Iranian Tech Users Are Getting Knocked Off the Web by Ambiguous Sanctions

Between targeted killings, retaliatory air strikes, and the shooting of a civilian passenger plane, the last few weeks have been marked by tragedy as tensions rise between the U.S. and Iranian governments. In the wake of these events, Iranians within the country and in the broader diaspora have suffered further from actions by both administrations—including violence and lethal force against protesters and internet shutdowns in Iran, as well as detention, surveillance and device seizure at the U.S. border and exacerbating economic conditions from U.S. sanctions. And to make matters worse, American tech companies are acting on sanctions through an overbroad lens, making it much harder for Iranian people to be able to share their stories with each other and with the broader world.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions that target foreign countries, groups, and individuals. Some of these sanctions impact the export to Iran (or use by residents of the country) of certain types of technology, although trying to parse precisely which types are affected appears to have left some companies puzzled.

For example, this week Instagram removed a number of accounts from its service that were affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)—which is specially designated by OFAC—as well as some accounts praising the IRGC and some condemning the group. The platform initially justified its actions stating:

We review content against our policies and our obligations to US sanctions laws, and specifically those related to the US government’s designation of the IRGC and its leadership as a terrorist organization.

While Instagram is indeed obligated to remove accounts affiliated with the IRGC, the law does not extend to unaffiliated accounts providing commentary on the IRGC—although some experts say that posts supporting a specially designated group could be seen as providing support to the group, thus violating sanctions.

In any case, Instagram may choose to remove accounts praising the IRGC under its own community standards. In the end, Instagram ended up restoring at least one account following media criticism.

A long hard road

EFF has long observed tech companies’ struggle with OFAC sanctions. In 2012, an Apple employee refused to sell a laptop to a customer who was overheard speaking Persian, prompting the State Department to issue a clarifying statement:

[T]here is no U.S. policy or law that prohibits Apple or any other company from selling products in the United States to anybody who’s intending to use the product in the United States, including somebody of Iranian descent or an Iranian citizen or any of that stuff.

In 2013, we spoke up when Airbnb booted an Iranian resident of Switzerland from their platform without recourse, resulting in a reversal of the decision.

And now, as tensions between the U.S. and Iran heat up, we’re seeing tech companies booting Iranians from their platforms left and right. For example:

...But are these companies correct in stripping Iranians of their accounts? The answer: It’s complicated.

Iran is subject to certain OFAC sanctions, and in addition to that, the IRGC and certain Iranian nationals are on OFAC’s list of “specially designated nationals.” OFAC sanctions can be interpreted broadly by tech companies, which is why in 2010, the Treasury Department issued a general license intended as a blanket license for the export of “certain services and software incident to the exchange of personal communications over the Internet, such as instant messaging, chat and email, social networking, sharing of photos and movies, web browsing, and blogging, provided that such services are publicly available at no cost to the user.”

In 2014, that license was amended to include even more products, including certain fee-based services “incident to the exchange of personal communications over the Internet” including social networking. The new license, General License D-1, provided greater clarity to companies on what is and is not subject to sanctions. As the National Iranian American Council pointed out in a 2017 letter, General License D-1 has been widely praised for “securing human rights, protecting access to online information, and avoiding government censors.”

As the events of this week demonstrate, companies are still struggling to understand the rules. And understandably so—as Richard Nephew, a sanctions expert and senior research scholar at Columbia University told CNN:

[T]his is a tough gray area as we also have free speech protections too.  This is why I think companies often make mistakes in this area, both by preventing such posts or activities and by allowing them …

But while the rules might be difficult, companies are making things worse by failing to properly communicate to users about why their accounts have been suspended—and by giving misleading or incorrect statements to the media.

Why does this matter?

Sanctions that prevent the free flow of communications on the internet and hamper ordinary the ability of ordinary Iranians to express themselves often harm the very people they’re intended to help. Over the years, we’ve seen how sanctions on tech—as well as misapplication or overbroad application of such sanctions—hurt individuals from all walks of life by denying them access to information and cutting them off from communication with the rest of the world.

After the 2014 issuance of General License D-1 for Iranians, Sudanese citizens embarked on a campaign for a similar license, arguing that sanctions prevented them from accessing e-books, online courses, and other information. In a country where the government bans books and at times seizes newspapers, the knowledge that can be gained online can make all the difference. For Iranians, greater access can also mean safer access—to VPNs, secure messaging apps, and other vital tools.

