Hello From SupplyFrame – Your New Evil Overlords !

A couple of weeks ago one of our engineers woke up and read that HackADay was going up for sale. His first reaction was much the same as most regular readers of HackADay, he was worried and concerned that a site that he has read daily for years was going to be sold to someone who would promptly carve it up and ruin it. So he bumped it up the chain here at SupplyFrame and we decided that HaD would be a good fit for us and so we made an offer and here we are!

Who the hell are SupplyFrame?

We’re a technology company on a mission to improve all aspects of the engineering and electronics industry. You’ve probably not heard of us directly, but if you’ve ever used FindChips then you’ve used one of our sites. If you do a little digging you’ll soon find that we provide an advertising network to the electronics industry. While technically this might make us ‘the evil’ in many peoples eyes, we’re more than yet another media company. Our platform and products are used by millions of engineers every month, and we’re building new tools to make designing and manufacturing electronics even easier.

What do you want with HaD?

We build tools for engineers, it only makes sense that we build a closer relationship with the community here. A few of our staff are regular readers, one has even had one of his hacks featured on HaD. We want to do more of that. While we’re mostly Computer Science nerds, we are aspiring makers and hackers – we have a hacklab in our office and a couple of projects under way (check out the blog over here). We try to eat our own dogfood and to generally have a good time building cool stuff. Hopefully soon we’ll have some hacks of our own to post up.

Obviously we have to get some return on our investment, we make most of our money from our advertising network so we’ll probably change out the ads on the site, but that’s the only major change we want to make to the site at this point. Rest assured we won’t be filtering or shaping the content based on our advertisers whims and our main focus will always be on the community and finding ways we can help to make it better.

Where do we go from here?

Well, we’ll keep HaD running mostly as it has been, the adverts will be more relevant (which many of you might actually find refreshing), but other than that not much will change. We’ll try and bring in a few more writers and to help polish up things that have been left unattended. Many of the plans that were proposed in Brian’s presentation align nicely with our thoughts so hopefully we’ll see some of those happen.

In the longer term we’re going to see if we can help out with our contacts, our software development expertise and whatever else we can think of. We’ve got a good relationship with lots of companies in the electronics industry, we hope we can leverage some of those relationships to make good stuff happen here.

Really we’re open to ideas, so let us know your thoughts on how to improve HaD and we’ll see what we can help with. One thing you can be sure of, we’re not here to do evil, we’re here to hack stuff and have fun doing it !

Aleksandar Bradic



234 thoughts on “Hello From SupplyFrame – Your New Evil Overlords !

          1. “Flammable and kinda dangerous” is in no way mutually exclusive to ‘awesome’.

            In fact, I would argue there is a statistically significant correlation between the two.

      1. It should be built into your browser. It SHOULD be built into your brain! And there’s lots of Proper Nouns and comedic mis-spellings it would get in the way of. Not to mention half the names of companies on the Internet.

        1. ‘There’s’ is a contraction of ‘there’ and ‘is’. ‘Lots’ is plural. I think we have conclusively demonstrated that ‘SOULD be built into your brain’ and ‘is functionally effective’ are two separate things. I would not presume to demand a spelling or grammar checking feature, but many of us know it might be helpful to any of us.

    1. Spellcheck is knot a substitute four proofreading. HaD would benefit from and be far more professional appearing if it had a person or process to edit out the stuff that spellcheck leaves behind. Seriously, 10 minutes with a “you want fries with that” English student would do wonders for a lot of posts.

      I realize this is a “fly in the soup” kind of thing but communicating ideas well is a necessary part of being a success. The next generation of engineers, tinkerers, researchers and scientists are looking at this site too. It’d be nice to give them a good impression.

        1. The ‘contacts in the industry’ and ‘more targeted ads’ make me fear tte doom of censoring of comments on the horizon, and if that happens I’m outta here (like too many times on various sites before).

          But that’s a worse-case scenario, maybe it’ll be alright, we’ll see.

          Oh or one of those famous ‘sign this insane EULA-of-bondage if you wish to register to post’ kinds of things, let’s hope that won’t happen either.

