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.

Detroit reliability

Living in an area so dependent on “The Big Three” automotive manufacturing companies can make one feel like a cat in a roomful of rocking chairs.

You know the pain is coming.

As my father always says: If you don't work for one of the car companies directly, your business supports them or their employees. If they go, you go with them.

With that in mind, I met Tuesday with the good folks from Consumer Reports, who braved our nippy weather, rush-hour traffic and automotive press to announce their latest reliability findings.

Good news: Ford Motor Co. is doing better.

Bad news: General Motors Corp. and Chrysler are still struggling.

While that is not what Metro Detroit necessarily wants to hear, it is the truth based on some tough criteria, said Consumer Reports Automotive Editor Rik Paul.

“People are torn whether to help their fellow citizens” in the automotive world, Paul said. “GM and Chrysler's financial problems have put them off.”

However, there is a bright side, especially when it comes to Ford. “The fact that they're competitive with the Japanese is news in and of itself,” Paul noted.

Here's the basics. Ford is the only Detroit automaker with world-class reliability, the magazine found. About 90 percent of its products have average or better scores in this key area, according to its 2009 survey.

Other than the Toyota Prius, the Ford Fusion and Milan ranks higher than any other family sedan. Both Ford products beat the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.

Of GM vehicles, the best scores went to the Chevy Malibu, Traverse and Silverado. But only 20 of its overall 48 models had average reliability scores.

“GM is on the right path, but their overall brand reliability is being dragged down by some of their older models,” Paul said. “GM overall has to achieve a better, consistent product. They're getting there.”

As for Chrysler, more than one-third of its products rank much worse than average. Last year, Consumer Reports didn't recommend any of its products because of quality issues. One highlight: the redesigned Dodge Ram 1500 pickup made this year's list.

“Chrysler has some work to do,” Paul said, but the magazine editors note that the company has hired a “quality czar” to get it in the right place.

I'll skip the rankings for foreign vehicles – I'm snotty that way. (Full disclosure: Two members of my family work for GM, and I'd like to keep it that way.)

All of the details, ratings and related stories will appear on the magazine's Web site and in its December issue, which goes on sale next week.

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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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Quotes of the Day »

NICHOLAS FISHER, expert at Stony Brook University in New York who took part in a study which found that bluefin tuna contaminated with radiation believed to be from Fukushima Daiichi were present off the coast of California just five months after the nuclear meltdown.
 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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