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]

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser
One year. One city. Endless opportunities.

Coleman Young, Revisited

It's been a dozen years since the death of Detroit's first black mayor, Coleman A. Young. So why does he remain such a provocative, and perhaps misunderstood, figure?

First, a backgrounder: He was born in rural Alabama, in 1918. His family was part of the first mass exodus of Southern blacks to settle in Detroit in the 1920s. The region was, at the time, on the cusp of an unprecedented economic and cultural boom driven largely by the automotive industry. During World War II, he served in the Army and with the Tuskeegee Airmen. Then, he became a leading United Auto Workers activist, and in 1964 was elected to Michigan's legislature. Nine years later, he was elected Detroit's mayor -- part of the first wave of blacks to manage major American cities. TIME chronicled Young's 1974 inauguration this way:

Last week Detroiters put aside traditional enmities—poor v. rich, labor v. management, black v. white—for three days of inaugural celebration. The theme was reconciliation. U.S. District Court Judge Damon Keith, who is black, and State Supreme Court Justice John Swainson, who is white, administered the oath of office to Young in unison.

At a sellout luncheon for 3,500 in Cobo Hall the next day, Young received fervent promises of support from Henry Ford II and United Automobile Workers President Leonard Woodcock. The festivities culminated in an inaugural ball Friday night in the flower-festooned hall, where more than 8,000 people danced the night away.

To Young, 55, the son of a tailor raised in Detroit's Black Bottom ghetto, the celebration seemed "more like a coronation than an inauguration." It capped a lifetime of fighting for black rights, first as a union organizer at the Ford Motor Co. in the late 1930s, later as a leader of the leftist National Negro Labor Council in the '50s and as a politician in the '60s. A state senator since 1964, he fought for passage of an open-housing law and against a ban on busing children to integrate schools. In both cases, whites from the Detroit area were among his leading opponents. But no one knows better than Young that Detroit is governable only with the cooperation of the city's white power bro kers in industry and labor. Thus he declared: "We can no longer afford the luxury of bigotry and hatred. What is good for the black people of this city is good for the white people of this city."

A single line of Young's inaugural address would come to define much of his tenure: “I issue this warning to all those pushers, to all rip-off artists, to all muggers: It's time to leave Detroit; hit Eight Mile Road!” Many here still interpret it as the statement that drove whites, and much of this region's wealth, out of Detroit.

To better understand Young, consider his relationship with Bill Milliken, a Republican who served as governor for much of Young's tenure. They were, in many ways, an odd couple: Milliken is from Traverse City, Mich., in the state's northwestern corner, a rural region that often views Detroit with the same derision that, say, Peoria views Chicago. Young was an outspoken, unapologetic urban Democrat. Nevertheless, the men developed a bond on Young's trips to Michigan's capital, Lansing. “I felt very strongly, right from the beginning, that if Detroit did not do well, and did not succeed, it would have an enormous bearing on the whole state of Michigan,” Milliken told me recently. The former governor recalls making the politically risky case for using state funds to salvage Detroit's public libraries, and the Detroit Institute of the Arts.

Young served five mayoral terms. The consensus seems to be that may have been two terms too many. He provided many opportunities, especially for professional blacks. But in many ways, Young left Detroit a shell. His dream of a turnaround – led by major projects like the 73-story Renaissance Center overlooking the Detroit River, and a downtown monorail known as the People Mover – never truly materialized. He died on Nov. 30, 1997. Young's successor, Dennis Archer Sr., remembered Young this way in the Detroit Free Press: “The people of this city have lost a great warrior…. He is really one of the greatest mayors for urban America.” In sharp contrast, L. Brooks Patterson, who remains chief executive of Oakland County, Mich., a Detroit suburb, told the newspaper this about his longtime adversary: “He was singly responsible for the demise of Detroit…I can see he was a significant political force, but I don't think he marshaled his energies in a constructive way. I think he was destructive.”

  • Print
  • Comment

Add Your Comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.
The Detroit Blog Daily E-mail

Get e-mail updates from TIME's The Detroit Blog in your inbox and never miss a day.

 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]

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser
 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

+ READ ARTICLE

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.

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser