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.

In Detroit, Improvement on Crime?

Crime is certainly one of the biggest barriers to Detroit's turnaround aspirations. So on Monday, the city's mayor, Dave Bing, and his new police chief, Warren Evans, quickly called a press conference to announce a slight positive news development: Homicides appear to be on the decline.

According to data released this morning at Detroit's City Hall, the number of homicides recorded during the third quarter of this year fell to 96, from 111, in the same period in 2008. That's a difference of about 16%. Comparing crime stats from previous years is a bit tricky, because of poor record-keeping. “I'm encouraged by the progress, but also recognize we have not solved the problem,” Bing said this morning, adding, “We can't hide from these statistics or reports, as unpleasant as they may be at times.”

One of Bing's first strokes after being elected mayor last May was hiring Evans, the well-regarded sheriff of Wayne County, which includes Detroit. Evans inherited a police force that has endured a 25% cut in recent years, mainly because of the city's budget crisis. (So far, Evans' department has largely been spared Bing's efforts to sharply reduce the number of people on the city's payrolls to close a deficit of at least $275 million.) As a result, the department's remaining 3,000 officers are overwhelmed dealing with violent crime across a large territory. During Monday's press conference, Evans acknowledged it typically takes his officers some 20 minutes to respond to 911 calls, although he wants to reduce the estimated response time to between 5 and 7 minutes. (In this week's print edition of TIME, we write about residents of some Detroit neighborhoods hiring private security forces.)

Evans attributed the decline in recorded homicides partly to his assigning roughly 20 officers to the department's gang enforcement unit, a move that has apparently bolstered the gathering of intelligence that may be used to prevent homicides and other crimes. Evans has also directed his officers' attention to the streets surrounding Detroit's schools. Just last week, a 15-year-old girl was attacked and sexually assaulted on her way to school.

Also today, the city reported that the police department had solved about 60% of the homicides recorded during the third quarter of this year, up from about 35% in the same period one year earlier, and apparently in line with the national average. The department, in a press release, said it was the first time in a decade it had closed 60% of its homicide cases. Evans attributed the improved closure rate partly to citizens feeling more comfortable reporting crimes. Another surprising development: an improved willingness among some suspects to turn themselves into authorities.

It's worth waiting to see if today's news is simply a blip, or the start of a sustained improvement on crime. Certainly, one metric by which Bing's tenure will be judged: Is Detroit safer than it was the day he took office?

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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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