Member Since: April 30, 2007

Country: United States

SparkFun joins a slew of websites across the net protesting the FCC's plans to gut Net Neutrality

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Net neutrality and the open internet: why it's important, how it's at risk today, and what you can do about it right now.

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A shake-up at GitHub highlights ongoing gender bias in the tech industry, prompting a response from SparkFun

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SparkFun has reacted quickly to protect ourselves and our customers against the Heartbleed vulnerability

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Arduino Day was pretty successful. Unfortunately, everything is broken.

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How SparkFun has maintained a high dog:human ratio as the company has grown up.

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A small contingent from SparkFun will be in Amsterdam in February for FITC 2014. If you're in that neck of the woods maybe we can drop in on your Hackerspace!

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A look behind the scenes as a bunch of stuff went on sale, leading to SparkFun's biggest week ever.

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The devs switch underlying databases for SparkFun.com and somehow, miraculously, the sky stays put firmly up above.

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The Birthday Paradox

A sudden common birthday at SparkFun sparks a statistical surprise.

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Musings on inventory tracking behind the scenes after another annual SparkFun Inventory Day is in the books.

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Free Day 2013 has come and gone right under everyone's nose. Insights into US lottery law and the latest on education tours in the future.

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SparkFun has now decided to take an official position on the matter and stands with our fellow citizens of the internet by opposing SOPA and PIPA!

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It's Free Day 2012! Tips on how to stay connected to SparkFun in a variety of ways during the mayhem.

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SparkFun Tours ThinkGeek

In early December Nate and Chris paid ThinkGeek a visit at their HQ in Fairfax, Virginia. Here's a rundown of what happened!

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SparkFun is committed to open source - not just in terms of hardware, but content and software as well.

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A couple of us SparkFun folks made it out to Maker Faire Detroit! Here's some highlights from the experience.

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Return of the Quiz

The Free Day Quiz has returned! Browse through all of the questions that were available during the chaos and test your knowledge.

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Yarn Monster

Not as scary as it sounds - but very helpful!

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SparkFun Levels Up!

A whole new version of sparkfun.com is released! Wish lists! Other stuff! New server hardware! Plus a visualization of the development of the entire code base up to this point.

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Avast ye Hackers!

A crash course in how SparkFun's IT department went from total amateur hour to... not-as-amateur hour.... and how we're hiring for a couple of IT positions by unconventional means.

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A look at some of the gear used by the SparkFun IT department to keep the website and SparkFun HQ rolling along

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Holy Smokes!

A fire at SparkFun's credit card gateway brought down credit card ordering yesterday afternoon, but things are all better now.

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  • SparkFun has always been made up of some of the brightest people with some of the most resolute principles. It was true in the beginning and it's still true today. Cheers to you, Glenn and Nate!

  • Oh Free Day, your persistent little beast. It's not surprising in the slightest to see you come back around again.

    Good luck with the execution, SparkFun! Sounds like a good balanced approach that wouldn't require too much custom nonsense on the back end (coughquizcough)

  • Congrats on the cut-over, Double M and SparkFun IT! I definitely have a deep appreciation for the significance of that milestone. Literally years in the making, and talk about hand-wringing... pushing that live in conjunction with Inventory Day with auditors lurking about must have been pretty stressful. Next time I can make it out there for a visit I'm buying you a beer, Double M.

    Also from this comment...

    Building this our selves has lead to a different kind of limitations, mostly ramp up time for new developers and decisions you look back on and wonder why

    That's the official pass-time of SparkFun developers, right there. =) Usually it's looking back on something you wrote yourself where you wonder why the hardest. I sincerely hope the new members of your crew are spinning up fast and you're able to make big strides on some of legaciest of the legacy stuff.

    So seriously, from one of the OG's of Sparkle, a heaping massive congratulations to you all. I hope you're appropriately lauded and celebrated by the rest of the SparkFun crew!

  • As the head of the dev team here I agree with you. There should be a way to defer / combine orders for shipping.

    The trouble is that our system isn't really built out that way. While we have tools and an internal API for splitting/combining orders, it would take some work to build out the customer-facing UI for deferring orders that isn't confusing (and that trickiness should not be underestimated - complicating the checkout process can have a measurable negative impact on sales in the aggregate). We're also talking about a nontrivial feature that would really only be useful on days like today, which don't happen often.

    In a nutshell: such a feature would be high complexity and high risk with low return (high return today but low return the other 364 days of the year). Thus it falls down the dev priority list, but is never taken completely out of consideration.

  • Looks to me like an unholy hybrid between a Playstation 1 and an old-school Zip Drive.

  • Thanks, good catch! That legalese does get a bit dense (hence the Basically parts) and I agree that the summary before saying "we will not sell it" was not reflected in the official terms in section VII as you pointed out. I've used your proposed changes to the summary for section VII and modified them slightly:

    Stuff you post here may be visible to others. By submitting stuff you still own it and you're giving us license to use it however we want without having to ask for permission.

    Honestly I would like SparkFun to be a company that never sells user-submitted content. We never have and have no plans to do so any time soon. I'd like to try to find a way to bake that into the official terms (something where we have full license to use and distribute user content without user permission with an exception for selling stuff - either we're not allowed to sell user content or must obtain permission first). As that's legally binding and I'm not a lawyer that's a big enough change that it would be irresponsible to make that unilaterally.

    For the time being, though, the summary should now be in keeping with the official text.

  • To speak to the Red Box Wall, I'm not sure what's in store, but our photo / video studio in this building is HUGE. Like 16' wide and 35' long. It's probably about 4x the size of the old studio and hasn't gotten any serious work done on it yet, so as time goes on you'll probably see it develop into something entirely new.

  • Another side-effect of “Net Neutrality” is that the FCC will be able to decide what content is “lawful” or not, instead of our elected representatives.

    No aspect of the FCC reclassifying ISPs as common carriers, a move well within the FCC's established jurisdiction and a guarantor of Net Neutrality in terms of what the ISPs can do, has any bearing on the lawfulness of certain content. It only mandates that ISPs cannot discriminate between different types of content. Without that classification they can, and then instead of governmental body determining the lawfulness of content you effectively vest that same overreach of power in the hands of a few very powerful corporations.

  • Not sure that defending Net Neutrality is giving FCC or any agency more power, but to keep the current regulations there and make sure that the Internet stays open and out of the hands of people who would use it to harm innovation.

    This is indeed the case. The FCC already has the power to regulate internet service providers by classifying them differently. Pushing on the FCC to classify them as Title II Common Carriers is not an extension of the FCC's power but a reasonable use of the power they've held for decades.

  • The internet as we know it today only exists because of the lack of restrictions and regulations.

    At issue is the restrictions that could be imposed by ISPs if given free reign to discriminate content, geographical regions, or really any group for any reason by way of throttling and upcharging for speed. Pushing the FCC to classify ISPs at Title II Common Carriers effectively prevents them from concocting extremely limiting restrictions to pad out their already healthy profits at the expense of the internet's users and content creators. In other words: regulating the ISPs is not the same as regulating the internet.