But it isn’t just access to information—it’s also the information coming out of Iran that’s affected. When a Ukrainian airliner was struck down in Iranian airspace, it was video taken from inside the country—as well as efforts by individuals in Iran—that led to verification that Iran’s government had struck the plane with a missile. As we’ve pointed out before, policies intended to prevent violent extremists from using online services often have the effect of silencing human rights content. And given how little access international media has to Iran, hearing from Iranians about what’s happening on the ground is vital.

Furthermore, Iran has seen fit in the past to shut down the Internet, preventing its residents from accessing the outside world. If the U.S. government truly believes in the internet freedom policy that it continues to pour millions of dollars into, it should see how its own policies are working against freedom and pushing Iranians toward local services that are likely heavily surveilled or censored. As it stands, the U.S. is just helping Iran do the job of silencing its citizens.

A clearer way forward

As moral panic and confusion set in, more and more companies are seeking to enforce sanctions law—and as they do, it’s vital that they have the best possible information at hand so ordinary citizens aren’t unduly impacted. As such, we are reiterating our ask for the Department of Treasury to update General License D-1 and provide guidance to U.S. tech companies to ensure the minimal amount of damage to users.

But although sanctions are hard, we also call on tech companies to exercise both caution and compassion as they navigate these murky waters. Companies should ensure that they’re using the best possible means to identify potentially impacted users; notify them clearly (by providing information about specific statutes and links to relevant information from the Department of Treasury); and most importantly, provide an appeals system so that users who are wrongly identified have a path of recourse to regain access to their accounts.

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December 2019 Certified Open Source Hardware

The Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) runs a free program that allows creators to certify that their hardware complies with the community definition of open source hardware.  Whenever you see the certification logo, you know that the certified hardware meets this standard. The certification site includes a full list of […]

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The post December 2019 Certified Open Source Hardware appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

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The AxiDraw MiniKit

AxiDraw MiniKit

Today we are introducing a brand new member of the AxiDraw family of pen plotters: the AxiDraw MiniKit.

AxiDraw MiniKit
The AxiDraw MiniKit is a special compact addition to the AxiDraw lineup.

Designed for lighter-duty applications, It takes up less desk space and less storage space. With a plotting area of just 6 × 4 inches (150 × 100 mm), it’s small enough to take with you, or to fit into places where bigger machines can’t.

AxiDraw MiniKit
In addition to be being “Mini”, it is also a kit.

Unlike other models of the AxiDraw family like AxiDraw V3 and AxiDraw SE/A3 (which come assembled, tested, and ready to use), the AxiDraw MiniKit is a machine that you assemble yourself.

We’ve taken great care in designing a kit that is rewarding to build and to own.

AxiDraw MiniKit

And of course, it’s an AxiDraw, and performs like one. Small but sturdy, it’s built with custom aluminum extrusions, machined parts, attention to detail, and care.

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How to set up and use your brand-new Raspberry Pi

If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you bagged yourself a brand-new Raspberry Pi for Christmas, and you’re wondering what you should do next.

Well, look no further, for we’re here to show you the ropes. So, sit back, pull on a pair of those nice, warm socks that you found in your stocking, top up your eggnog, and let’s get started.

Do I need an operating system?

Unless your Raspberry Pi came in a kit with a preloaded SD card, you’ll need to download an operating system. Find a microSD card (you may have one lurking in an old phone) and click here to download the latest version of Raspbian, our dedicated Raspberry Pi operating system.

To get Raspbian onto the microSD card, use free online software such as Etcher. Here’s a video from The MagPi magazine to show you how to do it.

Use Etcher to install operating systems onto an SD card

Lucy Hattersley shows you how to install Raspberry Pi operating systems such as Raspbian onto an SD card, using the excellent Etcher. For more tutorials, check out The MagPi at http://magpi.cc ! Don’t want to miss an issue? Subscribe, and get every issue delivered straight to your door.

Turn it on!

Here, this video should help:

How to set up your Raspberry Pi || Getting started with #RaspberryPi

Learn #howto set up your Raspberry Pi for the first time, from plugging in peripherals to setting up #Raspbian.

Insert your microSD card into your Raspberry Pi. The microSD card slot should be fairly easy to find, and you need to make sure that you insert it with the contact side facing the board. If you feel like you’re having to force it in, you have it the wrong way round.

