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.

The Return of An Unwanted Old Flame

I was distressed to see the recent reports that Detroit is yet again steeling itself for a potential rash of "Devil's Night" arsons in the weeks leading up to Halloween.

If you haven't heard, Detroit earned a national reputation back in the 1980s when a once-harmless tradition of making mischief on the night before Halloween, known as "Devil's Night" in these parts, turned into an excuse for arsonists to set fires throughout the city. Where Devil's Night once meant kids pulling silly pranks like tossing eggs at a neighbor's window, it quickly became synonymous with citywide conflagrations that swallowed up hundreds of homes, storefronts and other properties.

And in one of the few truly successful PR efforts that Detroit has enjoyed, city leaders mobilized community groups to take to the streets in patrols in an effort to keep the firebugs at bay. Rebranded as "Angels' Night" by our more hopeful spin doctors, the revamped "holiday" soon earned us praise from coast to coast for reducing the number of suspected pre-Halloween arsons from a peak of 810 in 1984 to only 94 last year.

But now the pyromaniacs may be back in force this year, and we're rightfully worried. But I also think we have an opportunity to go after the arsonists and, in many cases, the other criminals who pay them to torch our city.

As teenagers, my friends and I always knew that Devil's Nights fires weren't completely the result of adolescent carryings-on or pyromania run wild. In our neighborhoods, Devil's Night was also a handy cover for property owners who no longer wanted to remain vested in our communities and figured they'd burn their way out (and into a fat insurance settlement). Devil's Night was when you paid some drug addict to torch that home you'd moved out of but weren't able to sell. It was when you dumped that party store that could no longer move enough beer, wine and Now & Laters to pay the mortgage. It was when you paid back rivals, got rid of cars and did a whole lot of other dirt that you could blame on the mysterious "Devil's Night arsonists."

In a city and state now burdened with so many foreclosed and abandoned properties, it makes all the sense in the world, to me anyway, that the Devil's Night fires would start burning anew. Others are having the same scary visions of a return to that tragic past:

"With the foreclosure issue and the abandoned homes, it becomes a temptation to some people," said Luther Keith, executive director of Arise Detroit!, a coalition of community groups. "We know we have mischief makers. They don't care about lighting the house that could destroy someone else's property, or hurt or kill someone."

But this ain't 1984. We live in an age where everything seems to get caught on tape, and I sincerely hope that the phalanxes of volunteer city patrols will come armed with recording devices that will allow them to catch more of these crooks in the act, so that we can make an example of them.

And let's not stop at the crackhead with the matchbook, either — because as anyone who knows about the evil that really stokes many of these Devil's Night fires can attest, there are equally bad, if not worse, offenders hiding behind all that smoke and soot.

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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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