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.

Political Games at the Pontiac Silverdome?

The woes in the Michigan real-estate market were dramatically underscored yesterday when the Pontiac Silverdome, once home to the Detroit Lions football team, was sold at auction for $583,000. The stadium, which opened in 1975 and was home to the Lions until they returned to Detroit proper in 2002, cost $55.7 million to build.

Now, the situation has been complicated further because an Oakland County judge halted the sale shortly after an injunction was filed by a development company that claimed it wanted to buy the Silverdome for $17.5 million last year. The company, Silver Stallion Development Corp., also says it was also shut out of  yesterday's bidding and that its purchase agreement to buy the dome is still valid. The city, though, says the contract has expired and that the company failed to pony up $250,000 to join yesterday's bidding.

Looking at it now, I don't see how the city can't take the 583 grand.

I mean, I'd love to see the Silverdome become the $250-million entertainment complex that the Silver Stallion folks said they'd convert it into. After all, selling the Silverdome for a fraction of what it cost to build the place nearly 35 years ago represents a huge "L" for the city of Pontiac. And I think the stadium, which sits near key freeways in the richest county in the state, is really worth well more than that, so it seems clear the city is getting badly lowballed, gypped even.

On the other hand, the place is costing the city $1.5 million a year to maintain, and it's not generating any real tax revenue. Meanwhile, Pontiac is $103 million in the hole. I can't help but wonder why the group that says it wanted to buy the joint in 2008 ago didn't just drop the cash on the city and move in.

And even if, as the injunction charges, the black mayor of Pontiac was indeed racially biased against the civil-rights attorney who heads Silver Stallion, Pontiac is run by an state-appointed emergency financial manager now. The mayor doesn't have any power. So if you're Silver Stallion, why not pony up the $250,000, get in the bidding and scoop the place up for, say, $16 million less than what you originally offered? Or why not file an injunction before the auction if you think your original purchase contract is still valid?

In lieu of any of this, I'm left wondering whether this development company ever really had the money to make that $17.5 million deal, let alone the $250-million conversion. If I'm wrong and it does, I hope these developers somehow are allowed to buy the Silverdome for more, just because I know that place, though no longer a state-of-the-art facility, should still fetch more than half-million bucks.

But it seems like they're just blowing smoke. If so, like I said, I can't see how the city has any choice but to take the 5oo grand from the auction (and yes, the big "L" that goes with it). I just hope that, in the long run, the city can make it up if/when the Silverdome ever goes back on the local tax rolls. In a climate like ours, a place like Pontiac needs all the tax dollars it can get.

You think I'm right or wrong on this one? And why?

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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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