Next, plug your HDMI cable into the Raspberry Pi and your chosen HDMI display. This could be a computer monitor or your home television.

If you’re using a Raspberry Pi Zero or Raspberry Pi Zero W, you’ll need a mini HDMI to HDMI cable or adapter.

If you’re using a Raspberry Pi 4, you’ll need a micro HDMI to HDMI cable or adapter.

Raspberry Pi official keyboard

Next, plug in any peripherals that you want to use, such as a mouse or keyboard.

Lastly, plug your power cable into your Raspberry Pi. This is any standard micro USB cable (if you have an Android phone, check your phone charger!), or a USB-C power cable if you’re using the Raspberry Pi 4.

Most kits will come with all of the cables and adapters that you need, so look in the box first before you start rummaging around your home for spare cables.

Once the power cable is connected, your Raspberry Pi will turn on. If it doesn’t, check that your SD card is inserted correctly and your cables are pushed in fully.

Still in doubt? Here’s Sally Le Page with more:

How to use a Raspberry Pi ft. Dr Sally Le Page

What is a Raspberry Pi and what do you need to get started? Our ‘How to use a Raspberry Pi’ explainer will take you through the basics of your #RaspberryPi, and how you can get hands-on with Raspbian and #coding language tools such as Scratch and Mu, with our host, Dr Sally Le Page.

Once on, the Raspberry Pi will direct you through a setup process that allows you to change your password and connect to your local wireless network.

And then, you’re good to go!

Now what?

Now what? Well, that depends on what you want to do with your Raspberry Pi.

Many people use their Raspberry Pi to learn how to code. If you’re new to coding, we suggest trying out a few of our easy online projects to help you understand the basics of Scratch — the drag-and-drop coding platform from MIT — and Python — a popular general-purpose programming language and the reason for the “Pi” in Raspberry Pi’s name.

The components of a virtual analogue Raspberry Pu synthesiser

Maybe you want to use your Raspberry Pi to set up control of smart devices in your home, or build a media centre for all your favourite photos and home movies. Perhaps you want to play games on your Raspberry Pi, or try out various HATs and add-ons to create fun digital making projects.

Sally Le Page

Whatever you want to do with your Raspberry Pi, the internet is full of brilliant tutorials from the Raspberry Pi Foundation and online creators.

Some places to start

Get involved with the Raspberry Pi Foundation

From community events and magazines to online learning and space exploration – there are so many ways to get involved with the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

The Raspberry Pi community is huge, and spreads across the entire globe, bringing people together to share their love of coding, digital making, and computer education. However you use your Raspberry Pi, know that, by owning it, you’ve helped the non-profit Raspberry Pi Foundation to grow, bringing more opportunities to kids and teachers all over the world. So, from the bottom of our hearts this festive season, thank you.

We can’t wait to see what 2020 brings!

 

The post How to set up and use your brand-new Raspberry Pi appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

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Friday Product Post: Make Gold of That

Happy new year and decade, everyone! We're ringing in the new year with six new FPGA products from Alchitry: two FPGA development boards, three expansion boards, dubbed "Elements," and a set of headers for them. Let's jump in and take a closer look at all our our new products for the week.

Quite possibly the Philosopher's Stone of FPGAs!

Alchitry Au FPGA Development Board (Xilinx Artix 7)

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Alchitry Au FPGA Development Board (Xilinx Artix 7)

Only 5 left! DEV-15847

The Alchitry Au is the gold standard for FPGA development boards and it's possibly one of the strongest boards of its type on…

$99.95
Alchitry Cu FPGA Development Board (Lattice iCE40 HX)

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Alchitry Cu FPGA Development Board (Lattice iCE40 HX)

15 available DEV-15848

The Alchitry Cu (Copper) is a "lighter" FPGA version than the Alchitry Au but still offers something completely unique.

$49.95

The Alchitry Au is the "gold" standard for FPGA development boards, and one of the strongest boards of its type on the market. FPGAs, or Field-Programmable Gate Arrays, are an advanced development board type for engineers and hobbyists alike to experience the next step in programming with electronics. The Au continues the trend of more affordable and increasingly powerful FPGA boards arriving each year. This board is a fantastic starting point into the world of FPGAs and the heart of your next project.

