Hi everyone, I’m Riley. It’s great to meet you.
I’m writing today with some bittersweet news. First, the bitter part. Today, after almost exactly three years of blogging here at Line of Actual Control, I’m hanging up the cleats.
However, (now for the sweet part) I’m leaving for perhaps the most exciting possible reason. I’m joining the New York Times’ Visual Investigations team as a journalist.
If you’re even remotely in tune with the open-source news world (or even just the news world in general), you likely know this team is a heavy hitter. They’re the ones who identified the Russian unit implicated in killing civilians in Bucha, Ukraine. They dissected the January 6 riot at the US Capitol. And they eviscerated the police response that killed Breonna Taylor. I could not be more proud to join their ranks.
But that also means that I must bid Line of Actual Control a fond farewell for now. I may pop in periodically with posts that are unrelated to work (e.g. Shipspotter Bot, open-source Python usage, Warren Zevon, etc.), but I think those instances will be few and far between. The website and archive of old posts will stay up indefinitely.
Before I go, I want to say a few thank yous.
First, to the OG, Joe Morrison. Perhaps the guy who believed in LOAC the earliest and the hardest, you never missed an opportunity to plug the blog at every chance you got. I suspect many of you are now reading this thanks almost exclusively to Joe’s efforts!
To Ed Freyfogle and the OpenCage team: to this day, I seriously cannot believe you wanted to advertise on LOAC. Your open-source ethos is an inspiration and your technical genius is unparalleled. One day they’ll name a map projection after you.
To Amelia, Tom, and the rest of the open-source community, thank you all so much for reading post after post after post of mine. I’ve learned so much from every single one of you and your input has made my writing significantly better. “If I’ve seen further, it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
To my lovely fiancee (aka my Chief Editorial Officer), thank for reading and improving every single one of my posts despite your (in your own words), “limited interest in open-source content”. To my family and friends too numerous to name who have supported the blog over the years, thank you for the support, encouragement, and, above all, for not ridiculing me when I said I wanted to write about “some open-source stuff” back in 2019.
If I haven’t mentioned you, know that I nonetheless deeply appreciate the research, thoughts, and suggestions you’ve provided to the blog over the years.
Since it wouldn’t be a Line of Actual Control post without a plug or humble request, I encourage you to subscribe to the Times, sign up for the Visual Investigations newsletter, follow the team on Twitter, or pay to support a news organization of your choice. After all, a rising tide lifts all ships.
Lastly, I’ll be around! I encourage you to email me at email@example.com, reach out on Twitter (my personal Twitter account, not my blog account, would be best), or ask for my Signal. I’m always happy to chat if there’s anything you think we should look into or if you just want to talk.
In closing, seeing as I probably won’t get a chance to stick a Zevon quote into my writing for quite some time, I’ll let the man himself say goodbye for me:
"The trail is long and the river is wide And my ride's here"
So long folks 👋
Line of Actual Control/Riley
Congratulations! The ny times is a dream job for many! Your skills and expertise will be a huge asset to them. Well done, and good luck