Arduboy Business Card Plays Tetris, Might Be for Sale - TIME
TIME Gadgets

Business Card Plays Tetris, Might Be for Sale Soon

TAKE MY MONEY!

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The above video showcases a credit card-sized whatsit with a built-in screen, control pad and two buttons. It plays Tetris! If you’re not convinced by now that we’re either at or very near the pinnacle of human ingenuity, I’m not sure I’d ever be able to convince you otherwise and I’m not sure it’s worth your time to keep reading this. We should amicably go our separate ways.

For the rest of you, this project is called Arduboy. It’s about a millimeter and a half thick and apparently packs north of nine hours of battery life. Its creator, Kevin Bates, created the proof-of-concept you see in the above video and has plans to roll out a Kickstarter campaign to sell these things, complete with a website where people can share other types of software and games they create for Arduboy.

Bates writes on his site that he wants to use Kickstarter to raise $820 to cover licensing costs. I write here that he’ll probably be able to raise that amount faster than he can clear the first level of Tetris. He’ll also probably have to sell the cards without a game loaded onto them to avoid legal issues, though.

No word on how much a final version would cost, but you can visit Bates’ website to read more about how the project came together, complete with photos of the Qdoba and REI gift cards he used to test some of the early builds.

My business card plays Tetris [YouTube via The Next Web]

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One year. One city. Endless opportunities.

Letter from Detroit

For much of the last year, the Detroit crisis, or at least the auto industry aspect of it, has returned to the American consciousness in a way not seen in decades. So it's the perfect time to launch The Detroit Blog on TIME.com. It's part of Time Inc.'s year-long commitment to covering the region from a house the company bought near Detroit's downtown -- an extraordinary venture, considering this is a time when many news organizations are leaving the business of original reporting. The Detroit Blog hopes to be a platform for stories about people and ideas, as well as observations of daily life, in the region.

Time Inc.'s Detroit Bureau

Time Inc.'s Detroit Bureau


I'd parachuted into Detroit for one- or two-day reporting assignments for TIME. But that's hardly enough to capture the essence of a region. When I moved here last month from Chicago, Detroit felt, in many ways, like New Orleans, my hometown, in the months following Hurricane Katrina: For starters, much of Detroit is shockingly sparse, having seen its population more than halved from a 1950s peak of nearly 2 million. Many of its downtown skyscrapers are empty. There are vast tracts of land covered with weeds, sometimes filled with the remains of a store or church or house that may have not been inhabited since the 1967 riots. You search desperately for life's fundamentals: a café serving a decent cup of coffee, a store selling a fresh green apple. There are, of course, other similarities between Detroit and New Orleans: The French were among both cities' earliest colonizers. Both cities played vital roles in the nation's economic and cultural development. Both are examples of American failure, but also of platforms of potential. Detroiters I've met in recent weeks have been surprisingly optimistic about the region, despite the grim statistics not worth repeating here. Nearly everyone wants to show “the other side” of life here. The meaning of that depends on who's speaking. For some, “the other side” means proving to the nation, and the world, that a middle-class urban existence is possible here – never mind the security consciousness one might expect from similarly positioned residents of Johannesburg, or Rio. For others, “the other side” means showing that brand Detroit is thriving in its suburbs – never mind that the urban crisis is spreading quickly. So the region is a great laboratory for studying American society, politics and business.

Our goal here on The Detroit Blog isn't to rehash clichéd stories about the region's problems. Some of that's unavoidable. But we're more interested in exploring key questions, like: What will it take for Detroit, and the region, to rebound? And who's developing the ideas that are best positioned to make that turnaround succeed? Let us know what you think. And stay tuned.

Now, back to reporting.

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 Arduboy Business Card Plays Tetris, Might Be for Sale - TIME
TIME Gadgets

Business Card Plays Tetris, Might Be for Sale Soon

TAKE MY MONEY!

+ READ ARTICLE

The above video showcases a credit card-sized whatsit with a built-in screen, control pad and two buttons. It plays Tetris! If you’re not convinced by now that we’re either at or very near the pinnacle of human ingenuity, I’m not sure I’d ever be able to convince you otherwise and I’m not sure it’s worth your time to keep reading this. We should amicably go our separate ways.

For the rest of you, this project is called Arduboy. It’s about a millimeter and a half thick and apparently packs north of nine hours of battery life. Its creator, Kevin Bates, created the proof-of-concept you see in the above video and has plans to roll out a Kickstarter campaign to sell these things, complete with a website where people can share other types of software and games they create for Arduboy.

Bates writes on his site that he wants to use Kickstarter to raise $820 to cover licensing costs. I write here that he’ll probably be able to raise that amount faster than he can clear the first level of Tetris. He’ll also probably have to sell the cards without a game loaded onto them to avoid legal issues, though.

No word on how much a final version would cost, but you can visit Bates’ website to read more about how the project came together, complete with photos of the Qdoba and REI gift cards he used to test some of the early builds.

My business card plays Tetris [YouTube via The Next Web]

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 MIT Student Creates Connect Four Playing Robot for Course Final - TIME
TIME technology

This Robot Would Very Much Like to Play a Game of Connect Four With You

Game on

+ READ ARTICLE

When the singularity finally hits and artificial intelligence takes over everything, at least we know some of the robots will know how to have a good time — like this Connect Four-playing bot, programmed by MIT student Patrick McCabe.

Users can choose between four levels of difficulty and can even ask for a hint if needed. Head over to McCabe’s website for a detailed breakdown of how the machine works. In the meantime, watch here as the bot beats McCabe in the first round — and even taunts him a little bit before clinching the game.

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