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.

More media smackdowns

Irritating. Downright insulting. Some might say ignorant.

That was my reaction to an article my friend sent me about Detroit. "Here's some fodder for your blog," she wrote.

Oh, yeah.

It was a link to the Des Moines Register's web site. An article there outlines the Halloween traditions of that area, including the Beggars' Night tradition. That is where children tell a knock-knock joke before the homeowner hands out candy.

Detroit, meanwhile, was mentioned in the first paragraph for its so-called "Hell Night."

Really, now.

What gets me is the tone and placement of this statement. First, the reporter wrote it in the present tense. Like we've still got this ridiculous event.

Then, there is never another mention of Detroit in the article.

This is why Michigan – Detroit in particular – hates most of the media. Hates the national spotlight. Hates bad reporting.

I'm a reporter through and through. This is the only job I've ever wanted to do. And even I hate the media when I read stories like this.

Here's why. I've lived here in Michigan my entire life. There is no such thing as Hell Night as far as I know.

FYI – here is what Wikipedia said about it: “The name ... Hell Night is used in parts of the eastern U.S. and Canada, although the acts are generally less destructive and violent than those committed in Detroit.” A compliment? I don't think so.

I am never one to shade the truth about Detroit. We have an awful, hideous thing called Devil's Night that put us before the news lens for all the wrong reasons. (Read Darrell's post for more on this. We're not obsessed with the topic; it's just high on the mind of most residents around this time of year.)

The problem started in the 1970s when vandals went ballistic and started setting arson fires. For nearly three decades, some brainless people set fire to abandoned homes either for fun or for insurance money.

Former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer came up with the idea for Angels' Night around 1995. Since then, as many as 50,000 volunteers gather to patrol neighborhoods. There also is a curfew that starts at 6 p.m. for the days before Oct. 31.

Last year, a total of 136 fires were reported compared to 142 in 2007. Compare that to a peak high of about 800 fires set in 1984.

In fact, this year's campaign started Sept. 30 under new mayor Dave Bing. The theme is “Watch Your Block.” And another 50,000 volunteers are expected to participate.

Where is that is your article, Des Moines Register?

Not to get too high on my soap box, but it reminds me of what happened with The Detroit Free Press/Flagstar Bank marathon this past weekend. Rather than focus on the event, the people and the joy of it all, some reporters and television stations centered their coverage only on the three deaths.

People around here don't like random smackdowns and insults. Now, as my state comes under the microscope – and I'm the one feeling the pressure as well – I'm starting to understand.

P.S. Nolan Finley of The Detroit News had an awesome piece on this topic today -- and it's probably written far better than mine. Read it

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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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