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.

Embezzlement in Detroit Government? Let's Hear Specifics

My post yesterday on JoAnn Watson's call for a federal bailout for Detroit sure got both supporters and opponents fired up. It also prompted some expressions of deep anger at Detroit city government, which was often derided as "corrupt." I'm not arguing that there aren't some crooks in city government -- same as there are at the county, state and federal levels -- but the reactions (and my responses to my commenters) started me to thinking about specific acts of corruption involving Detroit taxpayers' money. Maybe my memory's just shot, but I was having a tough time recalling many truly costly and egregious acts of theft among high-ranking city officials in recent years -- and couldn't think of any that would convince me that Detroit government couldn't handle bailout cash.

Here's part of a reply I posted:

I mean, I also get ticked off at crooks in government and incompetence. However, I honestly don't think most political figures in the city are just outright stealing tax money.

I mean, even arguably the worst of the lot, Monica Conyers, was really "only" guilty of improperly leveraging her position and influence to line her pockets with bribes. That's bad, yes, but not the same thing as stealing from the public till. Kilpatrick, meanwhile, pleaded guilty to felony obstruction of justice after also being charged with perjury and misconduct in office. And yes, he improperly disbursed funds to the officers he'd legitimately wronged -- but he didn't steal that money. (Plus, those officers should've been compensated long ago anyway.)

At the end, I ask for specific instances of theft of city tax dollars that people are pointing to when they complain about corruption in Detroit. I think the question is legitimate enough to make for a short post here.

So that's what I'd like to know from you guys, if you don't mind. Take a minute to talk about the specific examples of Detroit embezzlement that have got your blood boiling.

A few quick ground rules, though: Don't just go off on city officials because they're the ones occupying the hot seat. (For instance, someone complained about Watson's run-in with a movie crew. You don't like that she did that, that's fine, but that doesn't make anyone a criminal.) And let's not talk about bribes from potential vendors (wrong, yes, but not theft from taxpayers) or the steering of city contracts to political friends, as none of this is uncommon to politics at any level. The exception, of course, is if contracts/jobs were steered to friends and no real, quality work got done -- as was the case with Lonnie Bates. Certainly feel free to mention these examples.

Finally, let's not talk about sheer incompetence either -- because, frankly, I don't think we'd disagree on a lot there.

But I do want to know which instances of outright municipal theft you are referring to if you're contending that Detroit doesn't need a bailout because the politicians would just steal the money. And what do you think these specific instances really say about city government as a whole? What're the examples? What has been confirmed stolen? Has anyone been charged/convicted? Throw up links, comments, do anything short of just sputtering "Kwame..Kwame...Kwame."

The floor is all yours, my friends...

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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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