I ordered from Newark/Element14 once, doing battle with and finally prevailing over their extremely clunky online system. It took several days for my $100 order to even ship, and it eventually showed up in two gigantic boxes (a few 4ft pieces of heat shrink tubing had obviously required their own 4ft long box). The packing materials and shipping must have totaled at least $100, to say nothing of the obviously manual labor.
I've no idea how they stay in business.
One time I ordered from them some XAM3359ZCZs (a Texas Instruments ARM CPU which is about half a cell phone or double an Rπ) -- out of stock in US, but available from UK. I was in a hurry, so I spring for the extra shipping. Weeks later, no parts and no word. Called, them and 'oops' it is stuck in UK and I need to make a customs declaration to re-import to the US this US part from the UK. Very annoying on several levels.
The site is a lot more usable than RS-Online so I will often order from them though I have an RS trade-counter nearby. Mouser's and Digikey's sites are just as good (this is from a user perspective, from a designer's perspective they are pretty awful) but orders will ship from the US and take longer.
I don't know what you mean by Digikey being awful from a designer's perspective - I've long considered their parametric search a bona fide design tool. So much so that I actively avoid designing in parts that Digikey doesn't stock.
True. One of my first jobs was at a US electronics manufacturer / parts distributor. I remember we had to fill out paperwork for every export and all of our products (mainly smoke detectors) had to be classified as something to the effect of "parts that could be used to build a nuclear weapon". Ridiculous.
Read up on David Hahn, who hit the news in '94 for trying to build a breeder reactor in his back yard using sources scavenged from among other things, smoke detectors.
According to David Hahn's Wikipedia page, his reactor used thorium, purified from thorium ash used in lantern mantles, and not americium.
What's more, smoke detectors go straight to landfills in many places. I think it's unresonable to consider them a realistic threat.
What I begin to see, is an entire world under occupation.
The More You Know.
Amusingly, the incident would also dispell the (western) myth that it takes very advanced machining technology to build a nuclear bomb. You can't have it both ways.
I suspect the real incident was the software to mill those propellers, but that wasn't on the list of illegal goods. It's one thing to have a fancy but dumb CNC machine, another to come up with a silent prop design.
Bullshit. (and yes I know about the Toshiba incident)
Also he was talking in hyperbole.
Nonetheless, they're being phased out in a lot of places, mostly due to disposal worries. While one smoke detector is fairly harmless, tens of thousands being dumped in landfills is more of a concern, and properly recycling them is expensive. Optical smoke detectors based on LEDs are now fairly affordable, don't have the disposal issues, and may also perform better.
He apparently died later of radiation poisoning later on because he didn't use any protective gear.
Americans tend to ban/regulate everything that ever gets misused. Soon enough they will be regulating pens since someone stabbed another person with a pen. Just like in the prisons only with slightly more liberties for now.
It's mostly a B2B company, I think it's natural their website won't be optimised for other types of users. You can still add items to the basket and see total charges without being logged in.
> where Visa cards are required to have start dates even though most of them don't
Are you sure? I guess it could be different on your local version of the website, but it's not the case on the UK one: http://i.imgur.com/fcPF3Qv.png
I somehow managed to order a RPi from them a year ago without trouble but after taking more then 2 and a half weeks to even bother to ship it i just cancelled the damn thing and bought it off Amazon.
Luckily now i know of a lot more small and helpful websites that would ship stuff in a decent time frame.
Can't avoid using them for more specialized part unfortunately. Don't expect much from them though.
Before that, I once bought $15 of parts including a $6 micro controller, which was in stock in the US. I got everything else courier end the next day, and then the micro controller three days later.
You do pay for it though - you can get things half the price other places, but it's awesome for quick prototyping.
You can even register for email updates.
This is the same. A system so bad that triggers so many false positives, that when John Terrorist orders 2Lb of uranium from them, the sales guy will be so used to just move the name on the order form that it will not even register in his mind.
This only proves it has nothing to do with preventing crime, but just proving internationally that you have bullying powers. That, or incompetence is off the charts.
My father has the exact same name as the blogger, which also makes up 2/3 of my own name. We've had similar orders from out of the country held up for weeks, been extremely slowed when trying to fly. It's not a very fun game.
In an earlier hn post, I actually suggested that if you use a name that's common enough, like David Fricken Jones, the US would never have the guts to flag it.
But here we are. David Jones... Not a lot of people affected by that, huh.
Another relatively well-known distributor that got bitten is McMaster-Carr, a mechanical parts supplier (with a very nice web design - http://mcmaster.com/).
After shipping something to a location they shouldn't have, they were penalized in 2003 and they no longer ship outside the US. Which is a damn shame, because they have a great catalogue of stuff that's very easy to navigate.
Seems to me the chicken has already flown the coop, and this sort of thing is purely belligerent and abusive behavior on the part of the US government (their specialty, e.g. FATCA).
Maybe their policies have changed since 2003, because do they claim to ship outside the US.
The “fix” is to move your name to the 2nd line so it doesn’t get flagged
As long as they're going to have a blacklist like this, they may as well do it correctly. Names do not individually identify people and it's ridiculous that security-sensitive processes still use names as primary identifiers in this era.
You're also not actually losing any anonymity - an online order is already linked to a physical address and a credit card (which is in turn linked to a real identity). A central ID API only gets Big Brother-ish if its use is mandated for previously pseudonymous interactions (say, HN or Reddit comments).
What happens when you change your name to a dead terrorists name?
Is there no in government somewhat curious about all the holes in their watch list implementation..