          1. Since this isn’t going to merge with their site, they will probably just heavily use the advertising. A customer won’t see this site and think of them, so they don’t need to censor it unless they think it will increase views.

    1. I’m with Caleb on this one. If all they want to do is bring relevant ads (which, from an even quicker perusal, seems to be their sole business model), then that’s KIND OF what Hack-a-Day already does. Hack-a-Day is about bringing interesting and innovative hacks to an appreciative audience. SupplyFrame simply does the same thing with relevant electronic products. And there is a significant overlap between the two.

      1. So… what happens when a hack competes with an advertiser? For example the whole thing with the 75Mhz scope that with a simple hack, turns it into a 200Mhz scope that the maker normally brands as a separate, unique product(which it is clearly not).

        Would that hack be suppressed?

        1. We have a very good track record for not suppressing content for any reason. I see this continuing. The essence of hacking is using stuff in a way in which it was not intended. I would hope that advertisers understand that’s the type of customer they’re reaching when supporting this site.

          We’re still early on in our relationship with Supply Frame. But so far I agree with Caleb. These seem like good folks and I’m getting nothing other than good vibes for the future.

          If there are changes that seem like they alter the type of environment we have here now we’re going to talk about them openly. So stay tuned, keep reading, and keep us on our toes like you always do by leaving comments.

          Of course I’m always looking for you to feed us links to your (or others’) projects too!

      1. Yay! And of course, the other required trope besides “I, for one, welcome…” is that the Evil Overlord is supposed to make a long enough speech about his/her Evil Plans that Our Hero can figure out how to get away and thwart them. (Oh, wait, but in this case the Evil Overlord is actually the hero, thwarting the plans of Entropy Itself… So, Go Overlord!

  1. First, congratulations on your purchase.

    Question: will there be a policy regarding content of questionable nature that might reflect bad on your company? E.g. dildo hacks, cannabis bongs, weapons of some sort, illegal hacking scopes, …

    You stated ” we won’t be filtering or shaping the content based on our advertisers
    whims” but what about filtering/shaping that doesn’t involve the advertisers but the company itself.

    All the best.

      1. In all seriousness though, I think there’s actually something to be said for intentionally posting some controversial stuff in the coming weeks to prove your continued commitment to anti-censorship. One of my all-time favorite things about hackaday is the fact that it isn’t afraid to post “questionable” content. My primary concern isn’t that the new owners will intentionally ruin the site, but that the new owners will have a paranoid legal team who end up pushing the content in a “safer” direction.

    1. Seconded :) one of the best things about this site is the general lack of censorship. Projects are posted (mostly) based on technical merit regardless of there taboo-ness.

  2. Has our culture gotten so perverse that not only does any profit-making corporation have to preemptively defend itself from accusations of being evil, but even the employees of that corporation accept the presumption of guilt?

    1. Counterculture groups are pretty much always suspicious of whomever they deem to be The Man, and frequently measure social status by how against The Man you are. The more strident and unaccommodating, the more legit.

      In our ever-more-commercial and commoditized society, the perceived “enemy” is more often than not those who’ve obtained power via money. This is what drives the deliberate lo fi and DIY aesthetic of indie rock and black metal.

      1. For me, that’s all beside the point.

        I consider our culture to be evil due to the fact that companies and individuals, whether they be lay persons or those in leadership roles, utilize the “truth is relative” argument so often that I am somewhat surprised that there is not a group arguing that two plus two equals five, and their argument considered to have merit.

        This is the reason our culture has gotten so perverse. All that relative morality crap.

        1. But Two plus Two CAN equal five*!

          Morality is by definition relative to the observation of those applying that. “Moral high ground” is an illusion best suited to politicians.
          *(for very large cases of Two)

          1. >>>
            But Two plus Two CAN equal five*!
            Prove it!

            “Morality is by definition relative to the observation of those applying that”
            No it’s not. Morality is a truth and as such it is stagnant. One’s point of
            view may be skewed and therefore have a skewed perspective of morality,
            but morality is nevertheless the same regardless of how skewed ones
            perspective is. The only reason someone came up with that relative morality
            garbage is because he or she wanted to do evil acts without feeling guilty
            about it.

