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]

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser
One year. One city. Endless opportunities.

But Who's Watching the Watchman?

Looks like Detroit is due to get a new federal monitor to watch over the police department. And by all appearances, Robert Warshaw seems to be a competent, decent and professional law-enforcement expert. A former police chief and U.S. deputy drug czar, he also has the experience of having overseen other law-enforcement departments being scrutinized by the feds.

And now here he comes to Detroit to replace Sheryl Robinson Wood, the first person appointed to the post. She's also the woman who was forced to resign the seat earlier this year after a federal judge found out that she and former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick had had "undisclosed communications" and "meetings of a personal nature."

Mind you, I never really cared much about whom the mayor or ex-mayor may or may not have been sleeping with, not even at the height of his text-sex-and-perjury scandal. Maybe I'm French that way, but I just think that what a public official does with his or her private parts is generally none of my business...

...unless it affects my money.

And just as, to me, the scandal that took Kilpatrick down wasn't about the sex but about him paying out public dollars to hush up his private b.s., so am I concerned about taxpayer money slated to flow to the new monitor and his staff. Reports say Wood and her crew got between $13 million and $14 million of Detroit taxpayers' hard-earned cash, more than even she had originally said she'd charge. And she did jack about cleaning up a police department that's been plagued by theft scandals, murder accusations against officers, the closing of its crime lab due to incompetence, brutality claims and residents' charges of slow — and even no — response to calls for assistance.

So where'd the money go? And how do we get it back? And just as importantly, how do we keep anyone else sent here by the federal government from screwing us over again? I don't know if you've heard, but Detroit can't really afford to watch $14 million walk out the back door.

I'm glad to hear that the Detroit City Council is asking for a federal investigation of Wood, but -- and this isn't meant as a slight to Warshaw -- what exactly is plan to ensure that the new monitor gets the job done right and cost efficiently? Reports say that city and federal officials failed to keep close track of how Wood spent tax dollars. Even the cops seemed uncertain about what she was doing to overhaul the department. So what changes are being put in place to keep Warshaw and company under closer scrutiny?

I have no reason to think he's not an honest man — but great things were also said about Wood, once a lawyer at a white-shoe firm in Maryland, upon her arrival. The larger point isn't whether these people coming in to watch over our cops are trustworthy, but what more our political and judicial operatives are doing to safeguard our money just in case they're not.

  • Print
  • Comment

Add Your Comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.
The Detroit Blog Daily E-mail

Get e-mail updates from TIME's The Detroit Blog in your inbox and never miss a day.

 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]

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser
 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.

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser