question... please help! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793297)

If you are here with a valid student visa then yes, are you are resident.

Re:Sell your invitation on eBay anyone? (1)

tap (18562) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793298)

. Due to some people having multiple email addresses, some people may receive this note more than once. We apologize for this, but must point out that this opportunity is only available once per person.
You also may not transfer this opportunity to anyone.


Guess that answers it

Calm Down! (3)

DzugZug (52149) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793299)

I've seen many postings on both sides of an apperent debate. Some people claim that this is some kind of underhanded move by the people at etrade. Others would sugest that this shows how RedHat cares about its customers. One person likened it to RedHat throwing money in our faces. I say to all of you, "Calm It!"

Now, a few things. First the way IPO's work is like this. The portion of the company to be sold publicly is given to one main (in this case two) brokers. They in turn sell the stock at a price determined jointly by the broker, the company, and to some extend SEC rules. The borkers sell a portion to "friends and family" of the company having the IPO, a portion to the brokers customers, and a large part to other brokers. The other brokers sell some to their customers and put some into mutual funds etc. It is the small portion that goes to the brokers customers that apears to be in dispute.

It is not uncommon for this to be mostly sold to the winners of a lottery; however, some of this stock can be given to people in the industry. In the case of RedHat there just hapens to be a lot of people in the industry.

Yes, ETrade can require you to have an acount (they sell it to their customers remember). This creates competion and is why everyone wants to sponsor IPOs.

Re:Can we have killfiles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793300)

You killfile people based on a couple posts?

Idiot. They didn't NEED to do this. (1)

Nafai7 (53671) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793305)

They could have just done things the *normal* way and most open source developers wouldn't see a penny.

Most likely those who are bitching about this don't know how to code and are just angry that they weren't afforded the same opportunity as people that HAVE contributed to Linux and ARE able to code.

sigh. Why I wasted my time responding to your crap I don't know.

moron... (1)

RoLlEr_CoAsTeR (39353) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793306)

I'm just wondering what you think is so cool about posting a comment like this.....

Meanwhile, back to the subject at hand, I think it's interesting that they're willing to offer the stock for less $ (right?), but personally, how do they know/define who's contributed, and how do they ensure that this "privilege" isn't abused? And what about all those wonderful people out there that have done great stuff for the open source community, etc.. but don't get opportunities like this? (tough luck? ..... well, I don't like that).

However, I'd like to add that it's not that I want any, because I think stock/stock market is boring, but hey, I know there are lots of people out there who'd love to get their hands on Red Hat stock... I know a few myself too, of course.... but anyway.... so much for the effort. At least I'll say this much: Nice job.

Re:There's 3000+ names on the list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793307)

This does not follow. I, too, am 3060. Maybe everyone is.

Almost forgot (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793308)

I'm in bugzilla, too - it looks like they may have grabbed email addresses from there.

Then send me some SPAM! (1)

Brian Knotts (855) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793309)

This is a generous offer, and I only wish my name had popped up on their list. I can't believe people are bitching about it.

I'm working on an open source project, but I haven't got very far yet. :-(

I have done some documentation before, though, but I don't think the maintainer has used it yet...

--

Email list? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793310)

Anyone who want to spare the 100 shares if they are not using it? There is some money that I can use for an account! Please let me know: linuxfornewbies@hotmail.com

Re:Red Hat bug list: likely (1)

Mr. Feely (23410) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793311)

I'm pretty sure they got my email address from the bug fix I sent in back around 5.1 or so. It could also be from some of the software I've developed, but I seriously doubt that has attracted their attention.

Re:Wouldn't you be upset if they didnt'? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793314)

I do have software in RedHat (although I wasn't certain of that until I went and checked on one of the RedHat machines here), and while I'm not a US resident, my wife is a US citizen so I could technically make myself eligible if I wanted to take them up on this.

Unfortunately, it does sound like the message was (a) unsolicited and (b) sent to a large number of people, and hence is UBE aka spam. That is something I cannot support, even if it's to my disadvantage to withhold such support. Therefore I could not participate in this offer under any circumstances.

A single message to Slashdot would have reached more people without spamming.