            “Moral high ground” is an illusion best suited to politicians.

            Sir, you do jest.
            Since when do politicians take “the moral high ground” that is nothing more than a lie of what “the moral high ground” is and so: not the moral high ground.

            Consider all the “good investment financial instruments” sold to investors that had other investors betting against them through credit default swaps. Those instruments were not good investments and stateing that they were was an out right willful lie.

            Then there’s the excel spread sheet program that had bugs and was approved prior to those bugs being fixed. The end result was a world financial collapse.

            The claim that morality is relative gives wicked people the ability to destroy and steal trillions of dollars in retirement savings without being punished. It gives the wicked
            the ability to lie to congress with impunity claiming that there are not enough
            qualified techs in America and therefore they immigrate foreingers through visas.
            And they do this without be charged and punished for there purguery.

            One may take a stand that one considers to be morally correct when it is in fact not.
            The fact of ones ignorance does not make one morally right, one is yet morally wrong.
            There is no relativity in this. Moraly truth and correctness remains the same, whether it be supported by the mighty or by the weak. Whether it be cheered by the masses or jeered by the masses. One’s perspective or belief does not change the truth of morality. Yet, obtaining moral truth will change ones perspective and or belief.

          1. You are correct. And if you refer to a litter of kittens or puppies 1 plus 1 can equal more. But we’re not talking about biological reproduction and multiplication where 1 can become 2 or one can become 2+ in the case of some lizards. We are talking straight numbers without any of that nonsense people use to try and muddy the facts and make themselves look smarter than they really are. Just the very basic math of two items plus two items of the same kind. When counting them they will always equal four, and breaking one does not count here.

            Using off topic facts such as you have done is fine when your just throwing a curve ball at someone for a joke. But when one does so in the course of a discussion in order to make one’s point of view appear to be truth when it in fact is not, one is doing nothing more than bearing false witness, one is telling a lie.

            While there are what we call exceptions to the rule; 1 plus 1 reproductively does not always equal 2, 1 plus 1 in basic addition, mathematically, will always equal 2 just as 2 plus 2 in basic addition, mathematically, will always equal four.

    1. And please, PLEASE add a confirmation pop-up for the “Report comment” function. I can’t tell you how often I accidentally click it on a perfectly valid post.

  3. When you put corporate interests between the producer and the consumer where there’s not a clear need for it, it usually ends up with a disaster.
    This site is about hacking and tinkering, ie a field where a single user can already produce content for more users. The relationship between writer and reader is so direct that if you put any layer in between to create services top get some revenue there are huge risks of slowing down the process making the site less interesting, which translates in losing readers (potential customers). Just look at the disasters that instructables and other sites became.
    The best approach would be to leave the site as much identical to what it is now, then create a model to adapt your business to it, otherwise you could lose a lot of readers.
    Nonetheless I wish you best luck!

    1. If SupplyFrame can add links/information about hardware that is used in/relevant to the hack in an article (which could make the hack better or easier/cheaper to replicate) then I think everyone would benefit.
      Also, by publicising HaD to their existing lists, they would probably increase readership of the site.

    2. I think they just want somewhere to advertise their clients’ electronics stuff. One ad is as good as another and it might actually be useful if they advertise something you’re looking for. Advertising is presumably cheaper if you own the site.

      As long as they keep their influence inside the ad boxes, who could care? Since the forums here are like a barrel of crack-addled monkeys, I’m sure they wouldn’t go too far with pissing the readers off.