If you don't need a lot of power to start your FPGA adventure, or are looking for a more economical option, the Alchitry Cu FPGA Development Board might be the perfect option for you! The Alchitry Cu (Copper) is a "lighter" FPGA version than the Alchitry Au but still offers something completely unique.


Alchitry Io Element Board

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Alchitry Io Element Board

25 available DEV-15849

The Alchitry Io Element Board is the perfect way to get your feet wet with digital design.

$24.95

The Alchitry Io Element Board is the perfect way to get your feet wet with digital design. The Io features four 7-segment LEDs, five momentary push buttons, 24 basic LEDs, and 24 DIP switches. All lend themselves to fantastic beginner tutorials that will walk you through all the basics of FPGAs. Simply snap Element Boards into Alchitry Au or Cu boards to start using them!


Alchitry Br Prototype Element Board

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Alchitry Br Prototype Element Board

Only 8 left! DEV-15850

The Alchitry Br Element Board is a prototyping periphery for the Au or Cu FPGA Development Boards.

$14.95
Alchitry Br Prototype Element Board (No Top Connectors)

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Alchitry Br Prototype Element Board (No Top Connectors)

21 available DEV-15873

The Alchitry Br Element Board without top connectors is a prototyping periphery for the Au or Cu FPGA Development Boards.

$9.95

The Alchitry Br Element Board is a prototyping periphery for the Au or Cu FPGA boards. The Br breaks out all the signals on the four headers running from your Au or Cu, and has a large prototyping area with a 0.1" pin grid for custom circuits. A version without top connectors is also available!


Alchitry Br Female Header Set

added to your cart!

Alchitry Br Female Header Set

In stock PRT-15874

This is a set of four 2x18 female headers with 0.1"-spaced pins for the Alchitry Br Prototype Element Boards.

$3.95

Last up this week is a set of four 2x18 female headers with 0.1"-spaced pins for the Alchitry Br Prototype Element Boards. These line up exactly with all the broken out holes in the Br prototyping area, making it easy to jump wires to a breadboard or other temporary connections.


That's it for this week! Happy 2020, everyone! As always, we can't wait to see what you make! Shoot us a tweet @sparkfun, or let us know on Instagram or Facebook. We’d love to see what projects you’ve made!

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Build your child a wooden MP3 player for $100

If your young child wants to listen to music, what better way than a beautiful wooden MP3 “radio,” with an array of buttons that select the album? After being inspired by a similar commercial product, Redditor “DerThes” decided to make such a device for a fraction of the cost using an Arduino Uno for control, along with a Music Maker Shield to play tunes off an SD card.

The toddler can select songs from a grid of 16 input buttons, which are sent to the Uno via a pair of shift registers. There’s also a “parent’s mode” with the ability to choose from up to 99 albums, and a volume knob for… adjusting the volume. 

Finally, the unt features a beautiful enclosure made out of oak and black walnut, with corners softened by dowels to reduce collateral damage “after the player has gone airborne.” More details can be seen on Imgur here and on GitHub.

This is an easy to use MP3 player for small children. I made this for my 2 year old for Christmas. Each of the top 9 buttons will play an album. The black buttons on the bottom are prev – play/pause – next. The player also supports an alternative playback mode that can be activated using a special key combination. That combination will turn the buttons into a 10 digit input matrix allowing playback of up to 99 albums. That way the player can be used by parents as well. ?

See GitHub for more details, the schematics for the button PCB and the firmware. https://github.com/MichaelThessel/arduino-stoerbert

This is heavily inspired by Hoerbert: https://en.hoerbert.com

When I first saw the Hoerbert at a friends place I wanted it for my child. After I heard of the $400 price tag I knew that I needed to spend 50 hrs and $100 to build my own.

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Friday Product Post: See Ya, 2019!

Good tidings to you and yours! This week we have a lot of new products, so let's dive in and check them out.

Do you see what I see?

RPLIDAR S1 360° TOF Laser Range Scanner

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RPLIDAR S1 360° TOF Laser Range Scanner

Only 8 left! SEN-15872

The RPLIDAR S1 is the next generation of 360° 2D LIDARs that can take up to 9200 samples of laser ranging per second thanks …

$649.95

The RPLIDAR S1 is the next generation, low cost, 360-degree 2D laser scanner (LIDAR) solution developed by SLAMTEC. It can take up to 9200 samples of laser ranging per second with high rotation speed. Equipped with SLAMTEC-patented OPTMAG technology, it goes above and beyond the lifespan limitations of traditional LIDAR systems.


