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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One year. One city. Endless opportunities.

Turnaround Plan Losing Momentum?

Had another blog post planned today, but then I heard the news...

The University of Michigan today named David Brandon, the chairman and CEO of Domino's Pizza and a former University of Michigan football player and university regent, as U-M's athletic director. Not a big deal in and of itself (although a strange pick, I'll admit).

The reason I'm concerned is Brandon's participation as chairman of the Business Leaders for Michigan, a group of CEOs like himself dedicated to turning the state around. The group really had some solid ideas for making Michigan viable again -- and the more I thought about their plan, the more I liked it.

Michigan lost more private sector jobs since the year 2000 than any other state with nearly 50 percent of U.S. job losses since 2000 being in Michigan. Our unemployment rate was a staggering 15.4 percent in November, the latest data available. We're in trouble. We need a plan.

We need guys like Brandon in business and governmental leadership roles -- people with a vision for our state's future. Brandon also was a contender to run for Michigan's governor when Jenny G. steps down. That is out of the picture now that he is locked into a 5-year contact with the university.

There has been so much good news of late -- today was the first meeting of Detroit's newly revitalized City Council. Granholm signed major bills that could bring the state new dollars for education. General Motors is giving out raises next month. It felt like the state was on a roll.

For backgrouind, the Michigan Turnaround Plan has five points:

1. Changing the way the state manages its finances: For the past three fiscal years, Michigan has overprojected revenues, in part due to the lack of sufficient input from a broad spectrum of economic advisors, resulting in chronic budget crises. Fiscal discipline could be enhanced through forming an independent forecasting council, adopting two‐year budgets and prohibiting new programs unless revenues grow or others of like size are eliminated.
2. Rightsizing and enacting structural budget reforms: Budget right‐sizing is needed in the short term and structural reforms in the long‐term to achieve sustainable finances. Budget right‐sizing should address public employee compensation and benefits, while long‐term structural reforms should include corrections spending reductions, local government and school district service sharing and elimination of optional federal services or duplicative state programs.
3. Getting Michigan competitive to attract and retain jobs: This would include developing a competitive business tax structure that reflects Michigan's changing economy, providing a more predictable and stable tax environment for businesses and ensuring tax changes don't make the state's structural deficit worse. The short‐term goal is to significantly reduce the tax burden of the MBT, while making Michigan a “top ten” state for lowest business costs in the long‐run.
4. Making investments that create a great job environment: Michigan must set priorities and invest its budget resources in areas that will have the greatest long‐term economic impact, such as infrastructure, higher education and urban development.
5. Accelerating job growth through innovation and entrepreneurship: Michigan could benefit from shifting its economic development strategy towards supporting innovation and entrepreneurship across all sectors; increasing entrepreneurial education; and creating a university‐business partnership focused on attracting business, growing sectors and retaining talent.

With Brandon out, who is going to step up to turn this plan into reality?

UPDATE: I emailed the group but got no response. Crain's Detroit reports that Brandon is indeed stepping down; no word yet who will replace him. But there are a bevy of potential candidates, said President and CEO Doug Rothwell.

From the Crain's Web site:

“There are five vice chairs of the organization; we would be looking first to one of them to fill Dave's spot,” Rothwell said.

The five vice chairs of Business Leaders for Michigan are: Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman William Clay Ford Jr.; Jeff Fettig, chairman and CEO of Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool Corp.; West Michigan businessman Michael Jandernoa, former CEO of Allegan-based Perrigo Co.; Dave Joos, president and CEO of Jackson-based CMS Energy Corp..; and Detroit-based PVS Chemicals CEO Jim Nicholson.

“While we're certainly going to miss Dave when he has to step down, I think his legacy is creating an organization that is as engaged as he was personally,” Rothwell said. “Our meeting participation rate is 75 or 80 percent, which is phenomenal when you think these are all CEOs.”

Business Leaders for Michigan emerged as a group of 75 CEOs from around the state last September, following the merger of Detroit Renaissance Inc. with the Michigan Business Leadership Council.

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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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Quotes of the Day »

NICHOLAS FISHER, expert at Stony Brook University in New York who took part in a study which found that bluefin tuna contaminated with radiation believed to be from Fukushima Daiichi were present off the coast of California just five months after the nuclear meltdown.
 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.

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