    1. Or how about:
      “you must enable javascript to see comments” disqus , anyone?
      or “you must have a facebook acount…”
      oh hell no!
      or after enabling 3 top level scripts
      the actual content is tied to some unidentified
      fourth party script writer.
      …pass, got tired of finding embed trojans
      and meanwhile you’ve shoved all the adverts
      onto my screen with no difficulty
      , yet the content I waited for refuses to play
      and all the while you’ve been pounding me
      with Flash-super cookies.

      oh, and nothing more annoying than ‘having to enable Flash to see a simple static image
      and it looks exactly like a thumbnail image
      that I just hit “control +” about 6 times over.

      otherwise, Hello and good luck
      with making every-damn-body happy!! :D

      1. Why would you ever disable javascript!? I think Flash is OK, but javascript is used pretty much in all sites. You osund like one of those IE haters who use a Flash blocker, have cookies disabled and browse under a proxy. My point is, there is a limit to which security and speed are not worth the inconvenience of having to activate animations and scripts one by one.

        1. If you can’t think of any valid reasons to disable javascript except on a whitelist basis (like what the NoScript extension for Firefox does, which I’m pretty sure is what Adobe/Flash Hater was referring to) then you don’t know anywhere near enough about javascript, web design, and common attack vectors to make the statements you’re making.

          Once you’ve whitelisted the standard comment section scripts and the primary content for the sites you browse daily, the internet gets drastically less annoying and less dangerous. You know that ad system that turns random words inside the content into hotspots that open ads on mouseover, the ones that make moving your cursor across the screen like navigating slalom poles? Yeah, I don’t have to deal with those. You know those flash ads that use drive-by exploits to install malware without you doing any more than viewing a webpage*? I don’t see those either.

          If you just disable scripting entirely then hardly any sites will work, of course.

          * These exploits are constantly closed by the various plugin and browser makers, but people are constantly finding new ones. Some, like that metafile exploit a few years back, only affect IE, but the ones that use Flash or Java can infect anyone. Browser sandboxing can only do so much.

        2. Ivan, I can’t stand IE… Even 10 is buggered, mind you 8 & 9 were at least predictable. That said, I agree about blocking JavaScript. With a great deal of sites relying on it for pulling data or dealing with rendering, it’s not something I would recommend. Rather, I would suggest those paranoid surfers just avoid warez, mp3 sharing and porn sites instead ;-)

        3. Well, security is important, but I am not sure to what extent people would want my data. You can always sandbox sensitive data in different ways, and many are quite simple, like using a different computer, or even a different network.

          That’s my take on security. I am not an IT person, though, just an electronics student with little to fear about data collection. I’m sure there are people with more need for security and privacy, but for home use? Just check for viruses and trusted websites.


          1. the other writers covered things pretty well.
            Yeah I just got tired of the (perpetual?) holes in
            something that was designed to give a remote
            control of my box. Seems that concept is always
            going to be permeable.
            Personal data’s not an issue on this particular box.
            But trying not be part of a botnet appeals to me
            and seems I’ve heard of storing kidde porn
            in a p2p fashion nowdays.
            (perceived) privacy is just a simply a personal choice.
            as far as seeing content, meh, I’m getting about the same use and benefit from the web as 12 years ago.
            The extra Flash and scripting is mainly sucking up
            a ridicules increase in processing power
            and bandwidth
            While offering me no significant improvement
            in web use.

            I hope this doesn’t seem like a shot at you
            or anyone else (except maybe Adobe’s crew)
            I just wanted to try to give my perspective.

  4. Why do people feel the need to beat down a company that is willing to go outside its comfort zone to do something good with an institution? You are wasting their energy, which is better used to come up with hacks that for once do not involve yet another RasPi implementation.
    Go for it SupplyFrame and congrats on the acquisition. You clearly have a company that does more than make money, it challenges its employees to do more than just their job. Must be a happy place to be during the day.

    1. Given how many times we (Net dwellers) have seen acquisitions like this go bad, people are going to naturally dis-trust corporate interests emerging in what used to be a very community-oriented site. Slashdot is an example that springs most readily to mind.

      Give people time, it’s a change, be it for good or ill. I, personally, am hopeful that this will be a good match. At the same time I maintain a layer of skepticism, so that if things DO go sideways I can mumble things like “there, see, I knew it” and “Internet’s going to hell. Kids, lawn, raargh!”