FLIR Radiometric Lepton Dev Kit V2

added to your cart!

FLIR Radiometric Lepton Dev Kit V2

In stock KIT-15948

With the FLIR Radiometric Lepton Dev Kit you will be able to bring FLIR's thermal imaging reliability and power to your desir…

$239.95

With the FLIR Radiometric Lepton® Dev Kit V2, you will be able to bring FLIR's thermal imaging reliability and power to your Arduino, Raspberry Pi or any ARM-based development tool, all in an easy-to-access, breadboard-friendly package. This kit includes a breakout as well as the Lepton® 2.5 longwave infrared (LWIR) imager. All you need to do to get this kit set up is attach the Lepton® imager module to the provided breakout, connect the headers, and you will be seeing in full darkness in no time!


Aluminum Heatsink Case for Raspberry Pi 4 - Red

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Aluminum Heatsink Case for Raspberry Pi 4 - Red

In stock PRT-15893

This red, anodised aluminium case for the Raspberry Pi 4 will give you 10-15°C of passive cooling under a full CPU load.

$16.95
Aluminum Heatsink Case for Raspberry Pi 4 - Purple

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Aluminum Heatsink Case for Raspberry Pi 4 - Purple

In stock PRT-15894

This purple, anodised aluminium case for the Raspberry Pi 4 will give you 10-15°C of passive cooling under a full CPU load.

$16.95
Aluminum Heatsink Case for Raspberry Pi 4 - Green

added to your cart!

Aluminum Heatsink Case for Raspberry Pi 4 - Green

In stock PRT-15895

This green, anodised aluminium case for the Raspberry Pi 4 will give you 10-15°C of passive cooling under a full CPU load.

$16.95
Aluminum Heatsink Case for Raspberry Pi 4 - Blue

added to your cart!

Aluminum Heatsink Case for Raspberry Pi 4 - Blue

In stock PRT-15896

This blue, anodised aluminium case for the Raspberry Pi 4 will give you 10-15°C of passive cooling under a full CPU load.

$16.95

Why use a heatsink and a case when you can use a heatsink case?! These red, purple, green and blue anodised aluminium cases for the Raspberry Pi 4 will give you 10-15°C of passive cooling under a full CPU load. These cases are great for situations where you want completely silent cooling, like home media centers. Make sure to check out all of our aluminum heatsink case color options!


Zio Qwiic OLED Display (1.5inch, 128x128)

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Zio Qwiic OLED Display (1.5inch, 128x128)

Only 1 left! LCD-15890

Here is the Zio Qwiic 1.5inch 128 x 128 pixels OLED display module.

$19.95
Zio Qwiic Loudness Sensor

added to your cart!

Zio Qwiic Loudness Sensor

Only 12 left! SEN-15892

The Zio Qwiic Loudness Sensor is an I2C device making it easy to measure the noise level in your next project.

$9.95

Last up this week, we have two new Qwiic boards from our friends over at Zio! The first is a 128x128 Qwiic OLED board and the second is a Qwiic sound detector! Make sure to check them both out if you are adding to your Qwiic project!


That's it for this week! As always, we can't wait to see what you make! Shoot us a tweet @sparkfun, or let us know on Instagram or Facebook. We’d love to see what projects you’ve made!

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Best of 2019: A SparkFun Year of Firsts

As a reminder, SparkFun will be closed on Wednesday, January 1. We will reopen at 9 a.m. MT on January 2. Happy New Year from all of us at SparkFun Electronics!

Today is the last day of 2019. We decided to look back at some of what we accomplished this year, and which products you loved most. It's hard to accept that the year is already over (I could barely believe how long ago some 2019 product releases were), because so much happened that made it special.

SparkFun's Best of 2019!

It was a year of firsts for SparkFun! We began 2019 with a month of new Qwiic® Ecosystem products, including the RedBoard Qwiic, Turbo and GPS-RTK2. Even though the SparkFun Qwiic Ecosystem has been around since 2017, we are now just shy of 100 unique boards, kits and components. If you're curious what products are available as of today, check out our full Qwiic Ecosystem PDF.

Machine learning also made a huge impact in 2019. We released our first machine learning board supported by TensorFlow with the SparkFun Edge, and our first artificial intelligence robotics kit with the JetBot AI Kit with Jetson Nano.

