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.

Creating a Safety Net for Kids

As 2009 winds up, some of the big issues facing Metro Detroit have been on our collective minds. And education tops the list.

A little while back, I got a chance to chat with Alayna Bell, an alumnus of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, and Len Krichko, president and CEO of that same group. And those conversations gave me hope for the region's collective future.

Bell is a graduate of Henry Ford Academy, a charter school in Dearborn. She is now a sophomore at Oakland University, where she is majoring in art and marketing.

For six years, she attended the Dick & Sandy Dauch Campus, home of the NFL/YET Boys & Girls Club in Detroit. She calls herself “extra lucky” to be there – her mom and dad worked, so she needed somewhere to go after school.

The 19-year-old Detroit resident calls the Clubs a “safe haven” for kids of all kinds, especially those who grow up in neighborhoods where there is nothing to do after 3 p.m. except get in trouble. Bell described herself as shy when she first arrived. But within months she got to know people, learned about the many cultures that thrive in Metro Detroit and she grew more outgoing

That happens a lot at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, Bell said.

“You can tell the difference between someone who has just come in and someone who's been there a while,” Bell said. “Once they get comfortable, it's a total turnaround. Any issues they bring in – all that baggage – they just fall off.”

Or there's kids like Emanuel Harris, is a 17-year-old senior at East Detroit High School. He was a runner-up for Youth of the Year for Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan (he attends the Holden Club in Detroit). While his grades are average, he just had his best report card ever.  He loves music and is in a concert band at his school.

It is safe to say Bell and Harris probably would not have cultivated their love of art and music without the Boys & Girls Club. That alone is worth writing about them.

But consider this: If you haven't heard, Detroit leads the nation for high school dropouts and was one of 12 cities identified by America's Promise Alliance in 2008 as having the highest dropout rates. Groups like the Boys & Girls Clubs are changing that number, one kid at a time.

“You need to weave a complete safety net around each child,” Krichko said. “We do tutoring, homework help. We give them that extra attention. We find out what's going on in their lives (and) provide shelter from those situations.”

Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan describes itself as “a youth development organization providing a positive environment that enables its members to become responsible, self-reliant, caring adults.”

Education and career development is one of five core program areas in which the Clubs foster positive behavior among members. The Clubs have an amazing graduation rate of 90 percent among members in southeastern Michigan (Detroit and other high schools).

The group serves about 26,000 kids annually from ages 6 to 18 (grades 1-12), at its 13 Clubs in four counties. More than half (14,000) were male and about 70 percent of its registered users are African American. Caucasian and Hispanic youth accounting for about 24 percent; the rest are Asian and Native American.

School districts – most notably Detroit Public Schools – need the support of groups like the Boys & Girls Clubs. They are open five days a week year around, Krichko said. They are a safe place guiding kids in the right direction.

“We want to recruit more teens to join our clubs. We can provide them with the mentoring and support they need to succeed,” Krichko said.

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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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