      1. Funny, the community didn’t seem to much give a shit when the writing staff wanted to purchase the site. In fact some of the community was actively against the writing staff owning the site, despite knowing the current owner was going to sell no matter what.

        I think the community lost the right to complain :/

    2. Because some hacks here are not strictly legal bordering on illegal the 3D printed gun for example. A corporate like SupplyFrame may not want to be responsible for illegal weapons production. It may even leave them legally responsible. Time will tell I guess.

        1. that would depend on where you are seeing this site from, i’d guess. I’m a firearms owner in Canada, and while it isn’t as easy as in the US to acquire a long barrelled firearm (ie shotgun, hunting rifle, .22 for rabbit and pheasant), it is extremely difficult without being in law enforcement to obtain handguns. for all of our firearms licences, we have to go through a lot of courses, and to even collect handguns is a very large investment in both time and money just for the licence, then you have to oay for said firearm. So while i could legally LOOK at the site and the plans for a 3D printed gun, i’d be more than stupid to think i could just go ahead and print out a handgun – if i were caught doing something like that, i’d face a stiff jail penalty and lose my licencing and firearms that i do own. no thanks to that, lol.

  5. Our chip supplying overlords hopefully have a very generous sample program for their new underlings… Also, as a citizen of corporate USA… I have to say I’ve always hated the corporate insistence on using the phrase “eat our own dogfood” almost as much as I hate the insistence on nounifying the word “ask”.

      1. If dog food manufacturers are willing to consume their own product than it must be safe enough for the dogs, since standards are lower for them. It’s like when a reporter asks “is this chemical compound safe?” and the interviewee takes a spoonful of it and puts it in his mouth with a healthy smile.

    1. At least it’s better than what MS has done and shortened it to just “dogfooding”, which just sounds silly.

      I love the concept, but prefer the term “eat your own cookin'” — but maybe that’s just the southerner in me.

    2. As best I can tell Supply Frame is neither a chip manufacturer, nor a chip distributor. Maybe the best one can hope for is that they can influence the manufacturers to support the hobbyists.

      1. They advertise tech, right? They’re an advertising agency that specialises in clients in the high-tech business. Getting engineers to see the ads of their clients, re “We Break Through to Five Million Engineers … @ Work” on their front page.

        Engineers are responsible for choosing to purchase a lot of stuff, so there’s money in that, and I think that’s what this is all about. Should the site become more corporate and less geeky, one would imagine the engineers of all colours here would stop reading, so they’d lose money. Being the cat-herding business it is, I’d advise them to use kid gloves and leave the content well alone, and if they’ve sense, they will.

    1. Software “hacks” typically involve really nasty code. As a professional developer I really think that is something that is not supposed to be encouraged.

      Unless you talk about going into the binary with a hex editor and make office 2007 think it’s office 2010 or something, then I’m in!

      1. “Software “hacks” typically involve really nasty code. As a professional developer I really think that is something that is not supposed to be encouraged.”
        And yet the entire world is jerry-rigged together with hack, bodged, poorly written code most of which comes from “professional developers”.
        I have come to suspect this group not eating their own dog food to the extent that if a “professional developer” thinks something “nasty code”, I’ll interpret it as quick and dirty, albeit functional and effective.
        Seeing as the majority of “bad code” must come from this group of professionals by default, hackers are more than entitled producing it themselves without being scuffed at by group that does not practice what it preaches.

      2. Really nasty code is the nature of a “hack”. Nobody thinks that software hacks should be used in production code. By your logic, we shouldn’t show hardware hacks because a engineer might be encouraged by a nasty hack and end up using those techniques to build a product which malfunctions.

      1. Yep. “The proof of the pudding is in the eating”. Obviously. It makes sense, rather than the seemingly needless pudding-referencing of the wrong version of the phrase.

        It’s also “I COULDN’T care less”. As in I do not care at all and therefore it would be impossible for me to care any less than I do. To say “I could care less” implies some level of caring.

        This is “English for Americans”, goodnight.

          1. Wouldn’t that be “I couldn’t care more” if you want to say it sarcasticly.

            “I could care less” implies any level of caring between a infinitesimal (but none zero) level and a infinite level of caring.