Kind of silly (2)

blocked (10071) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793316)


I continue to be impressed with the degree to which people feel compelled to complain about Red Hat. Yes, they're making money off the IPO (I mean really, that's what IPO's do). No, they are not especially making money off providing developers allocations of their stock. If they didn't use those allocations, institutions and random investors would eat them up and they would make exactly the same amount of money. The entire IPO is going to be sold.

Did it make sense to offer various people in the community free shares? Probably, since they sell open source software and those people are involved with development. Did they do a perfect job of selecting all the developers they should have? Probably not. I doubt they had time to develop dossiers on everyone they wanted to send an email to. Was it spam? Only in the sense that someone who sent a voucher for $1,000 to 1,000 people would be sending out spam. It's found money, people. If you can open an account with eTrade and want to, do it; otherwise, dismiss the whole thing out of hand. Either way, there's no call to be angry.

Did I get the offer? No. Am I paid in any way by Red Hat? No. But it doesn't seem especially reasonable to yell at them for trying to spread the wealth a bit. Their privilege to offer, yours to decline.

Rob Levin

Re:There's 3000+ names on the list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793318)

Umm, I think that 3060 is a guy named Anonymous Coward.;-)

Re:What defines contributor to open source? (1)

Floggo the Stupid (85674) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793325)

Hmmm, just about all my contributions to free software are to Perl and CPAN (I think I once submitted a bug report to RedHat about bash). All the CPAN developers I've spoken to so far have gotten it, too. So yes, they are rewarding people outside the -Linux- community... although one could say that without Perl, Linux would be pretty boring. :)

Anyhow, don't take it so cynically. Knowing a few people at RH, they're good people and probably just want to try and give a little back.

I, for one, will be scraping together money to grab a piece of this. I think we should make "I Got Rich On Free Software" t-shirts! :)

Can we have killfiles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793326)

At least on usenet kooks like ajk could be zapped

Does anyone want to pass? (1)

Deven (13090) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793327)

Hey, if anyone got this "spam" and wants to pass, send it to me. I'd love to get in on this...

Re:Who got these? (1)

Brandon S. Allbery (500) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793328)

Uh, I'm not a Debian developer. (Nor am I a Red Hat developer.)

I *am* in RH's bugzilla, though. And active on gnome-devel... but as a Solaris developer.

Re:redhat's trying to do people a favor (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793329)

>Here's what happens:
>1. Red Hat emails a bunch of developers to tell
>them about their IPO and how they can get in
> early.

A bunch of developers who apparently didn't subscribe to or ask for the mailing in question. It's spam.

It's just as much spam as the letter NSI sent me last week offering me discounted SSL certificates from Verisign. It's just as much spam as the note I got this morning offering me 7.9cents/minute long distance from some luser sitting in a mobile home in his underwear.

Spam is spam is spam. Every MLM'er in the world thinks they're doing you a favour by sending you their ads. Every big company in the world would love to be able to send you ads for "legitimate" products. How long would your mailbox be useful if you received thousands, or tens of thousands, of ads every single day, which is more than possible since it costs basically nothing to send.

Fight spam from anyone, any time, or your mailbox simply won't be useable.

Sell your invitation on eBay anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1793330)

I have been an avid LINUX fan for 5 years, and I am positive this is going to be one of the best IPOs this year. Beyond the IPO, Redhat has enormous potential. I want a chance to get in!

So, as long as its not illegal (and I can't see why it would be) I suggest anyone who got an invitation and doesn't plan to use it shoud go over to eBay and AUCTION IT!

Re:Wouldn't you be upset if they didnt'? (1)

Cerb (10299) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793333)

We do not compete. We do not make money off our distro. All monies we do earn are from contributions and donations. We are about free software. But you KNEW that didn't you?

Insider Trading (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793335)

Posted by Moneycrawler:

I know a company that is going public in September . I am a good friend of the person who is taking the company public. I am not allowed, under SEC code, to get in on the IPO pre facto. How is it possible for RED HAT to discriminate as to who can get in on this IPO? Does anyone know the answer to this? Does ETRADE have some get out of jail free voucher with the Securities and Exchange Commission? I don't see how this is possible!

Re:Sell your invitation on eBay anyone? (1)

amit_kr (22877) | more than 14 years ago | (#1793337)


It says "non-transferable" in the email... *shrug*

amit
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