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.

Still Getting It Wrong On Affirmative Action

Saw this short news item earlier. And even though I read it all the way through, it was the story's first sentence that I kept returning to:

A federal appeals court is about to consider a lawsuit challenging Michigan's ban against racial preferences in public university admissions and government hiring.

Yes, I think affirmative action is a palatable, if mild, remedy to the ongoing discrimination that women and people of color face in Michigan and around the country. But this take isn't about cheering the court's decision to hear the challenge to race preferences or even affirmative action itself, for that matter. Rather, it's about the implications of the persistent, narrow belief that affirmative action is just a set of "racial preferences" -- when the truth is that the biggest beneficiaries of affirmative action have been white women.

No, I'm not saying that  blacks, Latinos, Arab-Americans and Asian-Americans haven't also benefited. (The University of Michigan, for instance, has 11 percent fewer minorities than in 2006, in part because affirmative action was outlawed.) But it's the idea that these minorities, not white women, are disproportionately helped by affirmative action that inflames much of the opposition that we saw here three years ago.

Many who voted against affirmative action had it in their heads that black people and other minorities were somehow getting something they didn't "deserve" or were receiving "something for nothing." Sure, some will howl that I'm wrong -- that affirmative action opponents were driven solely by noble desires for "fairness" and "equality" -- but I'm not. I've lived in Detroit much of my life. And I know well that even though many of us here consider it uncomfortable or impolite to discuss race when talking about why metro Detroit is what it is -- and that includes its standing as one of the most segregated metropolitan areas in the U.S. --  intense racial hatred remains alive and well. (Don't believe me? Check out the message boards and comment sections over at just about any of the local papers, particularly when there's a story about a crime that involves someone of African, Hispanic or Middle Eastern descent.)

Understand, I'm not particularly angered by these racial realities. And I generally don't care to try to "wash racists." Still, I do think that there are plenty of other, good people of all stripes -- yes, I know even some blacks and other minorities who oppose affirmative action because they consider it an unfair race "quota"  -- and that is why I always hope for a broader, more inclusive defining of the term.

Of course, knowing that sexism is also alive and well, I don't mean to suggest that Michigan voters would've kept affirmative action had everyone understood that it helped white women more than, say, black men. And I don't have a problem with white women who've benefited, as they certainly have endured their own fair share of hell at work sites, academic institutions and other places. Further, I'm also not saying that everyone who opposed affirmative action harbored racist sentiments. I don't think that's true at all.

But I do firmly believe that affirmative action is problematic for many in this area mainly because they can't abide even the slightest notion that some black person somewhere may be "getting away" with something. And as telling as that misguided belief may be about metro Detroit, it is no truer than misperceptions about what affirmative action really is or whom it aids the most.

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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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