We also created the world's first open source, FCC-certified BLE module with Artemis! We made an individual, mass-market ready module able to be used from prototype to final product, as well as carrier boards with Arduino Uno R3, Arduino Nano, Arduino Mega and Feather-compatible footprints. Heck, we even released a limited-edition SnowBoard version for the holidays!

In September, we collaborated with CU Boulder and Denver Public Schools to create the gator:science Kit for micro:bit, funded by the National Science Foundation. This is an awesome sensor kit that gives students a launch pad to start learning about electronics and data from their environment.

To round out the year, we released our first RISC-V boards with the RED-V RedBoard and RED-V Thing Plus boards, making them one of the most inexpensive and powerful RISC-V boards on the market!

So what did our customers think of our products? These were the top 20 products of 2019, based on quantities purchased.

SparkFun gator:bit v2.0 - micro:bit Carrier Board

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SparkFun gator:bit v2.0 - micro:bit Carrier Board

In stock DEV-15162

The SparkFun gator:bit is an all-in-one “carrier” board for your micro:bit that provides you with a fully functional deve…

$19.95
SparkFun Inventor's Kit - v4.1

added to your cart!

SparkFun Inventor's Kit - v4.1

In stock KIT-15267

The fourth edition of our popular SIK, fully reworked from the ground up for a better learning experience! V4.1 now has the a…

$99.95
2
SparkFun Edge Development Board - Apollo3 Blue

added to your cart!

SparkFun Edge Development Board - Apollo3 Blue

In stock DEV-15170

The SparkFun Edge Development Board powered by TensorFlow is perfect begin using voice recognition without relying on the ser…

$14.95
11
SparkFun JetBot AI Kit Powered by NVIDIA Jetson Nano

added to your cart!

SparkFun JetBot AI Kit Powered by NVIDIA Jetson Nano

15 available KIT-15365

Utilize this kit to turn your Jetson Nano into a mobile machine with things like object following, collision avoidance via th…

$274.95
3
SparkFun RedBoard Qwiic

added to your cart!

SparkFun RedBoard Qwiic

Out of stock DEV-15123

The SparkFun RedBoard Qwiic is an Arduino-compatible development board with a built in Qwiic connector, eliminating the need …

$19.95
4
SparkFun RedBoard Artemis Nano

added to your cart!

SparkFun RedBoard Artemis Nano

19 available DEV-15443

The RedBoard Artemis Nano is a miniature extremely versatile implementation of the Artemis module.

$14.95
SparkFun RedBoard Artemis

added to your cart!

SparkFun RedBoard Artemis

In stock DEV-15444

The RedBoard Artemis takes the incredibly powerful Artemis module from SparkFun and wraps it up in an easy to use and familia…

$19.95
SparkFun Artemis Module - Low Power Machine Learning BLE Cortex-M4F

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SparkFun Artemis Module - Low Power Machine Learning BLE Cortex-M4F

In stock WRL-15484

The Artemis Module from SparkFun is the first FCC certified, open-source, Cortex-M4F with BLE 5.0 running up to 96MHz and wit…

$8.95
SparkFun Inventor's Kit for micro:bit

added to your cart!

SparkFun Inventor's Kit for micro:bit

In stock KIT-15228

The SparkFun Inventor’s Kit (SIK) for micro:bit is a great way to get creative, connected and coding with the micro:bit.

$49.95
1
SparkFun Qwiic Scale - NAU7802

added to your cart!

SparkFun Qwiic Scale - NAU7802

In stock SEN-15242

The SparkFun Qwiic Scale - NAU7802 is a small breakout board for the NAU7802 that allows you to easily read load cells to mea…

$14.95
SparkFun Nano Power Timer - TPL5110

added to your cart!

SparkFun Nano Power Timer - TPL5110

Only 12 left! PRT-15353

The SparkFun Nano Power Timer will run while only consuming minimal power (approximately 35nA) and turn your project on after…

$5.95
1
SparkFun Qwiic MP3 Trigger

added to your cart!

SparkFun Qwiic MP3 Trigger

In stock DEV-15165

The SparkFun Qwiic MP3 Trigger takes care of all the necessary requirements for playing sound files, all you need to do is se…

$19.95
4
SparkFun Buck-Boost Converter

added to your cart!

