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.

Security Theater

Well, so much for "fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here."

Maybe Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab scared you. But for me, he was mainly just another reminder that much of this "war on terror"--from the illusion of heightened airport "security" to these two stupid wars--has largely been a waste of our nation's time, resources and manpower.

We're not being "kept safe" here or abroad. We're not equipping our airports with the latest technology for sniffing out explosive substances. We're not securing our seaports or train stations or bus depots. Hell, we don't even want to pay folks who operate the airport X-ray scanners more money or provide enhanced training. If you're stunned that a 23-year-old fanatic could make it into Detroit and nearly blow up a plane, then you haven't been paying nearly enough attention to the numerous reports that, since 9/11, have detailed just how porous and illusory U.S. airport security really is.

But that hasn't stopped our politicians from drawing us into yet another installment of "Security Theater." We raise terror alert levels and increase armed security at the airports. We get more aggressive in our demands that elderly ladies remove their shoes and traveling salesmen dispose of their lighters. We crack down. We beef up. We debate worthless placebos like the racial profiling of Africans or Arabs. (But somehow never the Tim McVeighs of the world.) And we keep up the mad scramble to find inroads into the illusion that we can somehow be made invulnerable to every single loon and crackpot with a half-assed religious or p0litical agenda, all the while bypassing real measures and technology that might actually filter out a nut or two.

So too with these wars. We keep telling ourselves this lie that we're in a "war on terror" because the idea of a "war" makes us feel safer, like our elected officials are giving this the gravity it deserves. So we bomb the bejeebus out of two ass-backwards nations that had nothing to do with the alleged pretext for this military action, the Sept. 11 attacks. Meanwhile, as we squander trillions in Middle East war zones without batting an eye, our roads crumble, our schools rot, our levies break, our bridges collapse and we argue ourselves silly over whether universal health care is affordable and in the best interest of the nation. Uh-huh.

Al-Qaida, meanwhile, hasn't shown itself to be much more than a criminal organization with a crypto-religious bent. They're the Mafia with a prayer rug, and 9/11--for all its horrific tragedy--was much more a crime than an act of war.

But for the sake of "Security Theater," we've assigned them the role of the Third Reich. We've created special holding facilities in Cuba when we should be tossing their asses in Leavenworth and the Supermax. We've sent in the Army where something akin to the crew from The Wire or CSI is probably more appropriate. We're warring when we should be policing (like Bill Clinton did after the first WTC bombing, when he tracked down and arrested the thugs responsible).

Along the way, we've also launched domestic spying programs, detained American citizens without due process and otherwise threatened to shred our Constitutional principles in the name of the expediency this kind of political kabuki promises. Meanwhile, the attempts on our lives--and collective peace of mind--continue.

Of course, we cannot afford to diminish these threats. There are indeed crazies who'd do us harm. But responding inappropriately to them in the name of "Security Theater" hasn't served us well either. Not only do we distort potential threats like Abdulmutallab, we risk distorting who we are, too.

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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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