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.

"Poor People." Say It: "Poor People."

Perhaps it's the fact that our political leaders find it easier to talk mostly in terms of rich and middle class. Perhaps it's that, despite the increasingly dire headlines about our economic state, we remain blinded by the myths of American exceptionalism, purity of intent and omnipotence.

But whatever the case, don't you think it's well past time our political discussions stopped ignoring the poor?

Like most, I too was saddened by the reports of unrest at Cobo Hall yesterday. But I'm downright pissed that, to some, that's the only reason yesterday's eruption deserved national headlines.

It didn't matter to most that as many as 50,000 people showed up, some from as far away as Flint, seeking government help to either get them off the streets or to keep them from being thrown into the streets. It didn't matter that, the day before, thousands of other state residents had descended on Cobo Hall looking for the same help. No, the poor only became visible and meaningful to most when their frustrations began to boil over at not being able to get applications for aid.

Despite being led by an African-American president born into modest beginnings, the national discussion continues to assiduously avoid talk about how to best help the worst-off among us. The poor continue to be little more than an inconvenience to one political party, a scourge to be wiped out to the other. History has taught me that it wasn't always like this, but for nearly as long as I can remember, poverty in this nation has been treated like some moral failing that only strikes those who deserve it. And since poor people have it coming to them, we figure, we're better off turning our attention and national ministrations to the "rich" and the "middle class," those assumed virtuous by the balance of their checking accounts and the number of SUVs in their driveways. In this stilted, ineffective debate over "Wall Street vs. Main Street," we've turned our backs on the Avenue and the Boulevard.

Already, I've seen headlines accusing those in the throng of being driven by "greed." On these boards even, I've seen comments from people noting that some of those in line were on cellphones, as if to intimate that anybody using some $20 burner from the liquor store couldn't possibly also need government assistance to stay in his or her home.

I'm not saying that poor people don't have an obligation to strive, and frankly, I'm annoyed with myself for even feeling the need to add that caveat. But I also don't think it's a contradiction to say, on one hand, that poor families need substantive attention and assistance and, on the other, that poor children need to excel in biology and English classes.

We need to get past these phony class boundaries surrounding our talk about how to best save our country and beyond this BS "moral" hectoring of the poor. We've also got to stop talking about "the middle class" as though it was some euphemistic catch-all that includes welfare mothers earning $15,000 a year as well as $150,00-a-year accountants. We need a serious plan of action -- and no, this is not what even a welcomed temporary federal grant constitutes -- that does something to address the crushing poverty that's sucking so many Americans under. We need a vision for the worst off as well as for the best off. We need jobs and education on the Boulevard as well as on Main. We need to make the poor a priority again.

Because, given the continued unabated transfer of wealth from those who have next-to-nothing to those who have it all, what we saw yesterday wasn't just about the present conditions facing the poorest metro Detroiters. What we also got was a glimpse of a future that, unless we widen the perimeter of our political discourse, threatens us all.

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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

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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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