SparkFun Buck-Boost Converter

24 available COM-15208

The SparkFun Buck-Boost Converter is a handy power accessory board that allows you to fine tune the amount of power your proj…

$9.95
SparkFun LiPo Charger Plus

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SparkFun LiPo Charger Plus

In stock PRT-15217

The SparkFun LiPo Charger Plus is the suped-up power option in the SparkFun line of single-cell lithium polymer (LiPo) batter…

$9.95
SparkFun Qwiic OpenLog

added to your cart!

SparkFun Qwiic OpenLog

In stock DEV-15164

The SparkFun Qwiic OpenLog can store, or "log", huge amounts of serial data and act as a black box of sorts all over I2C.

$16.95
SparkFun GPS Breakout - Chip Antenna, SAM-M8Q (Qwiic)

added to your cart!

SparkFun GPS Breakout - Chip Antenna, SAM-M8Q (Qwiic)

In stock GPS-15210

The SparkFun SAM-M8Q GPS Breakout is a high quality, GPS board with equally impressive configuration options.

$39.95
2
SparkFun Qwiic Single Relay

added to your cart!

SparkFun Qwiic Single Relay

In stock COM-15093

The SparkFun Qwiic Single Relay provides you with the easiest to use relay yet, handling up to 5.5A at 240VAC for long period…

$11.95
1
SparkFun Level Translator Breakout - PCA9306

added to your cart!

SparkFun Level Translator Breakout - PCA9306

In stock BOB-15439

Different parts sometimes use different voltage levels to communicate. This PCA9306 Level Translator can be the key to making…

$3.95
SparkFun Transparent Graphical OLED Breakout (Qwiic)

added to your cart!

SparkFun Transparent Graphical OLED Breakout (Qwiic)

In stock LCD-15173

The SparkFun Qwiic Transparent Graphical OLED Breakout allows you to display custom images on a transparent screen using eith…

$39.95
3
SparkFun RedBoard Turbo - SAMD21 Development Board

added to your cart!

SparkFun RedBoard Turbo - SAMD21 Development Board

Only 1 left! DEV-14812

If you’re ready to step up your Arduino game from older 8-bit/16MHz microcontrollers, the SparkFun RedBoard Turbo is a form…

$24.95
3

Like we said, it has been huge year for us and we didn't even cover all of the prototyped products created in SparkX, the contests and giveaways we held or the partnerships we formed.

So what's in store for 2020? We plan to create even more dedicated pages to the topics that interest you most, like the Engineering Essentials, All About LEDs, Building GPS Systems, Distance Sensing and Python pages released this year. We will continue to expand our ever growing Qwiic Ecosystem. Most of all, we plan to continue to innovate new and exciting products for you. Trust us, we have a lot more planned that we can't share just yet, but we expect it to be a monumentally impactful year for us, and for our customers and community.

Let us know what your highlights of the year were. What products, posts and tutorials did you love? What was your favorite Rob video? Ours was his Top Gun tribute! We'll see you next year, and thank you for your ongoing support!

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Using a Raspberry Pi as a synthesiser

Synthesiser? Synthesizer? Whichever it is*, check out this video of Floyd Steinberg showing how he set up his Raspberry Pi as one of them.

How to use a Raspberry PI as a synthesizer

How to use a Raspberry PI as a synthesizer. Table of contents below! The Raspberry PI is a popular card-sized computer. In this video, I show how to set up a Raspberry PI V3 as a virtual analog synthesizer with keyboard and knobs for realtime sound tweaking, using standard MIDI controllers and some very minor shell script editing.

“In this video,” Floyd explains on YouTube, “I show how to set up a Raspberry Pi 3 as a virtual analogue synthesiser with keyboard and knobs for real-time sound tweaking, using standard MIDI controllers and some very minor shell script editing. The result is a battery-powered mini synth creating quite impressive sounds!”

The components of a virtual analogue Raspberry Pu synthesiser

We know a fair few of you (Raspberry Pi staff included) love dabbling in the world of Raspberry Pi synth sound, so be sure to watch the video to see what Floyd gets up to while turning a Raspberry Pi 3 into a virtual analogue synthesiser.

Be sure to check out Floyd’s other videos for more synthy goodness, and comment on his video if you’d like him to experiment further with Raspberry Pi. (The answer is yes, yes we would ??)

 

*[Editor’s note: it’s spelled with a z in US English, and with an s in UK English. You’re welcome, Alex.]

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