    1. that could be pretty neat, but also requires much more support and infrastructure to maintain than the blog format used now.

      i would love for it to happen so that people can post projects and collaborate on existing ones using hackaday.

      that said there are plenty of places where people already collaborate and few projects stand without a home so to speak, so i have to wonder if there really is a need and if so does it merit the extra resources spent?

    2. this is undoubtedly one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard. I’ve SEEN what you people do when there’s a public entrance to the front page(a poll?). This place would crumble in a day for the lulz.

      Post your articles in the hackaday forums or on your own sites. You may be trustworthy, but many arent.

      1. i read it as something more akin to github for hacking than a forum poll, ideas can and should be discussed.

        what do you mean by “you people” ?
        if you are talking about general human behavior then due to our number you will always find asshats, and due to the nonlocality of the net they will always find you, forum, hackhub or blog, doesnt matter.
        point is that they shouldnt be a reason not to try or think about new ideas, especially not when the only argument against it is a half formed rant, at least try to argue your point so you enrich the subject matter.

          1. Editors cant read EVERYTHING. So having user voted forums lets the peoples vote on what they think is cool and once it reaches a threshold a moderator can vet it or fire it over to an editor. Also there’s lots of projects out there that might not catch ones eye, adding a little moderated reddit style action could help us find “the good stuff”

          2. For the few articles a day, the editors do a tremendous and vital job.

            If you want Reddit, go join Reddit. It’s caused, or attracted, enough social dysfunctionaries over there without spreading it over the damn Internet.

            We’re fine as we are. If you’ve got a good project click the submit link at the top and Mike ‘n’ Brian will be right with you.

  6. As long as it is just an ad-swap, what’s the harm? I have found HaD’s ads to be errily relevant to my interests and have clicked through on multiple occasions.

  7. I for one am a little disappointed that the computer overlords didn’t take over the site. I guess they just don’t want to alert the masses to their presence just yet.
    On the other hand I do see some synergy between the sites. It would be useful to know where the sources for parts for the latest hack are by region. (Not all the cool people are from the US)

  8. No matter who made the purchase I would have continued visit daily anyway. In fact I’m not sure what it would take for me not to visit daily, if I have the time to do so.

  9. Supply Frame also sponsor the EEVblog forum. They are good people who “get it”, and I am sure they won’t ruin or change the winning formula. I think this is great news for HAD, so I expect nothing to change except for some of the ads.

  10. I am afraid of change and dislike new things, unless they were built by me, or were the product of people I know and trust. I fear this. And I will hold all in contempt and suspicion until such times as I am proved to be unwarranted in my paranoia.

    As such I urge all to stock pile, water, canned foods, and guns. We must prepare for the inviolable forces of fate and stand as guardians against a certain disaster.

    May the winds of change show us mercy.

  11. Yep, you’ve got my vote.
    One suggestion though, it may sound silly but can you look into project hosting?
    Many people who post their projects don’t have unlimited bandwidth, even a percentage of traffic less would be a bonus.

    I’ve noticed this effect, had a note from my ISP that “i’d exceeded my monthly bandwidth fair use in one day” .. !

      1. Being HADded only lasts for a few days anyway before your site recovers. You could try to make what preparation you can before submitting to HaD. Or just put up with it, still plenty of people will see your sire. I would check I’m not being charged by the GB for excess bandwidth though!

  12. We’ll see how it goes. I definitely don’t think that changing the ads will make much difference, so hopefully it keeps the site running as it is. Maybe we even spot any useful ad!

  13. I’m betting this site turns into a Turkish Bazaar for Supply Frame products. I’m making my own site exclusive to dangerous flame throwing PVC hacks ran by arduino enabled bongs. oh yea and DILDO!

      1. This comment makes me wonder where the *usefulness* feature for comments is on HaD… how is it we dont have a rating system that says which comments are pretty darn good and useful. I know alot of work but maybe just maybe it would help a builder/hacker to sift through the constructive criticism without having to read through all the destructive criticism. Just saying!

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