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.

The Other War

Later tonight, President Obama will address the nation and make the case for sending another 30,000 American troops to the Afghan war front. That's certainly a worthy effort, and America must restore its credibility in the world. But let's not forget The Other War – the one unfolding on the streets of major American cities like Detroit.

If there's any president who can lead this country into an honest conversation about what's needed to resolve the poverty and hopelessness that drives much of the crime ravaging cities like this one, it is Obama. He is, after all, the first president with a true understanding of what it means to live and work in America's poorest urban communities, having developed much of his political skills in places like Altgeld Gardens, a public housing development on Chicago's Far South Side. Obama created the first White House Office of Urban Affairs, a move actually intended to broaden the definition of “urban affairs” into the more palatable “metropolitan affairs.” Certainly, many of the Obama Administration's first-year policies lay the groundwork for what could potentially revive, and reimagine, cities like Detroit.

Nevertheless, in this city, where nearly one-third of the remaining 900,000 or so residents is unemployed, there is a palpable sense of frustration, and impatience. At a cocktail party one recent night, the conversation turned to how the rest of the world, and particularly Obama, views Detroit. “Obama, he doesn't care about Detroit,” one African-American lawyer scoffed. Few people here seem to believe that anyone outside Detroit – certainly in its largely (but, decreasingly) white suburbs -- actually cares that the nation's 11th-largest city is on the brink of financial collapse. Or that only one-quarter of Detroit public high school freshmen are likely to receive a diploma within four years. Detroit's police force has been cut by 25% in recent years, and the remaining 3,000 officers are overwhelmed covering a vast, often sparsely populated territory that in some sections resembles a war zone. That's why residents of Detroit's last relatively middle-class neighborhoods no longer expect police to respond to calls about matters that in most of the country would be fairly routine. So they've come to view private neighborhood security patrols as normal. Meanwhile, the toll from The Other War is mounting, and most of the casualties are black and male.

“We pay attention to foreign terrorism – as we should,” Kym Worthy, the top prosecutor in Wayne County, Mich., which includes Detroit, told me Monday night. “But we need to focus on the terrorism that consumes Americans' lives everyday: robberies, rapes, homicides.” In Detroit, Worthy observed, “people are literally afraid to go out their houses to open the door and get mail. That's unconscionable in America.” Worthy no longer bothers sending prosecutors to deal with misdemeanors, because she can't. When she took the job in 2004, Worthy's office had 190 prosecutors. Now, she's down to 145 – far below the 300 or so prosecutors that counties of Wayne's size (roughly 2 million people) typically employ.

What should we expect Obama to do? He should deliver a major address from Detroit or New Orleans and articulate his vision for American urban policy – and, then, fortify that rhetoric with substantive, sustainable initiatives. Saturating America's most crime-ravaged neighborhoods with law enforcement officers probably isn't the answer. Nor is simply throwing money into an already bloated bureaucracy. The president's address should make clear that the urban crisis is spreading quickly across 8 Mile Road, the boundary between Detroit and its suburbs, and so all Americans have much at stake in rescuing cities like this one. Dealing with American failure isn't sexy. But if Detroit or New Orleans fail, it will be a stain for Obama, and our country.

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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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