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.

Shave and a haircut

These days, the barber's chair at Steve Trachsel's shop is more like a psychologist's couch than anything else.

Trachsel is owner of The Barber Pole, a 60-year-old barber shop in Birmingham, about 20 miles outside of Detroit. (For the uninitiated, B'ham is like Michigan's version of Beverly Hills – expensive homes, celebrity sightings, Rodeo Drive.)

“It's more than a business; it's a heirloom,” Trachsel said. “I love the longevity of it. It's a hidden treasure and a great place to hang out and talk.”

So, let's talk.

Q: Is this the worst time the shop has ever seen?
A: No, that would be the 1970s. The shop almost went bankrupt because no one was getting haircuts. Everyone had long hair, and haircuts were few and far between.

Q: What has business been like for you?
A: We do have a segment of our customers who are between jobs and we're hearing about tough times. But we haven't seen a drop in customers. Instead, there's been a pickup in the business. People have realized that they would rather pay $18 for a haircut here instead of $35 or more at a salon. … We see a lot of CEOs and bosses here because they live in Birmingham and they're coming in with long faces. They have to let people go, and they've already cut everyone they can. Now, they're subdividing and having to drop the hard workers, the good people who really shouldn't be let go.

Q: What is the mood in the shop generally?
A: Everyone is talking about tough times. They're looking for the bottom. They talk about the stock market. People really don't know what's going on. Even the investors and the experts don't know. It's been an uneasy time for everyone. … People who once had a bunch of money are humbled now. But we're making the best of what we have now.

Q: How did you become a barber?
A: I was a youth pastor at my church, and I wanted a job where I could be flexible to travel with our youth groups. A desk job wouldn't allow it. I needed a job where I could get time away. … I started at another barber shop then heard about (The Barber Pole). I called, but they didn't need help. Then, a spot came open. I was here about six years when I bought it from the original owners two years ago in October.

Q: Anybody famous come into the shop?
A: We get a lot of the car executives, Detroit Tigers, hockey coaches. Darren McCarty of the Red Wings brought in the Stanley Cup once in 2007 and there was a line out of the door to see it. One recent favorite was Evan Longoria with the Tampa Bay Rays. Generally, they're great people.

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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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