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July 13, 2006
News - Quantified Living: Fight …
about 4 years ago
If your anxiety symptoms are as severe as you describe, I think you have a moral obligation to stop driving! While I certainly sympathize with your plight, I surely would not want myself or any of my loved ones to be in the vicinity of your vehicle while you are suffering from an anxiety attack! I wish you the best of luck, but by driving you are making a lot of unwitting (and probably, unwilling) people a party to your illness.
News - Exploring the 4D Systems …
about 6 years ago
You probably should have mentioned the GTX tool for the folks that aren't using the Arduino and the Raspberry Pi libraries, and need to roll their own. The GTX tool allows you to see exactly what the 4D display is expecting for data from the host, and what it sends back for data to the host. It's a really invaluable tool for getting things sorted out quickly!
News - SparkFun Gets a Subpoena
about 7 years ago
Hmmm, I wonder what one of the original electronics hackers, Benjamin Franklin, would say about this issue? Wait, we don't have to wonder!
Benjamin Franklin: They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty.
Sorry, but I've got a bit of a different view on this matter.... Turning over customer data may go "against every fiber in your being", but when the going got tough, you sure folded like a cheap suit....
Subpoenas are tools used by law enforcement to gather data in criminal investigations, but that does not mean that automatic cooperation is required. Law enforcement agencies love to use them because it's easy to intimidate people (how long did it take you to fold?), and it's a low-effort means to do their jobs (it sure beats staking out the gas pump to catch the perp.!) There are, ummm, were plenty of grounds on which you could have objected to the subpoena. Unfortunately, they all take time, effort and money, which I suspect was the basis for your acquiescence, despite your feeble denials to contrary. This was basically a business decision - it was less costly to divulge confidential data then it was to fight for your principals. Imagine how the 20 people (probably all innocent customers!!) feel about having their data shipped off to some nameless/faceless bureaucrat? I'd be pissed!
I'm a libertarian at heart, and when I see (formerly) trusted institutions like Sparkfun giving up personal data for some (perceived) good, it makes my skin crawl......
Bottom line? Sparkfun takes our data and privacy seriously unless and until they get a scary letter asking them to toss aside their (professed) principals! Then? All bets are off!!!
News - My Love/Hate Relationship…
about 8 years ago
That is a very clever project, and a very imaginative way to make electronics come alive! I consider myself to be pretty good with electronics, but I don't think I have a single "artistic" bone in my body. I'm thankful that there are people like you to make the world a more interesting place :-)!
News - SparkFun Culture
about 8 years ago
Hmmm, in ANY business, only two things really matter:
1. You have a product that people want and will buy
2. You can produce and sell this product at a profit
At the end of the day, do you guys really think your customers care if you've got dogs in the office, and drink beer on Friday afternoons? That's all really just a side show! Sure, it's neat, but take away #1 or #2, and you'd be toast. Probably the worst thing you can do is think that basic business fundamentals don't apply to you because you're "different"..... And to the guy that said SparkFun is "on par" with Google, yeah right, only a mere couple billion separates the two ;-)!
about 8 years ago
It's a neat project, but for an 'educational' offering I've got to say that the schematic is pretty 'amateurish'..... For example, there are no part numbers on the IC's or the display, no values on the discrete components, and the pin numbers on the test points use the (bogus) default format. If something is going to be offered as a learning experience, it should really be done with a little bit more care!
News - Made in Earth
about 8 years ago
You got the data to back that up? The fact that electronic equipment is so reliable is a testament to good design and testing more than the reliability of solder. I've spent the last 20 years of my technical career making test equipment to measure the reliability of electrical interconnects, such as solder joints, and I can tell you it's a huge concern for anyone that cares about reliability. Believe me that no one in the solder joint reliability community is saying "we've got this all figured out" about lead free solder. BTW, "control of manufacturing decisions" is only about 10% of the problem. And, yeah, I've got the data to back that up!
By my logic, companies do, by and large, what is in the best interest of themselves. That is the nature of business. I doubt that anyone would be rushing to produce RoHS compliant anything without being forced.
I'm not arguing that lead is a good thing at all. My issue is that the electronics industry is a comparatively small contributor to the world-wide problem of environmental lead contamination, and many in the industry feel that we were "picked off" simply because we were a (relatively) easy target.
Yeah, you've "had it down for quite sometime", and that's why lots of your countrymen come to the US for medical care. Take a look at this recent one: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/03/13/baby-joseph-gets-second-chance-life/
Ah, yes, the components come from all over, but where is the real "value" added that makes these diverse components, useless by themselves, a desirable product? I contend that it's where the important design work takes place that defines a products "origin".
I also think the "business is ahead of government" claim supported by SparkFun's RoHS compliance is a bit off the mark. Sure, you aren't being mandated by the US government, you're being mandated by the EU, so what's the difference? It's crazy to think that business would adopt something like RoHS all by themselves. It's more expensive, it's less reliable, and it's probably not going to reduce environmental lead concentrations by a measurable amount anyway. Companies all over the world were dragged kicking and screaming to that party, they surely didn't embrace it voluntarily, rather they had it forced down their throats! If RoHS is so great, why are a lot of "critical" industries (defense, medical, etc.) exempt? It's a bit like Obamacare, if it's not good for everyone, it's not good for anyone!!
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